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How to Get Into Vanderbilt Medical School

September 21, 2022
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Vanderbilt Medical School ProgramsVanderbilt Medical School Admissions StatisticsVanderbilt University School of Medicine Application TimelineVanderbilt Medical School RequirementsVanderbilt Medical School Secondary EssaysVanderbilt Medical School TuitionVanderbilt Medical School InterviewFAQs: How To Get Into Vanderbilt Medical School


Reviewed by:

Akhil Katakam

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

Reviewed: 5/13/22

Is Vanderbilt the right medical school for you? Let’s find out! Follow along with our complete guide to Vanderbilt medical school.

The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is a prestigious institution that focuses on celebrating the diversity of culture, thinking, learning, and leading. Vanderbilt is ranked 13th in the US News world rankings for Best Med Schools: Research and maintains high rankings in several other categories.

The school is located in Nashville, Tennessee and is spread across a timeless urban campus in the city’s center. If you’re looking to enjoy southern food and a world-renowned music scene, Vanderbilt medical school might be the right spot for you.

In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Vanderbilt to help you get familiar with the school. From admissions requirements to tuition cost, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s get started!

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Vanderbilt Medical School Programs

Vanderbilt offers a wide variety of medical education programs to ensure each student has a program tailored to their needs. The Vanderbilt medical school MD programs are the following:

Vanderbilt also offers the following MD dual degree programs:

The above programs only represent MD and dual MD programs offered at Vanderbilt. For a full list of all of Vanderbilt’s programs, take a look at their website.

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Vanderbilt Medical School Admissions Statistics

Although Vanderbilt is not an Ivy League school, it is consistently compared to the eight schools in the Ivy League and presents impressive statistics. That means Vanderbilt is challenging to get into and maintains a very high academic standard. The Vanderbilt med admissions statistics are as follows.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Acceptance Rate

In the most recent application cycle, 94 of 7410 applicants matriculated into the school, making the acceptance rate of Vanderbilt medical school about 1.3%.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine GPA

Vanderbilt does not have a minimum GPA requirement, although the typical GPA of an entering student at Vanderbilt medical school ranges from 3.5 to 4.0.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine MCAT

The MCAT is required as part of your application to Vanderbilt medical school. There is no minimum MCAT requirement, however, the average MCAT of the entering class ranges between the 74th to 100th percentile.

The earliest MCAT considered for the 2022-2023 application cycle is January 2019; the latest is September 2022. We recommend taking the MCAT early enough to retake it if necessary, while also giving yourself plenty of time to get prepared.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Application Timeline

Here is the application timeline you need to follow if you’re applying to medical school at Vanderbilt. The table below includes all important dates and deadlines you’ll need to keep in mind when applying:

Vanderbilt medical school important dates
Source: AAMC, Vanderbilt University

Keep in mind the above dates are mainly final deadlines, you should begin working on/submit your application as early as possible.

Vanderbilt Medical School Requirements

Here are the requirements your application must meet in order to be considered for Vanderbilt medical school. Keep in mind that your application should go above and beyond the minimum requirements in order to be considered competitive. If you’re struggling with your application, consider hiring an experienced admissions consultant to help you strengthen your profile.

AMCAS Application (with Transcripts)

You must submit your AMCAS application and transcripts by the November 15 deadline. Vanderbilt recommends sending your application early as it can improve your chances of admission.


You must take the MCAT on or before September 22, 2022 and submit your score as part of your application. There is no minimum MCAT score, however you should aim for a score between 3.5-4.0 which is the current class average.

Prerequisite Courses (Recommended)

The following courses are not required, but are strongly recommended by Vanderbilt in order to demonstrate knowledge in these core competencies:

For more information on what Vanderbilt medical school is looking for in terms of courses and demonstrated understanding, take a look at the school’s website

Letters of Evaluation

To submit your letters of evaluation, you must use the AMCAS letter submission service and select Vanderbilt medical school. Vanderbilt accepts three to five letters of evaluation in any of the following formats:

Vanderbilt emphasizes that they value quality over quantity in terms of letters of evaluation, and that most students only send three strong letters. 

Criminal Background Check

If you are potentially accepted for admission, you must complete a criminal background check in order to matriculate into Vanderbilt.

Additional Requirements

Vanderbilt medical school is competitive. To ensure your application is as strong as possible, you should ensure that you demonstrate each of the following:

Consider these factors when crafting your primary application. If you make it through the first round of screening, you will also have to submit a secondary application with the $95 application fee. If your secondary application is approved, you will be invited for an interview.

Vanderbilt Medical School Secondary Essays

Here are the 2022-2023 Vanderbilt medical school Secondary Application Essay Prompts and how to answer them.

Prompt #1

"Please reflect on the upbringing, background, and experiences in your life that have shaped who you are as a person and will help define the person you want to be in the future. In other words, what makes you who you are? (800 words)”

How to Answer: With Broad, open-ended questions like this one it can be challenging to get started. For this prompt, we recommend brainstorming a few important life moments or pieces of your history that you feel have shaped you before you start writing. Think of where you’re from, a challenge you’ve faced, or even a job you had. Ultimately the experience isn’t the important part: it’s what you learned that matters.

