How to Get Into Dartmouth Medical School

October 5, 2023


Reviewed by:

Akhil Katakam

Third-Year Medical Student, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Reviewed: 10/5/23

If you want to learn more about how to get into one of America’s top medical schools, read on!

The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth has a history of firsts. Not only were they one of the first medical schools in the nation, but they were also the first to use clinical x-rays, the first multispeciality intensive care unit, and the first to use the stethoscope in medical education.

This school has also produced many advancements nationally and globally by helping develop a TB vaccine in Tanzania, creating a new system to educate physicians in Rwanda, and having ties to health care initiatives in Peru, Kosovo, Haiti, and China. 

Considering these feats, it’s clear Dartmouth produces leaders in education, health delivery, and research. This guide will go over all of the admission requirements and statistics to teach you how to get into Dartmouth Medical School to join its long list of accomplished alumni!

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Programs Offered at Dartmouth Medical School

Dartmouth’s world-class faculty, low faculty to student ratio, and innovative curriculums make it one of the best medical schools in the nation. Depending on where you are in your medical journey, there are several robust programs for you to choose from:

  • MD program: a typical, four year medical degree
  • MD/PhD program: for students interested in becoming physician-scientists
  • MD/MBA program: to give students an in-depth understanding of both medical and management issues
  • MS in Healthcare Research: to produce leaders in health services delivery and quality improvement
  • Master of Public Health (MPH): explores the interface between traditional public health and the US healthcare system
  • Master of Health Care Delivery Services (MHCDS): offers physicians and executive leaders the skills to make crucial transformations within the health care industry
  • Quantitative Biomedical Sciences: as PhD, Masters, or certificate program
  • PhD programs: in health policy and clinical practice, biochemistry and cell biology, biological sciences, cancer biology, cognitive neuroscience, integrative neuroscience, microbiology and immunology, and molecular and cellular biology

Students in all of these programs have the opportunity to participate in clerkships and electives across the country and globe. As an Ivy League school, students work closely with outstanding medical educators using the most advanced technology.

Dartmouth Medical School Acceptance Rate

All medical schools are challenging to get into. The selection process involves several factors that predict which students will become the best physicians. Dartmouth is especially competitive, with an acceptance rate of only 2.4%!

Dartmouth Medical School Admissions Stats

Don’t let this acceptance rate discourage you from applying to Dartmouth! Gaining an education from such a high-ranking medical school will give you unparalleled opportunities that will set you up for a prosperous medical career.

While it may seem impossible, you can make it into the selective pool of applicants that are offered admission to this medical school. The first step is to focus on your numbers:

GPA Requirements

Medical school will be demanding. You will be expected to complete extensive courses to learn the foundations of medicine and participate in clinical practicums to apply your knowledge. To assure you can handle these demands, Dartmouth uses your GPA to assess your academic potential.

Students should aim for a GPA of 3.77 or higher to be considered competitive at Dartmouth.

MCAT Requirements

While your GPA gives the admissions committee a general sense of your academic performance, your MCAT score will give them more specific insight into how well you’ll do in medical school, and the field of medicine in general. 

Accordingly, it’s exceedingly important you receive a high MCAT score to impress the judges! While Dartmouth requires students to have an MCAT score of at least 503 to be eligible for consideration, you should aim for 516 to be within the competitive range of previous successful applicants.

Receiving this score will not be easy. You will need to create a comprehensive study schedule using the best resources and tools!

Dartmouth Application Requirements and Deadlines

While you should place the most emphasis on achieving the right scores, there are several other components that make up your Dartmouth application. Here is a complete list of Dartmouth’s application requirements:

Undergraduate Transcripts

Students must complete an undergraduate degree at an accredited university to apply to Dartmouth. While the exact major you choose doesn’t matter, you will be expected to complete the following prerequisites prior to enrollment:

  • One year of biology
  • One year of physics
  • Two years of chemistry (with one semester of organic chemistry and one semester of biochemistry)
  • Half a year of college-level mathematics, including calculus or statistics

Students are required to have facility in written and spoken English. You should pursue writing-intensive courses to develop these skills. Students are also recommended to pursue independent investigations in their undergraduate field of study.

Whether you decide to major in a science-based curriculum or not, you should have a good blend of courses in sciences and the humanities; you will need a solid foundation in the scientific basis of medicine and human behavior. Both of these disciplines are necessary to succeed in the medical field.

Letters of Evaluation

Students are also required to submit letters of evaluation with their application. You may submit a composite letter from your pre-medical undergraduate office or three to five individual letters. 

The majority of these letters should be written by professors. One or two can be written by other mentors like clinical employers or volunteer coordinators. 

Activities Section

On your secondary application you’ll be required to list and explain the most meaningful extracurriculars and activities you pursued during your undergrad. 

A Personal Statement

Students will be required to submit a personal statement to answer the question “why medicine?”

This essay should be around two double-spaced pages and include any relevant experiences that describe your reason for pursuing medicine. This statement will help bring color to your application as it lets your unique voice shine! It should help the admissions committee learn more about your personality and character.


