How to Get Into UT Southwestern Medical School

April 25, 2024


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 4/25/24

As an aspiring physician, getting hands-on experience is essential to feeling prepared before entering the medical field. If you’d like to join a medical school with an unsurpassed breadth of clinical experience, read on to learn more about how to get into UT Southwestern Medical School!

With some of the nation’s most innovative healthcare facilities, UT Southwestern has a commitment to training the leading physicians of tomorrow. Students are mentored by renowned faculty, have access to diverse educational opportunities, and learn in student-focused, tight-knit communities.

With few medical schools in the nation able to match UT Southwestern’s educational excellence, their students receive some of the highest quality education and experience the country has to offer! 

If you’d like to reap the benefits of this school’s medical community, this guide will discuss UT Southwestern’s admission requirements, acceptance rate, interview process, tuition costs, and more!

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Programs Offered at UT Southwestern Medical School

As a school known for its range of educational opportunities, it’s no surprise that UT Southwestern offers several medical programs to its prospective students: 

MD Program: a four-year Doctor of Medicine program

MD/MBA Program: a dual Doctor of Medicine and Master of Business Administration degree that expands into administration and leadership skills for business-minded physicians

MD/MPH: a dual Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degree that allows physicians to understand different social determinants of health 

MSTP Program: a combined MD and PhD program, formally called the Perot Family Scholars Medical Scientist Training Program, for students interested in academia and/or research

CART Program: a Community Action Research Task program for medical students interested in receiving special recognition and distinction in Community Health

CHFP Program: a Community Health Fellowship Program available for first-year medical students interested in gaining experience with community-based participatory research

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship: for graduate students with well-defined projects that will provide service to underserved communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth region

Global Health Distinction: students interested in gaining a global health distinction may complete an integrated, exchange, or independent track in Global Health

Medical Education Distinction: students interested in serving as clinical educators may gain a distinction in Medical Education 

Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Boot Camp: a rigorous five-day program available for MD students

Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Distinction: medical students may receive distinction in this area of healthcare through a program involving summer employment, service, and a thesis project

Summer Research Program: designed to increase medical students’ scientific knowledge and research skills

Medical Research Distinction: students who conduct meaningful clinical or basic research activities during their medical training may receive a distinction in Research

With varying degrees, distinctions, and programs, UT Southwestern has the perfect program for any student looking to kick-start or advance their medical career!

UT Southwestern Medical School Acceptance Rate

Considering this medical school offers its students substantial experience and high-quality education, you might be asking yourself, “how hard is it to get into UT Southwestern Medical School?”

One way to answer this question is to look at the UT Southwestern Medical School acceptance rate. Since UT Southwestern only accepts 9.7% of all its applicants, it’s challenging to get into! Students must have stellar scores and applications to stand out from the crowd!

UT Southwestern Medical School Requirements

Knowing that UT Southwestern only accepts a handful of students into its prestigious MD program, it’s essential to discuss its admission requirements:

UT Southwestern Medical School Prerequisites 

An undergraduate degree is required to attend any medical school. UT Southwestern has no preference over the type of major you pursue. While 70% of its MD students have science majors, the other 30% have majors in various types of disciplines, including English, Psychology, Business, and Music.

Regardless of the major you choose, UT Southwestern requires all of its students to have the following prerequisites completed prior to enrollment:

  • Biology: a minimum of 14 semester hours with lab experience
  • Biochemistry: a minimum of three semester hours
  • Chemistry: a minimum of 14 semester hours that must include four hours of general chemistry with a lab and eight hours of organic chemistry with a lab
  • English: a minimum of six semester hours
  • Mathematics: a minimum of three semester hours of calculus or statistics, preferably biostatistics
  • Physics: a minimum of eight semester hours with lab experience

Each course must be completed with a C grade or better. Since UT Southwestern is a competitive school, you should aim for much higher to be considered an attractive candidate.

UT Southwestern GPA Requirements

Since there are several prerequisites you must complete to apply to UT Southwestern, you may be wondering what cumulative GPA you should have to maximize your chances of admission. The Southwestern’s most recent class had an average GPA of 3.93, which is what you should aim for.

To ensure you reach this high GPA, choose a major you have a genuine interest in! You are not limited to pursuing a science major. In fact, admitted students had 57 different undergraduate majors!

