University of Minnesota Medical School: Tips to Get Accepted

University of Minnesota Medical School: Tips to Get Accepted

There are two main University of Minnesota Medical School campuses: Duluth and Minneapolis. There is something extremely valuable about living in a large, diverse city such as Minneapolis, especially as a University of Minnesota medical school student. You have the opportunity to work with patients from across cultures and backgrounds, which will prepare you for practicing medicine with diverse and underserved urban communities. Alternatively, your passion may lie in primary care and rural medicine. Apply to the Duluth campus and get the wonderful opportunity to work with American Indian and Alaskan Native populations.

If you are interested in applying to University of Minnesota Medical School or learning more about the program, then keep reading! This blog serves as a high-yield post for tips and resources on how to get into University of Minnesota Medical School.

Why Choose University of Minnesota
Medical School?

The most common reasons we’ve heard from students:

  • University of Minnesota has a strong commitment to primary care, particularly on the Duluth campus. This fits with many students’ aspirations.
  • There are over 30 affiliated hospitals in Minneapolis, which provides extremely diverse clinical training.
  • Minnesota is a hotbed for invention. It is the site of the state’s first heart transplant, the first of its kind mobile life support program, advanced research, and a myriad of opportunities for medical students to get involved in innovative discovery.
  • Minnesota is absolutely stunning. It gives students plenty of outdoor activities for those who enjoy exercising, bike riding, spending time on the lake, and much more.
  • Along with the leading healthcare advances from the private and public sectors, the Minneapolis art scene, anchored by the Guthrie Theatre and other world-class art centers, offers a wonderful blend of culture.


The University of Minnesota Medical School secondary application is extremely long. You can tell by its prompts that it cares about diversity and recruiting students who think about broader current events and how that affects people’s lives and their health. Several essays are optional, but the Cracking Med School Admissions team highly recommends answering all applicable optional questions. 

University of Minnesota Medical School: Tips to Get Accepted

University of Minnesota Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts (2020-2021):

Essay 1) Tell us about a time when you recovered from a non-academic setback. How did you identify the setback and what steps did you take to recover? (1500 Characters)

Essay 2) Tell us about a time when you played a role in improving a process. How did you identify the areas for improvement and what steps did you take to change the process? (1500 Characters)

Essay 3) Tell us about a time when you observed, personally experienced, or acted with implicit or explicit bias. If you observed or personally experienced implicit or explicit bias what did you do to address this situation or what would you do in the future? If you were implicitly or explicitly biased how did you become aware of this and what did you do to address the situation or what will you do in the future? Through either situation, we are interested in what you learned. (1500 Characters)

Essay 4) Please tell us about your identity. How has your identity impacted the development of your values and attitudes toward others, particularly those with values different from your own? Please include how your values and attitudes will foster a positive learning environment during your training, and benefit your future patients through the practice of medicine. (1500 Characters)

Essay 5) Why do you want to go to medical school in the state of MN? (This question seeks to understand why you are interested in the state of MN not the University of Minnesota.) (1500 Characters)

Essay 6) Optional: If you are not submitting an MCAT score with your application briefly explain why. This question is required of any applicant who will ultimately not include an MCAT score in their application.

Essay 7) Optional: What other pertinent information would you like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee? This is an opportunity for you to discuss an aspect of your journey to medicine that you have not already presented in your application. You may also update us with any current experiences that were not included in your AMCAS application. (900 Characters)

Essay 8) Optional: 2020 has proven to be unprecedented times and uncharted territory in global health. Please feel free to share with us your thoughts and experiences with navigating Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This could include the barriers you have faced in applying to medical school this cycle, feelings of complicated grief and loss, thoughts on the role of health care professionals, challenges associated with racial health inequities as more Black and Brown people are disproportionately impacted, or other reflections on living through a global pandemic crisis. (1500 characters)

Essay 9) Optional: Right now is a watershed moment in American history and this country’s reckoning with race, racism, racial injustice, and especially anti-Black hatred. If you feel comfortable, we welcome you to please share with us your reflections on, experiences with, and greatest lessons learned about systemic racism that is receiving international attention with the murders of numerous Black, Indigenous, and People of Color including but not limited to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Vanessa Guillen, Rayshard Brooks, and Elijah McClain. (1500 characters)

If you have questions about your University of Minnesota Medical School secondary application or need help with essay edits, 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.