Part of knowing how to get into Dartmouth Medical School is knowing how to write well. You’ll be asked to write several supplemental essays with your application aside from your personal statement. More on the exact topics you can expect to see to come!

Technical Competencies

Students will also be assessed on the following five basic competencies required to join the medical field:

  • Observation/perception: to be able to observe demonstrations and the presentation of information through laboratory experiments, diagnostic findings, procedures, and written and audiovisual materials
  • Communication: strong written and verbal communication to be able to effectively observe patients to elicit information and communicate sensitively with them
  • Motor: to complete medial assessments on patients, perform basic laboratory tests, carry out diagnostic tests, and provide general and emergency patient care
  • Cognition: should be able to demonstrate high cognitive-skills, including rationality, calculation, measurement, conceptualization, memory, application, clinical reasoning, ethical reasoning, and sound judgement
  • Professionalism: should always display moral and ethical conduct, integrity, fairness, empathy, respect, diligence, and dedication

All of these skills are mandatory to get into Dartmouth Medical School.


Submitting a stellar application past the deadline will make it a subpar application. To avoid all of your hard work going to waste, mark your calendars with these dates:

Due Date What’s Due
May 2 AMCAS applications open
May 30 Applications can begin being filed
August Interviews begin
November 1 AMCAS submissions close
December 1 Final deadline for secondary applications
March 14 Interviews end

Source: Dartmouth Medical School

Students will only receive a secondary application if they meet Dartmouth’s minimum academic expectations. The cost to complete these secondary applications is $130.

Dartmouth Medical School Essays

Here are the exact essay prompts you can expect to see on your secondary application:

1. Please indicate your plans for the 2022-2023 academic year. If in school, please list your courses. If working, let us know something about the nature of your job. If your plans or courses change subsequently, please inform the Admissions Office by email at

2. Please reflect on your primary application and share something not addressed elsewhere that would be helpful to the Admissions Committee as we review your file.

3. Please tell us specifically why you are interested in Geisel.

4. Geisel School of Medicine values social justice and diversity in all its forms. Reflect on a situation where you were the “other.”

Prompts one to three have no word limit, but you should keep your answer as clear and concise as possible. Just because there is no word limit doesn’t mean you need to write a 5,000-word essay. Stay on topic, edit out any unnecessary sentences or phrases, and use language within your skill set.

To assist in your essay-writing process, Dartmouth lists the following requirements for writing an excellent essay:

Contemplation and Reflection

Before you start writing, you should spend considerable time reflecting on your meaningful extracurriculars, academic and life experiences, and the influential people in their life. You should also consider how your perspectives have developed over time and how you’ve grown professionally and personally. 

Ensure all of these experiences and accomplishments are related to your goal of going to medical school.


You need to give yourself adequate time to write your essays. Do not leave it to the last minute or write an answer that isn’t carefully thought out. These essays provide the admissions committee with a glimpse into your personal story, so you don’t want to present them with anything less than your best self!

Polished Writing

While the content of your essay will determine how compelling it is, it’s essential your writing is also polished, so your message gets across as intended. To do this, implement the following tips into your writing:

  • Use active language instead of passive
  • Use anecdotes to illustrate your writing
  • Be genuine
  • Don’t be hyperbolic, or overstated
  • Work on cohesive writing by using an introduction, transition sentences, and a conclusion
  • Don’t pontificate, be grounded in specifics of your experiences
  • Don’t be afraid to write multiple drafts

The final tip made by Dartmouth is often overlooked by students. Getting your essays to the standards Dartmouth expects will take time, effort, and multiple drafts. Don’t be afraid to start over if you feel like your essays don’t accurately capture who you are and who you want to become!

Dartmouth School Interviews

The final admissions step you should know about when exploring how to get into Dartmouth Medical School is the interviews. Only a select few individuals are granted interviews with Dartmouth. 

The interview is designed for you to also get to know Dartmouth better, so you should prepare a few insightful questions to ask your interviewer. All interviews for the upcoming admissions cycle will be conducted online and will be either traditional or MMI format.

  • A welcome for the Associate Dean of Admissions
  • An information session with the admissions and financial aid team
  • A 20-minute group exercise
  • Two thirty-minute interviews with members of Dartmouth’s admissions committee
  • Closing remarks from the Associate Dean of Admissions

Ensure you dress to impress for this interview, prepare answers to common medical school interview questions, be mindful of your body language, and remain calm! Even if you’re hit with a surprise interview question, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask your interviewer for time to think about your answer.

Dartmouth Medical School Tuition and Costs

Dartmouth’s tuition reflects its prestige. At $67,532 a year, attending this medical school will be an investment! On top of your other expenses as a medical student, you can expect to pay over $90,000 a year to attend Dartmouth.

Fortunately, Dartmouth aims to make their education accessible and affordable to all of their students. To do this, they offer extensive merit-based and needs-based awards and scholarships to help cover the partial or full costs of students’ tuition. In fact, over 85% of their students receive some form of financial aid. 

In case students require more financial assistance, there are also several external scholarships to consider applying to.

