Early Assurance 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 Early Assurance Programs, which include FlexMed and our U.S. Military Institutional Partnership.

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. Through the U.S. Military Institutional Partnership, we are able to offer an alternative pathway to medical school.

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

COVID-19 Application Update

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai understands that the COVID-19 public health crisis may have affected various parts of each applicant's portfolio. The Admissions Committee considers the entire academic portfolio, including course rigor and nature, trajectory, and any other aspects of the personal narrative that may have impacted academic/professional performance. The Admissions Committee evaluates each application holistically and will continue to maintain rigorous holistic review. If your application is impacted by the pandemic, consider writing a short explanation in your Early Assurance application. 

Pass/Fail Coursework - All Spring and Summer 2020 courses that were required to be taken as P/F will be evaluated in the context of the entire educational portfolio. However, FlexMed and U.S. Military Institutional Partnership applicants cannot use a full year of pass/fail grades in Biology/Chemistry/Physics to meet the eligibility criteria to apply.

SAT/ACT Component - The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will continue to use standardized testing (SAT/ACT) as an element in the holistic review of each application for the Early Assurance Programs (i.e. FlexMed and the Institutional Partnership). If you did not take standardized testing you may still apply to our early assurance programs understanding that all applications will continue to receive a thorough, holistic evaluation with the information provided. If you did take standardized testing, please submit your scores as part of your application.

FlexMed Application Timeline

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

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

U.S. Military Institutional Partnership Admissions Cycle

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

Month U.S. Military Institutional Partnership Admissions Cycle   
Late August Applications are open
November 15 Applications are due
November through February  Applications are reviewed
February through March Invitations to interview are sent (rolling basis)
February through March Interviews are scheduled
March Notifications are sent
April Acceptance confirmations due

FlexMed

To qualify, you will need the following:

  • Students entering the second year of college as full-time students who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree at an accredited 4- year college/university in the United States or Canada.
  • 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 of January 15.
  • The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will continue to use standardized testing (SAT/ACT) as an element in the holistic review of each application for the Early Assurance Programs (i.e. FlexMed and the U.S. Military Institutional Partnership). If you did not take standardized testing you may still apply to our early assurance programs understanding that all applications will continue to receive a thorough, holistic evaluation with the information provided. If you did take standardized testing, please submit your scores below.

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

A completed FlexMed application consists of:

  • FlexMed Application 
  • SAT and/or ACT exam reports (see note above)
  • 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 should provide the Admissions Committee with insight into the applicant’s motivation for a career in medicine.
  • Personal statement (3 short essays)
  • $110 Application fee

The U.S. Military Institutional Partnership

To qualify, you will need the following:

  • Full-time, active duty status from any branch of service
  • Complete 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 November 15.
    • Have previously taken the SAT or ACT exam (see note above) 

The U.S. Military Institutional Partnership application opens late August and the deadline to submit an application is November 15.

A completed U.S. Military Institutional Partnership application consists of:

  • Institutional Partnership Program Application 
  • SAT and/or ACT exam reports (see note above)
  • College transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation: letters should provide the Admissions Committee with insight into the applicant’s motivation for a career in medicine.
  • A letter from a superior is required and someone you have worked with in a medical capacity during your service who can comment on your passions and skills and interest in pursuing a career in medicine (suggested). Examples of sources includes a Commanding Officer, Battalion Surgeon, Brigade Surgeon, and/or Physician Assistant or equivalent
  • Personal statement (3 short essays)
  • $110 Application fee

Please note that students may only apply via the U.S. Military Institutional Partnership a maximum of two times. A reapplication should demonstrate self-reflection, growth and added accomplishments in the form of premedical coursework, clinical experience, advocacy and scholarly endeavors. 

Applicants are not permitted to have taken the MCAT or to take the MCAT during the application process. 

Admitted students will be required to achieve a 'B' in all required courses, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and are not permitted to take the MCAT. 

The Office of Admissions interviews approximately 140 to 160 students each year from a pool of nearly 800 applicants for the FlexMed program. The Institutional Partnership program is a small niche program that matriculates about one to five students per year.

Complete applications undergo holistic screening by MD Admissions Committee members. The screeners assess the following core areas: academics, clinical exposure, community service, research and other extracurricular activities. In addition, the screeners evaluate applicant attributes that align with the School’s mission. The application and letters of recommendation are evaluated fully. The above core areas and applicant attributes are modeled on the 15 Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students endorsed by the AAMC Group on Student Affairs.

Each applicant who is invited for an interview is randomly assigned to have two 30-minute interviews with members of the MD Admissions Committee. The interviews are semi-structured traditional interviews. During each interview the MD Admissions Committee member conducts a holistic assessment of the candidate. The interviewers assess the following core areas: academics, clinical exposure, community service, research and other extracurricular activities. In addition, the interviewers evaluate applicant attributes that align with the School’s mission and assess communication skills. The application and letters of recommendation are evaluated fully by both interviewers. The above core areas, applicant attributes and communication assessment are modeled on the 15 Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students endorsed by the AAMC Group on Student Affairs.

