The University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston UTMB School of Medicine is the final medical school in our series of Texas medical school guides. UTMB School of Medicine is home to the Galveston National Laboratory, a Level 4 biocontainment research facility and the Texas Department Criminal Justice Hospital, where the incarcerated are provided with medical care. UTMB School of Medicine hosts five different degree programs, including the highly sought-after MD/PhD program.
In today’s definitive guide, we’re going to cover:
- Programs offered at UTMB Health
- Cost of Attendance
- Required Coursework
- MCAT and GPA Requirements
- Primary and Secondary Application Details
- Secondary Essays with Samples
- Interview Tips
- How IMA Can Help
Keep reading to learn all about the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston UTMB School of Medicine.
Programs Offered at UTMB School of Medicine
- Doctor of Medicine (MD)
- Doctor of Medicine / Doctor of Philosophy (MD/PhD)
- Doctor of Medicine / Master of Business Administration (MD/MBA)
- Doctor of Medicine / Master of Science (MD/MS)
- Doctor of Medicine / Master of Public Health (MD/MPH)
Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program
Limited information on the MD program is provided on the UTMB Health website.
Year 1 consists of the following:
- META: Mindfully Evolving, Thriving & Advocating
- Gross Anatomy & Radiology
- Molecules, Cells & Tissues
- Pathobiology & Host Defense
- Neuroscience & Human Behavior
- Practice of Medicine
Year 2 consists of the following:
- Cardiovascular & Pulmonary
- Renal, Fluid & Electrolytes
- Dermatology / Hematology / Musculoskeletal
- Practice of Medicine
Year 3 consists mostly of clerkships.
- Family Medicine
- Internal Medicine
Year 4 consists of mostly electives and selectives.
- Global Health
- Institute for Medical Humanities
- Institute for Translational Sciences
- Internal Medicine
- Neuroscience and Cell Biology
- Division of Anatomy
- Obstetrics & Gynecology
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Preventive Medicine and Community Health
- Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
- Physician Healer Track
- Radiation Oncology
- Rural Health Care Track
- Medical Humanities
Click here for a comprehensive list of electives and selectives.
As we said, information is very limited. We dug deep just to find this information for you. For more detailed information regarding the MD program, contact the admissions office.
Doctor of Medicine / Doctor of Philosophy (MD/PhD)
The MD/PhD dual degree at UTMB Health takes approximately seven years to complete. It combines the best of both degrees to prepare medical students for a heavy emphasis on research. Students who complete this degree will be equipped to spend equal amounts of time in the lab and clinic.
The program works by having students take a break from the medical school curriculum after they’ve passed the USMLE Step 1 exam. You’ll spend the next three years working on the dissertation that will earn you your PhD. After you’ve defended your dissertation, you’ll return to the MD program and complete your clerkships and electives.
Here are some of the courses you’ll take:
- Current Topics in Molecules, Cells and Tissues
- Current Topics in Pathobiology and Host Defense Course
- Current Topics in Neuroscience and Human Behavior
Current Topics means that the curriculum continually evolves to keep up with the latest discoveries and findings in medicine.
Doctor of Medicine / Master of Business Administration (MD/MBA)
The UTMB School of Medicine partners with the University of Houston Clear Lake College of Business to provide this dual-degree option. If you’re interested in the business side of medicine, like in clinical or hospital leadership roles, then this is a good option for you. With both programs in conjunction, you’ll be able to complete your degree in five years. This is done through full-time academic coursework, including summer sessions, and with shared credits. (Shared credits mean that credits for one degree will also count for the other.)
The medical program will last 164 weeks, and the MBA program will consist of 39 credit hours. You’ll take the following courses to earn your MBA:
- Business Fundamentals
- Accounting for Admin Control
- Global Environment of Business
- Management Science and Operations
- Healthcare Economics
- Financial Policy
- Teamwork and Leadership Skills
- Strategic Management Seminar
- Marketing in Healthcare
- Legal Aspects of Healthcare Systems
- Healthcare Human Resource Management
- Group Practice Management
Doctor of Medicine / Master of Science (MD/MS)
This dual-degree option is ideal for students who want to develop new treatments for various diseases based on new scientific developments. For example, a doctor with the MD/MS dual degree could help develop a vaccine that targets the COVID-19 Delta variant.
In addition to the medical program, students will take the following courses:
- Introduction to Epidemiology
- Prevention and Public Health
- Research Methods
- Ethics of Science
- Original research project with a written thesis
With this dual degree, you are required to pass the Step 1 medical exam before moving on to your graduate-level work.
Doctor of Medicine / Master of Public Health (MD/MPH)
The MD/MPH dual degree is ideal for students who care about healthcare for the entire community, not just for the patients in their care. This allows for a greater understanding of what the population in their area needs. By understanding this, better healthcare can be provided to everyone.
