In 1986 the authors mailed a one-page questionnaire to 135 North American medical schools requesting information about written expectations for students that contain noncognitive criteria. Eighty-eight questionnaires (65.2%) were returned, and 48 schools (54.5%) indicated they possessed written noncognitive criteria. Those schools having noncognitive criteria were asked to submit the criteria for review and were questioned about their reasons for establishing such criteria. Those schools not having noncognitive criteria were asked whether they perceived a need for such criteria and had plans for developing them. The study showed an increasing trend to create criteria that assist in administrative actions when problems arise. In the 31 sets of noncognitive criteria submitted for the study, the rank order of specific expectations was, from most to least frequently mentioned: honesty, professional behavior, dedication to learning, appearance, respect for law, respect for others, confidentiality, aid to others, substance abuse, and financial responsibility. The authors make recommendations for schools wishing to create noncognitive criteria and explain why they feel such criteria should receive the recognition and importance given to cognitive criteria.