Every year, more than 9,000 students apply to NYU Grossman School of Medicine, hoping to not only be a part of the glitz and glam of New York City, but also to attend a world-class research institution. NYU is one of the country’s best medical institutions, and its unprecedented financial aid opportunities and flexible curriculum are a draw for many. If you want to be among the lucky few who are admitted, our guide offers advice and guidance into the admissions process. By the end, you will know exactly how to get into NYU Medical School.
Grossman is free. Yes, you read that right. The school offers full coverage of tuition to all its admitted students, regardless of academic performance or financial need. While there are still some expenses associated with the school, this is a huge draw for thousands of students each year. Leaving medical school with little to no debt can give you an enormous amount of freedom when exploring your career options, traveling, and starting a life as a medical professional.
Beyond this major perk, NYU offers a variety of ways to personalize your education. From its dual degrees to its accelerated three-year MD curriculum, the school prides itself on its flexible curriculum. Whether you are interested in becoming a bioethicist, or a pharmaceutical consultant, the school has a track for you.
NYU breaks down its four-year MD program into four parts:
1. Pre-clerkship curriculum. This occurs during the first year and a half of your education. Students study biological, scientific, and health-related curriculum that will prepare them for their clerkships.
2. The clerkship. During the second half of the second year and first half of the third, students participate in four rotations for twelve weeks each. Students can choose from clerkships in seven general areas: ambulatory care, general surgery, clinical neurological sciences, medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and psychiatry.
3. Individualized Exploration. During the second half of the third year, students take time to study for the US Medical Licensure Exam and take elective courses or begin a concentration. Elective courses could consist of everything from Forensic Psychiatry to Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery.
4. Career Preparation. In the fourth and final year, students complete a second clerkship and sub-internships.
One program unique to the Grossman School of Medicine is the accelerated three-year MD program. Not only does this allow students to accelerate their experience, but it is also a money saver when it comes to the expensive costs associated with living in New York. This program condenses individualized exploration and career preparation and requires extra commitment in the summers.
A major advantage of attending NYU is the connections you will have with other parts of the school. If you have a good idea of your future career path, it might be a good idea to look into NYU’s dual degrees. They offer the following.
MD/Masters of Public Administration in Health Policy and Administration: This program lasts five years, with a break in the usual MD program in the fourth year for the MPA curriculum. In the final year, students complete a capstone project, preparing them for careers in consulting firms, government agencies, nonprofits, and a variety of other health-related fields.
MD/Masters of Public Health in Global Health: An MPH in Global Health can prepare students for careers in epidemiology, community health, policy management, and more. If you’re not sure yet if this path is right for you, you don’t have to apply to this joint degree program until your third year.
MD/Masters of Science in Translational Research: This degree helps you prepare for careers related to research and their application to medical therapies. Students take classes in grant writing, epidemiology, drug design, and more. The program lasts five years, with the fourth year spent focusing on the MS.
MD/Masters of Arts in Bioethics: Are you someone who is always questioning the whys and hows of practices you learn? A degree in Bioethics can put you in a position to consult as a bioethicist in hospitals, medical schools, and labs. The program lasts five years, with the fourth year spent focused on Bioethics.
MD/MBA in General Management: In this program, you enroll in NYU’s Stern School of Business during your fourth year. There, you take classes that prepare you for careers in business ownership, healthcare management, and pharmaceutical consulting, among many others.
Diversity and inclusion are strong NYU values, and because of this, they use a holistic admissions process to review applications. This means they will evaluate all aspects of your application equally in an effort to view you as a multi-faceted complex candidate. This is a double-edged sword for applicants. Not only will you not be judged purely on a test score or GPA, but also you must pay careful attention to each portion of your application.
NYU Grossman is an extremely competitive school. Last year their acceptance rate was 2.5%, placing them in the top ten most exclusive medical schools in the country. This makes it all the more important that you work hard to perfect your application, leaving no stone unturned.
The admission process can be broken down into several parts. First comes the AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service), a portal through which you may submit your application to multiple medical schools. Your MCAT score, transcripts, and Letters of Evaluation must be submitted along with the AMCAS.
