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Florida Atlantic University Schmidt College of Medicine: FAU Secondary Application Essay Prompts and Tips

  • Cracking Med School Admissions

Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine cares deeply about serving its community. FAU Admissions wants to recruit students who are passionate about improving community health and who care about social justice. It is important to write about how you have served your community in your FAU medical school secondary application. Read more of our FAU secondary application tips below. 

Pre-Writing Guidance: FAU removes some of its prompts each year, but there is always a leadership question, Why Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine question, a challenge question, and optional questions about your academic career. We would strongly suggest that you look at the FAU secondaries prompts for the last 4 years and pre-write the essays that don’t seem to change too much.

Our  Cracking Med School Admissions team has a track record of helping our mentees receive acceptances to Schmidt FAU College of Medicine for the past several years. Get our help with writing FAU secondaries that stand out with our secondary essay editing packages . 

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FAU Secondary Application Questions: 2023 – 2024

  • Use this area to justify and/or explain any academic hardships on your transcripts (any failed and/or repeated courses due to any reason). (1,600 characters max)
  • Use this area to explain exceptions to these prerequisites at your institution.  (1,600 characters max)
  • Whether or not you will be a full-time student, please provide details of your activities/employment for the application year. (1,200 characters max)
  • Describe why you would like to attend the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU. What values, skills, talents, and life experiences would you contribute to our community?  (1,600 characters max)  worded slightly differently this year
  • Your AMCAS application should reflect your community service experiences. Tell us about your most meaningful community service experience that is  unrelated to direct patient care. How did you grow? What did you learn? What did you enjoy about serving others?  (1,600 characters max)
  • What traits do you feel you have developed through your experiences thus far (such as paid or unpaid work experiences) that will help prepare you to be successful in medical school and a future physician. Experience does not need to be related to patient care.  (1,600 characters max)   New Prompt this year
  • Leadership can be defined in many ways. One way of defining leadership is as a set of behaviors used to help people align their collective direction, or lead a group or an organization. Tell us about a time you executed your leadership skills.  (1,600 characters max) Slightly reworded from last year
  • Please describe a significant personal challenge you have faced, one which you feel has helped shape you as a person. Focus on what you learned about yourself and how it will help you during challenges you may face during medical school and as a future physician. Describe any support system and/or resources you had available and how you utilized them.  (1,600 characters max) Slightly reworded from last year

For the FAU secondaries prompt, “Use this area to justify and/or explain any academic hardships on your transcripts (any failed and/or repeated courses due to any reason)” you should strongly consider discussing the following:

  • Receiving a grade of “C” or lower
  • A semester when your Grade Point Average (GPA) was a lot lower than other semesters
  • A downward trend in your Grade Point Average
  • A semester when you took less credits than you normally do
  • Times when you were not a full-time student 

Contact us if you have questions about what you should include.

Removed a couple of essays from last year.

Tips to Answer FAU Secondaries

FAU Secondaries Pre-Writing Guidance: FAU slightly tweaks the wording of its FAU secondary essay prompts each year. However, there are 4-5 prompts that stay fairly similar each year, and our FAU secondary application ti ps on how to answer these questions don’t change.  We think this is a great secondary to pre-write, especially given that FAU is a more time-sensitive school. 

  • Download our Cracking Med Secondary Essay Workbook and Examples  to help you with all your secondary essays!

FAU Secondary Application Tip #1: Include as many anecdotes as possible. 1200-1600 characters may not seem like a lot, but our students are successful in incorporating anecdotes for many of their Florida Atlantic University Medical School secondary application essays. In our opinion, you can definitely add anecdotes and stories in the following FAU secondaries prompts: 

  • Tell us about your most meaningful community service experience that is unrelated to direct patient care. How did you grow? What did you learn? What did you enjoy about serving others?
  • What traits do you feel you have developed through your experiences thus far (such as paid or unpaid work experiences) that will help prepare you to be successful in medical school and a future physician. Experience does not need to be related to patient care.
  • Leadership can be defined in many ways. One way of defining leadership is as a set of behaviors used to help people align their collective direction, or lead a group or an organization. Tell us about a time you executed your leadership skills.
  • Please describe a significant personal challenge you have faced, one which you feel has helped shape you as a person. Focus on what you learned about yourself and how it will help you during challenges you may face during medical school and as a future physician. Describe any support system and/or resources you had available and how you utilized them. 

