How to Get Into a BS/MD Program: Step-by-Step Guide


Is your goal to become a doctor? Do you want to put yourself on a fast track to medical school and making your dream a reality? If so, you may want to consider applying for a BS/MD program.

In this article, I’ll explain what these programs are and go over exactly how to get into a BS/MD program, so that you can be one step closer to your dream of becoming a doctor.

What Is a BS/MD Program?

A BS/MD program offers you admission to medical school if you meet certain minimum requirements while you’re in college or applying to colleges

. You can apply for a BS/MD program as a high school student during the regular college application process. Additionally, there are BS/MD programs you can apply to as an underclassman in college. Most people begin applying to med school the summer between their junior and senior years of college, so BS/MD programs can let you know you’ve been accepted to med school years before many of your peers find out.

Much of the information in this article is geared towards current high school students who are considering applying to programs that admit first-year students, but some of the advice and information also applies to current college students who are contemplating entering a BS/MD program.

Typically, for BS/MD programs, you have to maintain a 3.5 GPA while in college, and many programs still require you to take the MCAT,

the medical school entrance exam. However, assuming you meet the minimum requirements, you’ll be guaranteed admission to the medical school that’s associated with your BS/MD program.

Usually, it takes at least eight years to finish your undergraduate and medical school programs, but sometimes, you can do so in six or seven through a BS/MD program.

Upon completion of the program, you’ll have a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Medicine degrees


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Requirements for Getting Into a BS/MD Program

Getting into a BS/MD program is extremely difficult. Each program has different requirements, but, in all cases, you need a high GPA and stellar standardized test scores.

The requirements are usually much stricter than those for other undergraduate applicants



University of Missouri-Kansas City’s BS/MD

program has a minimum unweighted GPA requirement of 3.0, one of the lowest for a BS/MD program. However, the average unweighted high school GPA for an admitted student to the program is a 3.9. The minimum ACT score is a 24, but the average for admitted students is a 32. The minimum SAT score is 1160, but the average score for an admitted student is 1420. So, even if the bare minimum that a BS/MD program requires isn’t that competitive,

expect to need stellar academics if you want to actually get accepted

because the competition will be tough.

Also, for most BS/MD programs, you have to write a personal statement, get recommendations, and do an interview. Additionally, you’ll be evaluated on your extracurricular activities. These programs want to see that you’ve demonstrated leadership and achievement; furthermore, they like to see involvement in extracurriculars related to health and medicine.

Here’s a chart with the minimum GPA and standardized test requirements for some BS/MD programs to give you an idea of what you need to be eligible for most of these programs. Keep in mind that

you’ll probably need to comfortably exceed the minimum requirements to give yourself a decent shot at getting into these programs






SAT Subject Tests

University of Alabama at Birmingham
3.5 1360 30 Not Required

Baylor University
3.7 or top 5% 1430 32 Not Required

University of Cincinnati
No minimum requirement 1300 29 Not Required

Drexel University
3.5 1420 31 Strongly recommended (especially a test in the sciences)

Florida Atlantic University
4.3 weighted 1490 33 Not Required

University of Miami
3.7 1300 31 Not Required

The College of New Jersey/New Jersey Medical School
4.5 weighted, or top 5% 1500 34 Recommended

Rutgers University
No minimum requirement 1400 32 Not Required

Saint Louis University
No C’s 1330 30 Not Required

While the table should give you an idea of the minimum requirements of different

BS/MD programs

, as mentioned above, you’ll likely have to do substantially better to have a reasonable chance of getting accepted. To give yourself a good chance of getting into a BS/MD program,

you should shoot for at least a 3.8 unweighted GPA and either a 1500 SAT score or a 34 composite ACT score

. Basically, getting into a BS/MD program is on par with getting admitted to the most selective colleges in the country.


Dom Sagolla


How to Get Into a BS/MD Program: Application Components

Now I’ll focus on each component of your BS/MD program application and offer advice and tips to make yourself as competitive for these programs as possible.

Your GPA and Classes

Your high school transcript is probably

the most important component

in determining whether or not you gain admission to a BS/MD program.

First, your goal should be to get as close to a

4.0 GPA

as possible. Also, you should make sure to excel in the most rigorous




classes offered at your school. Because pre-med programs and medical school are very science intensive, you want to show that you’re extremely capable of doing well in demanding science classes. Depending on what classes your school offers, you should plan on taking at least two of these three classes: AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Physics.

Your Standardized Tests

Again, you need exceptional SAT/ACT scores to make yourself competitive for admission. You should follow our tips to get a perfect





We recommend taking the SAT/ACT for the first time by the fall of your junior year. If you don’t reach your target score, you can retake the test in the spring, and, hopefully, you won’t have to worry about it during your senior year when you’ll be busy with school, extracurricular activities, and college applications.

