Virginia Commonwealth University Secondary Application

Virginia Commonwealth University Secondary Essay Prompts

(If you have updated prompts, please submit them at

Prompts have been updated November 2023. (Older essays, if available are below)


  • You are approached by a neighbor whom you are friendly with and who knows you are headed to medical school. The neighbor wants your opinion on whether she should have her healthy 3-year-old child vaccinated against COVID. The neighbor is well-researched and thoughtful, bringing up data that suggests limited long-term benefits of vaccination, while pointing to concerning, documented side effects. How would you respond to this dilemma? (Comments are limited to 2,000 characters. Research on the topic is encouraged)
  • How do you define “grit”, and how have you demonstrated this in the past? (2,000 character limit)
  • Please briefly explain any lapses in your undergraduate education that are not explained in your application. (2,000 character limit)
  • Please briefly explain any low GPAs or poor grades. (2,000 character limit)

Primary Deadline: Usually around Nov 1st
Secondary Deadline
: Usually Jan 30th
Secondary Fee: $80
FAP Waiver: Full Fee Waived
Casper Required: No
PREview Required: No
Screens Applications: Yes
Accepts Application Updates: No

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Mission:

The mission of the School of Medicine is to provide preeminent education to physicians and scientists in order to improve the quality of health care for humanity. Through innovative, scholarly activity and a diverse educational context, the School seeks to create and apply new knowledge, and to provide and continuously improve systems of medical and science education. Furthermore, it is our mission to develop more effective health care practices to address the needs of the diverse populations we serve, and to provide distinguished leadership in the advancement of medicine and science.

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Vision:

The VCU School of Medicine will build on its excellence in the basic, clinical and behavioral sciences to improve human health by advancing the prevention and treatment of diseases. Training programs will incorporate commitment to diversity and the advancement of healthcare yielding a quality diverse workforce in a welcoming and accepting environment.

Older Essays:

  • Medicine is a lifelong learning career where new understandings of diseases are constantly changing and new medications are continuously being added, yet motivating patients continues to be a stimulating challenge. Please discuss in 2000 characters or less ways physicians address this issue. You may use resources to answer this question, mention them but footnotes are not necessary. | How To Answer Secondary Prompts About Current Challenges in Health Care
  • You are living in a world experiencing the ravages of the Coronavirus which has impacted millions of people since December 2019. Please discuss how the COVID 19 pandemic has affected you personally. What have you learned from your experiences? Please discuss what you perceive may have been some realities that others may have experienced. How has COVID 19 experience influenced your desire to become a physician? (2000 characters)Please briefly explain any lapses in your undergraduate education; include any in enrollment during your undergraduate education and/or any gaps between undergraduate education and applying to medical school. (For example – poor grades, multiple withdraws, health reasons, etc.)