Applying to Competency-Based Medical Schools

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Apr 6, 2018
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So I'm aware of the few medical schools that have switched to competency based "requirements". UCLA has recently made the switch, and then there is Stanford, USC, etc.

I've finished all the prerequisites except for 1 semester of biology and 1 semester of o-chem.

While these schools outline recommended courses, I'm wondering if falling a few classes short (though, again not "required") would hurt my application. Is it worth applying?

I will be taking the MCAT late May. I have a good set of EC's to add to my app, so I'm doing fine in that area. I'm just a little concerned about the prerequisite courses I haven't taken.

In a way, you could say I'm banking on doing well on portions of the MCAT that correspond to the classes I haven't completed yet. I know this limits the number of schools I can apply to as well... (but, I'm just curious as to how I'd fare with competency based schools.)

a) If I don't take these remaining courses at all and apply to these competency based schools, would it hurt my application?

b) If I apply with these courses in progress, meaning if I plan to take them before matriculation would that at boost my app? (In this case which medical schools would allow for prerequisite courses to be IP?)


Volunteer Staff
5+ Year Member
Dec 24, 2016
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Harvard, Stanford, UCLA.....the competency based schools are very competitive. I wouldn't bank on getting into one of them in lieu of other schools.
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Full Member
Aug 16, 2017
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A- see above. If you apply to just those programs you’ll probably become a doctor.

B- 99% of all medical schools would require the prerequisites to be done or in progress/planned on AMCAS. It won’t boost it as much meet the basic requirements.. which is why those classes are called prerequisites.