Of course Vanderbilt is interested in getting to know you, but that doesn’t mean they want a list of everything that’s ever happened to you. Choose an experience that exhibits a key quality you have and would give a stranger an idea of what’s important to you. 

For example, if you’re a persistent person, you could demonstrate that with an essay on how hard you worked to learn a skill despite dragging hours of not being great at something. Or maybe you’re a great leader, think of a time you stepped up to the plate and assumed that roll.

Even if the story you choose is about a time you failed, your essay should demonstrate your ability to get back up, reflect, and grow as an individual. You can use this opportunity to demonstrate your personality as well, don’t be afraid to add a little humour or lightness to your writing if it comes naturally - it’s all about getting to know you!

Prompt #2:

"Tell us about a time when you interacted with someone who is different from you. What did you learn? What would you do differently? (600 words)”

How to Answer: This is an excellent question for future medical students because as a doctor you will constantly interact with patients and, unfortunately, you won’t always be best friends. The important thing to insert here is an actual life experience you’ve had in which you had to overcome your differences with another person.

You’re not perfect, and you should not use this essay to pretend you’ve never had a disagreement with another person. Similarly to the first prompt, how you overcame the differences and what you took away from the experience is what says the most about you.

For example, if you had a coworker who disagreed with you, think about how you came to an agreement. If the interaction ended poorly, what did you learn and/or put in practice the next time something similar came up? How did you examine your own behaviour to ensure you were being fair? This is a great time to demonstrate teamwork, growth, self-reflection, and listening skills.

Prompt #3

“Everyone needs help at various times in their lives. Describe a time you asked for help and what you gained from that experience that has influenced your approach to asking for help. (600 words)”

How to Answer: Knowing when to ask for help is an extremely valuable skill in the medical field, so again, do not pretend you’ve never needed help or that you’ve always been a one-man show. What will impress the admissions committee the most is a real, honest answer that demonstrates your ability to put away your pride in order to benefit the greater good.

For example, maybe there was a time you went to a friend or a professor for help when you were really struggling with a project. Or maybe you had a difficult time with mental health and needed to seek help from a therapist. Show how you learned that asking for help when you need it, although it can be a real challenge, is absolutely necessary. 

Optional Prompt #1

If you have completed your undergraduate education, please comment on what you have done or have been doing since graduation. (200 words)”

How to Answer: Optional prompts are completely optional, do not answer this prompt if it does not apply to you. If it does apply to you, briefly explain any gaps on your resume or insert additional opportunities you’ve pursued since graduating.

Optional Prompt #2

“If applicable, please describe how the COVID-19 outbreak affected your pathway to medical school. You may discuss any academic, personal, financial, or professional alterations to your plans. NOTE: Disclosing certain hardships or obstacles that have been faced during this time will not negatively affect an application. (200 words)”

How to Answer: Again, this prompt is completely optional. Many students have gaps on their resumes due to Covid-19, or even slips in academics. This would be the time to explain how the pandemic affected your current application. If you choose to answer this prompt, only respond with specific Covid-19 related hardships, do not include other unrelated challenges you’ve faced.

Vanderbilt Medical School Tuition

Full-time tuition at Vanderbilt medical school is $63,610. The table below includes all the costs you can expect to pay across your 4-year MD degree.

Vanderbilt medical school tuition
Source: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Vanderbilt Medical School Interview

Interviews at Vanderbilt are conducted virtually via zoom, and are only offered to a select group of applicants. Each candidate will be invited to either a morning or afternoon interview session via email at least three days before their scheduled interview time. If you’re wondering how to prepare for the Vanderbilt interview, check out our guide on how to ace your video interview.

Interviewees will also be invited via email to join an optional “Deep Dive with Vandy” session. This is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the school and have in depth conversations with experienced staff.

FAQs: How To Get Into Vanderbilt Medical School

Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about how to get into Vanderbilt Medical School. If you want more information, consider scheduling a free consultation with one of our admissions experts

1. What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Vanderbilt Medical School?

Vanderbilt does not have a minimum GPA requirement; however, their current class average GPA ranges from 3.5 to 4.0. Keep in mind that Vanderbilt is a competitive school, so you should aim to raise your GPA as high as possible before applying. 

2. Is It Hard to Get Into Vanderbilt Med School?

Vanderbilt is a competitive school, with an acceptance rate of only 1.3%. It may be hard to get into the school as it is highly selective, but it is not at all impossible.

3. Is Vanderbilt A Good Medical School?

Vanderbilt is an excellent medical school with a great national reputation. It is currently ranked 13th in the US News world rankings for Best Med Schools: Research.

Getting Into Vanderbilt Medical School With Inspira Advantage

You can get into the Vanderbilt school of medicine by following our guide. VU is a competitive school, which is why it may be worthwhile to enlist the help of a tutor or admissions counselor. If you’re stuck on any part of your application, our team of former admissions committee members and writing experts are here to help. 

Good luck!

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