UT Southwestern Medical School MCAT Requirements

Another number to pay attention to is your MCAT score. This score will weigh heavily in the admissions committee’s decisions. The median MCAT score of the incoming class was 518. 

Build a strong study schedule and ensure you give yourself enough time to study for the MCAT to achieve this high score!

CASPer Test

Another assessment you’ll have to complete to apply to UT Southwestern is the CASPer test. Ensure you go over sample CASPer test questions and familiarize yourself with the format to ace this assessment!

Letters of Recommendation

To attest to the academic potential and abilities reflected through your MCAT and GPA, UT Southwestern asks students to submit committee letters from their undergraduate institution or at least three individual letters. Students may submit a fourth letter if they feel it will further substantiate their candidacy for medical school.

These letters of recommendation should be written by professors that you built strong connections with during your undergraduate career. 

Secondary Application

You’ll also have to complete a secondary application that will involve submitting more supporting details and essays, which we’ll discuss in more detail next!

UT Southwestern Medical School Essays

To ease some of the stress you may be feeling about writing secondary essays, here are the exact prompts you can expect to see: 

1. Describe a group project or activity of which you are most proud. Consider the following response: What aspect made you proud? How was it accomplished? How did you deal with disagreement or conflict in the group? How did you get fellow group members to embrace a position or view your perspective? (2,500 character limit)

You’ve probably completed several group projects throughout your undergrad and even through your extracurriculars. 

Think back to one of your most successful group projects. Focus on how you showed leadership and motivated your group to collaborate well together. Don’t brag or talk about how you completed the project all by yourself. 

Physicians rely on their colleagues everyday and have to be good teammates to provide patients with the best care! While there are always difficult members in group projects, you should talk about how you took the initiative to resolve this challenge so that everyone contributed equally to the project.  

2. Describe a time that you have witnessed someone acting unethically or dishonestly, or experienced behavior of harassment or discrimination. Consider the following response: what did you do? What made the situation difficult for you personally? Describe your reaction and what you might do differently now in retrospect (2,500 character limit). 

When answering this question, you need to have a realistic response. Mentioning you talked down a bank robber won’t score you any brownie points. 

Knowing a fellow student plagiarized their essay, a colleague wasn’t clocking out for their breaks, or a volunteer member took credit for someone else’s ideas are realistic ethical dilemmas. 

State your response to these situations and share how you were able to resolve them. Since there is always room for improvement and physicians must be able to handle criticism with a sense of humility, think about what you could have done differently to handle the situation better. 

Could you have reached out to a superior for help? Could you have handled the issue with more discretion or sensitivity?

3. Describe an interaction or experience that has made you more sensitive or appreciative of cultural differences, and/or how you have committed yourself to understanding and aiding in the pursuit of equity and inclusion in your academic, professional or personal life. (2,500 character limit)

Choose an interaction and describe it in detail, highlighting the emotions, thoughts, and insights it evoked. Explain how this experience transformed your sensitivity and appreciation for diverse cultures.

Next, detail the steps you've taken to commit yourself to promoting equity and inclusion. Discuss any actions, initiatives, or projects you've been involved in, both within your academic and personal spheres, that reflect your dedication to fostering a more inclusive environment. Provide concrete examples and outcomes to showcase the impact of your efforts.

4. (Optional) Have you engaged in any public service activities for a duration greater than a year in length (examples: Military, Peace Corps, Teach for America, etc.)? If so, please describe the experience and impact on your personal and professional development in 5,000 characters or less.

If you’ve engaged in any public service that matches the description in the prompt, share your experience. What did you learn through this experience? Did it inspire you to pursue a certain type of medicine? Or work with certain populations?

5. (Optional) Please explain any academic discrepancies or extenuating circumstances that you feel the Admissions Committee should know. Please limit your response to 5,000 characters or less.

If you have anything on your application that might seem unfavorable, you can use this prompt to explain the circumstances around it. Ensure you don’t make excuses and stick to the facts!

UT Southwestern Application Timeline

Part of learning how to get into UT Southwestern Medical School is keeping track of important application deadlines. To make this process as hassle-free as possible, here is a list of all the key deadlines you should know!

