Characteristics of Successful Applicants

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine requires that applicants meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission:

  1. Ninety hours of undergraduate level education in an undergraduate institution in the United States with completion of the required prerequisites.
  2. Undergraduate and graduate science grade point average (GPA) above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 
  3. Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) earned within two calendar years prior to the beginning of the admissions cycle with a total score of at least 495.
  4. American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application.

The admissions process at the UK College of Medicine assesses each individual applicant for his or her potential to become a successful physician. These attributes form the focus of student evaluation at the time of application and throughout their medical careers. Through our adoption of the same core competencies used during residency training, our curriculum is integrated into the continuum of physician professional development. Successful physicians are skilled in six areas, so we look for the following attributes that reflect each of these areas at the time of admission.

  1. Professionalism: Physicians have a unique contract with society that requires them to place the interests of patients above their own, maintain high standards of competence and integrity, and provide expert advice on matters of health. The admissions committee considers the personal statement, letters of recommendation, and the interview to evaluate an applicant’s accountability and ethical responsibility. 

  2. Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Physicians must effectively communicate with a wide range of colleagues and patients. The admissions committee considers answers on the secondary application and interview to evaluate an applicant’s social and communication skills. 

  3. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement: Lifelong learning is a key skill for a physician’s career. This requires the ability to self-evaluate one’s knowledge and skills to identify areas for improvement. The admissions committee considers answers on the secondary application and interview to evaluate an applicant’s capacity for improvement. 

  4. Systems-Based Practice: As health care has evolved, a collaborative team of professionals is necessary to provide safe, effective, efficient, timely, patient-centered, and equitable care. The admissions committee considers answers on the secondary application and interview to evaluate an applicant’s understanding of health care systems and ability to collaborate toward a common goal. 

  5. Patient Care: At its very heart, a career in medicine is a calling to serve our communities and our patients. The admissions committee considers participation in community service, answers on the secondary application, and interview to evaluate an applicant’s understanding of this role and dedication to meeting the health care needs of others. 

  6. Medical Knowledge: The Kentucky Integrated Curriculum is an academically rigorous course of study that requires students to not only acquire knowledge, but also synthesize and apply that knowledge to each unique patient scenario. The admissions committee considers applicant MCAT scores and undergraduate grade point averages as evidence of success in challenging academic settings.


In the individual assessment of each applicant, the UK College of Medicine prioritizes other attributes that reflect our mission. Although not essential, certain applicant characteristics will enhance their potential to contribute to the college and to the profession of medicine:

  • Commitment to the State: As a state medical school, the UK College of Medicine gives preference to Kentucky residents, and non-residents who have strong ties to the state, including previous attendance at a Kentucky college or university. Regardless of their state of residency, only applicants who are U.S. citizens or have permanent resident visas are considered.

  • Commitment to Underserved Populations: Certain geographic areas (rural Appalachian counties) and patient populations (low socioeconomic status, underrepresented minority) have challenges in receiving safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable health care. The UK College of Medicine values individuals who have demonstrated interest in serving these areas or populations in the future.

  • Diversity: A diverse educational environment enriches both medical education and patient care. The UK College of Medicine strives for each class to represent the people of the state of Kentucky, and therefore considers each applicant’s educational background, life experiences, cultural identity, and socioeconomic background. The University will not discriminate based on race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, or age.