Rush Medical College Admissions

Rush Medical College SMNA students

Admissions News

Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Engagement

RMC volunteers

We are pleased to share that Rush Medical College received the 2020 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Engagement from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). This prestigious award is presented annually to a medical school that goes beyond the traditional role of academic medicine to serve communities whose needs are not being met through the traditional health delivery system.

Commumnity service is at the heart of everything we do at Rush, and we are proud of our students and alumni who have volunteered their time over the years to make a signifcant impact on Chicago’s most vulnerable residents.

Learn more about this exciting honor.

2020-2021 Application Cycle Updates

A running list of 2020-2021 application cycle updates necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.


 

Thank you for your interest in Rush Medical College. Rush is dedicated to developing empathic, proficient physicians committed to continuous learning, innovation, and excellence in clinical practice, education, research and service. The admissions process is rooted in the medical college mission and seeks candidates who are academically competent, who will actively engage in campus life and the diverse communities we serve, who will enhance and contribute to the diversity of our school and university, and contribute unreservedly to serving, promoting and improving the health of the public.

MD Admissions Requirements

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission to the MD program:

  • U.S. citizenship, permanent residency of the United States or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status
  • Completion of a bachelors degree from a four-year college or university accredited in the United States or a Canadian-based institution
  • Completion of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
  • As applicable, for post-baccalaureate coursework: Submission of grades through AMCAS for at least 24 hours of post-baccalaureate coursework achieving a strong academic foundation in the basic sciences

Learn about the other components in the Rush Medical College application process:

Prerequisites

Rush Medical College does not require specific coursework for admission.  We strongly encourage applicants to follow their own interests and passion whether in the liberal arts, social or basic sciences.  We value students who demonstrate intellectual curiosity, with evidence of broad training and in-depth exploration and achievement in a particular area(s) of knowledge. 

The curriculum at Rush Medical College is academically challenging, rigorous and integrates all basic sciences and clinical components in a flipped classroom method without lectures.  It is learner centered, competency based and requires mastery of academic content.  We therefore focus on a competency-based model for requirements where emphasis is placed on mastery rather than number of courses. We recommend that applicants have a strong foundation in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology and engagement in the social and behavioral sciences.  We recommend applicants seek exposure and engagement in the following core competencies:

  • Intellectual engagement in the humanities (which may include coursework or research, for example) that emphasizes the written and verbal communication of ideas and concepts with an understanding of their historical and societal background and relevance.
  • Intellectual engagement in the field of biology (includes coursework and may include laboratory experience) that encompasses the core concepts of cell and developmental biology, molecular biology and genetics.
  • Courses offering a social science or philosophical context (such as philosophy, history, anthropology or psychology) that can provide future doctors with insights that are crucial to the discharge of their professional responsibilities.
  • Intellectual engagement in the field of chemistry that encompasses core concepts of biochemistry and biologically applicable elements of inorganic and organic chemistry.
  • Analytical thought and problem-solving skills as an integral and pervasive part of the majority of the curricular and extracurricular experiences.

The AAMC Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students also offers additional information.

MCAT, GPA & Major

All Rush Medical College applicants must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), a standardized test administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). For students applying to matriculate at Rush in Fall 2021, we will accept MCAT scores from exams administered between January 2018 and September 2020 (including the September 27 and 28 administrations). Outside this time frame, an applicant is required to retake the exam. If multiple MCAT exams are taken, we will review all scores placing emphasis on the highest composite score.

Please note: The AAMC does not notify medical schools of future MCAT registrations; it is the responsibility of each applicant to maintain this information within AMCAS. For more information, reference the 2020 AMCAS Applicant Guide, which is available here.

Rush Medical College regards the MCAT as a standardized tool that allows for one form of comparison among applicants. We review all applicants holistically and consider the MCAT as one part of the application – it does not outweigh other components of the application. We assess MCAT scores, GPA, activities, life experiences, community service and medical exposure in the same manner as other attributes to determine the suitability and ability of a candidate.

Visit the AAMC website for more information about the MCAT.

Major

We seek individuals with a wide range of talents, interests and academic backgrounds. An applicant’s major is not a factor in admissions decisions made by the Committee on Admissions.

2019 Entering Class Profile

Average Science GPA (four-point scale) 3.62
Average Total GPA (four-point scale) 3.58
Average MCAT Composite Score 512

 

Letters of Recommendation

Rush Medical College places a high value on Letters of Recommendation. These are an important and key component in the assessment and evaluation of your application with respect to personal qualities, characteristics and attributes.  You should select letter writers who know you personally, when possible.

Rush Medical College is a participating school in the AMCAS letter service and will only accept Letters of Recommendation that are provided through AMCAS.  Learn more about submitting letters of evaluation to AMCAS and the AMCAS Letter Service at the AMCAS website.