Know how long

you’ll have to study

to reach your target score.

Remember that you want to get at least a 1500 on the SAT or a 34 on the ACT

to give yourself a good chance to get into a BS/MD program.


Your Extracurricular Activities

BS/MD programs want to admit students who have

exceptional achievements both in and out of the classroom.

Your commitment to your


activities demonstrates your willingness to do more than what’s required and your initiative to actively pursue your passions.

Because BS/MD programs are looking for students who are passionate about pursuing a career in medicine, you should have at least a couple of extracurriculars related to your interest in the medical field. You may want to volunteer at a hospital, shadow a doctor, help a professor with medical research, or get involved with a

summer medical program


Extracurriculars are a great way to separate yourself from other applicants who have similar grades and test scores

. You’ll enhance your applications and gain valuable experience by pursuing leadership positions, conducting research, and participating in other activities that show your potential and achievement in the medical field.

Your College Essay

Your college essay or personal statement is another critical component of your college application.

The essay gives the school an opportunity to get to know you outside of your grades and accomplishments.

It can give you a chance to explain any unique obstacles you’ve had to overcome or express why you’re motivated to become a doctor.

College essays can be challenging and time-consuming. Learn

what you need to know about college essays


how to come up with great essay ideas


I recommend starting to work on your college essays the summer before your senior year or at the beginning of your senior year at the latest.

The essays aren’t very long, but you want to give yourself ample time to write and revise your college essays

. I’ve worked with hundreds of students who procrastinated on their college essays, and they ended up not having enough time to produce their best work.


In a few years, you too could be sporting a stethoscope.

Your Recommendations

While your college essay allows a school to get to know you from your own perspective, your recommendations help a college get to know you from another person’s perspective.

Most BS/MD programs will require recommendations from your teachers. Ideally, at least one of your recommendations

will come from a science teacher

who can speak glowingly about your science skills, character, and desire to learn. Make sure you know

what a good recommendation looks like


how to ask for a letter of recommendation


You can initially ask teachers if they would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation at the end of your junior year.

That will give them time to think about what they’re going to write, and you can get them to agree to write a recommendation for you before they become inundated with requests during your senior year. Then, you can submit a formal request at the beginning of your senior year. For your reference, here are examples of

excellent recommendation letters


Your Interview

Many BS/MD programs do have an interview requirement. I know interviews can be scary, but with some basic


, the interview should only enhance your application. Because these programs are so selective, they try to take every necessary step to ensure they admit the best applicants. Be ready to answer why you’re interested in that particular program and why you want to become a doctor. Avoid generic answers that could be given by any applicant;

incorporating anecdotes and specific examples will strengthen your interview responses


Don’t worry about the interview too much. By the time you interview, you’ll have completed most of the hard work needed to apply to a BS/MD program. As long as you’re respectful, you’ve done your research on the program, and you thoughtfully answer the questions you’re asked, you should be just fine.


Is a BS/MD Program Right for You?

At this point, you may be wondering if you want to do what’s necessary to get into a BS/MD program. These programs aren’t ideal for everyone, but they’re excellent options for certain types of students.

If you have your heart set on becoming a doctor, a BS/MD program will set you on a direct path toward becoming one.

You won’t have to deal with the stress of applying to medical school, and you’ll possibly be able to finish medical school in less time


However, a BS/MD program may not be the best option for you if you’re not completely sure that you want to be a doctor. In fact,

most of my friends who started college intending to pursue medical school ended up changing their plans



many of the most selective and prestigious colleges and medical schools aren’t connected with BS/MD programs

. If you want to attend a top college or medical school that isn’t associated with a BS/MD program, then perhaps you should just make yourself competitive for admission to

Ivy League schools

and not worry about BS/MD programs.

Schools like Harvard and Stanford don’t have BS/MD programs, but the vast majority of their pre-med students get into medical school. In 2012,


of Harvard pre-med students with at least a 3.5 GPA were admitted to medical school.

Finally, BS/MD programs tend to be demanding, and

the workload can be very rigorous, especially if you’re in a 6 or 7-year program

. Make sure you’re capable of doing the work that will be required, and more importantly, make sure you really want to do the work.

What’s Next?

If you think you want to enter a BS/MD program, you really should have a high GPA and excellent test scores to give yourself the best chance of getting into the program of your choice.

Learn helpful

test prep strategies if you have a low SAT/ACT score but a high GPA

. Also, understand

the secret to getting a perfect SAT/ACT score


Finally, regardless of whether or not you end up deciding to apply to BS/MD programs, you should know

how many colleges to apply to


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