Overhauled MCAT to Be Released in 2015

New Test to Be Longer, More Focused on Cultural Sensitivity

“Critical analysis and behavioral science are things they’re going to get from other classes they take here,” she said. “I think that with Harvard’s distribution requirements in Gen Ed, you’re going to be getting these kinds of concepts already.”

But students may be required to take one semester of biochemistry and only one semester of organic chemistry instead of the two semesters of organic chemistry currently required by most medical schools, Michelson said.

“I think we’re lucky in that we’re a large research institution,” she said of Harvard’s curriculum. “We have resources to make sure that our courses will meet pre-med requirements.”

In 2010, 309 Harvard undergraduates and alumni applied to medical school, according to data collected by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Joshua E. Martin ’11, who took the MCAT in June of his junior year, said he was glad he took the current—and shorter—version of the exam.


“I think [the changes] would not have affected my decision to take the MCAT, but I think [they] would have made the MCAT much more painful,” he said.

Over the next few months, the committee will solicit feedback on their preliminary recommendations before releasing a final proposal in November.

The Association of American Medical Colleges Board of Directors will then approve these recommendations for the creation of a new MCAT next February.

— Staff writer Rebecca D. Robbins can be reached at