If you’re a high school student or a college freshman or sophomore with a strong desire to pursue a career in medicine, consider applying to a BS/MD or BA/MD program. BS/MD and BA/MD programs offer admittance to both an undergraduate program and an MD program at an affiliated medical school. Depending on the program, students either apply as high school seniors when they apply to college or as pre-med undergraduate students, after they’ve already completed a year or two of college. The fact that a medical school space is reserved for each student in a BS/MD or BA/MD program is enough to lift the major stress of completing medical school applications.
Keep in mind, though, that these programs never offer unconditional acceptance into medical school upon completion of an undergraduate degree; students must take the requisite pre-med coursework, maintain a high overall and science GPA, and sometimes even take the MCAT.
BS/MD and BA/MD programs are very competitive; students generally need to be in the top 5-10% of their high school graduating class and have extremely high SAT/ACT scores. Some programs are accelerated, condensing the undergraduate and medical degrees into 6 or 7 years instead of the standard 8.
We’ve compiled a list (in no particular order) of some of the best Bachelor’s/MD programs in the United States.
The WashU School of Medicine consistently ranks in the top 10 U.S. medical schools in multiple fields. As such, the Bachelor’s/MD program at WashU is highly selective. Incoming freshmen may apply to the University Scholars Program when they apply for admission to WashU for their undergrad. Selected students will gain exposure to the School of Medicine early in their undergraduate education through research and shadowing opportunities, a mentor in the School of Medicine, and invitation to events at the School of Medicine.
In order to formalize admittance to the WashU School of Medicine after completing their undergraduate degree, students must take prerequisite coursework, maintain an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.8 and score in the 97th percentile or above on the MCAT. Students may defer medical school enrollment for up to two years.
Both Northwestern University and its affiliated Feinberg School of Medicine achieve consistently high rankings. Students admitted to the HPME may complete any undergraduate major in three or four years before beginning their medical degree at the Feinberg School of Medicine. Students are encouraged, though not required, to take a gap year between their undergraduate graduation and enrollment in medical school in order to pursue research interests, complete additional degrees, or gain international experience.
Students apply to the HPME in the fall of their senior year of high school. In order to be considered for admittance, students must complete requisite high school coursework and submit SAT or ACT scores and SAT Subject Exam scores for Math Level 2 and Chemistry. The average test scores for the 2018-2019 admissions cycle were as follows:
SAT ERW: 762
SAT Math: 792
ACT Composite: 35
ACT Writing: 12
SAT Chemistry Subject Test: 777
SAT Math Level 2 Subject Test: 790
Students participating in the PLME BA/MD program are granted acceptance to Brown University as undergraduate students and conditional acceptance to Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School, provided they fulfill certain requirements while in their undergrad. This is not an accelerated program; the completion of both degrees will take at least 8 years. Students are encouraged to pursue a bachelor’s degree in whatever they want—not just science—, and they have the option of deferring medical school while they pursue other career and educational opportunities. While in medical school students may also pursue a second graduate degree.
This program is open to approximately 50 incoming freshman. Students apply for the PLME program at the same time as applying to the Brown undergraduate program. If you’re not accepted to the PLME program, you will still be considered for admittance to Brown University as an undergraduate student. The average ACT score for matriculants in the last 5 years was 34, the average SAT ERW score was 742, and the average SAT Math score was 770.
Rutgers offers two different BA/MD programs. The first is a 7-year program for incoming undergraduates granting conditional admittance to Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS). Applicants must be ranked in the top 10% of their graduating high school class and have a score of at least at least 1400 on the SAT and/or 32 on the ACT in order to be considered for admittance to the BA/MD program. Students accepted into this program can choose from six undergraduate majors: English, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Psychology, and History.
The second BA/MD program at Rutgers offers pre-med college sophomores conditional admittance to Rutgers’ other medical school, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Also a 7-year program, this program requires that admitted students complete their undergraduate core requirements at an undergraduate institution affiliated with Rutgers New Jersey Medical School by the end of their junior year so they can use their senior year to start first-year medical school curriculum. Students can receive both undergraduate and medical school credit for some of the classes they take in the senior year of their undergrad/first year of medical school.
The Pre-Professional Scholars program at Case Western offers conditional admission to CWRU School of Medicine to 15-20 incoming first-year undergraduate students. Students not accepted to the Pre-Professional Scholars Program will still be considered for admittance to CWRU. Students can major in whatever they’d like, but they must take a full four years to complete their degree. If they finish early, they’re required to supplement their undergraduate education with study abroad experiences, internships, and/or extra elective courses. In order to be officially accepted to CWRU Medical School upon completion of their undergraduate requirements, students must have a 3.63 science and overall undergraduate GPA and at least a 94th percentile MCAT score, if they choose to take the MCAT (though it’s not a requirement for CWRU pre-professional scholars).
This 8-year BA/MD program with Baylor College of Medicine is extremely competitive: only 6 incoming college freshmen are accepted each year. To be considered, applicants should be in the top 5% of their high school graduating class or have at least a 3.7 GPA, and have an SAT score of at least 1430 and/or an ACT score of at least 32. Once accepted to the program, students must maintain an overall and science undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5, complete all the traditional pre-med requirements, and score a 501 or higher on the MCAT.
Of the six students admitted to Baylor’s dual degree program, two receive a $40,000 undergraduate scholarship and the other four will receive $12,000 undergraduate scholarships. Upon entrance to medical school, two students receive another scholarship of $40,000.
The Honors College at VCU offers multiple Guaranteed Admission Programs, all related to health sciences. The Guaranteed Admission Program for Medicine is an eight-year program made up of a four-year bachelor’s degree and a four-year medical degree. In order to maintain Guaranteed Admission status, participants must graduate with university honors, submit an honors dossier, take several prerequisite classes, maintain a 3.5 science and overall GPA, score 505 or higher on the MCAT, complete community and healthcare-related service hours, and engage in a one-semester clinical mentorship with a faculty member from the VCU college of medicine.
Only high school seniors with a minimum SAT score of 1330 or ACT score of 29 and an unweighted GPA of 3.5 or above will be considered for admittance. 30 incoming VCU freshmen were offered admittance to the Guaranteed Admission Program for Medicine in 2019. Students who do not gain admittance as incoming college freshmen, either because they did not apply or because they were not accepted to the program, may apply to the Guaranteed Admission Program for Medicine at the end of their sophomore year at VCU.
List of BA/MD and BS/MD Programs
The number of BA/MD and BS/MD programs changes from year to year. Here’s a list of BA/MD and BS/MD programs existing in the United States in 2019.