The standard path for any teen interested in studying medicine is to first submit an application to an undergraduate institution with a strong program in the hard sciences. Future MDs may choose from a variety of majors, and interestingly, those who major in the humanities or social sciences actually achieve average MCAT scores on par with those who concentrate in biology or the health sciences. Undergraduates, regardless of their major, must take the same amount of biology, chemistry, physics, and math courses that are typically necessary for admission to medical school. They start the arduous process of applying to medical school after completing four years of study, graduating with a bachelor’s degree, and scoring well on the MCAT.
The journey described above is typical for most medical students, but not all of them; some take a risk and apply to a BS/MD or BA/MD program right out of high school.
Including a list of BS/MD programs in the US
Our comprehensive guide with details on BS/MD program acceptance rates is a great place to start if you want to apply to BS/MD programs. Some people first realized they wanted to become doctors while they were enrolled in undergraduate programs, while others had this desire since they were very young. In order to secure their future career as a doctor as early as possible, applicants are looking for strategies as the competition for admission to medical schools continues to increase. If you’re considering applying to this joint program and wondering whether BS/MD programs might offer this opportunity, you’ve come to the right place.
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What are BS/MD programs?
BS/MD programs are highly selective programs that offer exceptional high school students, and occasionally first- or second-year college students, the opportunity to complete their baccalaureate degree and enter medical school right away to earn their MD. Some students will earn both their undergraduate and medical degrees from the same university, while others will complete both degrees at different partner institutions. In 7-8 years, depending on the program, students can earn an MD, a Bachelor of Science, or a Bachelor of Arts. Accelerated versions of the eight-year program, seven-year programs enable students to finish their undergraduate degree in just three years. Few universities provide 6-year BS/MD programs, though they are uncommon.
Wondering how to transition from high school to medical school?
Is a BS/MD program right for me?
It can be difficult to determine whether a BS/MD program is the right choice for you. While participating in one of these programs has some advantages, there are also drawbacks that you should be aware of.
The primary incentive for applicants to BS/MD programs is the early “guaranteed” admission to a medical school. Students who continue to achieve satisfactory GPAs and test results throughout their undergraduate degrees will be allowed to enroll directly in medical school without having to go through the traditional application process. This helps students avoid spending a lot of time, money, and stress on filling out primary and secondary applications and applying to multiple medical schools. There are some BS/MD medical schools that do not require the MCAT or the CASPER test, which is another advantage of BS/MD programs. Instead of having to study for and worry about standardized tests, this enables students to fully commit to their goals and devote more time to their studies.
BS/MD programs are typically small, accepting anywhere from 5 to 60 students on average. These intimate relationships with teachers, mentors, and fellow students are fostered by the small class sizes, which create a more individualized learning environment. Some programs allow students to complete an eight-year program at the same university, which fosters familiarity, stability, and a strong sense of community.
High-achieving students in some BS/MD programs receive financial rewards in the form of program scholarships and grants. Some colleges pay for undergraduate tuition, while others may pay for all eight years of it. Due to the high cost of medical school tuition and fees, many medical school graduates have significant debt. Having even a portion of your expenses covered goes a long way in easing your financial burden.
And finally, a lot of students are interested in the possibility of accelerating their path to becoming doctors. The majority of BS/MD programs last eight years, but some can be finished in seven or, in extremely rare circumstances, six years. This is a good option for those who want to start their career sooner because it not only saves money but also time.
The thought of picking a career and being 100% sure of it at only 17 or 18 is pretty daunting When we are young, what we think we want to do is not always what we actually do. As we advance and change over time, our beliefs and priorities frequently change. The exploration of different career paths can be hampered by BS/MD programs because they demand a serious commitment from the start while we are constantly learning new things and evolving.
While some institutions permit students to submit applications to medical schools other than the one with which they have a partnership, others do not Students may be required to sign a contract committing them to the medical school’s programs, thereby excluding them from other, potentially more advantageous, opportunities. On the other hand, traditional medical school applicants have the option to select which schools to apply to and can base their decision on factors like tuition, reputation, availability of scholarships, opportunities for research, etc.
It may seem idealistic to be able to complete both a BS and an MD in just 7 years, but it’s important to think about the implications of this option. These programs can provide an accelerated path due to the rigorous coursework in each semester, which frequently necessitates students finishing courses over the summer. Eliminating an entire year just means packing in more coursework each year since students are already challenged to complete these degrees in eight years.
