COM123 COA Subcommittees and Procedures – COM Admissions

No./Title: COM123/COA Subcommittees and Procedures

Resp. Office: Admissions

Approval Body: COA

Effective Date: 09/28/21

Category: COM/COA

Last Review: 09/28/21

Next Review: 09/27/24

Contact: Catherine Womack, M.D.

Assoc. Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions

🕿 901-448-5400


Related Policy:

COM Bylaws Section IV

COM120 – COM Committee Composition and Procedures


The Bylaws of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine (COM) establish the structure and purpose of the COM Committee on Admissions (COA), as further delineated in COM120 – COM Committee Composition and Procedures. The policies outlined in the present document provide details regarding the subcommittee structure and function of the COA.


The COA is charged with selecting those applicants deemed to be the most highly qualified for the study and practice of medicine. It also establishes standards for admission to the College, subject to approval by the College of Medicine, the Administration of UTHSC and the University Board of Trustees. The COA has three standing subcommittees and one special projects subcommittee.  

The Executive Subcommittee consists of the Chair and Vice Chair of the COA, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions, the Assistant Dean for Admissions, and at least one additional COA member that is a UTHSC faculty member (non-administrator) to ensure that the subcommittee’s composition is greater than 50% faculty (non-administrative faculty).  Its responsibilities include:

1.       Evaluation and continuous quality improvement of medical school admissions. This subcommittee performs annual evaluations of all COA processes and procedures. When areas of needed improvement are identified, this subcommittee proposes changes to the full COA, or creates an ad hoc subcommittee that is charged with developing quality improvement plans and proposing those plans to the full committee.

2.       Annual review and approval of the prerequisites and recommended courses/subjects for application to the UTHSC COM.

3.       Annual review of the technical standards for the admission of applicants and for retention/graduation of medical students.

4.       Wait list management and annual review/continuous quality improvement of the wait list rubric.

 This subcommittee is advisory to the full COA and all recommendations made by this committee must be approved by simple majority vote of the full COA (with quorum).

The Application Prescreening Subcommittee is composed of the Assistant Dean for Admissions and three to seven additional members from the COA More than 50% of its membership must be non-administrative UTHSC faculty. This subcommittee is responsible for:

1.      Prescreening of applications to populate the prescreening rubric used to rank students for determining the order in which invitations to interview will be made by the Admissions Office.

2.      Annual evaluation for continuous quality improvement of the application prescreening rubric and the prescreening process. 

 This subcommittee has full authority to populate the prescreening rubric that sets the order in which students will be invited to interview at the UTHSC COM. It should be noted that the prescreening rubric has been approved by the full COA.

The Scholarship Subcommittee meets annually at the beginning of February to determine which applicants to recommend for merit and diversity scholarship offers. The composition of the Scholarship Subcommittee includes the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions, the Assistant Dean for Admissions and five to seven additional, non-student members of the COA (greater than 50% must be non-administrative UTHSC faculty). This subcommittee is advisory to the full committee, which must approve its recommendations by a simple majority vote.

The Special Projects Subcommittee is composed of five to nine non-student COA members with greater than 50% non-administrative faculty. This subcommittee makes recommendations to the full committee, subject to approval by a simple majority vote. This subcommittee participates in the following processes:

1.      Annual selection of one applicant from a cohort of between 15 to 20 applicants for the Oral Maxillofacial Surgery/MD track. The subcommittee evaluates the application materials and interviews all candidates and to identify the top candidate for recommendation to the full COA.

2.      Management of transfer student applications.

3.      Service on the COM Reinstatement Committee for students that have withdrawn from medical school and have requested reinstatement. 

4.      Annual management and review of the interview question banks for alpha and beta interviews.

5.      Additional ad hoc roles as needed.


Effective: 09/28/2021

Revised: N/A

COM123 COA Subcommittees and Procedures – COM Admissions
Version: 1 // Effective: 09/28/2021
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