FlexMed Admissions Process

At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), we want to provide bright, creative students with varied backgrounds and well-rounded educations the opportunity to consider the medical profession. As a result, we created the FlexMed program. We are the first medical school in the country to offer a progressive, yet rigorous, admissions path to medical school for undergraduate college sophomores. The Donald and Vera Blinken FlexMed Program at ISMMS, offers early assurance to college sophomores from any academic area of study including biomedical sciences, the humanities and social sciences, and computational sciences and engineering.

If eligible, you apply in the winter of your sophomore year of undergraduate school, you will learn of your admissions decision by the summer. This program does not accelerate the timeline to medical school.  Our program allows you students to ‘flex’ your intellectual, creative, humanistic, and science muscles during college. It also exempts you from some of the traditional pre-med requirements and from taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

FlexMed Application Timeline

The following are key dates and deadlines that will be helpful to reference as you prepare your application:

Month FlexMed Admissions Cycle  
August FlexMed application opens
January 15 FlexMed application is due
January through April FlexMed application screening period
March and April Invitations to interview are sent
March through May FlexMed interview period
July FlexMed decisions released
August Acceptance confirmations due

Application Process

We have designed FlexMed specifically for students entering the second year of college as full-time students who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree at an accredited college/university in the United States or Canada.

To qualify, you will need to complete the following courses:

  • One academic year of college biology, OR one academic year of college chemistry, OR one academic year of college physics.
    • The year of biology coursework can cover any discipline of biology including human biology, genetics, molecular biology, pharmacology, cell biology, physiology, microbiology, immunobiology, etc.
    • The year of chemistry coursework can cover any discipline of chemistry including general chemistry, organic chemistry, or biochemistry.
    • You cannot use AP or IB credit to fulfill this requirement.  You must take higher level science courses to meet this requirement if you have received college credit from AP or IB coursework.
    • You must complete this coursework by the application deadline on January 15.
  • SAT or ACT exam

Applying to FlexMed

The FlexMed application opens mid-to-late August and the deadline to submit an application is January 15.

A completed FlexMed application consists of:

  • FlexMed Application (the application is available from mid-to-late August through January 15)
  • SAT and/or ACT exam reports
  • High School transcript
  • College transcript (which includes your Fall Sophomore year final grades)
  • Three letters of recommendation: You are encouraged to provide one letter from a high school teacher/guidance counselor or college professor/faculty advisor, one from professors in the sciences, and the third from other academic and/or professional references such as research mentors/supervisors
    • Recommendation letters provide the Admissions Committee with insight into the applicant’s motivation for a career in medicine.
  • Personal statement (3 short essays)
  • $110 Application fee

Application Review—Policies and Procedures

The Office of Admissions interviews approximately 150 to 175 students each year from a pool of nearly 800 applicants for the FlexMed program. The Medical School Admissions Committee, a team of ISMMS faculty and senior medical students, evaluates each application holistically and thoroughly. We select applicants for interview by evaluating your undergraduate accomplishments, engagement in scholarly endeavors, a commitment to medicine, and dedication to advocacy.

We also consider factors such as undergraduate performance and activities, work experience, standardized testing scores, and letters of recommendation. We release admission offers and waitlist decisions in early July.

Interviews—Policies and Procedures

We require an in-person admissions interview as part of the FlexMed application process. If we invite you for an interview, you will spend a day at the School meeting students and faculty. You will have two 30-minute one-on-one interviews with members of the Medical School Admissions Committee—either two faculty members or a faculty member and a senior medical student. You will be able to tour the campus and meet with current students and ISMMS administrators. We send interview invitations on a rolling basis from March to April and conduct interviews from March to May.

If you are participating in a study abroad program, we expect you to make travel arrangements to participate in a scheduled in-person interview day. If you are unable to make travel accommodations during the offered interview dates, you must notify the Admissions Office. We do not provide travel reimbursement for your interview day.