Deadline What’s Due
January Recommended month to begin preparing your application materials
May 1 UT Southwestern applications open
May Recommended last month to write your MCAT
May Recommended month to write the CASPer
July Interview invitations begin
July Last month to retake your MCAT
August Interview season begins
October 15 Rolling admissions begin
November 1 Deadline to complete primary application
November 15 Deadline to complete secondary application
Late January Interview season ends
May Final offers sent out

Your primary application will be completed through the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS) and your secondary application will be completed through UT Southwestern’s own application portal.

UT Southwestern Medical School Interview

Once your application has been reviewed, and the admissions committee is intrigued to learn more about you, they will invite you to interview. These interviews are currently being conducted virtually and will involve two back-to-back standard interviews. 

To prepare for these, go over common interview questions and review what you’ve written on your application to avoid missing any essential details. These interviews are your second chance to really wow the committee, so ensure you sell yourself without seeming overly confident! 

Show your enthusiasm to join UT Southwestern, do your research on the school, highlight your accomplishments, and mention your future medical goals.

UT Southwestern Medical School Tuition

Aside from being known for its diverse courses and established faculty, UT Southwestern has some of the most affordable tuition in the country!

At only $23,023 a year for tuition and fees, UT Southwestern Medical School’s cost of education is substantially lower than the majority of medical schools. In fact, the median tuition cost for public medical schools is around $37,080 a year, and the median tuition cost for private medical schools is $58,889. 

In comparison, UT Southwestern’s medical students typically graduate with $131,699 of student debt, while the average public medical school student graduates with $194,558 of debt, and the average private medical school student graduates with $222,899 of debt.

UT Southwestern also offers several grants and scholarships to its students to further cut the costs of tuition and make their medical school more accessible to a diverse population!

FAQs: Getting Into UT Southwestern Medical School 

We’ve covered the basics of how to get into UT Southwestern Medical School, including its extensive programs, admission requirements and deadlines, interview format, and affordable tuition costs.

If you have any remaining questions, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about UT Southwestern.  

1. How Hard Is It To Get Into UT Southwestern Medical School?

Considering this medical school has a low acceptance rate of 9.7% and a median MCAT score of 518, getting into UT Southwestern Medical school is challenging! Students must bring their A game when applying to and interviewing at UT Southwestern to ensure they stand out and have a competitive advantage!

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

Students should aim to maintain a GPA of 3.93 or higher to be considered attractive candidates at UT Southwestern. While the minimum application grade requirements are a C in the prerequisite courses, students should essentially aim for an A to reach this high GPA.

3. Is UT Southwestern a Good Medical School?

Yes, UT Southwestern is an excellent medical school! Since its founding in 1943, it has consistently produced distinguished physicians that work at top medical facilities around the world!

UT is also a leading research facility that uses an innovative curriculum to prioritize early clinical experience; it provides students access to some of the nation’s most dynamic healthcare facilities!

4. What Ranking Does UT Southwestern Medical School Have?

UT Southwestern ranks 24th in the nation for research and 26th for its primary care. It also ranks 23rd in Internal Medicine and 21st in Surgery. 

5. Is UT Southwestern Medical School Expensive?

No, despite its high rankings and elite status, UT Southwestern is one of the most affordable medical schools in the nation, with tuition costs that are significantly lower than the national average! 

6. Does UT Southwestern Medical School Require a Personal Statement?

No, UT Southwestern does not require a personal statement as part of its MD admissions process, which is another perk of this medical school! The majority of med school applicants find these statements to be the most daunting part of the admissions process!

7. How Many Clinical Training Facilities Does UT Southwestern Medical School Have?

UT Southwestern has four state-of-the-art training facilities:

  • William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital: a 12-floor, 460-room patient-centred hospital
  • Parkland Memorial Hospital: Dallas County’s only public hospital
  • Children’s Health Medical Center Dallas: a private, nonprofit institution with over 50 specialty clinics
  • Zale Lipshy Pavilion - William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital: one of the world’s premier neurological treatment centers

All of these hospitals use modern medical technology and can give you comprehensive training working with diverse populations!

Final Thoughts

Knowing exactly how to get into UT Southwestern Medical School and all it has to offer, you can hopefully decide whether this distinguished school will make the top of your med school list!

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