For all the information you require about BS/MD programs, watch our video:
Every school has specific deadlines for submitting applications for their BS/MD program, so it’s important to check the school’s website to find out when those deadlines are.
In general, most BS/MD programs follow the below schedule:
High competition means a price must be paid to avoid the stress of starting an undergraduate degree without knowing what comes next and instead securing a spot in medical school from high school. Several BS/MD programs only accept four or five students, but hundreds or even thousands of applicants may be vying for those few openings. Due to the rising demand for spots in BS/MD programs, there are an increasing number of applicants. Most programs have an acceptance rate ranging from 1-5%, making the level of competition fierce, despite stringent requirements that must be met by those that wish to apply To find out which pre-med majors are best, visit our blog on medical school acceptance rates by major. Many BS/MD programs set minimum GPA, SAT or ACT stipulations and require high school students to be in the top 5-10% of their graduating class to be considered
How to get into a BS/MD program
Successful BS/MD students are those with GPAs close to 4. 0, with top percentile scores in the SAT or ACT. Although grades and test scores carry a lot of weight, admissions committees also take other things into account. The majority of schools state that they are seeking applicants who are well-rounded and who can show maturity, independence, and service to others. Students must also submit 1–5 letters of recommendation, their extracurricular activities, and any community or volunteer work in addition to their transcripts and test results. Check out our blog to learn how many volunteer hours are required for medical school. Students can anticipate submitting personal statements that explain why they want to study medicine as well as other supplemental essays, depending on the school.
So how can you get into a BS/MD program? By excelling in all areas of your application and being in the top 5% of your class Check the program requirements first; for some programs, students must enroll in certain courses. You’ll typically be expected to base your course selection on the sciences by enrolling in classes like biology, chemistry, and physics Avoid taking unrelated or easier courses to try to raise your GPA; the admissions committee will take this into account when evaluating each applicant.
Extracurricular activities and volunteer work are highly valued, especially if they demonstrate your commitment to and passion for medicine. For instance, knowing how to ask to shadow a doctor is very helpful because it will demonstrate to the admissions committee that you are serious about pursuing medicine as well as help you decide if you really want to become a doctor. Research involvement and teaching are two more excellent ways to demonstrate your commitment to medicine. It’s crucial to remember that not all of your experiences or endeavors must be related to medicine. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been on the student council or played volleyball for years since you started high school; what matters is that you show a genuine interest and commitment to your endeavor. Use those opportunities to think back on what you learned from them, what you can apply moving forward, and how doing this will help you become a doctor.
It’s crucial that your application stand out given the hundreds of applicants vying for, on average, less than 20 open positions. Your opportunity to explain to the admissions committee why you want to study medicine and the sources of your inspiration and passion will be in a well-written personal statement. Similar to this, you might be given a few essay questions that ask you to write an essay describing why you want to attend their school’s BS/MD program in particular, what your interests and skills are, or how you can benefit the incoming class. Check out our blogs for examples of medical school personal statements and secondary essays for medical school for more information on other typical essay prompts and strategies for responding to these prompts.
Describe the toughest challenge you have ever faced, and how you overcame it.
The difficult learning curve and emotional struggles I encountered when I first volunteered as a medical scribe at a cancer institute were one obstacle I overcame. I wanted to challenge myself and immerse myself in one of medicine’s most emotionally taxing specialties because I had no prior personal or family experience with cancer and wanted to make sure I could control my emotions in front of patients. Like my fellow scribes, I did not receive any formal training or additional information when I first began scribing. Shadowing scribes did not adequately prepare me for this role because of the steep learning curve.
In my struggle to become a proficient scribe, I felt lost and doubted my ability to pursue this career. Instead of conceding defeat and allowing insufficient training to limit my ability to become a proficient scribe, I decided to teach myself. I started my investigation by showing up at the clinic two to three hours before I was scheduled to arrive in order to prepare notes and create a binder of medical terms, chemotherapy agents, and Dr. Grahams, the doctor I typed for, makes note of preferences in addition to other important details. After work, I stayed to finish my notes and ask Graham about ideas I didn’t understand and how to make my notes better.
