Academic Recommendations

Stanford University School of Medicine seeks to admit a diverse body of students who are interested in the intellectual substance of medicine and are committed to advancing scholarship in any field of medicine. Desirable candidates for admissions are academically ready to succeed in our curriculum, have life experiences that will enrich our learning environment, and have personal qualities that will serve them, their colleagues and their patients well in their professional lives.

Applicants must have received an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university by the time of matriculation. They are encouraged to explore diverse educational opportunities throughout their college careers and undergo rigorous preparation in the life sciences. Stanford favors students who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to scholarship in an area of their interest. We accept Advanced Placement Examination credit as long as your undergraduate institution has granted credit for the course on your official transcript. We believe this will provide you the opportunity to explore a greater number of disciplines and achieve a greater understanding of each.

Since the content and depth of courses varies significantly among institutions, we provide the following recommendations to be used as a guide. 

Stanford School of Medicine does not have specific course requirements, but a recommended preparation for the study of medicine. These recommendations are drawn from the Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians 2009 Report of the AAMC-HHMI Committee and the Behavioral and Social Sciences Foundations for Future Physicians 2011 Report of the AAMC Behavioral and Social Sciences Expert Panel, and we encourage applicants to read these reports for further details (links to follow). 

Biology

Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of how biomolecules contribute to the structure and function of cells; an understanding of principles of how molecular and cell assemblies, organs, and organisms, develop structure and carry out function; explain how organisms sense and control their internal environment and respond to external change; and demonstrate an understanding of how the organizing principle of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of life on earth.

Chemistry and Physics

Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of chemistry and physics, and their applications to the understanding of living systems. 

Physics and Mathematics

Applicants must be able to apply quantitative reasoning, statistical principles and appropriate mathematics to describe or explain phenomena in the natural world and evaluate the published scientific literature. 

Laboratory or Field Experiments

Applicants must demonstrate understanding of the processes of scientific inquiry, and explain how scientific knowledge is discovered and validated, through hands-on laboratory or field experiences.

Behavioral and Social Sciences

A patient-centered approach to health care requires an understanding of the patient as an individual and a member of a family, community, and society. Applicants must develop an understanding of behavioral and social processes and their use to predict or influence health outcomes or health risk factors.

Communication

Applicants must be able to write clearly, speak fluently and read English with excellent comprehension. Fluency in a foreign language, specifically Spanish or an Asian language, is recommended to enhance learning and service in our diverse communities.

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