Special Notice Regarding Spring/Summer 2020 Grading and MCAT

The Office of the Committee on Admissions at Harvard Medical School (HMS) recognizes that the process of evaluating pre-requisite coursework has been significantly impacted by the decision of many undergraduate schools to adopt an online instruction model, given the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. While HMS has always assessed such pre-requisites based on traditional grades given by colleges and universities, we understand that many such schools are emergently creating policies by which the evaluations for spring and summer courses during 2020 will be on a pass/fail basis. So that no applicants are disadvantaged as a result of this unprecedented event, HMS will accept pass/fail grading for spring and summer coursework during 2020. HMS also appreciates that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancellation of MCAT testing dates. We encourage candidates who have been affected by this situation to submit their applications to HMS, knowing that we will accept their MCAT scores at a later time once the testing sites have reopened. What will not change during this period of uncertainty will be our continued commitment at HMS to maintain the practice of performing a thorough, holistic review of each and every application.

All applicants are required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).   In April 2015, the AAMC launched a new version of the MCAT exam. Scores are reported in four sections:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Although HMS does not set a minimum grade point average or minimum MCAT scores, academic excellence is expected. Applicants must post their scores to their AMCAS application in order to be considered in the current application cycle no later than November 9, 2020. Information regarding this test and reporting scores to medical schools may be obtained through college premedical advisory offices or by writing directly to the MCAT Program at

Applicants whose MCAT scores are more than three years old must retake the test. HMS considers all valid MCAT exam scores during the application review process.