How to Beat 6,000 Applicants and get into Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (2020-2021)

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” of the Top 20 Best Hospitals in the nation, Mount Sinai is an institution with a rich history. Founded in 1855 as Jews’ Hospital, which provided no-cost treatment for New York’s Jewish population, the facility evolved into the 10-pavilion Mount Sinai Hospital in 1904. By the 1950s, plans existed to create a medical school, and in 1963, the hospital established Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Now known as the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the institution is dedicated to providing top-notch patient care and medical education while prioritizing social concern and scholarly inquiry. Keep reading to learn more about Icahn School of Medicine and find out how you can bolster your chances of getting accepted.

“The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai prepares you for the immediate challenges and future opportunities of practicing medicine and biomedical research. We are dedicated to helping you pursue your medical ambitions within a highly collaborative learning environment.”

Students are drawn to Icahn Mount Sinai Medical School due in part to the award-winning faculty and impressive research opportunities. If you’re thinking of applying to this institution, be aware that you can choose from the following programs of study:

MD Program: Bringing together a progressive medical education with the most state-of-the-art technologies, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s MD program prepares students to address healthcare concerns both locally and abroad. 

Early Assurance Program (FlexMed): Designed to give aspiring medical students a leg up, the Donald and Vera Blinken FlexMed Program invites college sophomores to apply for early acceptance. The program is open to applicants of any major.

The Institutional Partnership Program: The Icahn School of Medicine’s Institutional Partnership Program offers a medical school pathway for students currently enrolled in the military. One of the benefits of this program is that you don’t have to meet the traditional admissions requirements, such as taking certain science classes or sitting for the MCAT. 

MD-MPH: Offering applicants the opportunity to earn a medical degree and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at the same time, the MD-MPH allows students to gain a deeper understanding of subjects such as public health, epidemiology, health care management, global health, and outcomes research. 

MD-MSCR: This dual-degree option is part of the PORTAL program (Patient-Oriented Research Training and Leadership). Working with a mentor, students in this program prepare for a career in translational research. By creating and participating in research studies, students learn new ways of presenting, diagnosing, and treating disease in preparation for careers in various medical and scientific fields. 

MD-PhD Program: Designed for applicants who want to pursue a career in research, the Mount Sinai Medical School MD/PhD Program prepares students to work as physician-scientists.

Additionally, the program has a multidisciplinary component, so students can undergo training in the areas they’re most passionate about.

Mount Sinai Acceptance Rate and Admissions Data

Ranked No. 20 in research and No. 58 in primary care by U.S. News & World Report, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai attracts an impressive group of applicants each year. The  below statistics demonstrate how hard it is to gain acceptance to this school.

Mount Sinai Acceptance Rate and 2019 Data

  • 6304 Applicants 
  • 1077 Interviewed
  • 358 Accepted
  • 140 Enrolled
  • 5.7% Acceptance Rate
  • 68.6% from out of state
  • 1.4% are international
  • 52.1% women

Mount Sinai Average MCAT

Icahn Mount Sinai Medical School has rigorous standards for MCAT scores. On a scale of 472 to 528, the average score for accepted students is 519. A score of 514 would put you in the 10th percentile, while a score of 525 would put you in the 90th percentile of accepted students.

Mount Sinai Average GPA 

Students attending Icahn School of Medicine tend to have high undergraduate GPAs. The average grade point average for admitted students is 3.87, with a range of 3.64 to 3.98 for the 10th and 90th percentiles respectively.

Mount Sinai Majors for Matriculants

While Icahn Mount Sinai Medical School applicants do have to take certain college courses to be considered for admission, students are free to major in the subject of their choice. Still, 57 percent of students who are accepted to this institution major in a math or science discipline.

For MD and MD/PhD students, the most popular concentrations include biology, neuroscience, molecular biology, biochemistry, psychology, and biomedical engineering. For graduate students, common majors include biology, medicine, psychology, biochemistry, biological sciences, and neuroscience.

Just because you majored in a different field doesn’t mean you’re out of the running for a medical school slot. On the contrary, a recent study reveals that admitting humanities majors may lead to the training and development of doctors who are better communicators. 

Mount Sinai Application Deadlines

If you’re looking to attend Mount Sinai Medical School, it’s important to keep the important dates and deadlines in mind. Here’s the timeline for applying to Icahn Mount Sinai:

May – AMCAS applications open

July through February – Application screening

September through February – Interviews

December through August – Decisions released (rolling)

May – Waitlist considerations are moved

Related Article: Medical Schools in New York

Mount Sinai Medical School Requirements?

So, what does it take to get into Mount Sinai Medical School? While you don’t have to major in a particular field to be a competitive medical school applicant, Icahn Mount Sinai does require students to complete certain coursework before applying.


If you’re wondering how to get into Mount Sinai medical school, start by taking the following courses as an undergraduate:

  • 1 year of general chemistry with lab
  • 1 year of organic chemistry with lab
  • 1 year of biology with a lab
  • 1 semester of physics with a lab
  • 1 semester of statistics
  • 1 year of English with a writing focus

While not mandatory, students are also encouraged to take courses in foreign languages, political science, psychology, sociology, and global health.

Mount Sinai Medical School Tuition

A private graduate medical school in Manhattan, Icahn School of Medicine has a steep tuition cost. For the 2020-2021 academic year, tuition and fees totalled $58,695. While 75 percent of students receive some form of financial aid, the average graduate leaves Mount Sinai with $142,295 of debt. 

