Selection Criteria: Seeking Future Physician Leaders

To be a successful physician leader in 21st-century health, you need a large portfolio of competencies. There is very little evidence that the “smartest” applicant, with the best undergraduate grades will make the best physician — or the best graduate of a medical school.

Understanding, however, that academic capability is necessary to successfully navigate the rapid pace of medical education, the Dell Medical School’s Admission Selection Committee carefully reviews each applicant’s history for evidence of academic aptitude and stamina. The Admissions Selection Committee wants to ensure that every Dell Medical School student possesses the broad range of attributes, experiences, contributions and capabilities necessary to succeed as a student and a physician.

Mission Contribution

Dell Medical School has a unique mission and vision. Every aspect of the application is evaluated for the presence or absence of qualities that align with the mission.

Personal Attributes / Life Experiences

The personal statements, experiences reported in the application, letters of evaluation, and interview sessions are especially helpful in this evaluation. Applicants are encouraged to view all short essay questions in the TMDSAS and the Secondary Application as opportunities to demonstrate personal qualities and strengths to the Admissions Selection Committee.

In addition, applicants are encouraged to meet with those being asked to write letters of evaluation to review strengths in Personal Attributes/Life Experiences domains and encourage them to highlight these.

Academic Ability

GPAs, GPAs in specific coursework, transcripts, and MCAT scores are more mathematically expressed than other assessed areas, and this information will be used to help consider applicants in the evaluation process. However, simple mathematical comparisons don't provide a complete picture. Hence, all the data gathered from these sources are considered in the context of other attributes, experiences and qualifications to help provide an overall picture.


Dell Medical School does not set a minimum MCAT score. The MCAT score is evaluated as one indicator among many others and must be considered in light of those other factors. The Admissions Selection Committee will accept MCAT scores from the 2015 version as well as the previous version up to five years prior to the applicant's expected date of matriculation.


Dell Medical School does not set a minimum GPA for consideration. The applicants GPA is one indicator among many that are considered in the application evaluation. In addition to the Overall GPA, an applicant’s GPA in their pre-requisite courses including biology, chemistry, physics, and math courses are also considered. Attention is paid to performance in relation to the rigor of the course work, advanced science coursework, as well as GPA trends in the context of the applicant’s experiences and non-academic obligations.

Prerequisite Courses

Dell Medical School supports the movement toward competencies. Applicants are free to demonstrate competencies by any means; for most, the easiest method will be through satisfactory performance in appropriately rigorous coursework. Any applicant that believes competency has been established by some alternate means is invited to petition the Admissions Selection Committee (

Competency is demonstrated by completing the following courses:

  • Biology: 11 semester hours, 2 of which must be labs (A genetics course is strongly recommended.)
  • Physics: 8 semester hours, 2 of which must be labs
  • Chemistry: 12 semester hours, to be comprised of a combination of:
    • 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry and 1 semester of General Inorganic Chemistry (for a total of 9 semester hours with 3 semester hours of lab); or
    • 2 semesters of General Inorganic Chemistry and 1 semester of Organic Chemistry (for a total of 9 semester hours with 3 semester hours of lab)
  • Biochemistry: 3 semester hours of Biochemistry
  • English: 3 semester hours of composition-based English
  • Math: 3 semester hours of statistics

These courses must be completed at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university. AP and correspondence courses are acceptable if the official transcript indicates specific course numbers and credits granted. A grade of “C” or higher must be recorded in each of these courses. Any quarter-hour credit equals 2/3 of a semester-hour credit.