Applicants who are offered an interview will spend a virtual day at the School meeting students and faculty. We send interview invitations on a rolling basis from mid to late March and conduct interviews throughout the month of April.

Admissions Committee Procedures

At the weekly MD Admissions Committee meetings, each interviewed candidate is presented to the committee by the two interviewers. The Selection Subcommittee meets at the end of the admissions cycle to review the findings of the MD Admissions Committee meetings. In June, the Selection Subcommittee meets to review the number of acceptance offers. Final acceptance offers are sent out around July 1.

After Acceptance Procedures

You are not permitted to take the MCAT if accepted to an Early Assurance Program at ISMMS. 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 Early Assurance program. You can reapply to the Icahn School of Medicine through the traditional admissions pathway.

Students are encouraged to complete coursework (for example sociology, public health, political science, global health, bioethics, urban studies, history, economics) or experiences that provide exposure to content about social determinants of health and disparities in healthcare outcomes.

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

FlexMed

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.

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 and complete the following courses:

  • One academic year of Biology (not AP or IB, but college course work). Molecular content is required.
    • It is recommended that students take some Biology coursework within 5 years of application  
  • One academic year of General Chemistry (not AP or IB, but college course work)
  • One semester of Organic Chemistry (not AP or IB, but college course work)
  • One semester of Biochemistry (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 5 to meet this requirement)
  • One academic year of lab work in biology and/or chemistry
  • One semester of Statistics (biostatistics is the preferred content)
  • Students are encouraged to complete coursework (for example sociology, public health, political science, global health, bioethics, urban studies, history, economics) or experiences that provide exposure to content about social determinants of health and disparities in healthcare outcomes
  • 100 hours of clinical experience providing exposure to human illness and healthcare delivery occurring after acceptance to the FlexMed Program
  • Students are encouraged to complete a Senior Thesis or equivalent in an area of academic concentration.

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.

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 healthcare consulting, biotech startup companies, and nonprofit organizations.

The U.S. Military Institutional Partnership 

Once accepted into the program, we expect that you will complete the following:

  • Honorable Discharge from military service
  • Successful completion of the following courses with a grade of B or better:
    • This requirement must be met with a full year of undergraduate coursework in general or human biology. Molecular content is required. Examples of other appropriate courses include cell biology, genetics/genomics, physiology, anatomy, etc. 
    • It is recommended that students take some Biology coursework within 5 years of application
    • One year of Biology (two semesters or three quarters; not AP or IB, but college course work)
    • One year of General Chemistry (not AP or IB, but college course work)
    • One semester of Organic Chemistry (not AP or IB, but college course work)
    • One semester of Biochemistry (not AP or IB, but college course work)
    • One semester of Physics
    • One semester of Statistics (Biostatistics is the appropriate coursework)
    • One year of Laboratory Science in Biology and/or Chemistry
    • It is suggested for accepted students to complete coursework (for example sociology, public health, political science, global health, bioethics, urban studies, history, economics) or experiences that provide exposure to content about social determinants of health and disparities in healthcare outcomes prior to my matriculation
  • 100 hours of clinical experience providing exposure to human illness and healthcare delivery occurring after acceptance to the Program
  • Transparent communication with the Admissions team about matriculation timeline

*No online courses can be used to fulfill the pre-matriculation requirements

** Exclusion to matriculate: dishonorable discharge

Applicants are not permitted to have taken the MCAT or to take the MCAT during the application process. 

Admitted students will be required to achieve a 'B' in all required courses, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and are not permitted to take the MCAT. 

For additional information on the ISMMS/Military Institutional Partnership, contact the Office of Admissions.

Please note that Pass/Fail coursework, distance learning or on-line courses, or community college courses may not be counted towards the program’s matriculation requirements for any of the ISMMS Early Assurance Pathways.

Attributes and Criteria of the Successful Candidate

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is 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 are leaders in holistic review, committed to diversity in all realms as the driver for excellence in medicine and research. We are looking for 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 Tolerant
  Motivated Resourceful Leadership Empathetic
  Passionate Mindful    
    Resilient    

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Admissions Statement related to COVID19 and FlexMed Applicants: 

We cannot address each prospective applicant’s specific situation. However the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai understands that the COVID19 public health crisis has impacted different facets of each applicant's portfolio. The Admissions Committee will be flexible in evaluating the SAT/ACT component, the number of P/F grades in Spring 2020, the abrupt discontinuation of some activities in Spring 2020 and other elements impacted by the current pandemic. The Admissions Committee evaluates each application holistically and will continue to maintain rigorous holistic review. If your application is impacted by the current crisis, consider writing a short explanation in your application.

In accordance with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the U.S. accrediting agency for medical schools, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has the following MD Admissions Committee Policies

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.