About Holistic Admissions
A core element of holistic admissions involves widening the lens through which we view applicants, recognizing and valuing different dimensions that shape each individual. The initiative’s Experiences-Attributes-Academic Metrics (E-A-M) model translates that concept into a useful tool and provides admissions staff and committee members with a shared framework for thinking broadly about diversity, identifying mission-based criteria that take into account the whole applicant, and spark thinking about applicants as future physicians, rather than merely as prospective students.
An integrated holistic admissions process incorporates four core principles at each stage: screening, interview, and selection. These four core principles emphasize the importance of giving individualized consideration to every applicant and provide operational guidance to ensure that admissions processes and criteria are both mission- and evidence-based, promote diversity, and use a balance of experiences, attributes, and academic metrics.
Holistic review is a flexible, individualized way of assessing an applicant’s capabilities by which balanced consideration is given to experiences, attributes, and academic metrics and, when considered in combination, how the individual might contribute value as a medical student and physician.
Four Core Principles
In a holistic admissions process, selection criteria are broad-based, clearly linked to school mission and goals, and promote diversity as an essential element to achieving institutional excellence.
A balance of experiences, attributes, and academic metrics (EAM) is
Admission staff and committee members give individualized consideration to how each applicant may contribute to the medical school learning environment and practice of medicine, weighing and balancing the range of criteria needed in a class to achieve the outcomes desired by the school.
Race and ethnicity may be considered as factors when making admission-related decisions only when such consideration is narrowly tailored to achieve mission-related educational interests and goals associated with student diversity, and when considered as part of a broader mix of factors, which may include personal attributes, experiential factors, and demographics. Or other considerations.*
*Under federal law (and where permitted by state law)
Resources for Admissions Staff
Admissions officers are at the forefront of changing the way medical schools select and train students, cultivating physicians of the future. The AAMC offers a variety of tools and resources to help you along the way.
Holistic Review in Admissions Workshop
Are your school's diversity and admissions efforts aligned with its mission?
Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Workshop cycle.