Requirements and FAQs — Donald and Vera Blinken FlexMed Program

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

Prior to January 15:

Students will have to complete two semesters (one year) of either college-level Biology, Chemistry, or  Physics.

  • The two semester requirement can cover any discipline of Biology, Chemistry, or Physics including Biochemistry, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, Cell Biology, Physiology, Microbiology, Immunobiology, etc.
  • AP or IB credit cannot substitute this requirement.  If you have received college credit from AP or IB coursework, higher level science courses must be taken to fulfill this requirement.
  • Coursework must be completed by the application deadline on January 15.

Prior to Matriculation:

Prior to matriculation, students will be required to complete the following courses:

  • Two semesters of Biology (not AP or IB but college course work)
  • Two semesters of Chemistry (not AP or IB but college course work)
  • Two semesters of English
  • One semester of Physics (AP or IB Physics in HS with a score of 4 or higher)
  • Two semesters of lab in any science
  • One semester of Health Policy, Public Health, or Global Health
  • One semester of Ethics
  • One semester of Statistics
  • A Senior Thesis or its equivalent in an area of academic concentration
  • An in-depth experience in which the student gains exposure to human illness

Students will be strongly encouraged to gain proficiency in either Spanish or Mandarin.

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.

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

FAQs for the FlexMed Program

A: Yes. The Donald and Vera Blinken FlexMed Program allows college sophomores in any major to apply for early assurance of acceptance to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Please refer to program requirements for mandatory courses.

A: No. This program is specifically designed for students entering their second year of college as a full-time student, working toward their first bachelor's degree. If you are in a five-year undergraduate program, you can apply either in your second or third year of college. You are not eligible to apply if you already hold a bachelor's degree.

A: Yes. We expect students to apply during the fall semester of the second year of full-time study at their college or university, irrespective of how many college-level credits they received in high school.

A: Yes. You do not need to repeat introductory biology, but you must take a year of college Biology. Choose courses which will best prepare you for medical school—for example, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Physiology, Immunology, etc.

A: Prior to matriculation, you are required to take two semesters of lab in any science. This flexibility allows you to pursue a lab experience that most interests you.

A: We do not require that you complete the college Biology or Chemistry courses at your undergraduate institution. However, you should take these courses at an institution that is an accredited four-year college of similar quality to your undergraduate institution. If you plan to take required course work at another institution, you must receive approval from the Donlad and Vera Blinken FlexMed Program. Furthermore, it is important that you consider courses that will provide you with the requisite background for medical school courses such as Biochemistry, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, Cell Biology, Physiology, Microbiology, Immunobiology, etc.

A: You do not need to complete all the required courses before applying to the Donald and Vera Blinken FlexMed Program. You need to have completed two semesters of college Biology, Chemistry, or Physics by January 15 of the academic year you apply. If accepted into the Program, you must complete the remaining courses before you graduate from your undergraduate institution.

A: Although most accepted applicants have a combined SAT score above 1350, we consider your entire application during the review process.

A: We require three letters of recommendation. Typically students get them from:

  • High school teacher/guidance counselor
  • College professor/faculty advisor
  • Other person who knows you well academically or professionally. This person could be another teacher/professor, employer, etc.

A: No. Only selected applicants will be invited for interviews at the Icahn School of Medicine. These interviews will be scheduled from March until May. A tour of the medical center will also be scheduled at that time for you, if you have been invited.

A: Letters of acceptance/rejection will be sent out by July 1 of the academic year that you apply.

A: Once you accept our offer of admission to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), you are required to sign a formal written agreement demonstrating your commitment to making ISMMS your future home for medical education. Should you eventually choose not to attend, you may do so without any penalty. If you choose to apply to another medical school and/or take the MCAT, your acceptance into the Donald and Vera Blinken FlexMed Program will be revoked.

A: Once you are accepted into FlexMed, you are accepted into medical school but there are no tuition fees until you matriculate. Tuition is based on the individual years in which you enroll, and may differ from year to year. You may view current tuition rates in our Tuition and Financial Aid section.

A: The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) awards financial aid to both FlexMed and traditional track MD accepted students who demonstrate financial need. For both cohorts of students (FlexMed and traditional MD students), financial need is the difference between your calculated available resources and total anticipated school-related and basic living expenses for a given academic year. Financial need is determined by our institutional need analysis formula. There is no difference in the formula used to determine need for FlexMed students and traditional MD students.  

Students applying for federal student loans, ISMMS need-based loans and scholarships must complete the FAFSA application, CSS profile, and ISMMS financial aid application. In addition, applicants must provide year appropriate financial documentation to determine eligibility for financial assistance. To complete these forms, students should follow the instructions found on our Financial Aid website here:

The Icahn School of Medicine also offers merit scholarships to a select few outstanding students. FlexMed students are considered for merit at the time all other MD students entering that fall are reviewed, during the spring semester prior to matriculation.

If it is imperative that you compare financial aid packages from different schools, it may be in your best interest to apply through the traditional AMCAS application process.

A: You are encouraged to defer matriculation to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for one or two years. The permission to defer will be granted upon request to the program director and requires you to articulate a strong, well thought out educational plan for the deferred time period.

A: Your application to the Donald and Vera Blinken FlexMed Program does not require an AMCAS application; however, matriculation toour institution does. If you are accepted into the FlexMed Program, you will be asked to fill out an AMCAS application during the year preceding your matriculation. At that time, you will also be required to complete our supplemental application, with the exception of the essay questions. You will not be required to pay the supplemental application fee. Completing these applications is a clerical necessity and does not imply that you are reapplying to medical school. Once you are accepted into FlexMed, you are accepted into medical school.

A: Yes, provided that:

  • You maintain the high standards of your present credentials, including a cumulative grade point average of 3.5, and receive your bachelor's degree
  • You are not disciplined for any unprofessional/unethical behavior
  • You promptly respond to all deadlines from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • You are physically and emotionally capable of meeting the rigorous demands of medical school

A: At the time of application, you are only considered for admission into the MD program. However, once you have been accepted you may apply to the MD/PhD program in the fall immediately prior to matriculation. The deadline is November 1. If you are interested in pursuing this route, discuss it with the director of the MD/PhD program prior to completing your application.

A: Yes, international students may apply to FlexMed if they are a sophomore enrolled at an accredited US/Canadian college/university. Applicants must complete a year of college level biology, chemistry, or physics prior to the application deadline and must have taken either the SAT or ACT.