FAU Secondary Application Tip #2:  Highlight your leadership, passion to change healthcare, and impact on society. After reading your entire FAU Medical School secondary application, the reader should understand: how are you committed to improving your community?

FAU Secondary Application Tip #3: To answer FAU Medical School’s diversity question, you don’t have to necessarily talk about your ethnic background. You can discuss working with immigrant populations or other talents / activities that have shaped who you are today. 

  • Read our helpful blog post:  Medical School Diversity Essay Examples and Tips

FAU Secondary Application Tip #4: Of course, you should incorporate “Why FAU Medical School” in the FAU secondary application question, “ Tell us why you would like to be admitted to the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU. What makes you a good fit for our College of Medicine?” But, you can definitely incorporate more “Why FAU Medical School” throughout your other responses. 

  • Read our HIGH-YIELD blog post  Why this Medical School? Secondary Essay Example to learn how to write great “Why this medical school” essays. 

FAU Secondary Application Tip #5:  For the question,  “Please describe a significant personal challenge you have faced, one which you feel has helped shape you as a person. Focus on what you learned about yourself and how it will help you during challenges you may face during medical school and as a future physician. Describe any support system and/or resources you had available and how you utilized them”  make sure you clearly discuss what the challenge was and how you overcame this.

Common mistakes students make include:

  • Talking about a topic that is too common among premedical students, such getting a “C” in organic chemistry.
  • Not providing enough context about the challenge they faced.
  • Not discussing how they overcame the stressful situation.
  • Not discussing how they grew from the challenge.

Great topics for the FAU Medical School secondary application challenge essay include:

  • Challenge in leading a community service project
  • Challenge in leading a team
  • Challenge with helping a patient receive better healthcare access
  • Challenge in a class (but not grade related) and how the applicant became better at studying
  • Challenge during a study abroad program
  • Challenge when immigrating to America as a new international student

If you have questions about whether your topic is a good topic to write about, send Dr. Mediratta and Dr. Rizal a question through our contact form  below. 

FAU Secondary Application Tip #6: Get our help to edit your FAU secondaries through our secondary essay editing packages . Our Cracking Med School Admissions team has a strong track record of several of our mentees getting accepted to Florida medical schools and residency programs. And, Dr. Rachel Rizal has visited her mentees at the Florida medical schools herself! Have questions about how you can stand out? Contact us below.

[ Read more secondary essay tips:  Florida State University (FSU) , Florida International University (FIU) , University of Central Florida , George Washington )

Your medical school application Coaches, Mentors, & Cheerleaders

We Personally Advise Every Student We Work With.

Dr. Rachel Rizal

Rachel Rizal, M.D.

Changing the trajectory of people’s lives.

Undergraduate Princeton University, cum laude

Medical School Stanford School of Medicine

Residency Harvard, Emergency Medicine

Awards & Scholarships Fulbright Scholar USA Today Academic First Team Tylenol Scholarship

Dr. Rishi Mediratta

Rishi Mediratta, M.D., M.Sc., M.A.

Advising students to attend their dream schools.

Undergraduate Johns Hopkins University, Phi Beta Kappa

Residency Stanford, Pediatrics

Awards & Scholarships Marshall Scholar Tylenol Scholarship Global Health Scholar

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FAU Secondary Application Questions: 2022 – 2023

