Admission Requirements

Baccalaureate Degree

For admission to Loma Linda University School of Medicine, applicants are expected to have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university 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 provide documentation of graduation or completion of requirements prior to matriculation.

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

Required Courses

Required courses must be completed at an accredited college or university 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)


One academic term

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 and pass/fail performances are not acceptable for the science required courses. However, an exception is made for pass/fail coursework taken during the winter/spring 2020 academic terms. 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; but, 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. Online coursework and labs taken at accredited institutions are acceptable.

Medical College Admission Test

All applicants must complete the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) prior to consideration by the Admissions Committee.  The MCAT tests for knowledge gained from the required science courses. The test must be taken no later than September of the year prior to anticipated matriculation. MCAT scores older than three years from the date of matriculation are not considered. For the 2025 application cycle, the earliest MCAT accepted is one taken any time in 2022.

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

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 disabilities 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 high-fidelity simulations, 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 must 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 (intravenous line placement, 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 student must 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, teamwork, and patient care. They must demonstrate the ability to develop mature, sensitive and effective professional relationships with peers, faculty, staff, members of the health-care 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 well-being 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.

Federal and state law and Loma Linda University policy require the School of Medicine to provide students who have disabilities, and who are able to meet the technical standards of the School of Medicine, reasonable accommodation in its academic programs.

Application Process

Degree Programs

Early Decision Program (EDP)

The Early Decision Program (EDP) is a restricted program which allows applicants to apply to only one medical school. Applicants we accept through EDP have demonstrated excellence in academics, MCAT, extracurriculars, core competencies, and mission alignment. Applicants we do not accept into EDP will be released to the Regular MD applicant pool no later than October 1. These applicants will then be free to apply to other medical schools. 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. MD/PhD students start with the first two years of medical school, followed by the PhD program, and then back to medical school for the remaining two years. 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 the Medicine, MD program at 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 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 six 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 recommendation must be from a science professor who has taught the applicant. It is suggested that the other references come from a physician who was shadowed, an employer, the faith community pastor or other clergy, or a leader in the volunteering experiences.


  • 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.


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

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

Application Updates

Application updates may be submitted after submission of the secondary application by uploading the update to the portal at Typical updates include activities, letters of interest, and unofficial transcripts. 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.


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. Application status changes are posted to the portal at as changes occur. 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 November through April.

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


An accepted student may request a deferral of matriculation. Requests are considered on an individual basis.

Deferral Process

  • A deferral request, including rationale, must be submitted.
  • Deferral requests are not to be submitted until plans are final.
  • If approved, a deferral will be granted for one year.
  • Except for emergencies, deferral requests must be made no later than June 1. Requests are reviewed for consideration.
  • Deferred matriculation at LLUSM is restricted; application to other medical schools is not permitted.
  • Contact our office at for further information.