If this interests you, check out the courses you’ll take:
- Principles of Public Health
- Public Health Assessment, Planning & Evaluation
- Public Health Professionalism & Leadership
- Introduction to Epidemiology
- Social Determinants of Health
- MPH Biostatistics & Data Management
- Survey & Qualitative Methods
- Health Policy & Management
- Public Health Ethics
- Applied Practice Experience
- Integrative Learning Experience
For more information on the dual-degree options listed here, visit this page on UTMB Health’s website.
Cost of Attendance
How much attending UTMB Health will cost depends on where you live. Living off-campus is your most expensive option. Living on campus is cheaper, and living at home is the cheapest. Here’s the cost breakdown:
Personal Expenses: $825
Personal Expenses: $825
Personal Expenses: $825
In addition to those costs, you’ll need to pay tuition and university fees. For Texas residents, you’ll pay around $25,000 per year. If you’re enrolled in the traditional MD program, you’ll be out $100,000 for your whole education (minus residency and fellowship costs).
For non-Texas residents, you’ll pay $40,000 per year. The reason for the drastic price increase is because tuition is subsidized for Texas residents. You’ll pay nearly $60,000 more for your education if you aren’t a resident. However, $160,000 for your medical training at UTMB Health is still very affordable. At least, it’s affordable in comparison to the medical schools that cost $100,000 per year.
The following courses must be taken to be considered for admission into UTMB Health.
- English: 6 credit hours. Only writing classes in the English department will be accepted. A Biology lab report would not count.
- Biological Sciences: 14 credit hours. Science courses required for science majors will be accepted.
- Mathematics: 3 credit hours. College Calculus or Statistics will be accepted.
- Physics: 8 credit hours (6 lecture hours, 2 lab hours). Physics courses accepted for science majors will be accepted. Physics courses for non-science majors will not be accepted.
- Chemistry: 8 credit hours each of Organic Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry. Both sets of credit hours require 6 lecture hours and 2 lab hours.
Those are the credit hours that are required. UTMB School of Medicine highly recommends taking the following courses. But take note. These courses aren’t required. So, don’t panic if you’re missing one.
- Biochemistry/Advanced Biochemistry
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Genetics
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Developmental Biology
If you’re still earning your bachelor’s degree, we recommend taking these courses.
MCAT, CASPer and GPA Requirements
UTMB School of Medicine requires all applicants to take the MCAT and CASPer exams. This is a good balancing act since the MCAT measures knowledge while the CASPer measures your character and personality, among other things. If you’d like more details on the MCAT or CASPer, then check out the articles we’ve published here on our blog. We cover both tests comprehensively.
Your GPA should be at least 3.8/4.0.
Primary and Secondary Application Details
Are you ready to apply to UTMB School of Medicine? They’re ready to receive your application! You’ll fill out your primary application through the Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service (TMDSAS). Once your application has been processed, you’ll receive a link in your email. That link will take you to the secondary application for UTMB School of Medicine. You will not be considered for an interview until your application has been completed and your $70 application fee has been paid.
Once both applications have been completed, it’s time to wait for an interview. For detailed information on the difference between primary and secondary applications, check out this article.
Secondary Essays with Samples
Secondary essays are a very important (but often dreaded) part of medical school applications. Your primary application contains your personal statement. You have 5,300 characters to impress the admissions committees who review primary applications before sending out secondary application links.
But those 5,300 characters aren’t quite enough. Each individual medical school has a secondary application, and 99% of them have supplementary essay questions to get to know you even better. It’s super important to answer these essay questions to the best of your ability. In this section, we’ll review the questions that UTMB Health asks prospective students. We’ll also provide sample responses.
If writing essays is a struggle for you, don’t panic! International Medical Aid offers admissions consulting and tiered packages to help you on your path to medical school. That includes helping you with your personal statement and secondary essays. Go here to get started.
“Describe, as best you can, your vision for your future in terms of where you want to live and how you want to practice medicine. Is there any particular area or specialty that appeals to you?”
You have 300 words to answer this question. While that isn’t a lot of space, it’s better than the 150 words that some applications limit you to. UTMB Health wants to get an idea of who you are as an MD candidate and whether your future goals align with UTMB Health. There’s no right or wrong answer here.
Here’s an example:
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to be an OBGYN. My desire stems from growing up in a medical family. Both of my parents are doctors. My father is a neurosurgeon, and my mother is a cardiothoracic surgeon. My grandparents were also doctors, although they passed away before I was born.
I’ve seen the positive impact that being doctors has made on my parents’ lives. I want to experience that impact on my own life as well. I want to dedicate my career to helping people recover from their illnesses. In the worst cases, my parents have helped their patients recover from heart attacks and brain tumors. I want to deliver babies, perform C-sections when necessary, and provide comprehensive healthcare to the women who trust me to be their doctor. I think there’s a beautiful connection between providing healthcare and growing as a doctor and as an individual.
