Beat 6894 Applicants: How to get into Stanford Medical School (2020-2021)

How to get into Stanford Medical School and Stanford Medical School Admissions

Stanford Medical School is a dream school for any premed when applying to medical school and for good reason. Located in Northern California and reputed to be one of the best medical schools and hospitals in the world, it is an institution where students can receive the best medical education while having access to unparalleled resources and opportunities. So, what does it take to get in to Stanford Medical School? How can you successfully navigate Stanford Medical School Admissions and beat more than 6800 annual applicants? Continue reading and find out!

The Stanford admissions committee embraces a holistic review process, but, we can tell you that you have to be stellar academically and demonstrate that you are a novel thinker and innovator. Stanford is looking to educate those future physicians who will make major contributions to the field of medicine in creative and genius ways. They are seeking flexible, intellectually curious, and critical thinkers whose past accomplishments demonstrate they are capable of profound achievement. The typical Stanford medical student has had an exceptional background since high school. Therefore, high MCAT and GPAs alone won’t get you in to Stanford. You have to be exceptional and provide evidence through your personal statement, application entries, and letters of reference, that you are someone who will transform the field of medicine in the future.

Stanford Medical School Application Timeline:

  • October 1: AMCAS application deadline
  • October 21: Supplemental materials deadline
  • July – March: Applications review and interviews extended
  • January – March: Submit FAFSA and other financial aid materials
  • March: Acceptances extended
  • April: Second look event for accepted students
  • April 30th: Students can only hold one acceptance
  • August: Orientation and classes begin

Stanford Medical School Admissions Timeline

The Ultimate Guide Getting into Medical School ebook

Stanford Medical School Admissions Timeline

What is the Stanford Medical School Average GPA?

It’s important to know key Stanford medical school admissions data:

Average GPAs for students accepted to Stanford Medical School 

  • Stanford Medical School Average Overall GPA: 3.93
  • Stanford Medical School BCPM GPA: 3.92
Stanford Med School GPA BCPM & MCAT

What is the Stanford Medical School Average MCAT?

The average MCAT for Stanford Medical School is 520 with a range of 510 – 528. In our experience, students should have an MCAT of 518 or higher to be competitive for an interview invitation. Of course there are circumstances that might influence an applicant’s chances of earning an interview with a lower score.

What are Stanford Medical School Course Requirements?

Stanford is another medical school that has shifted to competency-based admissions and does not have firm premedical requirements.  Most applicants will satisfy these requirements by taking enrolling in a broad-based curriculum grounded in the sciences and math. Note that Stanford prefers fluency in English and one other language.

You are expected to demonstrate competency in the following disciplines:


  • An understanding of molecular and cellular biology as well as earth science is expected.

Chemistry and Physics

  • Applicants are expected to understand the basics of chemistry and physics.

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 are expected to understand scientific inquiry through hands-on learning by working in a research lab or outside setting.

Behavioral and Social Sciences

“Applicants must develop an understanding of behavioral and social processes and their use to predict or influence health outcomes or health risk factors.”


“Fluency in a foreign language such as Spanish or an Asian language is recommended to enhance learning and service in our diverse communities.”

Because Stanford University has a medical school that places high value on creativity and intellectual curiosity, majors in any discipline are welcome and respected.

Stanford Medical School Personal Statement

Stanford Medical School does not require you to submit a distinct personal statement directly to the medical school. Stanford participates in the centralized AMCAS application service which requires you write a single personal statement that will be sent to Stanford as well as any other medical schools you apply to through AMCAS.

Below are a few things you should know about the AMCAS personal statement.

  1. The character limit for the AMCAS personal statement is 5,300 characters with spaces.
  2. The AMCAS personal statement instructions are as follows:

“Use the Personal Comments Essay as an opportunity to distinguish yourself from other applicants. Consider and write your Personal Comments Essay carefully; many admissions committees place significant weight on the essay.” 

Click here to read more about some questions that you may want to consider while writing the essay.

