Cooper Medical School Secondary Application Essay

Step One: AMCAS Application and MCAT

Applicants to Cooper Medical School of Rowan University are required to apply through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). To submit an application, visit AMCAS at The AMCAS application cycle runs from June through December. CMSRU will not review incomplete or unverified AMCAS applications. All applicants are required to submit valid MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) scores. For Fall 2018 entrance, CMSRU will accept only the new MCAT, and the exam must be taken by September 2017. Applicants can register for the MCAT by visiting the AMCAS website at

For the 2017 – 2018 application cycle, Cooper Medical School will participate in the Early Decision Program (EDP). The minimum requirements in order to qualify for Early Decision: all EDP applicants must have at least a grade point average of 3.6 in science courses (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics), at least a 3.5 overall grade point average, and a Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) total score of at least 507. Students participating in the EDP must submit the AMCAS application, MCAT score and all official transcripts by August 1, 2017. (Verification by AMCAS can take several weeks and does not begin until all materials and official transcripts have been received.) A decision will be made concerning each application by no later than October 1 so that candidates who are not offered admission in the class have adequate time to submit applications to other medical schools.

Step Two: Secondary Application

All complete and verified AMCAS applications (including transcripts, MCAT scores and letters of recommendation) will be screened for evidence of academic readiness. Unverified and partial applications will not be screened. Select applicants will be invited on a rolling basis to complete a secondary application.

Step Three: Interview Selection Screening

CMSRU will complete a holistic review of all completed application materials to determine whether to invite an applicant for an interview. An applicant’s match to the CMSRU mission is critical, and metrics alone do not show how well a candidate's application will resonate with CMSRU.

Step Four: Interview

Select applicants will be invited to attend an interview day.

Step Five: Admission Decision

Early Decision applicants will be notified of the admissions decision by mid-September. The first Regular MD acceptance notices will be released on October 15, 2017 in accordance with AAMC traffic rules. After October 15, 2017 applicants will be notified of the admissions decision within three weeks of a candidate’s interview date.

Step Six: Acceptance and Deposit

Admitted students are required to submit a deposit in order to accept CMSRU’s offer within two weeks of receiving the acceptance offer.

Special admissions procedures are open to eligible PULSE alumni (from any undergraduate institution) and undergraduate students who enter BS-MD articulations through Rowan University and University of the Sciences.

PULSE pathways: These special admissions pathways offer qualified PULSE participants the opportunity to gain acceptance to CMSRU via MCAT-optional and MCAT requiring routes. The Office of Community and Diversity Affairs will notify eligible PULSE candidates of the application process and specific requirements, and full admission to the MD program is granted after a successful interview with CMSRU admissions committee representatives.

MCAT optional (2 students per year max)
• Complete 2 sessions of PULSE
• Complete all CMSRU prerequisites
• Complete 90 undergraduate credit hours
• Science GPA > 3.6 (minimum of 35 credit hours)
• Overall GPA > 3.4

MCAT required (4 students per year max)
• Complete 1 session of PULSE
• Complete all CMSRU prerequisites
• Complete 90 undergraduate credit hours
• MCAT > 60th percentile
• Science GPA > 3.5 (minimum of 35 credit hours)
• Overall GPA > 3.4

BS-MD articulation agreements: High school students interested in pursuing the BS-MD pathways must first be accepted into their undergraduate programs*. Qualified candidates will be invited to submit a special application to the BS-MD committee, and preliminary admission to the MD program is granted after a successful interview with CMSRU admissions committee representatives. More program information can be found here.

*Transfer students are not eligible for these programs.

CAMDEN — Cooper Medical School of Rowan University has received 2,900 applications for spots in its inaugural class.

“We actually stopped accepting applications last week,” said Dr. Paul Katz, CMSRU’s founding dean. “All medical schools will accept more students than they can actually take, because people will get multiple acceptances, but the entering class will be 50 students. The number of applications we received is about what we expected, and we’re very happy to see so much interest.”

Katz said about 35 percent of the applications are from New Jersey.

“If you look at those numbers, we got about 60 percent of all the students who live in New Jersey and are applying to medical school,” said Katz.

The application to admission process is multi-tiered, according to Katz.

First, students applied electronically to the school through a central office, entering standard application information. Next, CMSRU — through a screening process — will narrow the applicants to a pool of about 325 students who will be asked to interview.

“Medical schools have the opportunity to send secondary applications to ask specific questions of applicants,” said Katz. “These questions will pertain to issues important to the school. In our case, those questions would talk about service to the community and important life experiences in an effort to tie them into our mission and give us a deeper look at the applicants.”

Through the end of March, CMSRU will then conduct more than 300 interviews.

“Students will come in every other Friday, about 24 at a time, and we will tell them about the history of the school,” said Katz. “In addition to a tour and learning about the curriculum, each student will have an interview with two of our faculty members — one who has seen the student’s application and the other who has not. This will help to avoid any preconceived notions. The interviewers will then fill out a form to rank the applicant’s characteristics.”

The second portion of the interview process will involve observing the applicant in simulated medical scenarios.

“We’ve created scenarios in our standardized patient simulation center,” said Katz. “Student actors from Rowan will play the role of patients and present certain situations to students. Each student will spend five minutes with the ‘patient.’ This isn’t as much about medical knowledge as it is about judgment, interaction and communication. Those experiences will be videotaped and reviewed by the admissions team.”

The admissions team — made up of 22 faculty members — will then review all of the information and decide who to accept, who to reject and who to put on the wait list.

“We do our acceptances on a rolling basis, so students should find out about three weeks after their interview,” said Katz. “Up until May 15, the applicant can hold as many acceptances as he or she wants, but on May 15 that student must choose an acceptance.”

Katz said, throughout this application process, the school has placed a big emphasis on diversity.

“We’re looking to enroll a diverse group of students in the broadest sense,” said Katz. “We’re not merely taking about racial diversity, but also educational, economic, gender, sexual preference and more. There are a lot of reasons we do this. People who come from different backgrounds bring different things to the table, and we want students to learn from each other.”

As far as construction of the medical school, Katz said everything’s still on schedule for a June completion.

“The building is now fully enclosed,” he said. “We’ll be in the building in June and ready to welcome our first class in August.”

The faculty and staff at the school is still growing.

“We walked into this with 400-plus physicians on our faculty from Cooper, and we’re also hiring PhD educators,” said Katz. “We also have an affiliation agreement with Coriell Institute for Medical Research and the University of the Sciences, so we’ll share faculty with them as well.”

The Coriell agreement — formalized in late November — will also allow students interested in research experience the opportunity to work with Coriell’s scientists in their labs.

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