Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

of Case Western Reserve University

Admissions > Answers to FAQs

What criteria are used to evaluate applicants?

The admissions committee evaluates each candidate’s academic preparation (GPA, coursework, MCAT), research activity, letters of recommendations, life experiences, leadership, volunteer work (sacrifice for others), clinical or shadowing experiences, and demonstrated commitment to medicine. All of these factors drive decisions to interview and accept.


What is the application schedule and process?

Please review our application procedures and timeline carefully here. Take special note of the deadlines, which could jeopardize your application if not met. 

Any changes in your status or information (e.g., address, email, phone number) should be reported to our office and to AMCAS. 


Is there a preferred major of study?

No. Many, but not all our students have a major in science. We have accepted those that majored in philosophy, music, math, languages and many other subjects.

How many students matriculate annually?


Is there an early decision program?


Is preference given to Ohio residents?


Are transfer students accepted?

No. Because of the program’s unique features, students in advanced standing cannot be accepted as transfer students.

Is the waiting list “ranked?”

No. As positions become available in the entering class, we offer acceptance to students on the alternate list on an individual basis. Since some students who eventually matriculate are accepted via the alternate list, being on the list should not be construed as an unfavorable decision by the Admissions Committee. 

What is the latest MCAT score considered for this year?

MCAT scores are valid for three years prior to starting medical school. 2016 is the last year for MCATs that can be considered for applicants applying in 2019 for matriculation in 2020.

Will you accept the January 2016 MCAT for 2019-20 application season?

Yes, if you apply through AMCAS.

If I have already taken the MCAT and applied, and then decided to take the January 2019 MCAT, will you consider those scores?

No, not for the 2019-2020 application cycle.

Am I at a disadvantage if I take (or retake) the MCAT in August and I am applying that year for medical school?

No, but taking the MCAT later than August will likely put you at a disadvantage. Complete your AMCAS and secondary applications (and submit your letters of recommendation) earlier while you are waiting for MCAT scores, so as not to delay your application’s review.

When should I take the MCAT?

Preferably sometime between January and August to allow you to submit your application in the summer.

Is CCLCM an MD/PhD program?

CCLCM (College Program) is not an MD/Ph.D. program. A thesis is required to graduate, but no dual degree is automatically granted. A master's degree may be pursued in selected areas (e.g., biomedical investigations, bioethics, public health and others). Students do not apply for the master’s degree programs until they have matriculated and have permission from their physician advisor.

How do I apply for a dual degree?

After you have matriculated, you may apply to take graduate school courses with guidance from your physician advisor in September as long as you remain in good standing. The decision to pursue a dual degree can be made after you have taken several graduate school courses to determine how you handle the workload. Most students make a degree decision the first semester of year 2.

What is tuition for 2019-2020?

$64,476. Students enrolled in CCLCM receive a full tuition and fees scholarship.

Is a deposit required?


Are publications necessary for every applicant?

They are not required, but if you have given presentations (oral or posters) or have publications, they will enhance your application.

Is research experience necessary for applying?

Yes, hypothesis driven research experience in a medical or non-medical field is a requirement for the College Program since the CCLCM curriculum is designed to train physician investigators.

Can I send in the same letters of recommendation for the College Program as I would for the University Program and MSTP?

Yes, but be sure to include a letter from a research advisor. Recommnedation letters should also reflect your research background and experience.

How many letters of recommendation are required?


We recommend three to five letters of recommendation from individuals who know the candidate well and who are in a capacity to judge the student’s performance objectively (no family members or friends of family). At least two letters should be from science and research advisors. A letter from a research advisor is required for the College Program. A premedical committee evaluation will be considered in lieu of the three to five letters required with the addition of a letter from a research advisor for the College Program.

Learn more on the How to Apply page.


What are your interview procedures?

A personal interview and a visit to the school are essential components of our candidate selection. Applicants are considered for an interview once their file is complete. Unfortunately, our interview schedule cannot accommodate all outstanding candidates, and the granting of interviews remains at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.

Accepted applicants who are sent acceptance letters in December, February, or after April 30th.

Again, having all portions of the application and recommendation letters in during the summer enhances the possibility that an interview will be offered.

Who conducts the interviews?

Each candidate will spend 45 minutes to one hour separately with each of two faculty interviewers, and an additional 30 minutes with a current student.

If I apply to the College Program, will I automatically be considered for the University Program and the MSTP?

No, you must apply to each program. Please indicate this in your secondary application.

How long after I submit my AMCAS application will I receive word about my secondary application?

All applicants receive an email approximately two weeks after the verified AMCAS application. Full verification by AMCAS may take four to eight weeks. Once we receive your AMCAS application, we will invite you to complete our secondary application. The email contains a unique URL and password that lets you access our iApply system. We suggest that you complete your secondary application as soon as possible. Detailed instructions are provided online.

What is the MD research thesis for CCLCM?

Students spend at least 12 months during their last three years on their mentored research project. This includes preparation and defense of a master’s level thesis.

The research follows the core clinical rotations.Students select mentors from CCLCM faculty based at Cleveland Clinic or CWRU faculty based at the CWRU School of Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Metro Health Medical Center and the VA Medical Center. The thesis project can also involve collaborations with others outside Cleveland (e.g., the NIH) but requires approval by the Research Education Committee (REC). Students who are permitted to do research away by the REC have received grants from NIH, Fulbright, Doris Duke and Sarnoff.

Time for selection of a thesis project and preparation of the thesis is ample and does not reduce clinical experiences. During time devoted primarily to research, students are required to spend on average of a half day each week in related clinical activities.

What is the grading system?

Throughout the five-year curriculum, students are promoted on the basis of meeting the performance standards for each of CCLCM's nine competencies. No grades are given except for courses that count toward master's degree requirements if a student is pursuing a dual degree.

Are laboratory courses considered prerequisites for medical school?

Laboratory courses are considered prerequisites. Most premedical courses have laboratory components that enhance and reinforce students’ knowledge of the scientific topic and may be helpful in preparing for the MCAT and for the basic sciences in medical school. Further, many schools require laboratory work to complete the requirements in a specific major.

Are premedical requirements taken at community colleges accepted?

We discourage students from taking all their science prerequisites from a community college. However, if some are taken there, the MCAT must show solid science scores.

Do I need to take biochemistry before I can apply to CCLCM?

No. Applicants can apply before fulfilling the biochemistry requirement but must complete the course prior to matriculation.

Are AP credits accepted for premedical requirements?

AP credits are acceptable for mathematics, physics, and general chemistry. They are not accepted for organic chemistry or biology.

If a student does have AP biology credits, they may complete two upper-level biology courses to add to their preparation.

Can I send updates to my application?

Updates are only accepted from applicants in the categories listed below. If your application is placed into one of these categories the ability to upload updates to your application will become available on the Status Page of your IApply account.

  • Invited for an Interview
  • On hold after interview
  • On hold for a phone interview
  • Alternate List