I wasn’t only unprepared for the steep learning curve, but also for the emotional fortitude that oncology demanded. This was the first time I had seen people struggling and the eventual death of illness. I remember the first time I observed Dr. Graham informed a patient’s family that he had stage IV disease and had a 3-6 month outlook. I sat with my head tilted down and my hair in front of my face as I scribbled as the emotional response of the room hit me like a brick. I could not comprehend how Dr. Graham had the emotional fortitude to deliver this upsetting news while gazing into their terrified eyes. I struggled with the emotional distress I was going through, so I turned to Dr Graham on how to handle these emotional responses. He taught me how to maintain compassion and empathy in emotionally trying situations while also being able to practice resilience and support others. He emphasized that we must forgive ourselves in those circumstances so that we can continue to give compassionate care to others. He said that we cannot allow our emotions to become entangled when a patient’s fate cannot be changed. I practiced this by keeping my emotions in check as I took notes in the patient rooms, but I also demonstrated compassion by giving the patients tissues during emotional conversations. Overall, overcoming these difficulties at the same time taught me to take full responsibility for my education, ask for help when I needed it, and plan ahead to persevere and be successful.
These abilities will assist me as a future medical student and doctor to overcome obstacles and perform well under pressure. I am grateful for the part these difficulties have played in my perseverance and resiliency because without them, I would not have known the strength I possessed.
Why are you interested in applying to our BS/MD program?
Due to its dedication to helping economically underprivileged communities, the Albany Medical Colleges’ BS/MD program has my interest. My involvement in community service has made me realize how important it is to give back in order to develop personally and become a more compassionate person. I volunteered at a free medical clinic in Costa Rica last summer as part of a missionary trip there to help the underprivileged locals. The majority of my time was spent evaluating patients, making treatment plans, and shadowing medical professionals and students. Through my volunteer work with these underserved communities, I was exposed to a variety of cultures and was better able to comprehend the needs, concerns, and healthcare disparities of patients. Additionally, I am eager to get involved in your school’s many outreach initiatives, especially the Prevention Research Center, as I have experience volunteering in addiction treatment centers and have seen firsthand how social and environmental factors contribute to tobacco and alcohol abuse. I think Albany’s curriculum will be highly individualized to best prepare me as a future physician and will adopt a forward-thinking approach to prioritize high quality and equitable healthcare among underserved and disadvantaged populations.
Making it to the interview stage may be the most challenging part of getting accepted into a BS/MD program as most schools interview less than 10% of all applicants Your chances of being accepted can be made or broken by how you perform in the interview, so it’s critical to effectively plan ahead and present your best self. The interview format varies significantly between schools. Several schools use the multiple mini interview (MMI) to evaluate applicants, while others conduct conversational/traditional or panel interviews. Another well-liked interview format is the CASPer test, which is used to reduce the number of candidates invited for an in-person interview. Make sure to check the program website to find out what kind of interview to anticipate. For additional resources to assist you in getting ready for your interview, click the links below.
BS/MD programs acceptance rates & list of BS/MD programs
This list of BS/MD programs that are open to high school students includes each institution’s admissions rates, open positions, and program length. Unless otherwise stated, the SAT, ACT, and GPA scores listed below are the minimal requirements for consideration.
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What is the easiest BS-MD program to get into?
University of Mississippi Medical Center is one of the easiest medical schools to get into in 2023. Mercer University School of Medicine. East Carolina University. University of North Dakota School of Medicine. University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. The University of South Dakota. Augusta University. University of Oklahoma.
How hard is BS-MD program?
Getting into a BS/MD program is extremely difficult. Each program has its own requirements, but you must always have a high GPA and excellent test results. Typically, the criteria are much more stringent than those for other undergraduate applicants.
Can I get into a BS-MD program with a 3.6 GPA?
A 3 year program with a BS/MD degree is typical. 5 or 3. 6 undergraduate GPA requirement to advance to the medical school. However, you would need at least three to apply to a medical school through the conventional route. 6 and higher would make you a more competitive candidate.
What is a good SAT score for BS-MD programs?
Those admitted to a BS/MD program typically have a 3. 8 unweighted GPA, at least a 1500 on the SAT or a 34 composite ACT score, all while falling within the top 5% to 10% of their high school graduating class The high school transcript is yet another crucial factor for admission to the BS/MD program.