Stanford Medical School Work and Activities

Stanford Medical School does not ask you to submit a CV or resume. Instead, Stanford requires you to submit a centralized AMCAS application which requires you to write about your accomplishments in detail. These “work and activities entries” as they are called, are sent to Stanford as well as any other medical schools to which you apply through AMCAS.

Below are a few things you should know about the AMCAS work and activities.

AMCAS work & activities entries give you the chance to let medical schools know how much you’ve accomplished during your premed years.

  1. This section of the AMCAS application offers the opportunity to write about up to 15 activity descriptions that are up to 700 characters in length
  2.  You can then select three of those activities as most meaningful activities which gives you an additional 1325 characters to elaborate on the activity.

We encourage you to use this space to your advantage, elaborating as much as possible about your roles, responsibilities, the insights you gained, as well as what you have learned from the experience. You should also write in detail about the impact or “difference” you have made through the experience.

Click here to read more about AMCAS Work & Activities Section (With Examples): The Ultimate Guide.

About MedEdits

MedEdits helps students get admitted to medical school and residency programs. Our consultants have years of experience serving on medical school admissions committees, and as faculty members at the top medical schools in the country.

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What are Stanford Letter of Reference Requirements?

Stanford medical school admissions requires a minimum of three letters of reference and maximum of six. Click here to read more about letters of reference.

What are Stanford Medical School Experience Requirements?

Below you can find out what categories of experiences Stanford med students have had to give you an idea of what you may need in your extracurricular and scholarly background to be a competitive pre med applicant.


Valuable research experience is a must if you want to go to Stanford! 98% of students had previous research experience.

Community Service/Volunteer work

For a school that values service and community outreach, it is no  surprise that 75% of Stanford medical students reported meaningful service work as premedical students.

Physician Shadowing/Observation

We always explain to students that physician shadowing or clinical observation is important to know if you want to practice. 85% of Stanford students reported having these experiences.

Medical/Clinical Community Service/Volunteer

With so much emphasis on service in Stanford free clinics during the preclinical years, it is no surprise that 89% of students reported service work in a medical or clinical setting.

What are Stanford Medical School Application and Secondary Essay Requirements?

Stanford Secondary Application and Essays

The Stanford secondary application fee is $95 and the submission deadline is October 21st.

Below are the Stanford secondary essay prompts. 

How Many Applications does Stanford Medical School Receive?

For the entering class of 2019-2020, Stanford received 6894 applications and interviewed 6% of applicants. 41% of applicants interviewed were accepted for a class size of 90.

Stanford Medicla School Acceptance Rate

Beat 6894 Applicants: How to Navigate Stanford Medical School Admissions

What is the Stanford Medical School Acceptance Rate 2020-2021?

The Stanford Medical School acceptance rate is 2.5%

Stanford does not have rolling admissions; all decisions are released in March every year. Stanford, like most medical schools, does not disclose waitlist information

How is the Stanford Medical School Interview?

Stanford conducts the multiple mini interview. Click here to read more information about that process.

What is Stanford Medical School Tuition?

Stanford’s tuition is $59,271 for in state and out of state applicants. With room and board, total annual costs are $95,154. 74% of students receive aid and average graduate debt is $105,000.

How is Stanford Residency Placement?

Stanford students do quite well in the residency match, and, last year 25% stayed at Stanford for residency training. The most popular specialties in which students matched are as follows:

How is Stanford Residency Placement

Final Thoughts on Stanford Medical School Admissions

Stanford Medical School is undoubtedly one of the best medical schools in the world. The school will admit only those students who demonstrate outstanding achievement and a genuine commitment to make the world a better place. They are looking to educate leaders in medicine. If you are lucky enough to get in to Stanford Medical School, you will have exceptional opportunities as a medical student and the freedom to craft your own education that will lead to great options for post-graduate training. Good luck!

MedEdits Medical Admissions Founder and Chairwoman, Jessica Freedman, MD
JESSICA FREEDMAN, M.D., is president of MedEdits Medical Admissions and author of the MedEdits Guide to Medical Admissions and The Medical School Interview. Follow Dr. Freedman and MedEdits on Facebook and Twitter.
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