SUNY Downstate Medical School Admissions


Hey pre-meds!

This page serves as a high-yield resource for SUNY Downstate Medical School Admissions. The information from this page is a GOLDEN resource. We’ve compiled it from SUNY Downstate Medical School acceptance rate data, the SUNY Downstate Medical Center website, and most importantly, from SUNY Downstate med students themselves! You will have facts such as admissions statistics, but you’ll get an insider perspective about the curriculum.

SUNY Downstate is located in New York City. It is a state school and you’ll have an advantage if you have lived in New York City or are a New York State resident.

Whether you’re comparing medical schools that you have been accepted to, preparing for an interview, or wanting to learn more about SUNY Downstate Medical School, keep reading!

SUNY Downstate Medical School Secondary Application:

SUNY Downstate Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts:

There are 4 secondary essays, so we suggest you start on them early!  Although some of the essays are optional, the Cracking Med School Admissions team recommends writing an answer for all of them, unless Essay #1 does not apply to you. With each secondary essay, the goal is for the admissions committee to get to know you from various perspectives.

MD Essay Prompts:

Essay 1)If there were periods longer than 3 months, from the time you graduated from high school to now, when you were not employed full-time or in college full-time, please briefly describe your activities. (Limit 150 words)

Essay 2) If you are not attending college full time as of September 15, please describe your activities for the period September 15 to July 1. (Limit 150 words)

Essay 3)If you are not from the 5 boroughs of New York City, describe what personal, urban experiences prepare you to live and study in New York City, and what will be your personal support system. (Limit 150 words)

Essay 4)If you had a completed application to the College of Medicine in a prior application cycle, please highlight any changes since your previous application in a list with dates. (Limit 150 words)

Essay 4) If you have a specific reason why you wish to attend SUNY Downstate or a medical school in New York City, please explain. (Limit 150 words)


Need help with editing your SUNY Downstate Medical School secondary application essays? Get the Cracking Med School Admissions team’s expertise through our secondary essay edit package. If you have questions, email us at or contact us.

Secondary Essay Editing Help
SUNY Downstate Medical School Admissions – Interview Style:

Interviews at SUNY Downstate Medical Center are one-on-one traditional interview format. This means that the interviewer has reviewed your application prior to the interview.

Want to learn more about how to prepare for your medical school interview? Get tips and tricks to ace interviews!

Read our 2 popular traditional interview preparation blogs here:

  1. 3 Tips to Ace Medical School Interviews
  2. 4 Common Medical School Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Contact us if you want to schedule a mock interview for SUNY Downstate. Or click the button below.

SUNY Downstate Medical School Acceptance Rate

SUNY Downstate does not participate in external surveys and it’s median GPA / MCAT score acceptance rate varies year by year.

From it’s school profile, the states represented in the 2018 incoming class were “California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia”


Your SUNY Downstate Medical School  Admissions Advisers
Rachel Rizal, MD

Rachel Rizal, M.D.

Changing the trajectory of people’s lives

Undergraduate: Princeton University
Medical School: Stanford School of Medicine
Residency: Harvard, Emergency Medicine
What I did After College:
• Improved vaccine distribution in developing countries
• Worked with the World Health Organization in the Philippines
• Launched a national HIV Awareness Campaign in the Philippines
• Produced an HIV awareness commercial for MTV
• Worked full-time at a healthcare consulting firm, advising pharmaceutical companies
• Created a public health program in Stanford’s Emergency Department
Rishi Mediratta, MD, MSc, MA

Rishi Mediratta, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.

Advising students to attend their dream schools

Undergraduate: Johns Hopkins University
Medical School: Stanford School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics, Stanford
Masters: Masters in Medical Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies; Masters of Science in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
What I did after I graduated:
• Interned with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland
• Founded and launched an NGO to improve the health and education of Ethiopian
• World Bank consultant who helped implement Ethiopia’s national nutrition program
• Partnered with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to study child health practices in communities

The Insider’s View on SUNY Downstate Medical School Admissions

How to Get SUNY Downstate Medical School – Know the Curriculum:



At SUNY Downstate Medical Center, your first 1.5 years is in basic biology classes and you learn about the human body. Half of the pre-clinical curriculum is taught in organ blocks. They also give you adequate vacation time in between the units.

Pre-Clinical Years:

The first year at SUNY Downstate Medical School focuses on foundational science and normal anatomy & physiology. Interspersed throughout your pre-clinical years are clinical experiences.

The blocks during the first year of med school are:

  • Human Structure and Function
  • Molecules to Cells
  • Infection and Host Defense
  • GI, Endocrine, and reproduction
  • Cardiovascular, Renal, and Respiratory
  • Brain, Mind, and Behavior

Photo Credit: Curriculum Map at SUNY Downstate Medical School:


Clinical Years:

You spend your last 2.5 years of medical school in clinical rotations. There are several required advanced clinical medicine rotations during your fourth year.

The core clinical curriculum consists of:

  • Women’s Health (6 weeks)
  • Pediatrics (6 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (6 weeks)
  • Neurology (4 weeks)
  • Elective (4 weeks)
  • Inpatient medicine (8 weks)
  • Primary Care (4 weeks)
  • Surgery (10 weeks)

The fourth year curriculum consists of:

  • Medicine or Pediatrics Sub-internship (4 weeks)
  • Diagnostic Imaging (4 weeks)
  • Critical Care (2 weeks)
  • Translational Science (4 weeks)
  • Geriatrics / Palliative Care (4 weeks)
  • Emergency Medicine (4 weeks)
  • Other electives (12 weeks)


Taking Time Off:

Most MD candidates at SUNY Downstate Medical School graduate within 4 years. There is very little flexibility to take classes or pursue additional research during your clinical years and you have a lot of required electives, even in your fourth year.


Why choose SUNY Downstate Medical School? The most common reasons we’ve heard:

  • New York City
  • Well thought out medical school curriculum

What students are saying about SUNY Downstate Medical School

Great location! Access to all of New York City without being super expensive in Manhattan.

Great clinical experience and exposure throughout all years of med school.

I wanted to be in an environment where I can help the under-served.

I chose to come here because of the much cheaper in-state tuition and the proximity to home.

Unique highlights about pre-clinical years:

  • 1 week vacations after 1-2 pre-clinical blocks
  • Organ-based system
  • Opportunity to see patients
  • Problem based learning classes twice a week

Unique highlights about clinical years:

  • Less elective time 4th year, but you have great rotations in geriatrics, radiology, and emergency medicine at one of the busiest hospitals.
  • Community-oriented
  • Culturally diverse patient population

To see the school’s residency match list, click here.

What students are saying about clinical rotations at SUNY Downstate Medical School

Excellent clinical training.

Great residency match, especially if you want to stay in New York.

You work with a culturally diverse population and you learn about the issues in urban health.

There is a commitment to helping the local community here, and I saw this prevalent throughout all my clinical rotations.


Where do students live?

Most students live in apartments near the hospital. Some students also elect to live at home if they live close by.


Getting around:

There’s great public transportation in New York City. Many students also uber/Lyft around the city. Some students bring a car.


Financial Considerations:

  • You can apply for grants and financial aid. There is in-state tuition for New York residents.

Want to learn more about other medical schools?

Read our other popular school blogs here:

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