How to Get Into the Wake Forest School of Medicine: Requirements and Strategies — Shemmassian Academic Consulting (2023)

Learn the Wake Forest Medical School ranking and acceptance rate, plus admissions strategies and Wake Forest secondary essay samples

Part 1: Introduction

If you’re looking for a well-established medical school with a strong reputation for patient care, community service, and clinical research, you might consider applying to the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina—a growing leader in the nanotech and biotech fields—Wake Forest Medical School offers students a chance to study medicine while surrounded by vibrant Southern culture.

The Wake Forest Medical School ranking—#47 in Research and #68 in Primary Care by U.S. News and World Report—places it among other renowned medical programs. It also lands in the top third of medical schools regarding its level of funding from the National Institute of Health.

The unique “Wake Ready” curriculum offered at the Wake Forest School of Medicine offers students a personalized approach to their medical training. Medical students begin their clinical rotations at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center after 18 months of foundational classroom training. After completing their core clerkships, students explore specialty areas during their final clinical rotations—including dermatology, infectious diseases, and neuroradiology, to name a few. This curriculum positions graduates to successfully match into competitive residency programs.

If you’re hoping to join a prestigious group of physicians and medical experts who are devoted to pushing the boundaries of medicine and healthcare, Wake Forest might be the place for you. Continue reading to explore the Wake Forest Medical School requirements, secondary essays, and interview format so you can increase your odds of getting in.

Part 2: Wake Forest School of Medicine MD programs

The Wake Forest School of Medicine offers several paths for students to earn an MD:

  • The four-year, traditional MD

  • The MD/PhD Program

  • The MD/MS in Translational and Health System Science

  • The MD/MA in Bioethics

Wake Forest Medical School also offers an Early Assurance Program specifically for Wake Forest University undergraduates. Students can apply as sophomores if they meet minimum GPA of 3.5. If accepted, they must still take the MCAT and earn a score of 509 or above to matriculate into the Wake Forest School of Medicine immediately after completion of their senior year.

Wake Forest School of Medicine scholarships and tuition

The 2024–2025 base tuition at the Wake Forest School of Medicine is $63,674. The total cost of attendance, including room, board, supplies, transportation, and other indirect expenses, comes to $101,832.

(Video) How to Get into Medical School as an International Student

While this cost is high, Wake Forest Medical School offers approximately 250 institutional scholarships to its medical students each year, based on financial need and merit. About 79 percent of students receive either federal or institutional aid.

Part 3: How hard is it to get into the Wake Forest Medical School?

Wake Forest Medical School admissions statistics

The Wake Forest Medical School acceptance rate is just 2.4 percent. Let’s take a closer look at the admissions statistics for the class of 2027:

  • Applicants: 12,066

  • Interviews: 500

  • Acceptances: 262

  • Matriculants: 145 (38% in-state)

  • Average GPA: 3.8

  • Average MCAT score: 512

(Suggested reading: Average GPA and MCAT Score for Every Medical School)

Wake Forest Medical School admissions requirements

While Wake Forest doesn’t require specific coursework in order to be admitted to its medical school, they do strongly recommend that applicants complete the following courses:

  • Biology: Introductory biology, molecular/cell biology, genetics, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience

  • Chemistry: Biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry

  • Physics: Introductory physics

  • Mathematics: Algebra, Statistics

  • Psychology: Introductory psychology, behavioral psychology, abnormal psychology

  • Sociology: Introductory sociology, coursework with a special emphasis on health disparities

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  • Humanities: Foreign language (especially Spanish), philosophy (especially medical ethics), literature

Wake Forest Medical School sets minimum requirements in order for applications to be reviewed. Students must have a minimum 3.2 science GPA and a minimum 502 MCAT score to reach the admissions committee. The MCAT must have been taken within three years of application. If you are applying for Fall 2024 entrance (during the 2023-2024 application cycle), this means no earlier than January 2020.

In addition, all applicants are required to take the online Casper test, as well as the accompanying Duet assessment, and submit their scores to Wake Forest Medical School.

Wake Forest does not accept applications from international students. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply.

(Suggested reading: Medical School Requirements: The Definitive Guide)

Wake Forest Medical School application timeline

AMCAS applications must be submitted according to the following dates and deadlines:

  • May 2, 2023: AMCAS application opens

  • May 30, 2023: AMCAS application can be submitted

  • June 30, 2023: AMCAS applications transmitted to Wake Forest

  • Mid-July 2022: Wake Forest secondary application opens

  • August 1, 2023: Application deadline for Early Decision

  • August 2023–February 2024: Interviews conducted

  • October 1, 2023: Early Decision applicants notified

  • October 15, 2023: AMCAS application deadline

  • October 16, 2023–March 15, 2024: Regular Decision applicants notified

  • November 30, 2023: Wake Forest secondary application deadline

While you can apply to Wake Forest into October, submitting the AMCAS application and the supplemental materials as early as possible will improve your chances of getting accepted under rolling admissions. For the best possible odds, submit your AMCAS application in June and your secondary essays before the end of July. That way, you will be among the first round of applications reviewed by the admissions committee in August.

(Suggested reading: The Ideal Medical School Application Timeline)

Part 4: Wake Forest secondary application essays

While meeting the academic Wake Forest Medical School requirements will ensure your application is reviewed, having traits and experiences that match Wake Forest’s mission will set you apart as a candidate.

The Wake Forest School of Medicine prioritizes students who demonstrate compassion, service, integrity, diversity, collegiality, and innovation through their extracurricular activities and secondary essays. The admissions committee wants to see you possess the potential to become a physician who leads the way in socially responsible healthcare.

