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University of South Carolina    
2017-2018 School of Medicine Bulletin (Archived) 
  Jun 24, 2018
2017-2018 School of Medicine Bulletin (Archived) [Archived Catalog]


Applicants admitted to USCSOM‐Greenville are selected by an admissions committee composed of members of the basic science and clinical science faculties of the School of Medicine. In making selections from each year’s group of applicants, members of the Admissions Committee recognize that they are selecting future physicians. The admissions procedure is therefore an effort to select applicants who possess the individual characteristics required for both the study and practice of medicine.

The Admissions Committee considers all aspects of an applicant’s application in the decision‐making process. Admission criteria will consider the applicant’s credentials from the perspective of the School of Medicine’s Guiding Principles. The School strives for a medical student class that exhibits diversity commensurate with the population it serves. It will seek out and enroll students with diverse backgrounds who have achieved academic excellence and who exhibit exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, integrity, honesty, empathy, a propensity for team work, maturity, emotional stability, leadership, a strong work ethic, self direction, and passion for becoming a doctor. The Admissions Committee will consider previous academic performance to include undergraduate GPA, MCAT scores, previous volunteer and work experience with emphasis on exposure to health care, extracurricular activities, state residency status, leadership roles, unique accomplishments, long‐term goals, and the ability to overcome adversity.

Technical Standards

The School of Medicine has adopted the following technical standards for admission, retention, and graduation:

The curriculum of USCSOM‐Greenville has been designed to provide a general professional education leading to the medical doctor (M.D.) degree and to prepare undifferentiated students to enter graduate medical training in a wide variety of medical specialties and subspecialties. All candidates for admission to, and all current students at the School of Medicine - herein after designated as candidates for the M.D. degree ‐ should possess sufficient intellectual capacity, physical ability, emotional and psychological stability, interpersonal sensitivity, and communication skills to acquire the scientific knowledge, interpersonal and technical competencies, professional attitudes, and clinical abilities required to pursue any pathway of graduate medical education and to enter the independent practice of medicine. All candidates should be aware that the academic and clinical responsibilities of medicalstudents may, at times, require their presence during day, evening and nighttime hours, seven days per week. Candidates should be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress.

While the School of Medicine fully endorses the spirit and intent of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992, it also acknowledges that certain minimum technical standards must be present in candidates for admission, retention and graduation. Those individuals who would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of themselves, patients, or others are not considered suitable candidates for admission or retention in medical school. Therefore, the School of Medicine has established the following technical standards for admission to, retention in, and graduation from, the M.D. program:

  1. All candidates for admission must fulfill the minimum requirements for admission and all candidates for the M.D. degree must complete all required modules and clerkships.
  2. All candidates for admission and all candidates for the M.D. degree should possess sufficient physical, intellectual, interpersonal, social, emotional, psychological, and communication abilities to:
    1. Establish appropriate relationships with a wide range of faculty members, professional colleagues, and patients. Candidates should possess the personal qualities of integrity, empathy, concern for the welfare of others, interest, and motivation. They should possess the emotional and psychological health required for the full use of their intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities associated with the diagnosis and care of patients; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, patients’ families, and professional colleagues. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to be flexible, and to function in the face of ambiguities inherent in the clinical situation. Candidates should be able to speak, to hear, to read, to write, and to observe patients in order to elicit information, to describe changes in mood, activity, posture, and behavior, and to perceive nonverbal communications. Candidates should be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in the English language in oral and written form with patients and all members of the health care team. Candidates must be mobile and able to function independently within the clinical environment.
    2. Obtain a medical history and perform physical and mental status examinations with a wide variety of patients. Candidates must be able to observe patients accurately both close at hand and at a distance. Observation requires the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities and is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell. Candidates should have sufficient exteroceptive sense (touch, pain, and temperature), proprioceptive sense (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, and vibratory), and motor function to carry out the requirements of the physical examination. Candidates should have sufficient motor and auditory functions to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic operations. They should be able to use effectively and in a coordinated manner those standard instruments necessary for a physical examination (e.g., stethoscope, otoscope, sphygmomanometer, ophthalmoscope, and reflex hammer). Candidates should be able to execute motor movements required to provide general and emergency treatment to patients, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, establishment of an airway, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the suturing of simple wounds, to assist in surgical procedures and in the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers; such actions require coordination of both fine and gross muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
    3. Conduct tests and perform laboratory work. Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations, collect data, and participate in experiments and dissections in the basic sciences, including, but not limited to, cadaver dissection, demonstrations in animals, microbiologic cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms and issues in normal and pathologic states. They should be able to understand basic laboratory studies and interpret their results, draw arterial and venous blood, and carry out diagnostic procedures (e.g., intubation and paracentesis).
    4. Ultimately make logical diagnostic and therapeutic judgments. Candidates should be able to make measurements, calculate, and to reason; to analyze, integrate, and synthesize data; and to problem‐solve. Candidates should be able to comprehend threedimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. Candidates should be able to integrate rapidly, consistently, and accurately all data received by whatever sense(s) employed.

In evaluating candidates for admission and candidates for the M.D. degree, it is essential that the integrity of the curriculum be maintained, that those elements deemed necessary for the education of a physician be preserved, and that the health and safety of patients be maintained. While compensation, modification, and accommodation can be made for some disabilities on the part of candidates, candidates must be able to perform the duties of a student and of a physician in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary would result in mediation of a candidate’s judgment by another person’s powers of selection and observation. Therefore, the use of trained intermediaries to assist students in meeting the technical standards for admission, retention, or graduation is not permitted.