I want to practice medicine in a rural area where healthcare is limited. While I grew up in a suburban neighborhood, my parents both drove nearly an hour each way to work every day. They worked at a remote hospital to perform surgeries on patients who were too sick to make it to the nearest big city. They saved lives on a daily basis, and I want to do the same. I’m grateful for my parents and the wonderful example they set for me.
“Describe, if relevant, circumstances in your life that represent a hardship. How have these circumstances impacted you, and how do you believe they will impact your practice of medicine?” (300 word limit)
Our experiences in life impact how we associate with, interact with and work with others. It’s unavoidable. Because of that, we can allow those circumstances to hinder us or to help us grow. As a medical doctor, it will be very important for you to grow through hardship. Whether you’ve dealt with an illness, had familial problems or suffered from financial struggles, those are all hardships that can provide vital experience. UTMB School of Medicine wants to know what you’ve been through and how those experiences have shaped you.
Here’s an example:
In my junior year of high school, my father passed away from a brain aneurism. It was a major blow to our family in every possible way. It was devastating losing my father, but it was almost more devastating having my future altered. Even with my father’s life insurance policy, our finances were cut in half. My mother had always worked, but my father made more money than she did. The money for our college funds came from his paycheck. There was enough money saved up for one child to go to college but not for all four of us.
I spent high school preparing for the Work and Activities section on my AMCAS. (Hey, you can’t prepare too early!) All my free time was spent participating in clubs and being involved in extracurricular activities. But when Dad passed away, I had to trade all my extracurricular activities for an after-school job. I needed the money to pay for my first year of college.
My original plan was to attend an out-of-state college. But I quickly discovered how exhausting work was in comparison to after-school activities. After conducting a lot of research and talking with my school’s guidance counselor, I decided to trade in my Ivy League dreams for something more realistic. I’m applying for UTMB Health because, with student loans, I can afford to earn my MD and become a doctor.
At the end of the day, all I really want is to become a doctor. I’ve learned through my experiences that altering my plans to achieve my goals is worth it. Wearing a white coat will allow me to help sick people get better. And that was my goal all along.
“Describe your experience(s) working in teams and articulate the impact of this experience on you. In particular, how did you manage any disagreements or conflicts that arose in the process?” (300 word limit)
Ahh, teamwork. It’s loved and hated, anticipated and dreaded all at once. We always know it’s coming–we just might not want it to! But working in teams is an essential part of being a doctor. You’ll be surrounded by nurses, physician assistants and clinical/hospital staff who will all work with you to provide top-notch care to your patients.
You’ll work in teams in medical school. This will help acclimate you to how clinical and hospital settings work. This won’t be like the terrible high school and undergrad experiences we have all had. You’ll be working with a team of professionals who all have the same goal: to become doctors of medicine.
If you haven’t had any good experiences with team work, then write about what you’ve learned through negative experiences. If you need any help, contact us.
Every MD applicant’s hope and dream is to interview with the school of their dreams. Receiving an invitation to interview means that your application impressed the admissions committee enough to get to know you better.
There are two types of interviews that are most common for medical school settings: the traditional interview and the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). We’ve written comprehensive articles about both. Unfortunately, the UTMB Health website doesn’t include a lot of details about the interviews. We recommend reviewing both articles to be best prepared for your interview.
Are you nervous, not knowing which type of interview you’ll do? We can help with that. Our medical school admissions consulting includes mock interviews. We can help you prepare for both kinds. Click here to get started.
UTMB Health is conducting interviews for their next admissions cycle on Wednesdays and Fridays. They’re interviewing about 30 applicants per day. If you’re invited to interview, you’ll be sent a link to their portal where you can reserve your spot. Click here for more information.
UTMB School of Medicine is a great university to attend. But we don’t recommend keeping it as your only option. That would mean that you only have one shot at getting in to medical school. We recommend applying to all the medical schools in Texas if you want to attend medical school in Texas. You might also want to apply for a few out-of-state schools. Our series of definitive guides for medical school is a great place to get started if you’re not sure where you want to apply. Check out our growing list of schools:
- The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
- UNT Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
- University of Houston College of Medicine
- Texas A&M College of Medicine
- Johns Hopkins Medical School
- Baylor College of Medicine
- George Washington University School of Medicine
- Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
- St. George’s University School of Medicine
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (in Pennsylvania)
- Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
- Wake Forest University School of Medicine
- Western University of Health Sciences (in California)
- Drexel University College of Medicine
- Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago
- Georgetown University School of Medicine
- Yale School of Medicine
- Perelman School of Medicine
- UCLA Medical School
- NYU Medical School
- Washington University School of Medicine
- Brown Medical School
We wish you the best of luck on your journey to medical school!