*COVID-19 UPDATE*

June 26, 2020

Letter to prospective applicants from Associate Dean of Admissions [PDF]


April 22, 2020
 

FAQ’s

  1. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my lecture prerequisite course has gone to mandatory Credit/No Credit (CR/NC). How will this affect meeting the minimum requirements?
    The University of New Mexico School of Medicine (UNM SOM) Committee on Admissions is aware of the disruption in coursework for many current students as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While letter grades for prerequisite coursework are still preferred, we understand the difficulty this may pose for many. Applicants will have an opportunity to explain the circumstances for receiving CR/NC versus a letter grade for the spring semester/quarter 2020 in the secondary application. The committee will review this information and it will be taken into consideration on a case-by-case basis. 

  2. How will the CR/NC grade impact my grade point average (GPA)?
    Grades of CR/NC do not affect the GPA. Courses taken for CR/NC for the spring 2020 semester/quarter will be identified and the committee be informed that one or more courses were taken CR/NC, but no grade was factored into the overall GPA. 

  3. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my prerequisite lab has been converted to online mid-semester/quarter. Will this course still be considered in-person?
    If the lab was taken as an in-person lab and later converted to online, we will consider it an in-person lab for the spring 2020 semester. In-person labs with a start date in March 2020 that converted to an online lab may not be considered in-person. Applicants will have an opportunity to explain the circumstances for taking a lab online in the secondary application. The committee will review this information and it will be taken into consideration on a case-by-case basis. 

  4. I was planning on taking a summer lab, but it is only being offered online. Is it acceptable to take a prerequisite lab online or should I wait to take it in-person? Which would look better on my application?
    The UNM SOM does not accept labs completed online. Applicants should consider delaying taking the online prerequisite lab to a future semester when it will be offered in-person. Applicants that take a lab online for the summer 2020 semester/quarter, will be asked to explain the circumstances for taking the lab online versus waiting to take the lab at a later time. The committee will review this information and it will be taken into consideration on a case-by-case basis.

  5. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my prerequisite lecture course is only being offered online and I have the option to choose CR/NC or a letter grade. Will a prerequisite course be accepted online for CR/NC?
    While letter grades for prerequisite coursework are still preferred, we understand the difficulty this may pose for many, and as such, the applicant will have an opportunity to explain the circumstances for receiving CR/NC versus a letter grade for the spring 2020 semester/quarter only.

    UNM SOM policy allows applicants to take up to two prerequisite lecture courses online. If an applicant exceeds the two online lecture prerequisite courses, they will be asked to explain the circumstances for taking more than the allotted two online lecture courses.  

  6. The AAMC has cancelled multiple MCAT test dates. Will the MCAT be waived as a minimum requirement?
    No. If an applicant is unable to take the MCAT for the 2021 application cycle, they may need to delay applying until the following year. Please be aware the AAMC will be adding new test dates/times to the exam calendar and will be working to expedite score reporting to 2 weeks instead of 4. Please visit the MCAT Coronavirus page for more information regarding the 2020 MCAT Exam at https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/coronavirus-covid-19-and-mcat-exam/

  7. Due to the number of cancelled MCAT test dates, will UNM SOM consider lowering the MCAT minimum score?
    No. The minimum total MCAT score for consideration will remain at 494. Please be aware the AAMC will be adding new test dates/times to the exam calendar and will be working to expedite score reporting to 2 weeks instead of 4. Please visit the MCAT Coronavirus page for more information regarding the 2020 MCAT Exam at https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/coronavirus-covid-19-and-mcat-exam/

  8. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am no longer allowed to continue clinical shadowing until further notice. Although I do have some hours, it is not as many as I anticipated. What would be considered an acceptable amount of clinical shadowing hours to support my application? If I am unable to get those hours, how will this affect the review of my application?
    There are no minimum number of clinical shadowing hours required to apply to the UNM SOM. Applicants are evaluated based on their knowledge, the quality of their experiences and how they can articulated those experiences. Applicants will have an opportunity to describe how COVID-19 has impacted their pathway to medical school and describe any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers that COVID-19 may have presented for them. If an applicant feels that they have limited clinical experiences, they may consider delaying the submission of their application until the following year.

  9. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my school has informed me that they are unable to provide me with a committee letter of recommendation. How will this impact my application?
    This will not impact your application. The UNM SOM has no requirement on committee letter of recommendation packets. The committee prefers individual letters directly from the letter writer versus a summarized committee letter.

  10. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am no longer allowed to continue my community service experience until further notice. What would be considered an acceptable amount of community service hours to support my application? If I am unable to get more hours, how will this affect the review of my application?
    There are no minimum number of community service hours required to apply to the UNM SOM. The committee believes that individuals who have participated in such activities are more likely to relate well to other people, an essential aspect of the physician-patient interaction. Applicants will have an opportunity to describe how COVID-19 has impacted their pathway to medical school and describe any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers that COVID-19 may have presented for them. If an applicant feels that they have limited community service experience, they may consider delaying the submission of their application until the following year.

  11. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am no longer allowed to continue my research experience at my institution until further notice. How will this delay in my research experience impact the consideration of my application?

    There is no research requirement to apply to the UNM SOM regular MD program. If an applicant has research experience, they are evaluated based on their knowledge for the research process by articulating those experiences. Applicants will have an opportunity to describe how COVID-19 has impacted their pathway to medical school and describe any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers that COVID-19 may have presented for them. 

    However, applicants applying to the Combined MD/PhD program, where research experience is required, may consider delaying the submission of their application until the following year.

  12. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am not able to begin my new clinical/volunteer/research experience until after I submit my AMCAS application, will I be able to make any changes or updates to my application to include these new experiences?
    No. The AMCAS application does not allow updates to the clinical/volunteer/research experiences after submission. There are limited changes that can be made to the primary AMCAS application post submission. For a list of the approved post submission changes, please visit the following AAMC website: https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/amcas-postsubmission-actions/. If you are able to continue or begin a new experience after your application has been submitted, we recommend that you discuss it during your medical school interview. 

  13. Will I have an opportunity to describe how COVID-19 has impacted my 2021 application?
    Yes, there will be a new question in the secondary application that will allow applicants to describe how COVID-19 has impacted their pathway to medical school and describe any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers that COVID-19 may have presented for them.

For additional AMCAS Covid-19 FAQs please go to Coronavirus - Covid 19 and AMCAS