How to get into WashU Medical School

How To Get Into WashU Medical School St. Louis

If you are looking to work at top-notch hospitals with world-class faculty while cultivating strong mentoring relationships, then Washington University in St. Louis Medical School may be for you! Note – St. Louis is located in Missouri, not in the state of Washington. St. Louis, Missouri is rich in cultural history, and it also happens to be a backdrop for healthcare disparities. At Wash U Medical School, students have the unique opportunity to work hands-on with community engagement and address the social determinants of health. This blog post serves as high-yield resources for facts about how to get into WashU Medical School. Wherever you may be in your medical school journey, if you are interested in Wash U Med School, then keep reading!

Why Choose Washington University in St. Louis Medical School?

The most common reasons we’ve heard from students:

  • Wash U Medical School has a small class size with no competition between students. The students are known for collaborating.
  • Wash U Med School cultivates an intimate mentoring environment.
  • There is so much flexibility in the curriculum (discussed later in this blog post).
  • There are great opportunities to solve pressing social challenges in underserved areas. First-year students actively work with community organizations to discuss important topics, such as socioeconomic contribution to well-being.
  • The cost of living in St. Louis is very affordable compared to other medical school locations across the country.


The Washington University Medical School secondary application is extremely short! The first essay is for students who have taken gap years. And there is only 1 other shorter essay.

How to get into WashU Medical School

Washington University School of Medicine Secondary Application Essay Prompts 2020-2021:

Essay 1) Describe in chronological order your activities during the time(s) when you were not enrolled as a full-time student. (2000 characters)

Essay 2) Describe a time or situation where you have been unsuccessful or failed. (2000 characters)

If you have questions about your Washington University School of Medicine secondary application, email us at or contact us.


Get the Cracking Med School Admissions team’s expertise through our secondary essay editing packages. If you have questions, email us at or contact us.

Wash U in St. Louis Medical School
Interview Format

Wash U Medical School has two one-on-one interviews, both usually with faculty members. One of the interviews is completely open-file, which means that the interviewer has access to your entire application. The other interview is closed-file, which means that the interviewer knows nothing except for your name. The open-file interview is about 40-45 minutes, while the closed-file interview is only about 25-30 minutes.

Want to learn more about how to prepare for your WashU Medical School interview?

Read our 3 popular medical school interview blog posts here:

  1. How to Prepare for Medical School Interviews
  2. 4 Common Medical School Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
  3. How To Answer Tell Me About Yourself and Why Medicine?

The Cracking Med School Admissions team has helped several students get accepted to Washington University Medical School and ace their interviews! Make sure to contact us and get our help.

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If you are prepared, the interview gives you the perfect opportunity to standout and shine by sharing with people what you are passionate about.

Med School Admissions Interview Guide eBook Cover
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5 Tips on How to Get Into WashU Medical School

How to get into WashU Medical School #1:
  • Show a passion for mentoring relationships. Wash U has put quite a bit of effort into instilling a faculty coaching program, and they like to see that their prospective students are interested in that.
How to get into WashU Medical School #2:
  • If you are still early on in your pre-medical training, try to get involved in working with diverse, underserved patient populations. This is reflective of the types of patients you would see at Wash U Med, and the admissions committee would appreciate it if you had exposure to that.
How to get into WashU Medical School #3:
  • Do your research! This blog is a great place to start. Wash U Medical School also sends out many promotional and informational materials that they expect you to read prior to interview day. They want you to know the ins-and-outs of the program.
How to get into WashU Medical School Tip #4:
  • WashU Med School is looking for applicants that show interests beyond medicine. Yes, you should be involved in research, clinical volunteering, shadowing, and other necessary experiences that show you understand what being a physician is like. But, Wash U also likes to see non-medically related passions. They want to see well-rounded, diverse individuals. So, don’t be afraid to pursue something outside of the medical field if you are truly interested in it.
How to get into WashU Medical School Tip #5:
  • Make great relationships with your professors and mentors in order to get strong letters of recommendation. Wash U Medical School pays great attention to the things that others say about you. Go to those office hours. Take smaller classes where the professor-student relationship is more intimate. Work closely with your principal investigator. Anything you need to do to make genuine, friendly connections with superiors.

WashU Med School Acceptance Rate

Admit Rate

Washington University Medical School Admissions Statistics:

  • WashU Medical School Median GPA: 3.93
  • WashU Medical School Median MCAT: 522 (131 Chemical and Physical/ 130 Critical Analysis and Reasoning/ 131 Biology and Biochemistry/ 131 Psychology and Sociology)

How did Wash U Medical School Students Do on Their USMLE Step Exams?

  • Average Washington University in St. Louis Medical School USMLE Step 1 Score: 243
  • Average Washington University in St. Louis Medical School USMLE Step 2 Score: 252

Source: U.S. News Graduate School Rankings 2021

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The Insider’s View on Wash U Medicine's Pre-clinical years

How to Get Into Wash U Medical School Tip – Know the Curriculum:
Wash U School of Medicine Curriculum: Overview 

Wash U has implemented a new curriculum called the “Gateway Curriculum.” This curriculum is broken up into three phases and is very intentional in how it delivers medical education. It is dynamic and responsive, constantly taking account of errors and making adjustments to meet the needs of students and the ever-changing field of medicine. The pre-clinical curriculum is graded pass/fail. The clerkships begin in the 2nd-year, which is sooner than most medical schools. Here are some of the highlights of the three phases:

Phase 1:

  • Begins in the first year and lasts 16 months.
  • 12 months of Phase 1 are dedicated to science instruction, including the basic sciences and the organ systems.
  • Three 1-month clinical immersions are weaved into Phase 1, where students develop their basic clinical skills.
  • Students have 1 month of break time.

