A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Admission Requirements

Baccalaureate Degree

For admission to Loma Linda University School of Medicine, applicants are expected to obtain a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or Canada prior to matriculation.  The degree can be in any field of study with the recommendation that the applicant advance beyond the basic courses of the chosen field.  No major field is given preference.  A curriculum that includes the study of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences is recommended to provide a solid preparation for the MCAT, medical school, and the future role as a physician.

Students currently in a degree-granting program must complete all degree requirements and show documentation of graduation or completion of requirements prior to matriculation.

On rare occasions, academically exceptional applicants may be considered for admission who have completed 90 semester/135 quarter hours at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or Canada.

Required Courses

Required courses must be completed at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or Canada. We recommend the required courses be taken at a four-year institution. The following courses are required for consideration:

General Biology (excludes Microbiology and Anatomy & Physiology)        

One year sequence with lab

General or Inorganic Chemistry

One year sequence with lab

Organic Chemistry

One year sequence with lab


One academic term. Lab recommended

General Physics

One year sequence with lab

Introductory courses in basic statistics, psychology, and sociology are recommended.

PLEASE NOTE:  CLEP, pass/fail performances, and online classes are not acceptable for the science required courses. Additionally, science credits earned in professional schools (e.g., allied health professions, business, dentistry, nursing or pharmacy) do not fulfill requirements for admissions to medicine. Advanced Placement (AP) credits for the required science courses generally are not accepted. However, if the applicant’s undergraduate institution has accepted the AP credits, upper division science courses in the same area may be substituted for the required credit hours.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

All applicants must complete the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) prior to consideration by the Admissions Committee.  The MCAT is based on the knowledge gained from the required science courses. It is recommended that the test be taken no later than September of the year prior to application.  MCAT scores older than three years from the date of matriculation are not considered. For the 2018 application cycle, the earliest MCAT accepted is one taken any time in 2015.

Health Care Experience

Applicants are required to obtain physician shadowing experience and direct patient care exposure to better inform their decision for a career in medicine.

Technical Standards

All applicants must meet the Admission and Graduation Standards with or without reasonable accommodations.  Please take a moment to view our Technical Standards:

Loma Linda University School of Medicine candidates for the M.D. degree must have abilities and skills of five varieties, including: observation; communication; motor function; intellectual-conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; and behavioral and social attributes. Technological compensation can be made for some handicaps in certain areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner without the use of a surrogate.

OBSERVATION: The student must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, including but not limited to physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in animals, microbiologic cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing, and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.

COMMUNICATION: A student must be able to speak, to hear, and to observe patients in order to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; and perceive nonverbal communications. A student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, colleagues, and other personnel. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing. The student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.

MOTOR FUNCTIONStudents should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to do basic laboratory tests (urinalysis, CBC, etc.); carry out diagnostic procedures (proctoscopy, paracentesis, etc.); and read EKGs and X-rays. A candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment of patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

INTELLECTUAL-CONCEPTUAL INTEGRATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE ABILITIES: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES: Medical students must possess the emotional health required for appropriate utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the timely completion of all responsibilities attendant to their academic work, team work, and patient care.  They must demonstrate the ability to develop mature, sensitive and effective professional relationships with peers, faculty, staff, members of the healthcare team, and patients.  Medical students must demonstrate empathy, and concern for others while respecting appropriate personal and professional boundaries.  Medical students must demonstrate integrity as manifested by truthfulness, acceptance of responsibility for one’s actions, accountability for mistakes, and the ability to place the wellbeing of the patient above their own when necessary.  They must be able to tolerate demanding workloads and to function effectively under stress.  They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the medical education and clinical practice settings.