In an effort to reduce medical students’ debt burden, ISMMS recently launched the Enhance Scholarship Initiative. An institutional scholarship, the program reduces the maximum debt load to $75,000 for students with demonstrated need who enter the program in 2019 or later. Students who are already attending Mount Sinai can also apply for ESI for the years they have left at the school. The program is open to international and DACA students as well.

Mount Sinai Secondary Essays

Secondary essays offer Mount Sinai applicants an invaluable way to differentiate themselves from other students. After all, a majority of individuals applying to top medical schools are likely to have impressive grades and test scores. Writing an attention-grabbing, thoughtfully crafted essay may enable students to overcome a middling GPA and rise above the pack. 

MD Program Secondary Prompts (2020-2021)

Optional or Y/N Questions:

  • Have you previously applied to the MD or MD/PhD Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai/Mount Sinai School of Medicine (including an Early Assurance Program such as FlexMed)? Y/N
  • Have you, in the past years, applied to any other medical school? Y/N
  • Are there significant gaps in time that are unaccounted for in your application? Y/N
  • If you are currently not a full time student, please briefly describe the activities you are participating in this academic year. (100 words)
  • Were there any adverse circumstances in your premedical preparatory journey including but not limited to recent impact from COVID-19? 100 words to explain if yes
  • Are you submitting your application with a future MCAT date that was rescheduled because of COVID19? Y/N
  • If there is an important aspect of your personal background or identity or a commitment to a particular community, not addressed elsewhere in the application, that you would like to share with the Committee, we invite you to do so here. Aspects might include, but are not limited to significant challenges in or circumstances associated with access to education, living with a disability, socioeconomic factors, immigration status, or identification with a culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Briefly explain how such factors have influenced your motivation for a career in medicine. Completing this section is optional. (100 words)

Secondary Prompts Required of all Students:

  • What is the toughest feedback you ever received? How did you handle it and what did you learn from it? (250 words)
  • Describe a situation that you have thought to be unfair or unjust, whether towards yourself or towards others. How did you address the situation, if at all? (200 words)

Planning to apply to the MD/PhD Program at Mount Sinai? Expect to answer the following essay prompts (Prompts from 2019/2020):

  1. Please describe an influential experience that motivated your decision to become a physician-scientist. (200 words)
  2. What is the toughest feedback you ever received? How did you handle it and what did you learn from it? (200 words)
  3. Please tell us about a time when an experiment didn’t go as planned or yielded an unexpected result. How did you approach this challenge and what did you learn? (200 words)
  4. What are your career goals? Which characteristics of the MD/PhD Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai do you believe will help you to achieve them? (200 words)

Tips on Writing Icahn Mount Sinai Secondary Essays

There’s no one answer to the question of what makes a great medical school essay. However, the best essays tend to differentiate the author from the crowd while revealing qualities that will help them succeed and thrive as a doctor. Here are some tips on crafting a secondary essay that will bolster your odds of admission:

Showcase Your Character

Students are often tempted to make their essays about accomplishments rather than characteristics. While writing about experiences is valuable, applicants should go a step further by reflecting on how noteworthy moments in their lives contributed to their decision to pursue a career in medicine. The goal is to showcase how your experiences made you the person you are together.

Tell a Story

It’s not enough to describe your past experiences and state a passion for medicine. If you want to stand out to admissions committees, it helps to craft a narrative essay that includes real anecdotes from your life. For example, you might opt to write about your first day volunteering in the children’s ward of a hospital. You could go on to explain how you started off feeling sad and depressed but found strength in the young patients’ resilience. Strive to tell the reader a story about how your past experiences set you on the path to earning your medical degree.

Avoid Restating Your Resume

While it’s natural to highlight your accomplishments in your secondary essays, applicants should avoid simply listing classes they took and jobs they held. After all, few committee members want to read a list of qualifications. Instead, aim to write about one or two meaningful activities or experiences with passion and conviction.

Mount Sinai Medical School Interview

Interviews are a key aspect of the medical school admissions process. At Mount Sinai Medical School, students can expect to participate in two, 30-minute interviews with members of the MD Admissions Committee. The committee members will review the student’s application, letters of recommendation, and secondary application before sitting down for an in-person interview.

A holistic assessment, each interview is designed to evaluate candidates in four key areas: academics, clinical exposure, community service, and research and other extracurricular activities. Additionally, admissions committee members will assess whether or not students are a good fit for Mount Sinai’s mission and values. In particular, interviewers want to know that students are good communicators, so be prepared to discuss your academic and personal achievements with confidence.

Mount Sinai Residency Matches

Mount Sinai offers a top-quality education for students with a broad range of interests. While Icahn Medical School graduates go on to secure residencies in a wide array of fields, the following specialities are most common:

  • Internal Medicine: 20%
  • Emergency Medicine: 9%
  • Pediatrics: 9%
  • Psychiatry: 9%
  • OB/GYN & Anesthesiology (tied): 7%

Trust MedEdits With Your Med School Admissions Questions

Renowned for its exceptional classroom instruction and first-rate technology, Icahn Mount Sinai School of Medicine attracts thousands of applicants each year. Wondering if Mount Sinai is right for you? Contact us today to learn more about how to get into Mount Sinai Medical School. Our knowledgeable team of physicians and educators is available for pre-med advising, test prep, essay consulting, and more. We look forward to helping you achieve your dreams.

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