BUSM’s MD Program offers students the opportunity to work with patients beginning in their first year of medical school. Students will receive their clinical training at the prestigious Boston Medical Center, which has the largest trauma center in the Northeast. Students also have the option of pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health. The secondary application consists of five optional essays.
Boston University 2016 Secondary Application Essay Questions:
• Five optional short essays with varied word limits are requested.
• Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.
• Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.
Application Tip: Check out the BUSM Viewbook with admissions information:
Secondary Application Essays:
1. If you did not go to college directly after high school, please explain: (1400 character limit, approximately 280 words)
Medical schools love non-traditional applicants who have life experience. If this essay prompt applies to you, provide a brief explanation of how you spent your time before enrolling in college—detailing any awards or accomplishments you earned before entering higher education. If you worked to help support your family, this is admirable and demonstrates that you took on significant responsibility at a young age. Responding to this prompt will only help your application.
2. If you are not expecting to go directly to medical school after completing your undergraduate work, please explain. (1400 character limit, approximately 280 words)
Be honest in this response. If you need to take a break before applying to medical school, write about how you will use your time. Discuss all volunteer work, extracurricular interests or clinical experience that you plan to participate in. If you have a goal for this period, provide it. If you need to work to save up money to apply—state this in your response. Explain where you intend to work and anticipated responsibilities.
3. If you have spent more than 4 years as an undergraduate, please explain below. (You may skip this question if you have graduated within 4 years.)
If applicable, create a list of all the reasons why you were not able to graduate in four years. After ranking your list in order of importance, use this as your outline. Having multiple interests or double majors will only help your application, as the reader will have the opportunity to learn more about your unique talents and interests.
4. Please provide a narrative or timeline to describe any features of your educational history that you think may be of particular interest to us. For example, have you lived in another country or experienced a culture unlike your own, or worked in a field that contributed to your understanding of people unlike yourself? Or, have you experienced advanced training in any area, including the fields of art, music, or sports? This is an opportunity to describe learning experiences that may not be covered in other areas of this application. It is not necessary to write anything in this section. (2000 character limit, approximately 400 words)
Though this essay is also optional, I would strongly recommend responding to it. Using an updated copy of your resume or CV, work backwards from the most current to oldest experiences. What are your other interests, outside of medicine? Have you lived or worked in another country? Did you win any science or non-science awards or fairs in your early education? Focus this response on educational experiences—talents or skills you developed through training or learning opportunities (formal education or self-taught).
5. We have found that for most applicants, an extra essay written expressly for Boston University adds little to the information content of the portfolio. While we no longer require an essay, some applicants feel that additional information is necessary in order to provide us with a comprehensive understanding of their strengths as a candidate for a career in medicine. If you wish, use the space below to offer an essay or any other information, addressing any issue you feel is of importance. If you choose to use the space, please do not duplicate information provided elsewhere in this Supplemental Application or in material you have submitted to AMCAS.
For most applicants, no supplementary essay will be necessary and this space can be left blank.
In this response, you could focus on any clinical, research or science related experiences that you have not already covered in detail in your personal statement that would reveal your commitment to a career in medicine. Again, this essay is also optional, but by responding to it you will be demonstrating your interest in the BUSM Program. Using a copy of your resume/CV or a timeline of your life experiences could assist you in deciding what to write about in this response. Be strategic in your selection—covering information that you have not yet discussed that will highlight your strengths as an applicant.
*Strong recommendation: Submit within two weeks after receipt.
If you would like professional guidance with your Boston University School of Medicine application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the BUSM application materials.
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.