FAQs

Admissions

Curriculum

  • How is the curriculum structured?
    The WMed curriculum is a systems-based, integrated curriculum. The curriculum map shows the courses of Foundations of Medicine, the first two years, and the clerkships of Clinical Applications, the second two years. The basic sciences and clinical sciences are integrated throughout the four years. We use a variety of instructional methods, including team-based learning, small- and large-group sessions, lectures, and early clinical experiences. Simulation-based learning is used extensively throughout the four-year curriculum. Learn more about the curriculum for the medical degree.
  • Do students have the option of studying internationally?
    Yes, faculty from the medical school have long-standing relationships with clinics and small hospitals in several areas of the world. Faculty-led experiences occur several times during the year. An international health experience is encouraged during the fourth year of medical school.
  • How are students assessed and graded?
    Grading in Foundations of Medicine is on a pass/fail basis. Grading is based on multiple choice exams, anatomy exams, standardized patient exams, simulation-based testing, and professionalism. Capstone review sessions with faculty assist students with preparation for examinations. Each course has weekly formative exams, which do not count in grading, to provide students with objective interval feedback on their learning progress. Grading in Clinical Applications is on an honors/high pass/pass/fail basis. Grading is based on multiple choice exams, standardized patient exams, evaluations by clinical faculty of students' knowledge and skills, and professionalism.
  • Do students get to take any electives in the first two years?
    Yes, throughout your first two years students select four one-week electives to explore individual areas of interest. These electives range from oncology to rural health, massage therapy, research, forensic pathology, and everything in between.
  • Since books are purchased as electronic textbooks, are there options for using traditional textbooks?
    Yes, the library has several copies of each textbook that students may borrow.
  • What type of preparation is provided for the USMLE exams?
    A goal of the medical school is having all students pass the USMLE exams on the first attempt. Passing USMLE Step 1, and Step 2 CK and CS are required for graduation. Throughout the curriculum, you will have a variety of preparation for the USMLE exams.

Interview Process During COVID-19

  • How will COVID-19 impact the 2021 cycle and beyond?
    We understand the challenges many applicants are facing. We will continue to be flexible and update our admissions processes as additional information becomes available. Our Admissions Committee assures you that the holistic application review we have always committed to will include the context of the current situation. 
  • Will there be any on-campus interviews for the WMed Class of 2025?
    With the health and safety of the community as our number one priority, we have made the difficult decision to conduct all interviews virtually during the 2021 admissions cycle. Fairness in the admissions process is paramount and we feel having the same environment for all interviews is critical. As of early July, we are building out our plan for the cycle to continue to select students who are not only prepared academically for the rigors of our program, but who also bring the personal attributes and a diverse set of pre-medical experiences to our community. Please check back for additional details as they are made available.
  • Where can I include information about how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted my plans and life?
    An additional optional essay will be included on our Supplemental Application to provide a designated space to inform the Admissions Committee about the impact of COVID-19 on your plans and in your life. 
  • The grading at my undergraduate institution has changed or my coursework has shifted online. Is that okay? 
    Of course! WMed has recommended coursework as opposed to pre-requisite coursework — see https://med.wmich.edu/app. As always, we encourage you to take the courses that will challenge and prepare you for the rigors of medical school, whether that be pass/fail, credit/no-credit, or virtual learning.
  • I'm not able to sit for the MCAT until September. Can I still start the supplemental application?
    Yes, we have waived our MCAT requirement for supplemental application and will be offering supplemental applications to all applicants achieving a 3.0 GPA. Please include your planned MCAT date on your AMCAS application. A minimum MCAT score of 497 is still required and scores will be reviewed as they are received. With additional MCAT dates being made available, WMed will accept any MCAT results from tests completed in 2020.  

General FAQs

  • Do students need cars?
    Yes, a car is necessary during all four years. The curriculum involves experiences at various clinical sites beginning early in the first year. Most of the clinical experiences are within a couple of miles of the downtown W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus, including the WMed Health clinics on the Oakland Drive Campus, Ascension Borgess Hospital, Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo Family Health Center, and CentraCare. Some researchers are based at the Innovation Center on the Parkview Campus (5 miles or 13 minutes from downtown Kalamazoo). Some students will have occasional clinical experiences at sites outside of Kalamazoo, including Bronson Battle Creek, CentraCare, and the VA Medical Center in Battle Creek, Michigan (18 miles or 30 minutes from downtown Kalamazoo).
  • What is it like to live in Kalamazoo?
    With a population of more than 325,000, Kalamazoo is the sixth largest metropolitan area in Michigan and part of the 115th largest in the country, providing a perfect combination of big city energy and small town feel. The W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus is located in downtown Kalamazoo, which offers great dining, eclectic shops, galleries, and entertainment. A wide variety of outdoor activities, lakes, festivals, and attractions are available nearby. Learn more about Downtown Kalamazoo.