What sets the College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) students apart?

Although P&S students demonstrate exceptional academic achievement upon entering medical school, what truly sets them apart is their commitment: to one another, to the life of their school, to the advancement of the field, and to the world beyond medical school—be it in the Washington Heights community or in an impoverished nation thousands of miles away.

I am interested in an elective rotation, where can I find more information?

All information regarding visiting students and electives at NYPH and affiliated hospitals/sites can be found on our Visiting Students page. Additional questions can be directed to pselectives@columbia.edu.

Does the P&S Admissions Office provide tours, pre-medical admissions advising or materials to visitors?

Our office does not provide tours or pre-medical admissions advising. All of our available information is located on our website, please look around!

Besides the MD, what other degree programs can applicants apply to during the admissions process?

In addition to the primary MD degree, the College of Physicians & Surgeons offers four dual degree programs and track options to which applicants can apply during the admissions process:

  • MD/PhD
  • Three year PhD/MD (for individuals who already have a recent PhD in one of the biological or related sciences from an accredited US or Canadian School)
  • Columbia-Bassett
  • MD/MPH Dual Degree Program (There are two opportunities to apply to this dual degree program: during application for entry to P&S, and as a student at P&S after completing one or two years at the medical school)

For more information on any of these programs, please visit degree programs.

Does the requirement for US citizenship or permanent resident status apply to the 4 year , standard MD program at the College of Physicians and Surgeons? Why does this additional requirement apply to the Three year PhD/MD program?

The requirement for US citizenship or permanent resident status does not apply to applicants to other programs at P&S. It is part of the requirement for the Three year PhD/MD program because New York Presbyterian Hospital, the teaching hospital at Columbia University Medical Center, does not support visas which would enable graduates of the Three year PhD/MD program to enter residency training here, and also because some research stipends are not available to non-US citizens.

If I am interested in applying to the Three year PhD/MD program, can my PhD degree come from another country?

No, your PhD degree must come from an accredited US or Canadian School.

What other degree programs are P&S students able to pursue and complete during their Medical Education?

Do you have an early decision program?

P&S does not have an early decision program.

What is the average GPA and MCAT scores?

P&S aims for excellence in its program, research, faculty, staff, and student body. As a result, the admissions process remains selective and competitive. Our averge MCAT score is 36 and GPA is 3.82.

Will P&S accept the old MCAT exam?

Yes, both the old and the new MCAT exam will be accepted.

What writing course can suffice the English requirement?

Courses designated 'writing-intensive' by the undergraduate institution will be accepted if they meet the following criteria:

1) at least 70% of the course grade is based on the student's essays (as opposed to exams or other forms of assessment)

2) students are required to hand in at least four essays as part of the course requirements

3) the course fulfills a writing requirement at the undergraduate institution

Do you accept online courses for the requirements?

No, we do not accept online courses for the requirements.

I am having technical difficulties with AMCAS and/or the P&S Supplemental Application, where can I get help?

If you are having difficulties with AMCAS application, please contact AMCAS. If you are having difficulties with the P&S Supplemental Application, please contact the Admissions Office at 212-305-3595 or psadmissions@cumc.columbia.edu.

I submitted my CV and now I would like to delete it but it is not allowing me. What can I do?

Please send the Admissions Office an email with a request to delete your CV. Please include your full name and your AMCAS ID number in the e-mail.

Is a CV the same as a resume?

Even though the format and function of a CV can defer from a resume, we accept both and have no preference on which type you submit, with exeception to the Three Year PhD to MD program that requires a CV.

My college offers a Committee Packet, but I have been out of school for some time. Is it mandatory that I have the Committee Packet sent?

No, it is not mandatory. You are still welome to submit your Committee Packet, but we would also welcome individual letters of recommendation from individuals with whom you have had significant work, volunteer, research, or mentor relationships in recent years.

Do you accept international students?

It is rare that we admit individuals from foreign universities because the Admissions Committee does not have satisfactory means of evaluating premedical education at universities outside of the United States and Canada. We therefore require at least one year of premedical training at an institution in the United States, in addition to the MCAT. Please note that non-residents of the United States are ineligible for federal financial aid programs.

What is the P&S Club?

Students at P&S are remarkably active, involved, socially committed, and diverse. The P&S Club, an umbrella organization, sponsors over 70 clubs, the most comprehensive of any student activities group in American medical education. For more information, please visit the P&S Club website.

How many students participate in international experiences?

Among the most recent graduating class, nearly 27 percent took a senior elective abroad, mostly to developing countries.

How many students take an extra year for research or a dual degree?

Approximately 29 percent of the most recent graduating class took extra time for research or a dual degree.

How many students match at Columbia for post-graduate training?

26.7 percent of our most recent graduate class matched at Columbia for part or all of their post-graduate training.

What service learning opportunities exist at P&S?

Washington Heights offers students the opportunity to work with underserved populations to help alleviate healthcare disparities afflicting minority, immigrant, and low-income populations. There are numerous opportunities to participate in community education and community building programs established by Washington Heights and Harlem community organizations as well as P&S. These programs include the Washington Heights Initiative, Columbia Student Medical Outreach (CoSMO), Columbia-Harlem Homeless Medical Partnership (CHHMP), Columbia University Harm Reducation Outreach Network (CUHRON), the Q Clinic: Columbia Medical for LGBTQI Youth, the P&S Human Rights Initiative and Asylum Clinic, and community-based research by the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

When will I know if I am invited for an interview?

We begin extending invitations for interviews through email in late August through January.

Do you accept transfer students?

We do not accept transfer students.

Do you accept reapplicants?

We do accept reapplicants.

Are former medical students eligible to apply to P&S?

Students previously enrolled in medical school are not eligible to apply for admission to P&S.

When will I know the final decision on my application?

P&S does not have rolling admissions. Decisions are made at the end of interview season and all decision letters are sent in Mid February.

I am an accepted student who plans on matriculating. Where can I find more information on orientation?

Please visit the P&S Club website for all information pertaining to orientation and matriculation.

I am an accepted student who plans on matriculating. What information does the P&S admissions office need from me?

1) Your undergraduate degree must be completed before matriculating to P&S

2) An official final undergraduate transcript stating the date and degree received

3) All required courses must be completed before matriculation

Does P&S grant deferrals?

Yes, deferrals are granted on a case-by-case basis for applicants who were accepted in the first round. Deferrals are usually approved by the Admissions Committee for one or two years. Admitted students interested in deferring must upload to their application a letter detailing their reason for requesting a deferral along with the length of their deferral request. The deadline for requesting a deferral is April 30th.

If I am accepted off the wait list, can I be granted a deferral?

No, deferral requests from students pulled off the wait list are not granted. It has long been our policy that acceptances from the wait list are made for the purpose of filling vacancies in the incoming class as they occur.

What are the essential abilities and characteristics required for completion of the MD degree?

Admission to P&S is possible for all qualified applicants regardless of sex, race, religious affiliation, national origin or physical disability. A qualified applicant meets the Technical Standards set by the Curriculum and Education Policy Committee.

What are the P&S first-time pass rates on licensure examinations?

Year 2013 2013 2014 2014 2015 2015
Exam P&S Nat'l P&S Nat'l P&S Nat'l
Step 1 99% 96% 99% 96% 100% N/A
Step 2 CK 100% 98% 99% 97% 96% 95%
Step 2 CS 100% 98% 99% 97% 98% 96%
Step 3 98% N/A 98% N/A 100% N/A