With over 10,000 students applying to the Wake Forest School of Medicine every year, demonstrating impressive academic ability and a commitment to medicine is a must in order to stand out as an applicant. Your GPA and MCAT score can prove you’re a competitive academic candidate. But the greatest way to show you possess a strong passion for patient care is to write compelling secondary essays representing your experiences and extracurricular activities.

Below you’ll find the current secondary essay prompts for the Wake Forest School of Medicine, as well as strategies to approach them and sample essays.

Question 1: We seek to train physicians who can connect with diverse patient populations with whom they may not share a similar background. Tell us one experience that enhanced your ability to understand those unlike yourself and what you learned from it. (200 words)

Note that the Wake Forest School of Medicine is looking for something different than a traditional diversity essay here. They’re not asking about your background, although you may want to briefly include it in your statement to offer context. Your answer should prove to Wake Forest Medical School that you’re capable of interacting positively with people who are different from you—an important quality for a physician to possess.

The danger some applicants might fall into with this essay is spending too much time describing the worldview that’s different from their own. This misses the purpose of the essay. You want to focus primarily on your thoughts, your actions, and how you’ve grown from this experience.

Don’t be afraid to share an experience where you initially responded poorly to the differences you found in someone else’s worldview. If you do, be sure to include how you realized it was a close-minded reaction and changed your perspective. For instance, you might have attended a religious service with a friend and found it stiff or oppressive at first. But after further conversation, you came to appreciate how many people can find that type of service beautiful and comforting. This approach will effectively demonstrate your growth and broadened worldview.

Here’s an example:

Spending three weeks of summer break attending conferences on public health was an amazing opportunity for pre-med freshmen. So I was shocked when my friend said she couldn’t go because her family needed her to help out with her siblings. “Can’t they find another option?” I said. “This will look great on your med school applications. Surely if you asked, someone else could help.” She refused to consider it, telling me this was her responsibility to her family. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t let it go. I kept arguing, convinced she was making the wrong decision. Eventually, we parted ways in frustration. As I reflected on the conversation later, I thought about the differences in our cultures—mine based on individualism and hers on collectivism. I prioritized what was best for my future. She balanced the priorities of pursuing her dreams and supporting her family’s well-being. I realized my way wasn’t “right,” and hers wasn’t “wrong.” They were different but equally worthy of respect. I immediately went to apologize for dismissing her worldview. Since then, our different perspectives have frequently led us to make opposite choices, but I highly respect the way she follows her personal and cultural values.

What’s successful about this essay?

  • It brings the reader into the internal conflict of the applicant.

  • It also demonstrates the applicant’s willingness to own up to and learn from their mistakes—a quality the Wake Forest School of Medicine values in its students.

Question 2: Describe a non-academic challenge you have faced and explain how you overcame it. (200 words)

Question 3: From your list of “most meaningful experiences” on the AMCAS application, choose one that has been the most formative in terms of your desire for a career in medicine. Why did that experience have such meaning for you in your decision-making process? (200 words)

Question 4: Please share an experience that demonstrates how you have collaborated with others. (200 words or less)

Question 5: Describe your future goal(s). Reflect on your past experiences and describe how these experiences will shape your goal(s). (200 words or less)

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Question 6: Tell us about any specific reason(s) (personal, educational, etc.) why you see yourself here at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. (150 words or less)

Question 7: Please tell us an interesting fact about yourself that a casual acquaintance may find surprising or interesting. (50 words or less)

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Part 5: Wake Forest School of Medicine interview

If you impress the Wake Forest School of Medicine with your academic stats, extracurriculars, and impressive secondary essays, you have a chance to be among the 4 percent of applicants who receive an interview invitation. Interviews are conducted between September and March.

In the 2023–2024 application cycle, all interviews will be held virtually. Wake Forest employs a multiple mini interview (MMI) format in which you’ll visit 6-10 stations where you’ll be tasked with responding how you would handle various situations. These situations will cover topics such as teamwork, ethics, critical thinking, empathy, and others.

The purpose of the MMI is to assess the way in which you think and approach issues rather than testing your content knowledge. You’ll have two minutes to consider your response to a question and about eight minutes to discuss your answer with the interviewer. Preparing for the MMI is a little bit different than a traditional interview, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t try to memorize your answers as you don’t want to risk them coming off as rehearsed. However, it is a great idea to practice answering sample questions with a friend or family member.

Furthermore, you should always be ready to discuss anything included in your application, whether it be an extracurricular activity or a personal story you used in your essays. Show the same level of enthusiasm for patient care and research that you weaved throughout your application.

In addition to the virtual interview, all invited applicants will also participate in a virtual session where they will have the chance to speak with faculty, students, and staff and ask questions about the program.

Remember, a little less than half of the students who interview won’t be accepted to the Wake Forest School of Medicine. But if you demonstrate your integrity, compassion, and commitment to medicine throughout the interview process, you’ll have a strong chance of impressing the admissions committee and earning an offer of acceptance.

Final thoughts

The Wake Forest School of Medicine attracts thousands of competitive, driven applicants every year. The most promising applicants show an impressive history of community service and commitment to patient care, as well as the capacity to succeed in an academically rigorous environment. By demonstrating how your qualities and experiences match the values of Wake Forest throughout your application—and particularly in your secondary essays—you can stand out as the ideal candidate who deserves a seat in Wake Forest Medical School’s next incoming class.



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