  • Tell us why you would like to be admitted to the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU. What makes you a good fit for our College of Medicine? (1,600 characters max)
  • Tell us about your leadership experience(s) and/or key leadership skills. (Organized a fundraiser, had club/organization officer role, etc.) How do you motivate or influence people?  If none, please write not applicable. (1,600 characters max)  Slightly reworded from last year
  • Briefly describe a situation where you had to overcome adversity; include lessons learned and how you think it will affect your career as a future physician. If none, please write not applicable. (1,600 characters max) Slightly reworded from last year
  • The Florida Atlantic University Schmidt College of Medicine has made a commitment to foster an inclusive environment in which every person in our medical school community has the ability to achieve their full potential. We are proud to have a medical school rich in cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity. What values, skills, talents, and life experiences would you contribute to our community?  (1,600 characters max) Slightly reworded from last year
  • You may have worked during or after college. Having to maintain paid employment can be challenging, yet it can also develop a number of qualities that can help you succeed in medical school, as well as beyond. Tell us about your most meaningful paid employment. What was it about the experience that made it meaningful? What qualities and skills did the job help you develop and strengthen? (Experience does not need to be related to patient care, if none, please write none) (1,600 characters max)

FAU Secondary Application Questions: 2021 – 2022

  • Your AMCAS application should reflect your community service experiences. However, tell us more about your most meaningful community service involvement, particularly an experience that really inspired you. How did your involvement move you? (Experience does not need to be related to patient care) (1,600 characters max)
  • Good leaders add value to the healthcare profession. They have passion, motivation, conflict resolution skills and integrity, among other attributes and traits. Tell us about your leadership experience(s) and/or key leadership skills. Have you organized a fund raiser, had a club organization/leadership role? How do you motivate or influence people? (1,600 characters max)
  • Briefly describe a situation where you had to overcome an obstacle or were faced by a difficult challenge or decision. What valuable lessons did you learn? How do you think the experience prepared you for a career as a future physician? (1,600 characters max)
  • Diversity means understanding that each individual is unique and recognizing our individual differences. Describe what uniqueness you would bring to the Schmidt COM. We are proud to already have a medical school rich in cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity. What values, skills, talents, and life experiences would you add to our culture? (1,600 characters max)
  • As a community FAU Schmidt COM has made a commitment to be anti-racist and address systemic racism in education and healthcare. Institutionalized racism can be defined as “macro level systems, social forces, institutions, ideologies, and processes that interact with one another to generate and reinforce inequities among racial and ethnic groups.” As a future medical student at FAU, how can you play an active role in addressing and dismantling systemic racism? (1,600 characters max)
  • One of the values of the FAU Schmidt College of Medicine is to provide the best medical care for all people. A major challenge for all physicians to provide the best medical care are Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). These can be defined as “conditions in the social, physical, and economic environment in which people are born, live, work, and age.” What will you as a future doctor do to address SDOH? (1,600 characters max)

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FAU Secondary Application Questions: 2020 - 2021

  • Tell us about your most meaningful community service experience. How did you grow? What did you learn? What did you enjoy about serving others? (not related to patient care, if none, please write none) (1,600 characters max)
  • Tell us about your leadership experience(s) and/or key leadership skills. (Organized a fund raiser, club/organization officer role, how do you motivate or influence people, if none, please write none) (1,600 characters max)
  • Briefly describe a situation where you had to overcome adversity; include lessons learned and how you think it will affect your career as a future physician (if none, please write none) (1,600 characters max)

FAU Secondary Application Questions: 2019 – 2020

  • Use this area to justify and/or explain any academic hardships on your transcripts (any failed and/or repeated courses due to any reason) (1,600 characters max)
  • What MCAT course and when did you take? (1,600 characters max)
  • Your AMCAS application should reflect your community service experiences. However, tell us more about your most meaningful community service involvement, particularly an experience that really inspired you. How did your involvement move you? (Experience does not need to be related to patient care, if none, please write none) (1,600 characters max)
  • Good leaders add value to the healthcare profession. They have passion, motivation, conflict resolution skills and integrity, among other attributes and traits. Tell us about your leadership experience(s) and/or key leadership skills. Have you organized a fund raiser, had a club/organization officer role? How do you motivate or influence people? (If none, please write none) (1,600 characters max)

