Columbia Medical School secondary application essay prompts

Columbia Secondaries: Medical School Essay Prompts and Tips

Columbia Vagelos Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts by Year
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    With Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons located in the heart of New York City, it is a highly sought after school among premed students. It is extremely important to convey why you want to attend Columbia in your Columbia secondaries. To learn more insights about what Columbia Medical School admissions looks for in its applicants, read our Columbia Medical School secondary essays tips below.

    The Columbia secondary application is long and has several medium-length essays, especially if you took gap years after college. Does Columbia send secondaries to everyone? Yes. Typically, all students receive a Columbia secondary if they apply. We strongly suggest that you start pre-writing these. It is extremely important to incorporate “Why Columbia” and “Why New York City.” 

    Drs. Rachel Rizal and Rishi Mediratta have a track record of helping our mentees receive acceptances to Columbia University Medical School year after year, including the Columbia-Bassett track. To learn more about student life, read our Columbia Med School Profile

    Columbia Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts: 2023 – 2024

    Columbia Secondary Essay Prompts – MD
    1. Have you previously applied to Medical School? (200 characters)
    2. If you took time off from your undergraduate studies, please briefly summarize your reasons for doing so. (250 words)
    3. Did you work for compensation during college, during the year, or the summer? If so, what did you do? How many hours a week did you work? (300 words max)
    4. If you have graduated from college, please briefly summarize what you have done in the interim. (300 words max)
    5. Please describe your most meaningful leadership positions. (300 words max)
    6. Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons values diversity in all its forms. How will your background and experiences contribute to this important focus of our institution and inform your future role as a physician? (300 words max)
    7. Is there anything else you would like us to know? (400 words max)
    8. Please attach a CV.
    Columbia Secondary Essay Prompts – MSTP
    1. What academic honors have you received (e.g., prizes, scholarships, fellowships, honor societies)? (1000 words)
    2. What are your major research interests? (20 words)
    3. What are your PhD Goals at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (1000 words)
    4. Is there any other information you would like to include to the admissions committee (1000 words)
    5. Upload CV
    6. There is an “Experiences” section similar in format to the AMCAS Work & Activities primary application. 

    Tips to Answer Columbia Medical School Secondary Essays

    Columbia Secondaries Pre-Writing Guidance: We think you should definitely pre-write this secondary. Columbia’s secondary application is long and has several medium-length essays, especially if you took gap years after college. Typically, all students receive Columbia secondaries during an application cycle.

    Columbia Secondaries Application Tip #1: Discuss your career aspirations, especially for the Columbia Medical School secondary application diversity essay. Tie your future career aspirations with your background. Convince the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Admissions Committee that you will be one of the next leaders in medicine. The admissions committee is looking to recruit a class of medical students who will achieve excellence in clinical medicine and medical research.

    Columbia Secondaries Application Tip #2: Applicants who have taken a gap year have an advantage because they can answer the question “If you have graduated from college, please briefly summarize what you have done in the interim.” Utilize all this space and discuss your activities in depth. The Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Admissions Committee is looking for a few things about your gap year: 1) Did you take advantage of the time? 2) How are your gap year activities related to your overall aspirations in medicine? 3) Did you have clinical experiences and patient care during your gap year? 

    Columbia Secondaries Application Tip #3: Columbia appreciates clinical experiences and research. Incorporate your experiences in clinical medicine and research as much as possible in your secondary essays. Because there is a lot of space, you should incorporate clinical stories throughout your Columbia secondary application.

    Columbia Secondaries Application Tip #4: It is important to show that you will thrive in New York City. Don’t forget to incorporate “Why Columbia” throughout your Columbia Medical School secondary essays. Columbia cares greatly that its students will not only take advantage of Columbia University’s resources, but also looks for students who will pursue opportunities in New York City.  Talk about projects and research you want to do at Columbia. Read our Columbia University Medical School profile tips to answer why this medical school

    Columbia Secondaries Application Tip #5: To get tips on how to write a strong CV, please read our tips here: How to Write a Strong Premed Resume and CV

    If you need help editing your resume or CV, check out our Resume/CV Editing Package.

