Doctor of Medicine (MD) Requirements
Applicants admitted to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine are selected by an admissions committee. The committee is comprised of current and retired faculty members, of the School of Medicine, administrators, medical students, and area clinicians. 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. We use a holistic process to review each application, taking into account an applicant’s unique academic and professional background. As a South Carolina based school, we prioritize applicants who are residents or who have a significant connection to South Carolina.
While the School of Medicine does not have any prerequisite requirements, for most applicants a strong preparation in the natural sciences is highly recommended including general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Further advanced studies in the biological, physical and/or chemical sciences are encouraged.
Preference is given to applicants who will, upon enrollment, hold a bachelor’s degree. Applicants occasionally are admitted on the basis of 90 semester hours of outstanding undergraduate achievement.
As a matter of policy, the School of Medicine can accept applications only from those individuals who are currently citizens of the United States or who are permitted by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to reside permanently in the United States.
The School of Medicine can accept applications only from those individuals who have completed their undergraduate premedical education at a college or university in the United States or Canada.
Inquiries concerning admission should be addressed to:
Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services
School of Medicine
University of South Carolina
School of Medicine VA Campus Bldg. 3
Columbia, SC 29208
How to Apply
The American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®) is the AAMC's centralized medical school application processing service. We use the AMCAS application service as well as a secondary application for the School of Medicine Columbia.
It takes AMCAS four to six weeks to verify all applicant information before turning it over to USC SOMC. Please use this valuable interim to prepare for the interview and continue any clinical or volunteer opportunities. Be sure to review our Admissions Timeline and ensure all supplementary materials are submitted. Additional information can be found in our Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) located here.
Technical Standards for Admission, Retention, and Graduation
We are dedicated to student success, with standards in place to help ensure all our accepted students are physically and mentally prepared to take on the rigor of our academic program. The USC SOMC Technical Standards can be found here.
Honor and Professionalism Policy
All students enrolled in the School of Medicine are members of the student body of the University of South Carolina and are, therefore, subject to the rules and regulations found in the USC Honor Code. A violation of the Honor Code may result in suspension or dismissal from the School of Medicine. Questions regarding these policies may be directed to personnel in the School of Medicine Office of Student and Career Services.
In addition, all students enrolled in the School of Medicine must conduct themselves professionally and respectfully in all aspects of education and professional practice as stated in the USC SOMC Honor Code, and are subject to the rules and regulations therein.
Other Requirements for Enrollment in the MD Degree
Drug Screenings and Background Check
A satisfactory criminal background check and drug screening will be required prior to matriculation and prior the third year of medical school.
Students are also required to provide, prior to matriculation, a current medical history, the results of a physical examination, and immunization data on forms provided by the USC SOMC. Once accepted, students will receive immunization requirements from the Student Health Nurse with details about meeting the immunization requirement. Students will not be eligible for course registration or allowed to attend orientation if this requirement is not met.
Students enrolled in the University of South Carolina are required to have a current medical insurance policy in effect at the time of fall registration and throughout the academic year and to provide the School of Medicine with verification/proof of insurance or sign a formal declaration waiver form.
A comprehensive health insurance policy is made available by Blue Cross Blue Shield. through the University of South Carolina for students and their spouses and/or children. Brochures and registration materials are available to all students. The policy is in effect from August 1st to July 31st, with fee payment due at the time of fall and spring registrations. Required Health Insurance - Student Health Services | University of South Carolina (sc.edu)
Workers Compensation Insurance
All medical students are covered by Workers Compensation insurance through the State Accident Fund for any injuries sustained by students during clinical activities that are a part of their medical education. The premium for this insurance is paid by the School of Medicine. Information about Workers Compensation insurance policies and procedures and the reporting requirements for injuries sustained by students during their medical educations is provided to students annually and available in the Student Affairs.
Required Health and Disability Insurance
A disability insurance policy is available and required for all medical students. Annual premium payment is due at the time of fall registration.
Annual mandatory HIPPA training is a USC SOMC requirement.
The School of Medicine will provide reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Students wishing to request accommodations at any point during their academic training should make an application to the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC). Once accommodations are approved, the School of Medicine will be notified.
The application must be made in a timely manner prior to any coursework for which accommodation is requested. The Assistant Dean for Pre-Clerkship Curriculum or the Assistant Dean for Clinical Curriculum and Assessment will advise course and clerkship directors and other pertinent faculty as to the nature and extent of the accommodations to be provided. Students receiving accommodations will continue to be required to meet the technical standards for admission, retention, and graduation.
The Assistant Dean for Pre-Clerkship Curriculum or the Assistant Dean for Clinical Curriculum and Assessment can assist students who choose to apply to the United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE) for permission to take USMLE required examinations under nonstandard conditions.
Requirements for Graduation
Upon recommendation by the School of Medicine faculty, the University of South Carolina will confer the degree of Doctor of Medicine upon candidates who have:
- attained the School’s educational objectives as evidenced by satisfactory completion of prescribed basic science courses, clinical clerkships, and electives and acquisition of all required clinical skills;
- passed Steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE;
- completed the clinical skills attainment document;
- completed requirements for required IHI (Institute for Healthcare Improvement) modules;
- attended the University of South Carolina School of Medicine on a full-time basis for a minimum of two years;
- met the requirement for scholarly activity; (see Scholarly Requirement policy)
- and discharged all financial obligations to the School of Medicine and to the University.
Students enrolled in the School of Medicine will have six (6) years from the date of matriculation to complete their degree for Doctor of Medicine, not including any additional time needed to complete a dual degree. If a student fails to complete his or her degree within the specified time, he or she will be recommended for dismissal by the Student Promotions Committee.
The Student Promotions Committee is responsible for assessing student performance and making recommendations to the dean regarding enrollment and academic progress in the School of Medicine. The committee considers various types of information and reserves the right to consider all relevant information in its deliberations. The committee may recommend various academic alternatives, including continued enrollment, promotion, repeating courses, suspension, dismissal, or other beneficial sanctions. The dean will invite students for whom the committee has recommended an alternative other than continuation or promotion to meet and discuss their situation. The dean will inform each student of their decision and the process for review within 10 working days. In the case of dismissal of a first or second-year student, they may remain enrolled during the review process but may not begin the third year until the outcome has been determined.
USC SOMC Policies and Handbooks can be found here.