University of Minnesota Medical School
Interview Format

How to Get Into University of Minnesota Medical School – Ace Your Interview

University of Minnesota traditionally hosts an MMI (multiple mini interview) format. This is a process by which students rotate through stations that may have a traditional, ethical, or behavioral question. Applicants are timed as they read the prompt and deliver their response. University of Minnesota’s interview generally has 8 stations. In previous years, one of the stations was a team-based station where applicants had to work with other applicants to solve a dilemma. In the 2020-2021 application cycle, with interviews being virtual, this station has been replaced by a traditional one-on-one station.

Read our 2 popular MMI blogs here:

  1. The Multiple Mini Interview: What it is, and How to do Well
  2. 5 Tips to Ace the MMI Interview

download your interview guide

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 To Get Accepted Into University of Minnesota Medical School

How to get into University of Minnesota Medical School #1:
How to get into University of Minnesota Medical School #2:
  • University of Minnesota looks for applicants who have a strong commitment to service. Their students are all very service-oriented, and they are looking for someone who fits into that narrative.
How to get into University of Minnesota Medical School #3:
  • Know the ins-and-outs of their program and curriculum. They want applicants to be very familiar with what they are getting themselves into.
How to get into University of Minnesota Medical School Tip #4:
  • If you live out of state, be able to communicate why you would want to live in Minnesota. To be honest, it is harder to get accepted if you are an out-of-state applicant, but if you can show a dedication to making a life in Minneapolis or Duluth, the admissions committee will appreciate that.
How to get into University of Minnesota Medical School Tip #5:
  • University of Minnesota does a very holistic, thorough review of the application that goes through many committees. Overall, they are looking for you to be open with your life story. Whatever it may be – whether it is your cultural background, your passion for the arts, your childhood adversities – communicate that genuinely and with transparency (if you are comfortable doing so).

University of Minnesota Medical School Acceptance Rate

Admit Rate

University of Minnesota Medical School Admissions Statistics:

  • University of Minnesota Medical School Median GPA: 3.79
  • University of Minnesota Medical School Median MCAT: 511 (128 Chemical and Physical/ 127 Critical Analysis and Reasoning/ 128 Biology and Biochemistry/ 128 Psychology and Sociology)

How did University of Minnesota Medical School Students Do on Their USMLE Step Exams?

  • Average University of Minnesota Medical School USMLE Step 1 Score: 228
  • Average University of Minnesota Medical School USMLE Step 2 Score: 243

Source: U.S. News Graduate School Rankings 2021

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helps students get accepted to top medical schools.
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The Insider’s View on the University of Minnesota Med School's Preclinical years-

How to Get Into University of Minnesota Medical School Tip – Know the Curriculum:
U of Minn Medical School Curriculum: Overview 

University of Minnesota has an appetite for innovation and change. Alongside lectures, they build in active learning strategies such as small-group interactions and workshops. Approximately daily, you are doing some sort of group work. The small groups breakout for learning the foundational sciences, essentials of clinical medicine, and foundations of clinical training. Their goal is to teach what is most important and what is most relevant to clerkships.

Students are also required to take “Milestones,” which are cumulative assessments throughout their years in addition to traditional exams. 

One of the greatest features of the curriculum is the formal advising program where students are paired with a faculty mentor who guides them through all four years of medical school.

The pre-clinical curriculum is graded pass/fail.

