Stritch's Holistic Admissions Process

Loyola University Chicago is committed to individualized holistic review in order to identify talent to fulfill our school’s mission of meeting the needs of underserved communities.  That means that we consider the life experiences, personal attributes, and educational journey of each applicant in our review process.  We have included more detail about preparation areas below.  A typical Stritch student has preparation, achievements and experiences in the following areas.


Because our mission is focused on service, the committee seeks students with a demonstrated commitment of service to others, particularly underserved and marginalized communities.  Sustained partnerships with concrete deliverables are important, as are the personal reflections and learnings of applicants about their service experiences.  While ranges of service hours vary greatly by circumstance and individual, the committee typically selects students with substantial service commitments.

Academic preparation

The Stritch student body is comprised of students from all majors and disciplines.  We have a diverse array of fields of study represented in each class, as well as a variety of types of colleges and universities.  Public or private, small, medium, or large – we recognize that applicants do the best they can using resources within reach.  A strong foundation in the sciences is critical to success in medical school.  This is typically demonstrated through course grades, research endeavors, and MCAT scores.  We closely examine preparation in biology, chemistry, and organic chemistry.  The committee is keen to evaluate the last academic year of BCPM credits and the overall GPA as well, so as not to disadvantage postbacc or master’s students.  For specific course requirements please click here

Medicine is a career governed by licensing exams.  To that end the committee wishes to ensure that every student have proficiency in passing standardized tests as part of their academic foundation.  The MCAT is an important predictor of performance in the first two years of medical school curriculum and of Step 1 of the USMLE.  The MCAT is considered in our holistic review process.  Our mean is around the 80th percentile.


Physicians are the leaders of health care teams and as such must possess interpersonal awareness and leadership skills.  The committee looks for candidates who have experiences and insights in leadership.  These positions can be both formal and informal.  We are interested in how candidates relate to others, engage in teamwork and shared decision-making, and accomplish group goals.  Maturity and people skills are key aspects of leadership development.


Most, but not all, Stritch students choose to engage in research during their preparation years.  The committee is most interested in the candidate’s understanding of the research hypothesis.  Applicants should be able to describe their role in executing the research and discuss the results and implications.  Applicants should effectively convey insights gained from research experiences.  Stritch values student engagement in all types of research including basic science, clinical, and social science. 

Health Care Experience

Exposure to health care is an important aspect of preparation.  The committee assesses an applicant’s motivation and understanding of medicine by examining experiences and essays.  Applicants typically shadow physicians, volunteer in healthcare settings, or are employed in healthcare in some capacity.  Direct experience with patients can help applicants effectively explore their motivations to determine if medicine is the right career.  Stritch students typically have substantial experiences in healthcare and accompanying reflections that demonstrate their understanding and motivation.

Boundless Areas of Merit

The best thing about holistic review is that we have many foundational elements and ample room for individuals to show us who they are.  Stritch students are musicians, athletes, artists, teachers, fellowship awardees, entrepreneurs, and career changers.  They speak many languages and come from many educational and immigration backgrounds.  Our students include published authors, accomplished researchers, inventors, and parents.  We recognize that our mission requires a bold approach to admissions that enables us to identify talent.  The committee is dedicated to individualized holistic review.