Admissions FAQs

Important Communication Policy for Fall 2021 College of Medicine Applicants: To ensure that all applicants have an equal and ethical assessment of their application; all inquiries regarding your application and materials are to be directed and submitted to the Admissions Office only at 916-686-7300 or via e-mail at COMadmissions@cnsu.edu.

Any type of communication made by the applicant (or applicant’s parents, employers/supervisors, and faculty/advisors) to the CNU President, College of Medicine Dean, or Admissions Committee members is strictly prohibited. Any attempt to do so will be viewed as “inappropriate communication” and may negatively impact your application due to failing to follow the Communication Policy as stated.



Does the above Communication Policy really impact my application?

Absolutely it does. Those requirements are there to ensure every applicant has an equal and fair assessment of their material. Therefore, we insist that all communication regarding your application be directed to the Admissions Office only. If you, your parents, your letter writers, supervisors, etc., reach out to the College of Medicine Dean, faculty or any other office regarding your application, it shows the Admissions Committee that you as an applicant chose not to follow instructions, and brings into question your capability of being a professional student in the MD program.

I am busy with school and work, so I need my parents to follow-up on my application.

Unfortunately this is not possible. We understand applicants are busy, however the College of Medicine is required to remain compliant to the federal law FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). In short, this federal law requires that our school only shares information about your application and status to you the applicant only. We cannot provide information to your parents and/or spouse, even if they are the parties paying your tuition.

Can I sit with someone in Admissions to review my material, GPA, etc., so they can let me know if I should apply for admission into medical school?

Unfortunately this is not possible, and is considered unethical as admission into the MD Program is highly competitive. Our evaluation is based on all aspects of your application including GPA, BCPM, curriculum, recommendations, essays, involvement in clubs, organizations, and community service, as well as interview results. Competition also varies from year to year depending upon the size and strength of the applicant pool. As an adult applicant it is solely up to you to consider all these factors, review the program requirements and make the decision yourself as to whether to apply for the MD program or not.

Who makes the admission decisions for the College of Medicine?

Although the Admissions Office collects all application material, it is our Admissions Committee that reviews applications and votes on admission. The Admission Committee is made-up of voting members from the College of Medicine faculty, Community Physicians, and up to two students. The Admissions staff does not have any voting rights.

How does the Admissions Committee decide which applicants will be offered seats?

The Admissions Committee will review all completed applications and select approximately 300 candidates to interview. After the interview is completed, the application and interview summary information will be reviewed by the committee and applicants will be assigned a status of offer made, wait list, or denied. After all interviews are completed, alternates will be selected from the wait list candidates. Interviewed candidates will be notified of their final status either by mail, email or phone. Applicants will be notified immediately, if there is a change to their status. Updated

My application for admission was rejected. Can I appeal?

Unfortunately not. All admission decisions are final.

How can I reach the Admissions Office?

Send all e-mail inquiries to COMadmissions@cnsu.edu. Due to the high volume of applications, please allow 3-5 business days for an answer to your inquiry. Our web address is http://medicine.cnsu.edu

Are campus tours offered?

Yes, however by appointment only for prospective students. The Admissions Staff is frequently off-campus for recruiting events and will likely not be available to provide a tour if you just stop by. Please contact COMadmissions@cnsu.edu.

Is a bachelor's degree required?

A bachelor's degree is preferred, but not required.

Can a student with a foreign bachelor’s degree apply?

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or have U.S. residency. Foreign residents with F1 are not eligible to apply.

I already have a bachelor's degree. Do I still need to complete all the prerequisite courses?

Yes. All applicants, regardless of degree or major, must complete all prerequisite courses. This includes any international students who previously receive a foreign bachelor's degree.

Where can I find the application for admission to the medical school?

CNUCOM participates in the medical school application service known as Association of American Medical Colleges (AMCAS). Applicants must apply through the AMCAS Portal

Where can I find the admission requirements and course recommendations?

You can find detailed information about our on our page: Admission Requirements

What is your GPA requirement?

The preferred GPA needed in order to be considered as a competitive applicant is 3.40. The minimum GPA acceptable is 2.80.

Does your school accept the Traditional MCAT scores?

No

What is the MCAT requirement?

The preferred MCAT score needed in order to be considered as a competitive applicant is a 508. The minimum MCAT score is a 497.

Is a Supplemental Application required?

If your primary application meets the appropriate criteria you will receive an invitation to complete the Supplemental Application. Completion and submission of this Supplemental Application by the deadline given to you from the Admissions Office is required if you desire to move forward with the application process. There is a $100 non-refundable fee for the Supplemental Application.

