A Guide to Applying to BS-MD Programs
The BS-MD Program
Do you dream about becoming a doctor? Are you 100% committed to that goal? If you are sure you want to commit to a career as a physician, you may be interested in applying to a direct medical program, which is known as a BS/MD program. Through this program you will earn a BS degree (Bachelor of Science) and a MD degree (Doctor of Medicine) without having to apply to medical school. This eliminates the stress and competitiveness of applying to medical school.
What is the BS-MD Program?
The BS/MD program involves a partnership between an undergraduate school and a medical school. Students will earn both the BS (sometimes it’s a BA) and MD from one university. However, there are some programs that give degrees from two institutions. An example of this is the Rice/Baylor Medical Scholars Program.
How Many Years are BS-MD Programs?
Many BS/MD programs are eight years, which is equivalent to the amount of time a student would spend getting a BS and then applying to medical school and getting an MD. There are programs that take seven years, and there are some six-year programs.
BS-MD Programs are Competitive
BS-MD programs are extremely competitive and receive hundreds of thousands of applications for very few spots. They accept very few students, as few as less than one percent to approximately nine percent. Once admitted to a BS-MD program, it is not time to relax. Most programs require students to maintain a certain GPA, and many require students to take the MCAT and earn a minimum score.
Will I Gain Acceptance to a BS-MD Program?
Even if you have a very high GPA, top SAT or ACT scores, and are graduating in the top of your class, so do most applicants. You need to have another way to stand out. This may be through extracurricular activities and making sure you get the best letters of recommendation. Because the BS/MD programs are so competitive to gain acceptance, it’s important for students to have options. Apply to traditional undergraduate campuses. Look for those with a good science or premed program.
The BS/MD Application
The BS/MD application is often more involved than applying to many other undergraduate programs. Many require supplemental essays, and if a student is chosen as a semi-finalist, there might be on-campus interviews or interviews with alumni.
Advantages of BS/MD programs
- Avoid the stress of applying to medical school
- In some programs, such as Brown and Northwestern, avoid the stress of studying for the MCAT
- Opportunities such as internships, fellowships and grants
- Become part of a small community of students within a large university
Five BS/MD Programs
The following is a sampling of BS/MD programs nationwide. If you go to the websites for each program you can obtain information about the programs and the application process.
1. Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME)
- Undergraduate School: Northwestern University
- Medical School: Feinberg School of Medicine
- Website: https://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/sites/hpme/
2. Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME)
- Undergraduate School: Brown University
- Medical School: The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
- Website: https://www.brown.edu/academics/medical/plme/
3. Rice/Baylor Medical Scholars Program
- Undergraduate School: Rice University
- Medical School: Baylor College of Medicine
- Website: https://admission.rice.edu/apply/freshman/ricebaylor-medical-scholars
4. Rochester Early Medical Scholars
- Undergraduate School: University of Rochester
- Medical School: University of Rochester School of Medicine
- Website: https://enrollment.rochester.edu/combined-degree-programs/rems/
5. Pre-Med Health Scholar Program
Undergraduate School: Temple University
Medical School: Temple University School of Medicine
If you are going to apply to BS/MD programs you need to map out a strategy early on in your high school career. This includes:
- Getting high grades
- Taking challenging classes
- Earning high ACT, SAT, and SAT Subject scores
- Having extracurricular activities that coincide with your interest in becoming a physician
- Developing strong connections with the “right” teachers who will provide letters of recommendation that will make a difference
Because acceptance is so competitive to BS-MD programs, you are more likely to be successful if you have an expert to guide you through the process and help your application stand out. We have college counselors on our team with a strong track record helping students gain acceptance to BS/MD programs and also providing them with options for pursuing a medical degree through traditional undergraduate programs.
Get started on our program by completing the form on our website, and we will be in contact with you. Be sure to indicate your interest in BS/MD programs. We look forward to working with you.
For a complete list of schools offering BS/MD and BA/MD programs, read our answer to: What colleges offer combined bachelors and MD program?