University of Massachusetts Secondary Application

University of Massachusetts Secondary Essay Prompts

(If you have updated prompts, please submit them at

These prompts are from the 2021 Application Cycle and are unchanged from the previous cycle.


  • Please respond to four of the following seven prompts related to competencies that are important for a physician to possess. (150 words/item, 600 words/total; please use the text box below for your answer, separate each of your four responses by writing the competency above/before your response; example: Teamwork – All teams have their struggles but they can be overcome…)
    • Describe a time when you have made a decision that was not popular and how you handled this. (Leadership competency)
    •  Describe a time when you were on a team that was dysfunctional in some regard. How did you address the situation? (Teamwork)
    • Describe a meaningful interaction you have had with a person whom you have helped at work, school or another activity. (Empathy/Compassion)
    • Have you ever been in the middle of a situation where there was poor communication? What did you do to improve it? (Communication)
    • Describe a time when you have “thought outside the box” to solve a problem. (Inquiry)
    • Describe a time when you suffered a setback. How did you respond to this challenge? (Persistence/Grit)
    • Describe a challenging time when you advocated for someone. (Advocacy/Cultural Competence) | How to Write About Your Obstacles, Challenges, and Problems in your Secondary Essays
  • Please discuss any part of your application that you feel requires further explanation – for example, grades or MCAT scores that do not reflect your true ability, a gap in time that is not explained elsewhere in your application. If you are reapplying to UMass SOM, highlight how you have strengthened your application. (250-word limit) | How to Write About Red Flags in Your Secondary Essays | How to Write About Being a Reapplicant in Secondary Essays
  • If you have participated in UMass SOM or UMass Memorial Health Care, or UMMS Baystate sponsored programs (SEP, Summer Research Program, Worcester Pipeline Collaborative, AHEC, BaccMD, HSPP, Academic Internships, BSEP, Summer Scholars) please describe how these programs helped you decide to apply to UMass SOM. (200-word limit)
  • Why are you interested in UMass SOM? What will you bring to your class and the SOM community? (200-word limit) | How to Answer Secondary Prompts about “Why Us”
  • If you are currently taking a gap year, in what activities are you engaged? (200-word limit) | How to Write About Your Gap Years in Secondary Essays

Primary Deadline: October 15, 2021
Secondary Deadline
: Unknown (Try to turn your secondaries around within two weeks after receiving)
Secondary Fee: $100
FAP Waiver: Full Fee Waived
CASPer Required: No
VITA Required: Yes
Screens Applications: No
Accepts Application Updates: Yes/Email

University of Massachusetts Medical School Mission:

The mission of the University of Massachusetts Medical School is to advance the health and well-being of the people of the commonwealth and the world through pioneering advances in education, research and health care delivery.

University of Massachusetts Medical School Values and Vision:

As a combined enterprise with our clinical partner, UMass Memorial Health Care, we value:

  • improving health and enhancing access to care for people within our community, the commonwealth, and the world;ex
  • excellence in achieving the highest quality standards in patient care and satisfaction, education and research;
  • common good as an institutional focus, exercised both internally and externally;
  • collegiality as we work through a shared vision for the common good;
  • integrity in decision-making and actions held to the highest ethical standards;
  • diversity promoted within our institution to foster an atmosphere of compassion, courtesy, and mutual respect, stimulating inventiveness and broadening our talents and perspectives;
  • academic opportunity and scholarship through high-quality, affordable educational programs for the training of physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, researchers, and educators; and
  • scientific advancement made possible by embracing creative thinking and innovation to yield an understanding of the causes, prevention, and treatment of human disease for the pursuit of knowledge and the benefit of people everywhere.

To become one of the nation’s most distinguished academic health sciences centers, we seek to:

  • achieve excellence in the practice of safe, high-quality care;
  • design and implement innovative educational methods to train educators, clinicians, and scientists to meet the future health care workforce needs in Massachusetts and the United States;
  • develop educators, clinicians and scientists who are equipped to become the next generation of outstanding leaders in health care;
  • develop and capitalize on the strengths of all staff who provide the operational support for an academic health sciences center;
  • nurture ongoing progress in the basic sciences to fuel breakthrough discoveries that will transform the practice of medicine;
  • translate scientific discoveries to improve patient outcomes and address the root causes of poor health; and
  • partner to create and optimize health care initiatives that improve the health of the communities we serve.