The Supplemental Application is asking me if I have a criminal background. How do I know what I should report, if at all?

California Northstate University College of Medicine complies with The Medical Board of California’s reporting requirements of criminal convictions. It is highly recommended that every applicant visit the Medical Board of California website and carefully review the criminal reporting requirements before completing the Supplemental Application

When do I need to submit my Supplemental Application?

Your supplemental application is due 21 days after you receive the invitation to complete it, with a cut off time of midnight Eastern Time.

When do I need to complete my premed courses?

All course prerequisites and other conditions for attendance must be completed no later than three (3) weeks before the first day of classroom instruction. Will you accept prerequisites which were taken over nine years ago during the admission cycle? Prerequisite courses must be completed within nine years of your intended start date.

When is the New Student Orientation for the matriculating Fall 2021 class?

July 21-July 23, 2021

What is the start date for the Fall 2021 term?

July 26, 2021

If I am accepted before I complete all my prerequisite courses, do I still need to complete them?

Yes. You are required to complete all of the prerequisites. The offer of admission is conditional upon successfully completing all prerequisites and meeting the bachelor's degree requirement. Failure to complete such prerequisites by the three-week due date may subject the student to forfeiture of the student's seat or such other remedies within the sole discretion of the University that may be necessary to correct such failure.

I planned to take a prerequisite course my last semester of school but was unsuccessful in finding a class that was not full. Can I take the class after I start school?

No. As stated above, all prerequisites must be completed no later than three (3) weeks before the first day of classroom instruction. Please note that enrolling in certain courses, such as Biochemistry, can be highly competitive. We suggest you plan to complete those type courses as early as possible.

Is preference given to California residents?

No. We use the same criteria to evaluate out-of-state applicants as California residents.

Do California residents pay less tuition than out-of-state students?

No. Tuition and fees are the same for all students regardless of state or country of residence.

Can I enter in the spring semester?

No. We only admit in the fall semester.

How do I know if my application is received?

Receipt of the application for admission will be made on the applicant’s AMCAS account. You must log into your AMCAS account on the AMCAS website with your password to check for status updates. It generally takes Admissions one to two weeks to process the application and update your status.

Do you ever waive the application fee?

We do not accept the fee waiver.

Do you have rolling admission?

Yes. Offers of admission will be made until all seats are filled. This typically occurs from October 15th through the end of the admission cycle. After each interview session, the Admissions Committee reviews the results of the interview and complete their post-interview assessments. The most highly qualified candidates from each interview session are offered acceptance. All other applicants interviewed on that day are either placed in ranking order on the wait list or denied. Students placed on the wait list may be accepted anytime during the admission cycle.

Do you give preference to any major?

No. We do not give preference to any major. However, most of our applicants are science majors. The most common majors are biology, chemistry, biochemistry, psychobiology, etc.

Do you accept on-line or distance-learning courses?

We accept on-line or distance-learning coursework that meets our equivalency standards, from an accredited academic institution, with the exception of science courses which require a lab. All equivalency for on-line or distance learning coursework will be determined by the Admissions Office. *For science courses taken during the COVID19 outbreak, distance-learning coursework equivalency will be taken into consideration case by case.

Do I need to send my transcripts to Admissions when I apply?

No. Applicants must submit all transcripts to AMCAS while in the application stage. Once admitted to the College, matriculating students will be required to submit official transcripts through AMCAS from all institutions attended with degree confirmation. Once again, this is only required after a student is accepted.

Does it matter that I'm older than your average applicant?

Definitely not. Students of all ages make unique contributions to the class. We encourage applications from qualified applicants, regardless of age.

Can I transfer into your MD program from another MD program?

CNUCOM does not accept transfer students at this time.

Can I transfer from your MD program to another institution?

CNUCOM is accredited be the LCME. Therefore please consult the medical school you wish to transfer to for their transfer requirements and eligibility.

Can I submit more than the required number of recommendation letters?

No. Only submit what is outlined in #6 of our Admission Steps.

How and when will I know if I've been invited for an interview?

If your material meets the competitive criteria as set forth by the Admissions Committee, you will be contacted by the Admissions Office to schedule your on-campus interview. Please note that submitting your application and Secondary Application does not guarantee you will be invited to interview.

I am a re-applicant. How may I improve my application or chances of being considered for admission?