After you submit your application with AMCAS, you will receive your secondary application. You’ll be required to send back the application complete with your answers to a series of questions and a nonrefundable application fee. Secondaries are generally due back within two weeks to a month after they’ve been sent.
Lastly, you may be invited to have an interview. Approximately 10% of applicants are invited to interview and these occur on a rolling basis from July to December.
Final decisions are made in January.
The MCAT is an important element of your application because it allows the admissions committee to evaluate your grasp of behavioral and scientific concepts. Given NYU’s extremely low acceptance rate, most admitted students have a very competitive MCAT score. Most recently, the average score for accepted students is 522. The range is 512-528.
The school accepts scores from exams taken three years prior to your expected matriculation year.
The median undergrad GPA for NYU’s most recent incoming class is 3.96 with a range between 3.57-4.0. If your GPA does not compare, remember that NYU uses a holistic admissions process, and they will not define you by this number. However, if you have any gaps in your transcript, it’s a good idea to address them in the essay portion of the application.
The school does not have prerequisites; however, they do have recommendations of courses that will prepare you for your time at the school. Because the school is so competitive, it is a good idea to make sure you have taken the following courses:
- Biology with lab
- Physics with lab
- Inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, and organic chemistry with lab
NYU stands apart from its competitors in that it awards all students a full-tuition scholarship. Students are simply required to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress and they need not pay a single cent of tuition.
Beyond the school’s full-tuition scholarship, students are expected to pay for study materials and their own living expenses. One way to shrink these costs is by applying to NYU’s three-year accelerated degree program. Another is to apply for financial aid. The school offers merit-based scholarships, institutional loans based on demonstrated need, as well as a work-study program.
Beyond the school, students can apply for federal or private loans or outside scholarships. There are a plethora of scholarships out there, specifically made for students from every type of experience and background imaginable. The International Star Trek Fan Association, Rolex, and Astronaut Scholarship Foundation all offer scholarships to those who can prove their unique passions. It’s a good idea to perform thorough research when finding scholarships that are right for you.
Extracurricular activities are an essential way to get the proper experience needed to get into medical school. Be intentional about your experience, as it can prove to NYU that you feel strongly about your passions and academic interests. It’s a good idea to get research experience, internships, or other growth experiences related to what type of degree you might want at NYU.
According to the US News’ Best Graduate Schools Report, NYU ranks #4 in the country’s best medical schools for research. NYU’s research opportunities are wide-ranging, and NYU is a leader in research related to everything from glaucoma to pancreatic cancer. It’s a good idea to be proactive during and after your undergrad education, asking professors about research programs, attending summer programs, or even taking a gap year dedicatedly entirely to research. Doing this will let NYU know you are ready to take advantage of the numerous research opportunities offered to you at the school.
When choosing your research opportunities and writing about them in your application, be thoughtful. NYU’s Office of Science and Research is “ is dedicated to the mission of advancing research and improving healthcare through scientific discovery.” Think about how your research lines up with this mission and hit upon these points in your essays.
When going to medical school, you should expect to have a significant amount of patient exposure. At NYU, patient experience may start from day 1. NYU likes to know that you are going to be comfortable once the clerkships, sub-internships, and other real-life patient interactions are going to start. You’ll want to be able to prove that you have already practiced your bedside manner and strengthened your clinical skill set. There are many ways to get this experience. Working as a medical scribe, shadowing, and volunteer experience are all good options.
Part of NYU’s mission is, “producing future leaders and scholars in medicine.” Having leadership experience before medical school can help you develop many valuable skills NYU is searching for, such as independent thinking, collaboration, and organization. You can get leadership experience in a variety of ways, from management positions in a job to heading a student club in undergrad to acting as a teaching assistant. While NYU will value any leadership experience, experiences related to your academic interests will go a long way.