Tips for Getting Into Dartmouth Medical School

Since we’ve answered the pressing question, “how hard is it to get into Dartmouth Medical School?” with the school’s intimidating acceptance rate of less than 3%, you may be wondering how to differentiate your application to ensure it wows the judges.

Implement these three tips in your application to maximize your chances of admission:

Consider Traveling

One of the qualities that Dartmouth looks for in its students is the distance they’ve travelled. While they mean this figuratively in terms of your development as a student and person, they also mean it literally. 

Students that experience different cultures, regions, and populations have more perspectives and are more likely to become equitable practitioners. Consider gaining volunteer experience abroad to demonstrate your cultural intelligence and competence! 

Talk about memorable experiences you had abroad in your essays, personal statement, or interview. Expand on the significance of this experience and the importance of gaining diverse perspectives on the world as a healthcare provider. 

Pursue Research Experience

Regardless of your major, you’re strongly encouraged to pursue independent investigations in it. The best way to do this as an undergraduate student is to either work on outside projects, enter competitions, or participate in research with a professor. 

You should have at least some research experience on your application, nonetheless. One of the pillars to good medical practice is discovery! If you want to make significant changes to healthcare, as Dartmouth has, you should begin honing your research skills during your undergrad.

Do your best to be part of any publications on the research you’re involved in! Having this experience will strengthen your application and prove you’re ready for the scholarly discussion and investigation that Dartmouth is so well known for!

Demonstrate Dartmouth-Specific Skills

Aside from the distance you’ve travelled and your curiosity for discovery, there are specific traits that Dartmouth looks for in its applicants. To be a successful applicant, you should demonstrate each of the following traits in multiple ways:

  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Integrity
  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • The ability to overcome obstacles
  • Resilience
  • Coachability
  • A commitment to learning

All of these traits are considered to be in line with Dartmouth’s tight-knit, stimulating environment. Participate in useful courses, extracurriculars, and activities that can help you develop and portray these qualities!

You should also mention them in your essays and during your interview to assure the committee you have what it takes to fit in at Dartmouth. 

Gain Clinical Experience

Knowing that practice makes perfect, having clinical experience on your application can convince the committee you’re prepared for medical school. 

You should also shadow a physician. It’s difficult to know the rigors of the medical field until you’re in it! By shadowing a physician you’ll gain this knowledge before going to medical school. Use this experience to prove you have a realistic understanding of what it means to be a physician and are still motivated to become one!

Be Sincere

Dartmouth acknowledges students may have the same reasons to join the medical field. As such, they urge students not to get too caught up trying to come up with a unique answer to essay or interview questions asking why they want to pursue medicine.

Just answer sincerely! The experiences that influenced you and the way you developed your motivation and the skills required to succeed in this field will make your narrative unique. Focus on these to supplement any parts of your story that may be similar to other students’ answers.

FAQs: How to Get Into Dartmouth Medical School

In this guide we’ve covered the overarching topic of how to get into Dartmouth Medical School. We’ve honed in on the admission requirements, costs, and best tips to submit a stellar application. 

In case we missed any of your inquiries, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about this medical school.

1. How Hard Is It to Get Into Dartmouth Medical School?

Getting into Dartmouth Medical School will be challenging. This renowned medical school is considered to be one of the very best in the nation, so they’re highly selective with the students they let represent them!

Accordingly, they only admit the brightest and most promising students. Typically, this amounts to less than 3% of their applicants!

2. What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Dartmouth Medical School?

Students should aim for a GPA around 3.77 or higher to get into Dartmouth Medical School.

3. What Is the Minimum MCAT Score to Get Into Dartmouth Medical School?

Students must have an MCAT score of at least 503 to be considered for admission. Students with MCAT scores of 502 or lower will automatically be rejected and will not receive a secondary application. 

However, students should aim for a score much higher than this target to get into Dartmouth. The median MCAT score of past successful students was 516.

4. Is Dartmouth a Good Medical School?

Yes, Dartmouth is one of the nation’s leading medical schools. It offers students the best and most updated resources to facilitate their learning, challenging and comprehensive programs that ensure they’re practice ready, and robust clinical experiences to develop their skills and resumes.

5. What Makes Dartmouth Medical School Special?

The main reason students place Dartmouth Medical School at the top of their lists is because it’s an Ivy League school. Not only does this make Dartmouth graduates highly sought after, but it allows them to join a network of successful professionals that can help them advance their careers. 

Ivy League schools also offer unparalleled resources that students will have a hard time finding elsewhere. As Dartmouth claims, these resources are used to produce complete physicians—ones who excel in the basic sciences, deliver outstanding patient care, discover and share knowledge, and work to improve all systems of health care.

6. How Much Does It Cost to Attend Dartmouth Medical School?

Dartmouth Medical School’s tuition alone is over $67,000 a year. With the addition of personal expenses, housing, textbooks, and transportation, students can expect to pay between $80,000 to over $100,000 in total to attend Dartmouth.

Final Thoughts

As a school known for firsts, it seems fitting to let Dartmouth be the first step into your future! With its abundant resources, unrivaled curriculums, and interdisciplinary courses, you can attain even your most ambitious aspirations at Dartmouth!

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