Make a critical review of the information you submitted in your application for admission to see if there are any obvious voids. For example, maybe you had one or two low grades that lowered your overall and/or science GPA, or maybe you weren't involved in community service, or merely forgot to include it on your application. As mentioned in the requirements, we highly suggest applicants obtain some experience in health care or research to be considered a competitive applicant. Did you obtain this experience and did you mention it in the application? If you interviewed you may want to review what questions were asked and compare them to your answers. Remember the interviewer is gauging your ability to do well in the program and in the profession by assessing your communication and critical thinking skills. You would be surprised at how much you can learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your application simply by looking at it from an admissions perspective. It's important to realize sometimes there isn't one obvious thing you can change to be admitted. Every case is different and every year the competition is different. Above all else, it is important to understand we receive applications from many highly qualified applicants each year and are only able to accept about 10 percent of that pool. If this is the path you are committed to then keep trying!

What should I bring with me to the interview?

Please visit our Interview Day webpage for specific information if you are late or need to cancel. If you are a “no-show” to your interview without any notification, your application will be canceled and AMCAS will be notified.

Can I contact the Admissions Office to find out if I have been accepted?

We notify every applicant, as soon as possible. Please do not call our office to check on your status. This hinders the process and delays notification for all applicants. Be patient and wait to hear from us.

If I am offered acceptance, what paperwork and fees must I return to the Admissions Office to confirm my enrollment?

The accepted candidate is emailed their enrollment materials, which include the Student Enrollment Agreement and an Enrollment Confirmation form.

How much time does the accepted candidate have to confirm their enrollment with the required paperwork and non-refundable fee?

The candidate is given two weeks to postmark their enrollment paperwork for return to the Admissions Office. Candidates accepted late in the cycle may have one week or less to confirm their enrollment, based upon how close to the first day of classroom instruction the offer is made.

When does the two-week period begin for accepted candidates to postmark their enrollment paperwork for return to the Admissions Office?

The two-week period begins the date the candidate is emailed their Student Enrollment Agreement and Enrollment Confirmation form.

Is the Enrollment Confirmation Fee ($100) refundable, if I decide to cancel my enrollment prior to the start of classroom instruction Fall 2021?

Yes. The Enrollment Confirmation Fee is refundable prior to April 30th. After I was accepted by California Northstate, the Admissions Office requested my transcripts and degree confirmation transcript but I had already submitted my transcripts to AMCAS.

Do I need to send transcripts to your office as well?

All applicants are required to send transcripts to AMCAS during the application stage of the admission process. However, final transcripts for any pre-requisites taken after your application submission deadline should be turned into the COM admissions office directly. Verification of degree will also need to be submitted to the Admissions office prior to new student orientation, this may be in the form of a degree conferral transcript.

What is a degree conferral transcript?

A degree conferral transcript is an official transcript that lists all the criteria below. A transcript that does not satisfy all of these is not a degree conferral transcript.

- Grades from your final term
- Degree earned (BS, MS, etc.)
- The major in which your degree was earned (e.g., Biological Sciences, Art History)
- Date the degree was awarded

I graduated 3 months ago, but according to your office I do not have a degree. Why do you say this?

Our policies allow us to consider that a degree was earned only if the degree and the date it was awarded are posted on your transcript. The transcript you submitted probably shows only the grades for your last term, and may not show your degree conferral (see previous question). To resolve this problem, contact the registrar's office for your school and request a degree conferral transcript be sent to our Admissions Office.

The registrar from my school gave me a statement that verifies I have completed all the requirements for my degree. Can I submit this statement instead of waiting for the degree conferral transcript to become available?

Yes. This will be accepted while the degree conferral is being processed. A degree conferral transcript must be requested and received by our institution, as soon as it becomes available. Completing the requirements for a degree and being awarded the degree are not the same thing. The only document we can accept as a final document is a degree conferral transcript. Accepted students who fail to complete this requirement may be subject to forfeiture of their seat.

I graduated this winter but my final grades and degree conferral information will not post to my transcript until after August, 2021. What do I do?

Your degree may not be posted, but your final grades for winter and spring terms must be available three (3) weeks before the first day of classroom instruction. If you submit an unofficial grade report, as courses are completed winter, spring and early summer, email us an unofficial grade report from your college portal and ask your school to send us a letter verifying the date the degree (after your final term) will be posted to your transcript. You can also request a letter from the registrar certifying the degree information. These are the only methods to extend the receipt of your conferring degree transcript with your final term(s) grades.

Are you on a quarter or a semester system?

Semester system.

How do spaces in the entering class become available?