    Columbia Secondaries MSTP Application Tip: This may sound obvious, but make sure you include all your publications, oral presentations, and poster presentations. For your “PhD goals” essay, MSTP applicants should discuss specific professors and research topics/questions they want to pursue. 

    Columbia Secondaries Application Tip #6: Have questions about how you can stand out on your Columbia secondary? Contact us below. Need editing help on your Columbia secondary? We can help you through our secondary essay packages

    Your medical school application Coaches, Mentors, & Cheerleaders

    We Personally Advise Every Student We Work With.

    Dr. Rachel Rizal

    Rachel Rizal, M.D.

    Changing the trajectory of people’s lives

    Undergraduate
    Princeton University, cum laude

    Medical School
    Stanford School of Medicine

    Residency
    Harvard, Emergency Medicine

    Awards & Scholarships
    Fulbright Scholar
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    Tylenol Scholarship

    Dr. Rishi Mediratta

    Rishi Mediratta, M.D., M.Sc., M.A.

    Advising students to attend their dream schools

    Undergraduate
    Johns Hopkins University, Phi Beta Kappa

    Medical School
    Stanford School of Medicine

    Residency
    Stanford, Pediatrics

    Awards & Scholarships
    Marshall Scholar
    Tylenol Scholarship
    Global Health Scholar

    stand out from other applicants with our secondary essay edit packages

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    Use this essay guide and workbook to write standout secondaries.

    Secondary Essay Guide
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    Columbia Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts: 2022 – 2023

    1. Have you previously applied to Medical School? (200 characters)
    2. If you took time off from your undergraduate studies, please briefly summarize your reasons for doing so. (250 words)
    3. Did you work for compensation during college, during the year, or the summer? If so, what did you do? How many hours a week did you work? (300 words max)
    4. If you have graduated from college, please briefly summarize what you have done in the interim. (300 words max)
    5. Please describe your most meaningful leadership positions. (300 words max)
    6. Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons values diversity in all its forms. How will your background and experiences contribute to this important focus of our institution and inform your future role as a physician? (300 words max)
    7. Is there anything else you would like us to know? (400 words max)
    8. Please attach a CV.

    Columbia Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts: 2021 – 2022

    1. Did you work for compensation during college, during the year, or the summer? If so, what did you do? How many hours a week did you work? (300 words max)
    2. If you have graduated from college, please briefly summarize what you have done in the interim. (300 words max)
    3. Please describe your most meaningful leadership positions. (300 words max)
    4. Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons values diversity in all its forms. How will your background and experiences contribute to this important focus of our institution and inform your future role as a physician? (300 words max)
    5. Is there anything else you would like us to know? (400 words max)

    Columbia University Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts: 2020 – 2021

    1. If you took time off from your undergraduate studies, please briefly summarize your reasons for doing so. (250 words max)
    2. Did you work for compensation during college, during the year, or the summer? If so, what did you do? How many hours a week did you work? (300 words max)
    3. If you have graduated from college, please briefly summarize what you have done in the interim. (300 words max)
    4. Please describe your most meaningful leadership positions. (300 words max)
    5. Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons values diversity in all its forms. How will your background and experiences contribute to this important focus of our institution and inform your future role as a physician? (300 words max)
    6. Is there anything else you would like us to know? (400 words max)

    Columbia University Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts: 2019 – 2020

     

    1. If you took time off from your undergraduate studies, please briefly summarize your reasons for doing so. (250 words max)
    2. Did you work for compensation during college, during the year, or the summer?
      • Yes or No
      • If so, what did you do? How many hours a week did you work?
    3. If you have graduated from college, please briefly summarize what you have done in the interim. (300 words max)
    4. Please describe your most meaningful leadership positions. (300 words max)
    5. Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons values diversity in all its forms. How will your background and experiences contribute to this important focus of our institution and inform your future role as a physician? (300 words max)
    6. Is there anything else you would like us to know? (400 words max)
    7. Do you have a parent who graduated from or is affiliated with Columbia University?
      • Yes or No
      • Please describe your parents’ occupations:

    Columbia University Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts: 2018 – 2019