NYU prefers a premedical committee appraisal letter but will also accept letters from two professors. At least one of these professors should be from a science course. A premedical committee appraisal letter is written by a pre-health committee or pre-health adviser that speaks to your backgrounds, accomplishments, setbacks, and how they have prepared you for a career in medicine. Each undergraduate school has a unique process for writing these letters so speak to your adviser, or career center to obtain information on your school’s process.
Whether you are choosing this option or two professors, make sure you give all individuals involved advanced notice. They are doing you a favor and so it is courteous to give them ample time to write the letter.
Nontraditional students, such as those who have switched career paths, are allowed to submit letters of recommendation from colleagues they have worked with closely. Think of individuals who can speak to specific skills you will utilize in medical schools, such as communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
For NYU, you are required to write a significant amount in both the AMCAS portion of the application and the secondary application. Medical schools consider writing an incredibly important skill. Communication is an essential tool when it comes to medicine, and being a skilled communicator will go a long way when interacting with your colleagues, patients, and professors. It is therefore important that you don’t skimp on any part of your writing in the application.
The first requirement is your AMCAS essay, which is known as the Personal Components Essay. The prompts for this portion are generally broad, and normally ask you to explain why you are interested in attending medical school. The second piece of writing will be the secondary application. For the past year, NYU asked its applicants to write about the following questions:
1. If applicable, please comment on significant fluctuations in your academic record which are not explained elsewhere on your application.
2. If you have taken any time off from your studies, either during or after college, please describe what you have done during this time and your reasons for doing so.
3. The Admissions Committee uses a holistic approach to evaluate a wide range of student qualities and life experiences that are complementary to demonstrated academic excellence, strong interpersonal skills and leadership potential. What unique qualities or experiences do you possess that would contribute specifically to the NYU Grossman School of Medicine Community?
4. The ultimate goal of our institution is to produce a population of physicians with a collective desire to improve the health of all segments of our society through the outstanding patient care, research and education. In this context, where do you see your future medical career and why? If your plans require that you complete a dual degree program, please elaborate here.
They also ask you to answer one of the following three questions:
1. The most meaningful achievements are often non-academic in nature. Describe the personal accomplishment that makes you most proud. Why is this important to you?
2. Conflicts arise daily from differences in perspectives, priorities, world-views and traditions. How do you define respect? Describe a situation in which you found it challenging to remain respectful while facing differences?
3. Describe a situation in which working with a colleague, family member or friend has been challenging. How did you resolve, if at all, the situation as a team and what did you gain from the experience that will benefit you as a future health care provider?
4. In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, how do you view your potential role as a frontline healthcare provider?
For these questions, you’ll want to demonstrate why you believe NYU is the right school for you. Spend time on their website, study their programs, and learn how they set themselves apart from other schools. Reference what you have learned in your essay as this will demonstrate you care about the school and your admission.
Although there are no minimum length requirements, it is a good idea to make these pieces concise and to the point. Revise your essays a couple of times, and make sure every sentence speaks to the prompt at hand. A well-written piece of writing can go a long way.
NYU uses the MMI, or Multiple Mini Interview, to screen its candidates. The MMI is a tool some schools use to reduce bias in their application process. Interviews are an excellent opportunity to display your communication skills, critical thinking, and ability to work well with others – all things admissions officers are looking for when creating the next incoming class.
Throughout the process, you will be presented with six different scenarios. For each scenario, you will have two minutes to prepare, and then you will engage in conversation with an interviewer about the scenario. During the last part of the interview, you will have an opportunity to ask the interviewer questions. Always ensure to prepare questions ahead of time, because this will prove that you are both prepared and interested in the school.
NYU is looking for students who will make them proud in the years after medical school, serving as leaders and innovators in the field of medicine. Make sure you make clear in your application how you have perfected your leadership skills and how you will continue to do this at their school. Articulating specific passions and interests proves you have drive and a vision for your future.
In order to submit a competitive application to NYU Medical School, you will need to be thorough with your application. Another hour spent studying for the MCAT or another draft of your essay can never hurt. With hard work and determination, you’ll have a fighting chance at being admitted to the next class at NYU Medical School.