Admitted applicants decline, usually for personal reasons; or, the offer is withdrawn due to admission requirements not being completed as required. Financial issues, personal issues, or medical issues sometimes prevent an applicant from accepting an offer. Every year some applicants are also administratively cancelled. This could be for failing a prerequisite, not completing all the prerequisites prior to the start of school, or not submitting documents or other verification materials required by CNUCOM.

Where am I on the Waitlist?

Since the wait list changes constantly, sometimes on a daily basis, we do not designate specific numbers. Additionally, it is difficult to anticipate how many wait list applicants will be called to fill the class for a specific year. Because of this reason, we cannot tell a candidate they will, or will not be called off the list, nor can we estimate when. Based on past experience, we can only state our wait list applicants may be notified at any time during the admission cycle.

Please do not contact our office to verify your position on the wait list. We will contact you immediately, if we are able to offer you a place in the entering class. Your application may be cancelled, if you do not follow this procedure.

How soon will I know if I will be offered acceptance from the wait list?

As mentioned previously, it is impossible to predict when accepted applicants will decline our offer or be cancelled. The wait list remains open until the first week of classes. If your name is on the wait list and you are not offered admission, your application will be formally denied.

How do I know if the college I am taking prerequisites at is a regionally accredited institution and will meet the equivalency for your prerequisite courses?

You can refer to http://www.worldwidelearn.com/accreditation/accreditation-associations.htm to look up all colleges which are regionally accredited at this time. There are some certificate programs of which many are short-term classes (EX. 6 weeks) that would not meet the prerequisite requirement; thus, these classes are not acceptable even though the school may be regionally accredited.

How much time between MS2 and MS3 will students get to study for Step 1? Is there an academic calendar available yet?

The Policy on USMLE exams is provided in the Student Handbook. The Academic Calendar is posted on the College of Medicine website ____________.

I understand that 3rd and 4th year rotations will be done at Kaiser and Dignity health clinics/hospitals. Are the agreements with these hospitals already set in stone? And also, have medical students rotated at these hospitals previously? Do attending physicians have experience with medical students?

California Northstate University College of Medicine has affiliation agreements with Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, Dignity Health System, Sierra Vista Hospital, Heritage Oaks Hospital, and several other healthcare institutions. Both medical students and residents have previously rotated in our affiliated hospitals. Faculty development is an ongoing activity, previously, now, and in the future. California Northstate University has plans to build a 250-bed hospital facility adjacent to its existing campus and College of Medicine at 9700 West Taron Drive.

Is there a student health care plan in place for students without health insurance?

Yes, there is; please check your Student Enrollment Agreement, or contact the Registrars’ Office at 916-686- 7400.

Will CNU have counseling services and tutoring services to help students who are struggling in class/ experiencing emotional turmoil succeed?

Yes, we do. You can find the detailed explanation about the student academic counseling system in the Student Handbook. Additionally, we provide several options for student counseling with on-site and off-site services.

Do you feel as though CNU is properly prepared to attain full accreditation?

CNU is prepared to take the school to full accreditation. In the off chance that CNU is unable to attain full accreditation, what happens to the graduates/medical students?

Will they still be able to get a residency and become licensed physicians? What happens if CNU isn't able to attain provisional accreditation after year 2?

Is there an agreement for CNU students to transfer to another medical school if the LCME does not allow CNU to run anymore? We look forward to achieving full accreditation, based on our state of preparedness. Nevertheless, we do have a “Teach Out” plan, which has been shared with and reviewed by the LCME.

What is CNUCOM’s response to COVID-19?

CNUCOM is aware that many of you are facing numerous challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the challenges our applicants are facing with online coursework, we are exercising flexibility with distance learning coursework taken during this time. Distance learning Science coursework and lab work with pass/fail grades will be taken into consideration for fulfillment of prerequisites, case by case. CNUCOM will continue to conduct a complete holistic review of your applications, and will consider MCAT scores as soon as they are received. Primary and secondary application deadlines will remain the same with room for flexibility of extensions for the secondary application, upon submission of a request. For further information regarding any of the above please email COMadmissions@cnsu.edu

Will interviews be in person or virtual?

Interviews will be conducted via a virtual format until further notice.

Are you using the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Video Interview Tool for Admissions (VITA) tool?

We are requiring all applicants invited to an interview to take the AAMC VITA prior to the scheduled interview. Video responses will be incorporated into our virtual interview processas a complement to the formal interview. Visit the AAMC VITA webpage for more information.