Pre-clinical Curriculum Highlights:

First-year curriculum:

Fall Term:

  • Gross Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Essentials of Clinical Medicine
    • Basic patient interviewing and clinical skills

Spring and Summer Terms:

  • Scientific Foundations
    • Foundational topics including physiology, immunology, human behavior in conjunction with clinical learning.
  • Essentials of Clinical Medicine

Second-year curriculum:

  • Human Health and Disease
    • Organ-system based teachings
  • Essentials of Clinical Medicine continues

Sample University of Minnesota Medical School Twin Cities 1st year curriculum


Sample University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth 1st year curriculum

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

Research Opportunities

Research is popular amongst students, and the student body is very academically driven and scientifically curious. Yet, they are also extremely collaborative and supportive of one another.

If you are looking for a small-town feel, Duluth is the place to be. The students there are exceptionally passionate about their mission of dedicating themselves to rural medicine. Students get the perks of being in an intimate environment with a small class size.

Dual Degree Programs

There are 6 official dual degree programs with an M.D. degree.

  • MD/PhD
  • MD/MPH
  • MD/MS in Biomedical Engineering
  • MD/MBA
  • MD/MHI – Health Informatics
  • MD/JD

What students are saying about UMinn Med

The Insider’s View on the University of Minnesota Medical School's Clinical Years

U of Minn Medical School Clinical Curriculum:

Years 3 and 4 are reserved for required clerkships.

Med students are graded Honors/Excellent/Satisfactory/No Pass.


Here are the rotations required for graduation:

  • Internal Medicine (8 weeks)
  • Surgery (8 weeks)
  • Family Medicine (4 weeks)
  • OB/GYN (4 weeks)
  • Pediatrics (4 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (4 weeks)
  • Neurology (4 weeks)
  • Emergency Medicine (4 weeks)
  • ICU Sub-Internship (4 weeks)
  • Advanced Selectives (8 weeks)
  • Electives (20 weeks)
    • Available for domestic or away rotations

Established over 30 years ago, University of Minnesota was a pioneer in allowing students to take “Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships” (LICs) in place of the traditional block design. This provides students with a longitudinal preceptor in each discipline through about a 9-12 month period. You continue relationships with each preceptor as you rotate through sites. You also remain involved with the same patients over an extended period of time. You must indicate that this is your preference, and the staff will subsequently place you.


Common Clinical Rotation Sites:

  • University of Minnesota Medical Center (Minneapolis)
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Minneapolis)
  • Hennepin County Medical Center (Minneapolis)
  • Lukes Hospital (Duluth)
  • Essentia (Duluth)

What students are saying about clinical rotations at UMinn Med

Housing & Social Life


Getting affordable housing close to campus can be a bit competitive. Generally, the best way to alleviate cost of living is to live with a roommate.

University of Minnesota Medical School does provide options for on-campus graduate housing for those who wish to be near other medical students. (

There are also medical fraternity houses that one may opt into (Nu Sigma Nu, Phi Chi, and Phi Rho Sigma).

If you have a family or a partner, you also have separate student housing options. These are competitive as well, but worth the wait.

If you live on the Duluth campus, University of Minnesota will provide you with resources to help you find off-campus housing.


How do students get around? 

Students may have cars, depending on where they live. Some things to consider, however, are the cost of a new car and insurance, and ability to drive in the snow (especially if you are not familiar with this type of climate). It is important to budget in medical school, and owning a car can be a big expense. Public transportation is relatively robust in Minneapolis, so getting around should not be too difficult. If you live in campus housing, you will be within walking distance of campus.


What is student life like?

The students’ interests are very diverse, which makes for a wonderful medical school experience. Minneapolis has so much to offer in terms of recreation and quality of life. University of Minnesota is very school-spirited, and the energy on campus is always palpable.

Students are very dedicated to community service, running their own free clinic and branching out to underserved populations. During the COVID pandemic, students mobilized to create a volunteer organization to babysit children of essential healthcare workers.  Here is a NY Times article on their story:


University of Minnesota Medical School Tuition and Fees:

As University of Minnesota is a big public university, tuition for in-state applicants is more affordable than for out-of-state applicants. Here is the breakdown of cost of attendance:




Tuition and Fees



Health Insurance






Total Cost of Attendance




Average Indebtedness Post-Graduation: $175,000

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