GEMS Program Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Competitive is the GEMS Program?

Admissions to the GEMS Program is competitive. 271 applications were started in 2019, and 65 applications were considered by the Admissions Committee. Twenty-three interviews were extended and sixteen students matriculated into the 2019-2020 GEMS Class.

2. What is the Admissions Process?

Completed applications are reviewed by the GEMS Admissions Committee which is comprised of members of the medical school faculty and staff, physician graduates of the GEMS Program, community leaders and former GEMS students. Incomplete applications are not reviewed. Each member of the Committee reviews the applications. The Committee meets for a discussion of each applicant and the Committee decides by majority vote if the candidate will be invited to spend a day at Georgetown to be interviewed. Candidates who are not invited to interview will not be accepted to the GEMS Program.

3. Are Interviews Required?

Yes, interviews are required for acceptance to the GEMS Program. Last year 35% of applicants were invited to interview and 82% of applicants who were interviewed were offered acceptances. Applicants who are invited to interview will spend a full day at Georgetown, meet with faculty and staff, tour the school, meet former and current GEMS students, and participate in an interactive learning exercise. The GEMS Program is not able to assist applicants with travel arrangements or expenses. Interviews are scheduled for Monday, April 20, 2020, and Monday, May 4, 2020. Between April 1 – April 30, 2020, candidates will be notified by email and/or telephone if an interview will be extended.

4. What Type of Student is the GEMS Admissions Committee Seeking?

GEMS Class Profiles Under the New MCAT

GEMS Class YearClass SizeAverage Science GPANew MCAT Average
2018-2019152.72 502.6

The Committee is especially interested in students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are most likely to make a significant contribution to the medical care of the nation’s disadvantaged and under-served populations. The Committee seeks mature, highly motivated, disciplined, assertive learners with modest undergraduate grades and MCAT scores. Most of the students accepted to the GEMS Program would be considered “high risk” if MCATs and science grades were the only admissions criteria. 

For the 2019-2020 GEMS Class, the average cumulative science grade point average was 2.81 and the average TOTAL New MCAT score was 499.7.

For the 2020-2021 GEMS Application Cycle, the GEMS Admissions Committee is most receptive to applicants with a Science GPA of at least 2.50, and a minimum NEW MCAT Exam Score of 500 (preference for sub-section scores of 125 or higher) for more in-depth evaluation of an applicant’s academic and non-academic credentials. 

For information on interpretation of NEW MCAT Exam Total Scores & Sub-Section Scores, please access the NEW MCAT Percentile Rank Summary.

5. How are GEMS Students Evaluated?

Students accepted to the 2020-2021 GEMS Program will complete courses selected from the first-year medical student course requirements and be graded in the same manner as freshman medical students. The grades are Pass or Fail. An internal grade of “Low Pass” corresponds to the lowest 10% of the class. A grade of “Low Pass” or Fail results in dismissal from the GEMS Program. A graduate-level Biochemistry course and Pathophysiology course will be taken with other graduate students at the school of medicine and are graded in the same manner as graduate students (i.e. A, B, C …..). GEMS students also complete elective courses that are graded “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory”. An “Unsatisfactory” grade results in dismissal from the GEMS Program.

6. What Courses will Former GEMS Students Take if Admitted to Georgetown University? Do Students Retake the MCAT?

If admitted, former GEMS students — now medical students –will be enrolled in all elements of the 18-month integrated medical curriculum, including the relevant portions completed during the GEMS academic year.  Students are not required to retake the MCAT for consideration to Georgetown School of Medicine once enrolled in the GEMS Program.

7. Describe a Typical Day for the GEMS Students.

GEMS students begin their day at 8:00 am and participate in facilitated small group learning sessions, didactic lectures with medical students monitored independent study periods and on-line quiz sessions. The GEMS Program is a full-time experience and students rarely finished scheduled activities before 5 p.m.

8. Online Application

  • MCAT Test Scores:

In the test scores section of the GEMS application, at least one set of score boxes must be completed for your most recent MCAT exam. Please only complete the score boxes that are relevant to your MCAT experience. All other boxes should remain “blank” if not relevant to your MCAT experience.

  • Transcript Upload:

Please follow these directions to upload your transcript. Go to Documents: Click ‘Status’ (near top of screen, under ‘Profile’) -> click ‘Documents.’

9. Notification of Admissions Decisions

The interview offers will be extended to selected candidates by majority vote of the GEMS Admissions Committee from April 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020. Candidates invited to interview will be assigned by the committee to one of two interview dates Monday April 20, 2020 and Monday, May 4, 2020. Candidates will be notified by email and/or telephone if an interview will be extended. Final decision offers to matriculate into the 2020-2021 GEMS Program will be sent on May 29, 2020.

10. GEMS Tuition & Living Expenses

Tuition and fees for the 2019-2020 GEMS Program is $26,723.00 — the 2020-2021 costs will be posted shortly. GEMS students will need an additional $30,733.00 for living and academic expenses. Most GEMS students will cover the costs of the GEMS year with a combination of personal savings, family support and student loans. Some loans are partially based on creditworthiness — financial aid information. External scholarships are also available for accepted students based on the sponsoring organization’s criteria. 

11. Success of GEMS

GEMS students who successfully complete all program criteria and school of medicine application requirements are strongly considered (not guaranteed) for an interview to Georgetown School of Medicine. Extension of an interview does not guarantee admission to Georgetown School of Medicine. 

From 1977 to 2019, 824 students matriculated into the GEMS program. 511 are physician graduates; 84 are current medical students, and 229 graduates are contributing expertise in other health career paths.

12. GEMS Program Dates for 2020-2021

Fall 2020:  Monday, July 6, 2020 – Friday, December 11, 2020
Spring 2021: Monday, January 4, 2021 –  Friday, May 28, 2021

Still have questions? You may submit your questions using the button below:

GEMS is an experimental program and is subject to change at the discretion of the Committee on Medical Education and Dean of School of Medicine. Application and program requirements may change from year to year.

Although the majority of students who have successfully completed the GEMS Program have been offered an acceptance to Georgetown University School of Medicine (GUSOM), GEMS students are not guaranteed an opportunity to interview or an acceptance offer if interviewed. 

Students admitted in the GEMS Class of 2020-2021 are not required to apply to or matriculate into  Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Georgetown University admits qualified students of any age, sex, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, and national and ethnic origin to all rights and privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, handicap, color, religion or national or ethnic origin in administration of educational policies, admissions, policies, scholarship and loan programs and athletic and other school administered programs.

Inquiries about Affirmative Action-Equal Opportunity may be addressed to Affirmative Action Programs, 3800 Reservoir Rd., NW, Room M36 Darnall Hall, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20007. (202-687-4798) Georgetown University is also an Affirmative Action – Equal Opportunity employer.

Note: An application to Georgetown School of Medicine is not required for an application to the GEMS Program. The admissions committees and procedures are completely separate, and admissions records cannot be transferred between programs.

All accepted applicants must show evidence of having earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university upon matriculation into the GEMS program.

For details on financing your GEMS education, please visit the Financial Aid Page

Please note that requests for telephone consultations or office appointments are not possible due to limited staff. When sending an email communication (, please indicate your specific questions as framed by your admissions credentials. Only applicants invited for interview will meet with GEMS staff.