The School of Medicine will consider for admission any candidate who has the ability to perform or to learn to perform the skills and abilities specified in these technical standards. Candidates for the M.D. degree will be assessed at regular intervals not only on the basis of their academic abilities, but also on the basis of their non‐academic (physical, interpersonal, communication, psychological, and emotional) abilities to meet the requirements of the curriculum and to graduate as skilled and effective medical practitioners.


The following minimum course requirements for admission have been adopted by the Admissions Committee. These requirements have been designed to provide flexibility for the Admissions Committee in evaluating the varied backgrounds of qualified applicants.

Recommended course work includes, but is not limited to two semesters of:

  • Biology, with laboratory
  • General inorganic chemistry, with laboratory
  • Organic chemistry, with laboratory
  • Physics, with laboratory
  • English composition and literature

Additional coursework in biochemistry,cell biology and conversational Spanish is recommended, but not required, for admission.

For most applicants, a strong preparation in the natural sciences is the best basis for the study and understanding of the medical sciences. For this reason, the Admissions Committee recommends that applicants complete more than the minimum requirements in the area of natural science. However, the Committee welcomes applicants with preparation in the humanities and liberal arts who have completed the minimum course requirements.

Successful candidates will typically be expected to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and MCAT score of 24, with an 8 on the Biological Sciences, OR a minimum GPA of 3.5 and MCAT scores of 22, with an 8 on the Biological Sciences. However, non‐traditional applicants with extraordinary undergraduate or postgraduate experience (especially in a scientific and/or clinical setting) and/or those otherwise deemed extraordinary (distance traveled, life‐experiences, ability to overcome adversity) are encouraged to apply and will be individually considered during review of the applicant pool.

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) 

All applicants to the School of Medicine are required to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The MCAT should be taken no more than five years prior to the time of application and no later than the fall by the end of September of the year of application. The MCAT is offered several times each year and is administered in colleges and universities throughout the country. Registration materials can be accessed at

Application Procedures

Inquiries concerning admission should be addressed to:

Office of Admissions
USC School of Medicine Greenville
Health Sciences Education Building
607 Grove Road
Greenville, SC 29605
or email

The School participates in the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). The review of completed AMCAS applications begins in July for the class entering the fall of the following year. The deadline for receipt of the AMCAS application is December 1st. Applicants are notified via email within two weeks of the School’s receipt of a verified application from AMCAS. At this time, they also receive instructions regarding how to complete and submit the School’s supplemental (also known as secondary) application.

Following an initial review of the AMCAS application, supplemental information (including the Supplementary Information Form and a $95.00 processing fee) is requested from applicants. Students granted an AMCAS fee waiver are granted a waiver for the $95.00 processing fee. At this point, the Office of Admissions notifies the applicant via email that a complete application was received, and begins to review the application materials. Each application is screened for attainment of minimum academic achievement requirements on a rolling basis by staff members in the Office of Admissions. Complete applications are forwarded to a subset of the Admissions Committee for selection of applicants to be interviewed. The School only interviews those applicants who are the best match for the program and exemplify the high standards of the School of Medicine. The Committee determines competitiveness for admission based on aptitude and suitability for a career in medicine.

The Office of Admissions invites selected applicants for an interview. Candidates are asked to respond within two weeks with their acceptance of a specific interview date. At that time, the candidate is sent the details of the interview day, along with information about travel and housing options. After the first class matriculates, housing with current students is available at the candidate’s request. Interviews are scheduled from mid‐September through spring.

Admission Procedures

Offers of admission are made on a rolling basis after October 15. An applicant who is offered a position in the next entering class is required to accept or decline the offer within a two‐week period. A $250 acceptance deposit, refundable until May 15, must accompany the acceptance of the position. This deposit is applied to the first tuition and fees payment when the applicant matriculates. If the accepted applicant decides to withdraw from the entering class, the deposit is refunded upon receipt of a written request from the applicant by May 15. On May 16, the acceptance deposit becomes nonrefundable.

An offer of admission is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of all requirements and conditions of admission.

Admitted applicants are required to submit official transcripts from every college and university attended to the School of Medicine Registrar prior to matriculation. These transcripts are included in their School of Medicine academic records.

Early Decision Plan

The School of Medicine offers an Early Decision Plan (EDP). This program permits an applicant to file a single application through AMCAS in early summer prior to August 1. The supplemental application must be submitted bu August 15. We will consider both in-state and out-of-state residents for the Early Decision Program. The Admissions Committee provides responses to EDP applicants by October 1. Successful EDP applicants are constrained from applying to any other medical school and have a place reserved for them in the entering class. EDP applicants not admitted under the Early Decision Plan are reconsidered as regular candidates and able to initiate applications at other medical schools.

Timetable for Admissionf

Admissions Task: Date Due:
Submission of AMCAS Earliest Date: June 10
Latest Date: December 1
Submission of supplementary materials Latest Date: January 15
Decision notice to applicants Earliest Date: October 15
Latest Date: Varies
Submission of EDP applications Earliest Date: June 10
Latest Date: August 1st
Decision notice to EDP applicants Latest Date: October 1st
Applicant’s response to acceptance offer Maximum time‐two weeks
Deposit to hold place in class $250 due with response (applied to tuition)
Deposit refundable prior to May 15th
Estimated number of new entrants 75 in 2014, 100 thereafter
Starting date End of July

Delayed Matriculation

Requests for delayed matriculation are considered on an individual basis.

Transfer and Advanced Standing

The School of Medicine does not accept transfer or advanced standing students at this time.

Residency in South Carolina

The School of Medicine has a primary responsibility to train future physicians for the state of South Carolina. Preference for admission to the School of Medicine is therefore given to state residents, however approximately 25% of admissions may be out of state. Determination of residency as defined by the University of South Carolina for the purpose of tuition and fees is the responsibility of the University Residency Office. For information concerning residency questions, contact the Legal Residency Office, 518 South Main St., University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, or call 803‐777‐4060.