FAU Secondary Application Questions: 2018 – 2019

  • The college’s mission is to advance the health and well-being of our community by training future generations of humanistic clinicians and scientists and translating discovery to patient-centered care. Therefore, as a community-based medical school, community service is important to the College. What community service activity was your most meaningful and do you currently continue to give your time to the activity? (1,600 characters max)
  • Our College believes in working collaboratively. Thus being able to work in a team is vital to the success of an FAU Medical Student, yet being able to lead is equally important. Give an example of when you were part of a team and had a leadership role. How did you influence your team members to carry out their tasks within the group? How did you perform in your role within the team? What did you learn from having to lead a team? Did any problems arise? How did you overcome them? What did you learn about being a part of a team, while also holding a leadership position? (1,600 characters max)
  • The FAU College of Medicine Admissions Committee is interested in learning more about you as a person. Please describe a noteworthy personal challenge you have faced, one which you feel has helped to shape you as a person. Examples may include a moral and/or ethical dilemma, a situation of personal adversity, or a hurdle in your life that you worked hard to overcome. Please include how you got through the experience and what you learned about yourself as a result. (1,600 characters max)
  • Diversity is an array of things. What unique qualities and/or traits will you bring to our College? What distinctive attributes would you bring to the practice of medicine? What values, skills, talents, and life experiences – and how you would add to the cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine? (1,600 characters max)
  • Have you held any type of paid employment? If so, please tell us about your most meaningful employment experience. What traits do you feel you learned while with that employer? (If you have not held paid employment, please write none) (1,600 characters max)

FAU Secondary Application Questions: 2017 – 2018

  • Tell us why you would like to be admitted to the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU. (1,200 characters max)
  • Tell us about your most meaningful community service experience. (not related to patient care if none, please write none) (1,600 characters max)
  • Tell us about your leadership experience(s) and/or key leadership skills. (Organized a fundraiser, club/organization officer role, how do you motivate or influence people, if none, please write none) (1,600 characters max)
  • Briefly describe a situation where you had to overcome adversity; include lessons learned and how you think it will affect your career as a future physician (if none, please write none)
  • Describe what you would bring to the practice of medicine – your values, skills, talents, and life experiences – and how you would add to the cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. (1,200 characters max)
  • Tell us about your most meaningful employment experience. (not related to patient care, if none, please write none)

FAU Secondary Application Questions: 2016 – 2017

  • Tell us about your most meaningful community service experience. (not related to patient care if none, please write none) (1,200 characters max)
  • Tell us about your most meaningful employment experience. (not related to patient care, if none, please write none) (1,200 characters max)
  • Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience. (if none, please write none) (1,200 characters max)
  • Tell us about any creative endeavors you participate(d) in. (e.g., art, dance, music, etc if none, please write none) (1,200 characters max)
  • Describe a situation in which you interacted with a culturally diverse group. (if none, please write none) (1,200 characters max)

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COMMENTS

  1. Freshman Admission Requirements

    Earning an AA with High School Diploma (Dual Enrollment) High School students earning both the standard high school diploma and an associate in arts (A.A.) degree through dual enrollment from a Florida College System or State University System institution and who do not meet Freshman admission requirements may be admitted to Florida Atlantic under Florida Board of Governors Regulation 6.005.

  2. Florida Atlantic University: FAU Secondary Application Essay

    FAU Secondary Application Tip #1: Include as many anecdotes as possible. 1200-1600 characters may not seem like a lot, but our students are successful in incorporating anecdotes for many of their Florida Atlantic University Medical School secondary application essays.

  3. Freshman Deadlines

    The application deadline means ALL application materials must be received by the deadline. An application is complete once all official transcripts are received. Please keep in mind that when sending transcripts, electronic transcripts take 5-7 days to be received. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, therefore students are advised to ...

  4. Submission Guidelines

    All applicants must also send OFFICIAL COPIES OF TRANSCRIPTS directly to the University. PORTFOLIO. Prospective students should consider the following guidelines when submitting a portfolio for admissions. A portfolio is a design project and an illustration of your work and your own design thinking. While the School will not provide a template ...