Choose one of the following options:

Option 1: One pre-medical committee packet (preferred, if offered by your institution)
Option 2: One letter packet
Option 3: Three individual letters with the following guidelines:

  • Academic Letter: an individual who can critically evaluate your academic strengths and abilities, as well as your preparedness and suitability for a rigorous medical school curriculum.  The academic letter does not need to be written by a science faculty member.
  • Professional Non-Academic Letter:  an individual who has worked with you in a professional capacity and can insightfully address your personal strengths and attributes (e.g. resilience, dependability, social skills, cultural competence, service orientation) and the value these would bring to the diversity of the class, the patients you see, and the communities we serve.  Examples might include:  work supervisor, volunteer coordinator, physician shadowed.
  • Personal Letter: an individual who has an in-depth perspective of you and can objectively assess your personal qualities.  This letter should be a deeper, more personal letter that discusses who you are as an individual and addresses your personal goals, characteristics and aspirations for a career in medicine.  This individual should be someone who has had substantial contact with you during the past 24 months. Letters from friends and family will not be accepted.

Note: Should you submit more than three individual letters, you will be asked to indicate the three letters which you would like us to evaluate as part of your application.

Letter writers/premedical advisors must submit Letters of Recommendation to the AMCAS letters service no later than November 1st of the application year.  Please note that your application will not be considered complete and move forward in our process until your required letters have been received.

Rush Medical College assumes the applicant has waived his/her right to view all Letters of Recommendation that have been submitted in conjunction with an application to Rush Medical College.  Letters of Recommendation submitted as part of the application process cannot be used for any other purpose.

Once Rush Medical College has received your AMCAS application you will be able to view the status of your application materials online.

Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all letters are submitted on official institutional letterhead and signed by the author. 

AAMC Guidelines for Writing a Letter of Evaluation for a Medical School Applicant

Technical Standards for Admission & Promotion

Fulfillment of the requirements for the MD degree

Rush Medical College offers an undifferentiated MD degree affirming the general knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and the capacity to enter residency training and qualify for medical licensure.

A candidate for the MD degree must have abilities and skills in six areas: observation, communication, motor, intellectual (conceptual, integrative and quantitative), behavioral and social, and demonstrate ethics and professionalism.

Essential abilities and characteristics required for completion of the MD degree consist of certain minimum physical and cognitive abilities and emotional characteristics to assure that candidates for admission, promotion, and graduation are able to complete the entire course of study and participate fully in all aspects of medical training, with or without reasonable accommodation.

Rush University is committed to diversity and to attracting and educating students who will make the population of health care professionals representative of the national population.

Our core values - ICARE - Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect and Excellence translate into our work with all students, including those with disabilities. Rush actively collaborates with students to develop innovative ways to ensure accessibility and creates a respectful accountable culture through our confidential and specialized disability support. Rush is committed to excellence in accessibility; we encourage students with disabilities to disclose and seek accommodations.

Technical (non-academic) standards

Observation

Students should be able to obtain information from demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences. Students should be able to assess a patient and evaluate findings accurately. These skills require the use of vision, hearing, and touch or the functional equivalent.

Communication

Students should be able to communicate with patients in order to elicit information, detect changes in mood, activity, and to establish a therapeutic relationship. Students should be able to communicate via English effectively and sensitively with patients and all members of the health care team both in person and in writing.

Motor

Students should, after a reasonable period of time, possess the capacity to perform a physical examination and perform diagnostic maneuvers. Students should be able to execute some motor movements required to provide general care to patients and provide or direct the provision of emergency treatment of patients. Such actions require some coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements balance and equilibrium.

Intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities

Students should be able to assimilate detailed and complex information presented in both didactic and clinical coursework, and engage in problem solving. Students are expected to possess the ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and transmit information. In addition, students should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures and to adapt to different learning environments and modalities.

Behavioral and social abilities

Students should possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, fellow students, faculty, and staff. Students should be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They should be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, professionalism, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that are expected during the education processes.

Ethics and professionalism

Students should maintain and display ethical and moral behaviors commensurate with the role of a physician in all interactions with patients, faculty, staff, students and the public. The student is expected to understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine and function within the law and ethical standards of the medical profession.

The technical standards delineated above must be met with or without accommodation. Students who, after review of the technical standards, determine that they require reasonable accommodation to fully engage in the program should contact the Office of Student Accessibility Services to confidentially discuss their accommodations needs. Given the clinical nature of our programs, time may be needed to create and implement the accommodations. Accommodations are never retroactive; therefore, timely requests are essential and encouraged.

To learn more about accommodations at Rush University please contact:

Marie Lusk, MBA, MSW, LSW
Director, Office of Student Accessibility Services
Rush University
600 S. Paulina St. AAC 901
Chicago, IL 60612     
(312) 942-5237
Marie_Lusk@rush.edu

Process

Requests for accommodation by individuals with a disability as defined by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disability Act will be considered on the basis of their abilities and the extent to which reasonable accommodation, if required, can be provided. The Rush University policy for students with disabilities describes the process for requesting an accommodation and is available in the catalog and on the website. 