After Acceptance—Policies and Procedures

Once accepted into the program, we expect that you will complete your undergraduate education at your college institution and then will be eligible to matriculate into the medical school. We also anticipate that you will adhere to all of our program requirements prior to entry.

We encourage our FlexMed students to take time off between graduation and matriculation at the Icahn School of Medicine to further explore your academic and professional interests.  You may defer your time of matriculation for up to two years, given approval from FlexMed leadership. During this gap year, students have previously pursued advanced degrees including Master’s and PhD programs; prestigious fellowships such as Fulbright, Gates-Cambridge, and Schwarzman scholarships; and employment within various industries including health care consulting, biotech startup companies, and nonprofit organizations.

After acceptance, students will work closely with the FlexMed team to identify options for successful completion of program’s requirements. We expect you to follow the policies outlined in the FlexMed agreement. That includes completing the following courses:

  • One academic year of biology (not AP or IB but college course work). Molecular content is required.
  • One academic year of chemistry (not AP or IB but college course work)
  • One academic year of English writing intensive coursework (not AP or IB but college course work)
  • One semester of physics (you can apply AP or IB physics in high school with a score of 4 or higher to meet this requirement)
  • One academic year of lab work in biology and/or chemistry
  • One semester of health policy, public health, or global health studies
  • One semester of ethics
  • One semester of statistics (biostatistics is the preferred content)
  • A senior thesis or its equivalent in an area of academic concentration
  • An in-depth experience providing exposure to human illness and healthcare delivery

Once we have admitted you to the FlexMed program, we expect you to complete your remaining two years of college, achieve at least a "B" in all required courses, and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5.

You do not need to take the MCAT. If you wish to apply to other medical schools through the traditional AMCAS admissions process, you must withdraw your guaranteed acceptance to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai through the FlexMed program. You can re-apply to Icahn School of Medicine through the traditional admissions pathway.

We encourage FlexMed students to develop skills and, if possible, proficiency in a second language other than English. This will help you better serve the Mount Sinai Health System patient population.

In the five weeks prior to matriculation, FlexMed students who have not had advanced science courses (specifically organic chemistry and biochemistry) will be required to participate in our Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) that will provide them with basic competency in Cell and Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Organic Chemistry.

At the end of each semester/quarter/trimester, or as necessary, the FlexMed team will review students’ progress with the Medical Education Leadership Team. Failure to meet the program requirements will result in appropriate action by the FlexMed committee, including remedial coursework or possible dismissal from the program.

Attributes and Criteria of the Successful Candidate

The Icahn School of Medicine is looking for applicants who are poised to be the next generation of expert clinicians, physician advocates, physician-scientists, and medical educators.

When we evaluate FlexMed applicants, we are looking specifically for applicants who have a thoughtful and mature educational plan that intersects with medicine and will benefit from the flexibility afforded by the program.

We are looking for medical school applicants who have excelled academically, are collaborative leaders on their undergraduate campuses, and are passionate about medicine, science, and health care. We seek applicants who are:

Team Player Life Long Learner Self-Improving and Well Change Agent / Change Leader Advocate
Collaborative Disciplined Adaptive Innovative Socially Conscious
  Committed Self-aware Curious Tolderant
  Motivated Resourceful Leadership Empathetic
  Passionate Mindful    

Academic and Evaluation Standards

The Admissions Committee assesses applicants’ course work, major, standardized testing, scholarly pursuits, and letters of recommendation.

We holistically evaluate each applicant during the process of screening, interviewing and ranking, looking for applicants who have demonstrated commitment to the following:

  1. Cultural competence and tolerance
  2. Teamwork and collaboration
  3. Ethical responsibility to self and others
  4. Resilience and adaptability and resourcefulness
  5. Capacity for improvement and humility
  6. Leadership
  7. Decision-making
  8. Asking for help 

Technical Standards

The Icahn School of Medicine’s MD Program prepares students to be skilled physicians, in accordance with the Technical Standards as outlined by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the U.S. accrediting agency for medical schools.