NYU’s Medical School is consistently ranked very high by physicians and students. The program is focused on developing physicians who are innovative and prepared to be leaders for the next generation of healthcare providers. NYU med students tend to be creative and diverse as well as accomplished.
New York University Medical School 2020-21 secondary application essay questions
NYU Medical School essay #1
If applicable, please comment on significant fluctuations in your academic record, which are not explained elsewhere on your application. (2500 characters)
You should answer this question if you have discrepancies in your grades that you can explain in a short essay and that are not addressed elsewhere in your application. When presenting this kind of information, I suggest that applicants try to always show how they have rectified and/or grown from the experience. Be as specific as possible and always be honest.
NYU Medical School essay #2
If you have taken any time off from your studies, either during or after college, please describe what you have done during this time and your reasons for doing so. (2500 characters)
Similarly, if you have breaks in your education, present the information succinctly, honestly, and with as much emphasis on the positive as possible. I suggest you limit this essay to a paragraph. Neither one of these two essays is an appropriate forum to argue either for or against a decision the school or administrators made.
For this essay, if you have graduated from college, you should also give a short summary of what you have been doing, with a focus on full-time work and volunteer work. Again, focus on the positive: growth, impact, learning. beneficial or educational experiences.
NYU Medical School essay #3
The Admissions Committee uses a holistic approach to evaluate a wide range of student qualities and life experiences that are complementary to demonstrated academic excellence, strong interpersonal skills and leadership potential. What unique qualities or experiences do you possess that would contribute specifically to the NYU School of Medicine community? (2500 characters)
This question is left open-ended specifically because NYU tries to admit students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. For this essay, you should choose an experience that you can write with specificity and sincerity. While it needn’t be a completely unusual experience in itself, you should focus on details that will give the admissions committee a good idea of how you approach problems or other challenging circumstances. The committee is using this essay to understand your personality and see how well you can express yourself.
You should not use this essay to repeat your personal statement or your work and experiences. This essay should also not be a list of achievements or vague traits like “leadership.”
The essay should show that you have done your homework about the school and its community. If at all possible, tell a story that illustrates the qualities you feel will “contribute specifically to the NYU School of Medicine community.” and conclude by making the connection explicit.
NYU Medical School essay #4
The ultimate goal of our institution is to produce a population of physicians with a collective desire to improve health of all segments of our society through the outstanding patient care, research and education. In this context, where do you see your future medical career (academic medicine, research, public health, primary care, business/law, etc.) and why? Your answer need not be restricted to one category. If your plans require that you complete a dual degree program, please elaborate here. (2500 characters)
In this essay, the admissions committee wants to understand what your goals are as a physician and how you see yourself in society. In addition to just listing what you want to do, you should use this essay to explain why you see yourself in that role and how you plan to help your community (wherever that may be). I suggest that you consider both the professional commitments as well as the civic and social ones that will provide insight into how you see yourself as a leader in the community. If you see yourself completing other degrees, you can say so and discuss your motivation for doing so in terms of your goals.
Many applicants struggle to respond to this question because they aren’t sure what specialty they want to focus on. If you are one of those people, I suggest that you think more broadly about doctors in society. Think more about the contribution you want to make and less about a specific specialty, or perhaps discuss a few related specialties that you are considering.
NYU Medical School essay #5
Please answer only one of the following three questions. (2500 characters)
You should choose and respond to one of the questions below.
The first issue you need to address is which option to choose. I recommend you choose the one that you can answer most easily and that will best complement the other information in your primary application and the rest of NYU’s secondary application.
Option 1. The most meaningful achievements are often non-academic in nature. Describe the personal accomplishment that makes you most proud. Why is this important to you?
This essay is asking the writer to think about achievements broadly and include experiences that might not be otherwise included in a traditional application. Your achievement could be in the arts, sports, community service, or possibly personal arena. The focus should be on why this experience was important to you. You should not write about academic awards or your grades/MCAT scores. I also don’t recommend that you write about getting into med school or other academic-type programs.
Option 2. Conflicts arise daily from differences in perspectives, priorities, worldviews and traditions. How do you define respect? Describe a situation in which you found it challenging to remain respectful while facing differences.
In this essay, it’s important to focus on a specific situation and be honest about your role. There should be a genuine conflict that you sought to resolve rather than circumstances in which you were a relatively passive observer. The best essays in this category will show the writer growing and maturing as a result of the conflict. Try to write this essay for someone who doesn’t know you well, which will require you to provide a lot of detail. The situation can come from your academic, professional, or personal life. And don’t forget to define “respect.”
Option 3. Describe a situation in which working with a colleague, family member or friend has been challenging. How did you resolve, if at all, the situation as a team and what did you gain from the experience that will benefit you as a future health care provider?
Similar to the question above, this essay is asking the writer to reflect on how they grew as a person and learned how to relate to others. However, unlike the previous question, the other party in the challenging situation is someone you are close with, someone who is supposed to be a member of your “group,” either family, team, or social circle.
Like in the prior question, it’s important here to write about a specific situation and show how you resolved it or tried to resolve it. It can be a situation from any aspect of your life, so don’t limit yourself to academic or professional situations (although those can also lead to fruitful essays). The most important character in the essay is you, so show how you grew as a result of the experience.
NYU Medical School essay #6
In light of the public health emergency that was the COVID-19 pandemic, how do you view your potential role as a frontline healthcare provider? (2500 characters)
The best answers to this prompt will embrace the frontline of the pandemic. NYU is in lower Manhattan. New York City was devastated by the pandemic, hospitals filled beyond capacity: health care workers experienced traumatic stress; patients died alone; bodies were stored in refrigerated trucks because the morgues were full; volunteer doctors and nurses filled the gap of critically necessary healthcare workers. Your help may be needed. Don’t wait to be asked to help. Be proactive. Where do you stand, as a future medical student in NYC during a pandemic that is unscripted? How have you helped? Where is your engagement with the frontline now, soon and thereafter?
If you would like professional guidance with your New York University application materials, check out Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for NYU Medical School‘s application materials.
NYU Medical School 2020-21 application timeline
|Primary applications due||October 15|
|Secondary applications due||November 15|
Source: NYU Medical School website
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
Dr. Mary Mahoney, Ph.D. has over 20 years of experience as an advisor and essay reviewer for med school applicants. She is a tenured English Professor with an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a PhD in Literature and Writing from the University of Houston. For the last twenty years, Mary has served as a grad school advisor and essay reviewer for med school applicants. Want Mary to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!