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
(as required by your undergraduate college/university)

General or Inorganic Chemistry

One year sequence with lab
(as required by your undergraduate college/university)

Organic Chemistry

One year sequence with lab
(as required by your undergraduate college/university)

Biochemistry

One academic term. Lab recommended.

General Physics

One year sequence with lab
(as required by your undergraduate college/university)

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 admission 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

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. The exam must be taken no later than September of the year prior to matriculation  MCAT scores older than three years from the date of matriculation are not considered. For the 2020 application cycle, the earliest MCAT accepted is one taken any time in 2017.

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 FUNCTION: Students 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.

Application Process

Degree Programs

Early Decision Program (EDP)

Applicants accepted through the Early Decision Program (EDP) have demonstrated exceptional performance in academics, non-academics, and mission fit. Applicants accepted as EDP are committed to attending Loma Linda University School of Medicine. For more information, visit the AMCAS Early Decision Program.

Regular MD Program

MD/PhD Program

Qualified applicants may earn a PhD degree along with a medical degree. The application process consists of two steps:

  • Apply to the PhD program
  • Apply to the MD program through AMCAS by selecting the Combined Medical Degree/PhD program

For more information, please visit the Medical Scientist Program.

AMCAS Application

Application to Loma Linda University School of Medicine must be submitted through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).  For more information or to fill out an application, visit AMCAS.  The deadline to submit an AMCAS application is November 1.  The AMCAS application, transcripts, and fees all must be submitted to AMCAS by the deadline.

Secondary Application

Invitations to submit the secondary application are sent to all our applicants. Upon receipt of an AMCAS application (allowing up to 6 weeks after submission of the application to AMCAS), an email is sent inviting the applicant to complete the secondary application. If this email invitation is not received within two weeks after notification from AMCAS that an application is verified, please call the Office of Admissions at 909-558-4467. The deadline for submission of the secondary application is November 15. The non-refundable fee for the secondary application is $85.

FEE WAIVER: Secondary application fee waivers are granted to those who have received a fee waiver from AMCAS. No action is required by the applicant who has received an approved AMCAS fee waiver. Requests for refunds will not be considered after the application fee has been paid.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation/evaluation are required for all applicants. The letters must be submitted to AMCAS. Please visit AMCAS Letter Service for letter writer requirements. 

If the pre-health professions advising office at the applicant's school provides a committee recommendation or a packet of recommendations, this committee recommendation or packet is required. No other recommendations are required.

If the applicant's school does not provide a committee recommendation or packet, a minimum of three and maximum of six recommendation letters from individuals who know the applicant well are required. At least one of those recommendations must be from a science professor who has taught the applicant. It is suggested that the other references come from a physician whom you have shadowed, an employer, your pastor or other clergy, or a leader in your volunteering experiences.

During the process of completing a secondary application, the applicant will have access to a downloadable recommendation form. Recommenders have the option of using this form or writing a personal letter of recommendation.

Note 

  • Applications are not considered complete and will not be reviewed until receipt of all letters of recommendation the applicant has indicated to expect in AMCAS and our minimum number of letters has been met.
  • Letters of recommendation submitted directly to the Office of Admissions are not accepted.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed only when the file is complete. A complete file contains the following items:

  • Verified AMCAS application
  • Current MCAT score
  • LLUSM secondary application with fee paid/AMCAS fee waiver
  • All required letters of recommendation

An email notification will be sent when the file is complete and in review. For interviewed applicants, an additional file review occurs post-interview. 

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Interviews

Through the interview process, we hope to learn more about you, your motivation for a career in medicine, and your fitness with our mission. Interviews are also an opportunity for you to learn more about the unique faith-based medical training available at our school. 

  • Interviews are by invitation only
  • Invitations are sent by email October-March
  • Two one-on-one interviews
  • Only interviewed applicants are considered for admission

Application Updates

Application updates may be submitted after submission of the secondary application by sending an email to the Office of Admissions at admissions.sm@llu.edu. Typical updates include activities, letters of interest, and unofficial final grade notifications. Changes in contact information must be submitted to AMCAS prior to emailing the changes to our office.

New letters of recommendation must be submitted through AMCAS to be considered. There is a maximum total of six letters of recommendation.

Decisions

Admission decisions are made by the Admissions Committee and are communicated to applicants by email on a rolling basis until the class is filled. Notifications are sent to applicants when a decision has been made. Please do not contact our office for status checks on applications. 

Admissions Committee decisions are final. We do not accept appeals.

Early Decision Program applicants are notified of Admissions Committee decisions no later than October 1. Applicants not accepted in the Early Decision Program will be released for application to other schools. 

Regular MD decisions are made on a rolling basis from October through April.

Applicants to be placed on the waitlist list will be notified of Admissions Committee decisions by email no later than mid-April. As seats in the class become available, alternates are contacted. Alternates may be accepted through the start of classes.

Deferral

An accepted student may request a deferral of matriculation. Requests are considered on an individual basis. The final decision is at the discretion of the Dean's Administrative Council. 

Deferral Process

  • A deferral request must be submitted
  • Deferral requests are not to be submitted until plans are final
  • Deferred matriculation at LLUSM is restricted; application to other medical schools is not permitted
  • Requests must include the rationale
  • A deferral may be granted for one year
  • Except for emergencies, requests for deferral must be made no less than 30 days prior to the beginning of orientation