Explanation of the Alternate List

1. Where am I on the Alternate List? What are my chances for acceptance?

The Alternate List at the University of Virginia is not ranked, and therefore it is impossible to tell applicants where they are on the list, or to predict their chances for acceptance.

2. How are applicants selected from the Alternate List?

When positions become available in the class, the Alternate List will be reviewed much like a separate, self-contained admissions process. Several factors are involved in this process, including the instate/out-of-state ratio in the class at the time positions become available. The Admissions Committee will select individuals from the Alternate List who are considered to be the most qualified at that point in time. Each time a position becomes available, this process will be repeated.

3. How many applicants are on the Alternate List?

The number of individuals on the Alternate List starts out fairly large; usually about 175 applicants. However, as the season progresses, there is considerable attrition on the list, and by the time positions are available, there are typically only 70 to 80 individuals who continue to be actively interested in attending the University of Virginia. It is from this pool of applicants that the Admissions Committee will fill positions in the class.

4. When can I expect to hear from the Admissions Committee?

It is impossible to know exactly when positions will become available. The Admissions Committee will overbook the class, knowing that some applicants will choose to attend another medical school. Because applicants are not allowed to hold multiple acceptances after April 30th, we typically receive a number of withdrawals around that date. Based on previous years’ experiences, we believe the class size will drop below 156 sometime in late June. At that time, review of the Alternate List will begin. All Alternate List candidates are kept under consideration until the first day of orientation or until an applicant matriculates at another medical school, whichever comes first.

5. How many applicants are taken from the Alternate List each year?

It is impossible to know in advance how many positions will become available in any given year. In previous years, the average numbers of matriculants from the Alternate List has been approximately 10 to 12 individuals.

6. What can I do to improve my chances while I’m waiting to hear from the Committee?

Because Alternate List applications are reviewed again when positions become available, you are welcome to add materials to your file at any time. Applicants may submit additional letters of recommendation, recent publications, or information about their most recent activities. Updated transcripts should be sent as soon as they become available.

7. How will I be contacted if the Committee decides to make me an offer?

Should you be selected from the Alternate List, it is imperative that we have a phone number where you can be reached. If you will be outside the reach of telephone communications for any period of time, please send us a letter with the name and daytime phone number of someone who has the authority to accept or decline an offer for you.

We know this can be a time of uncertainty and anxiety. Please understand that we appreciate your patience and your continued interest in the University of Virginia School of Medicine. We realize that it may be difficult to make important decisions about your future while waiting to hear from the Admissions Office, and while we empathize with your position, it is extremely difficult to offer any assurances of acceptance. If you decide to attend another medical school, please notify us so that we can remove your name from the Alternate List.