Phase 2:

  • Begins November of the 2nd year and lasts 12 months.
  • There are six 8-week clinical modules covering the traditional clerkships (Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Neurology, OB/GYN).
  • Each 8-week module contains 4-6 weeks of clerkship and 3 weeks of foundational science content.
  • There are intermittent week-long assessments and reflections of clinical experiences.

Phase 3:

  • Begins in November of the 3rd year.
  • The majority of Phase 3 is composed of clinical electives and sub-internships.
  • There is ample elective time for getting involved in one of the four academic pathways: teaching, research, advocacy, or global health.
  • “Keystone Integrated Science Courses” (KISC) are month-long courses that are a deeper dive into important, dynamic topics in medicine, such as AI, social determinants of health, etc.
  • Students take a 4-week capstone course, called “Gateway to Residency” to prepare for their intern year.

Washington University Medical School Curriculum

For more details about the Washington University Medical School Curriculum, visit:

Combined Degrees

Wash U School of Medicine offers 3 official combined degree programs. 

  • MD/PhD
  • MD/MSCI (Master of Science in Clinical Investigation)
  • MD/MPHS (Master of Population Health Sciences)
Combined Degrees

Wash U School of Medicine offers 3 official combined degree programs. 

  • MD/PhD
  • MD/MSCI (Master of Science in Clinical Investigation)
  • MD/MPHS (Master of Population Health Sciences)

What students are saying about WashU School of Medicine

The Insider’s View on Wash U Medical School's Clinical Years

Washington University School of Medicine Clinical Curriculum Highlights:

What are some of the advantages of this curriculum?

  • 30% of the science content is distributed throughout the clerkships, which decreases the latency between foundational learning and clinical applications. Topics are revisited multiple times.
  • There is flexible time early in the 3rd year to explore clinical interests.
  • There is built-in time to develop your professional identity and explore your passions.

What is the Explore Curriculum?

  • The Explore Curriculum is a part of the Gateway Curriculum in which students focus on career development.
  • Students have immersive experiences in research, advocacy, education, and innovation.
  • The goal is to enhance the structure and formalize support for students’ development.
  • You have the opportunity to spend 4 weeks in an immersive experience in Phase 1.
  • You may defer up to 16 weeks of Phase 2 to do a focused project.
  • Electives and scholarly projects in areas of interest are available in Phase 3.

What is the “faculty coaching model?”

  • Wash U Medical School has implemented a “faculty coaching model” as part of their curriculum, where students are paired with a faculty member longitudinally who is there for student support.

What students are saying about clinical rotations at Wash U Med

Housing & Social Life

Where Do Students Live?

Housing is very affordable in St. Louis, whether you live in Wash U graduate housing or rent an off-campus apartment. Students may opt to live alone or with roommates. Wash U provides many resources for finding roommates. On-campus housing is newly renovated with many amenities. Check out this link to get a sneak peek into what the housing is like:

For off-campus housing, you can use this St. Louis apartment search to find something that fits your needs. Most students try to live within walking/biking distance of campus.


How Do Students Get Around?

Students will often have a car to get around the city. However, a car is not entirely necessary. There are students that live close enough to campus or get by with public transportation. The choice to have a car may depend on how much you want to explore the city of St. Louis. The clinical rotations tend to be relatively centralized, but of course, it does not hurt to have your own transportation. Parking is affordable.


What is Student Life Like?

Students are extremely collaborative and supportive. For instance, there is a group Slack (a messenger platform) and a crowd-sourced Anki (a flashcard app) that students share to study for exams.

Mentorship is very important at Wash U. 1st-year medical students have “big siblings,” who are 4th-year students that act as guides and support systems.

Wash U has so many resources to help students thrive. For instance, they have a learning specialist that helps students adjust their study habits to optimize the way they approach the content. They offer students access to both the gym on the medical campus, as well as the one on the undergraduate campus (there is a shuttle between the two). Wash U has its students’ wellness at the forefront. They have instilled amenities such as nap lounges with nap pods, kitchens, massage chairs, and more.

Students are very diverse in backgrounds and interests. There are a multitude of exciting student organizations to get involved in. Once a year, students love to get involved in the “med school musical,” where the class puts on an entirely student-run Broadway musical (or a spoof of one). If you want to get a sense of how what life is like as a Wash U medical student, check out this music video that the class of 2020 made:


Wash U Medical School has recently received a very generous donation dedicated to scholarships for medical students. Upon admittance, all students are considered for merit-based scholarships. Need-based aid is also available, along with federal loans.

  • Wash U Med School Tuition and Fees: $62,164
  • Health Insurance: $2,749
  • Other: $20,6665
  • Total Cost of Attendance: $87,578

Source: U.S. News Graduate School Rankings 2021

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