These guidelines were reviewed, updated and approved by the Committee on Admissions (COA), Committee on Student Evaluation and Promotion (COSEP) and the Office of Legal Affairs in August 2016.

Attributes of a Successful Candidate

Rush Medical College holistically evaluates candidates for admission across a range of attributes for successful development into individuals who aim to become vital members of the medical community as students, practitioners, educators and researchers serving the needs of a diverse and changing population. These attributes include:

Academic excellence

The curriculum at Rush Medical College is academically challenging, rigorous and integrates all basic science and clinical components in a flipped classroom method without lectures. It is learner centered, competency based and requires mastery of academic content. It requires that the applicants demonstrate organizational and time management skills, self-regulated learning and the ability to perform well in an academic, small group setting focused on problem-based learning. Candidates should apply creative and critical thinking/reasoning to develop and solve solutions to a problem’ s complexities anchored around clinical cases; comprehend and rapidly absorb new information; interact and work well in a team based setting with the ability to communicate and negotiate with varying opinions and ideas to reach well-founded conclusions.

Professionalism, integrity and ethics

The relationship between a physician and his/her patient(s) requires the highest degree of integrity, ethics and respect. We seek applicants who behave in an honest and ethical manner; cultivate personal and academic integrity; adhere to ethical principles and follows rules and procedures; resist peer pressure to engage in unethical behavior and encourage others to behave in honest and ethical ways; develop and demonstrate ethical and moral reasoning.

Communication and teamwork

The ability to function as part of a team is essential to the practice of medicine. We seek candidates who can effectively convey information to others using spoken words and sentences; listen effectively and recognize potential communication barriers and adjust his/her approach and clarify information as needed. We seek applicants who demonstrate an awareness of others’ needs, goals, feelings, and the ways that social and behavioral cues affect peoples’ interactions and behaviors; the ability to work collaboratively with others to achieve shared goals; share information and knowledge with others and provide feedback; put team goals ahead of individual goals; candidates who as future physicians demonstrate evidence of a significant extracurricular, academic, or other experience requiring teamwork and leadership. Non-traditional backgrounds that bring unique perspective and real-life work experience are also valued. 

Community service orientation

Rush has a longstanding tradition and mission of community engagement. We strongly seek and value applicants with demonstrated commitment to community service with a desire to help others and sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings; a demonstrated desire to alleviate others’ distress; applicants who recognize and act on his/her responsibilities to society; locally, nationally, and globally. We seek applicants with exposure to community service whether through employment, volunteering or other activities.

Clinical experience

It is strongly recommended that applicants explore their interest in medicine by taking advantage of clinical exposure opportunities in clinics, hospitals, hospices, nursing homes and/or other health care facilities. We seek applicants who have pursued long-term commitments that include direct patient contact rather than short-term experiences; experiences that are qualitative in nature with a breadth and depth of exposure; experiences that provide an understanding of the nature of medical practice and the daily demands placed on physicians. While many applicants may have international clinical or public health experiences, we equally value significant commitments to patient care in the applicant’s own community.

Leadership

We value and seek evidence of  leadership abilities as demonstrated by involvement in activities and experiences during and beyond an applicant’s collegiate years; a willingness to seek experiences and exposure to backgrounds/cultures beyond an applicant’s own; an ability to question and challenge the status quo, ability to self-reflect, communicate positive qualities of an effective leader, exhibit these qualities in action and effectively exert appropriate influence over others.

Resilience and adaptability

Medical school can be highly stressful, demanding and challenging to students during their medical education and as future physicians.  We value applicants who are able to demonstrate tolerance of stressful or changing environments or situations and adapt effectively to them; are persistent, even under difficult situations; recover from setbacks.

Reliability and dependability

Potential physicians should consistently fulfill obligations in a timely and satisfactory manner and take responsibility and be accountable for personal actions and performance. They can be counted on to give their best effort under all circumstances. They demonstrate the ability to keep their word and commitments under all circumstances and work with others to help them keep theirs. Regardless of the situation, they will do everything possible to make sure that their performance is solid and strong,  undeterred by obstacles, difficulties, and pressures that would otherwise stop others. 

International & Transfer Students

International applicants

Rush Medical College currently considers applications from those who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents or are of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status.

All applicants must provide the appropriate documentation which would include submission of a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, both sides of a permanent resident card, or other identifying documentation.

Transfer students

Due to the retention of the current student body, Rush Medical College does not have any available positions for transfer applicants in the second, third, or fourth year classes.

Contact

If you have questions about the admission process, please contact the Rush Medical College Admissions Office or the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), as appropriate.

Rush Medical College Office of Admissions
Armour Academic Center, Suite 403
600 S. Paulina St.
Chicago, IL 60612

Email: rmc_admissions@rush.edu

American Medical College Application Service
655 K Street, NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20001

Phone: (202) 828-0400
Email: amcas@aamc.org