    1. If you took time off from your undergraduate studies, please briefly summarize your reasons for doing so. (250 words max)
    2. In what collegiate extracurriculars did you engage? (400 characters max)
    3. If you have graduated from college, please briefly summarize what you have done in the interim. (300 words max)
    4. (Required) What challenges do you expect to arise from living and working in a complex urban environment? How will you meet them? (300 words max)
    5. Is there anything else you would like us to know? (300 words max)
    6. Please describe your parents’ occupations. (100 characters max)
    7. If you answer yes to the “Did you work during undergrad?” checkbox, this question appears:
      • Did you work for compensation during college during the year or the summer? If so, what did you do? How many hours a week did you work? (300 words max)
    MSTP Essay Prompts:
    1. What Academic Honors Have You Received? (e.g. prizes, scholarships, fellowships, honors societies). (5,000 Characters max)
    2. What are your major research interests? (20 words max)
    3. PhD Goals (5,000 characters max)
    4. Additional Information (5,000 characters max)
    Columbia-Bassett Essay Prompt:
    1. What aspect of Columbia-Bassett has the most appeal to you?

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    Columbia University Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts: 2017 – 2018

    1. The Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons strives to ensure that its students become respectful physicians who embrace all dimensions of caring for the whole person. Please describe how your personal characteristics or life experiences will contribute to the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons community and bring educational benefits to our student body. (1,000 characters max)
    2. Is there any further information that you would like the Committee on Admissions to be aware of when reviewing your file that you were not able to notate in another section of this or the AMCAS Application? (1,000 characters max)
    3. Why have you chosen to apply to the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and how do you think your education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons will prepare you to become a physician for the future? (1 page max)
    4. If you took time off from your undergraduate studies, please briefly summarize your reasons for doing so. (250 words max)
    5. From which languages can you translate scholarly material into English?
    6. In what collegiate extracurriculars did you engage? (400 words max)
    7. If you have graduated from college, please briefly summarize what you have done in the interim. (300 words max)
    8. What challenges do you expect to arise from living and working in a complex urban environment? How will you meet them? (300 words max)
    9. Is there anything else you would like us to know? (300 words max)
    10. Please describe your parents’ occupations (100 words max)

    Columbia University Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts: 2016 – 2017

    1. If you took time off from your undergraduate studies, please briefly summarize your reasons for doing so. (250 words max)
    2. From which languages can you translate scholarly material into English?
    3. In what collegiate extracurriculars did you engage? (400 words max)
    4. If you have graduated from college, please briefly summarize what you have done in the interim. (300 words max)
    5. What challenges do you expect to arise from living and working in a complex urban environment? How will you meet them? (300 words max)
    6. Is there anything else you would like us to know? (300 words max)
    7. Please describe your parents’ occupations (100 characters max):

    Columbia University Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts: 2015 – 2016

    1. If you took time off from your undergraduate studies, please briefly summarize your reasons for doing so. (250 words max)
    2. From which languages can you translate scholarly material into English?
    3. In what collegiate extracurriculars did you engage? (400 characters max)
    4. Did you work for compensation during college during the year or the summer? (300 words max)
    5. If you have graduated from college, please briefly summarize what you have done in the interim. (300 words max)
    6. What challenges do you expect to arise from living and working in a complex urban environment? How will you meet them? (300 words max)
    7. Is there anything else you would like us to know? (300 words max)
    8. Did you complete a PostBaccalaureate pre-medical program?
    9. Do you have a parent or sibling who graduated from or is affiliated with Columbia University?
    10. Please describe your parents’ occupations (100 characters max)

    Columbia University Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts: 2014 – 2015

    1. If you took time off from your undergraduate studies, please briefly summarize your reasons for doing so. (250 words max)
    2. In what collegiate extracurriculars did you engage? (400 characters max)
    3. Did you work for compensation during college during the year or the summer? (300 words max)
    4. If you have graduated from college, please briefly summarize what you have done in the interim. (300 words max)
    5. What challenges do you expect to arise from living and working in a complex urban environment? How will you meet them? (300 words max)
    6. Is there anything else you would like us to know? (300 words max)
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