Pre-Med 101: What is the MSAR?

The MSAR is pure pre-med gold, not to be confused with MRSA, which is bad. MSAR is an acronym for Medical School Admissions Requirements. It is published by the AAMC and updated each year. There is a fee to access the online resource. One of the benefits of the AAMC Fee Assistance Program is a complimentary two-year subscription.

Is the MSAR worth it? Here are five highlights of the MSAR that our applicants have found useful:

There is a filter to easily identify medical schools that accept applications from international and Canadian applicants. Thank goodness!

In addition to reporting up-to-date median GPAs and MCAT scores for each school, the MSAR shows the 10th to 90th percentiles (outer band) and the 25th to 50th percentiles (inner band). So helpful! Even better, you can filter this data for in- and out-of-state accepted applicants and all matriculants. Oooh.

Speaking of in- and out-of-state applicants…for each school you can see how many in- and out-of-state applicants and international applicants there were and how many within each group were interviewed. Pure gold.

Medical schools seek students that are a good “mission fit” for their class. The MSAR shares the mission statement of each school. One school may seek to “transform” medicine while another seeks to “enhance delivery;” one might talk a great deal about “worldwide” health while another talks more about “community-based” care. So easy to locate these and compare.

“Average graduate indebtedness.” Knowing the average graduate indebtedness at a school doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about financial aid at a school or what your financial obligation might be, but…it’s interesting and good to know what these numbers look like. The “Tuition, Aid & Debt” section is a terrific place to start thinking about financial considerations and how financial aid might differ from your undergraduate experience (along with the AAMC Paying for Med School resource).

By Carol Hagan
Carol Hagan Senior Associate Director, Graduate School Advising