How To Get Into Medical School From High School

November 22

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Typically, you cannot get into medical school directly from high school. Instead, you need to have at least an undergraduate program before you can enter medical school. The medical school admission process includes a bachelor’s degree, MCAT, GPA, letters of recommendation, and more. 

There are many requirements upon admission, and the competition is high among med school applicants. However, there are specific programs that allow high school students to apply to medical school directly. 

This article will list what programs can help high school students land a spot in medical school. 

Can You Get Into Medical School Straight from High School?

Generally, many medical schools always require a bachelor’s degree as part of their admission requirement. It means that iyou are not eligible for a medical degree f you have not taken an undergraduate program. 

Some programs make it possible to get into medical school straight from high school. Such programs include Direct Medical Programs or Combined BS/MD, BA/MD Programs, Early Assurance Programs, Accelerated Medical Programs, and more.

It allows high school students to apply to medical schools without needing a bachelor’s degree program.

How to Get Into a Medical School from High School?

To know more about how you can get into medical school from high school. We have listed some programs that can help high school students take a medical degree program.

Direct Medical Programs

Direct medical programs are combined BS/MD or BA/MD programs (Combined Baccalaureate - MD Programs) offered and designed for high school students seeking a medical career.

Also, these programs take around six to eight years to complete, including medical residency training, and are equivalent to the number of years for taking up a bachelor’s degree and medical school traditionally. 

The BS/MD and BA/MD programs allow high school students to take bachelor’s degrees, including a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Afterward, they can directly proceed to a medical degree program to attain a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.  

Once accepted, the high school students under these programs can secure a spot in its partnered medical school. Therefore, they will no longer take the traditional medical school admission process. 

However, admission to direct medical programs is more intense and rigorous than the standard admission process in medical school for undergraduate applicants. 

For example, in Canada, the annual admission success rate is below 7.5% for applicants in medical schools. 

Also, some medical schools offer direct medical programs which allow students to gain both degrees at one institution. In contrast, other institutions partner with a medical school to provide a direct medical program. 

Below are some of the medical schools that offer Direct Medical Programs:

  • University of Alabama School of Medicine
  • University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • University of Connecticut School of Medicine
  • The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Howard University College of Medicine
  • Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
  • University of Central Florida College of Medicine
  • The University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
  • Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
  • The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
  • University of Illinois College of Medicine
  • Boston University School of Medicine
  • Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • University of Minnesota School of Medicine
  • Saint Louis University School of Medicine
  • Albany Medical College
  • CUNY School of Medicine
  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Boston University School of Medicine
  • University of Colorado School of Medicine

Early Assurance Programs

The Early Assurance Programs are offered to top-achieving high school students at the end of their sophomore year or the beginning of their junior year. 

The program allows students who want to pursue medicine to have a smooth transition from an undergraduate level to medical school without the hassle of the traditional medical school admission process. And will guarantee a spot in the institution for those students who are considered. 

The requirements for the Early Assurance Program vary per medical school. Some will require a specific number of prerequisite courses, such as Biology, Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry

It would help if you also secured a good GPA, personal statements, letters of recommendation, and more. 

For example, top medical schools, like Harvard Medical School, require an average MCAT score of 520.

In contrast, New York University requires an MCAT score of 522. 

While other medical schools through the Early Assurance Program do not require an MCAT score for admission

The program is highly competitive, and students who will be accepted will follow a specific curriculum with different enrichment programs, training, mandatory research projects, and more. 

Also, students in this program should maintain a minimum GPA during the one’s undergraduate studies. And are required to complete all the coursework as needed. 

Below are some of the medical schools that offer Early Assurance Programs:

  • Albany Medical College
  • Boston University School of Medicine
  • Brody School of Medicine
  • Dartmouth University Geisel School of Medicine
  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
  • Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Penn State College of Medicine
  • Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine
  • The University of Chicago Loyola Stritch School of Medicine
  • Tufts University School of Medicine

Accelerated Medical Programs

Accelerated medical programs or three-year MD programs are usually offered by non-traditional medical schools and allow students to have a medical degree in a short period compared to taking up medicine traditionally. 

Universities and colleges adopted the three-year accelerated medical program during World War II between 1939 to 1945. It was done to address the shortages of doctors during these times. 

Also, according to the AAMC projection for 2033, this program will help fill the shortfall between 21,400 to 55,200 primary care physicians in the coming years

The AMA’s Council on Medical Education and Hospitals regulate the program, ensuring that medical schools offering accelerated medical programs adhere to the standards of medical education. 

It is a fast-track MD curriculum that focuses on a specific area of medicine. It also includes fewer elective rotations than the regular medical degree curriculum and basic lessons in Anatomy and other essential medical subjects. 

However, the program structure varies per medical school. For example, some institutions have accelerated medical programs, such as Penn State, Texas Tech, Mercer, and more, for their Primary Care Residency Programs. 

While other medical schools offer the program across different medical disciplines, others are linked directly to a medical specialty program, such as in Orthopedic Programs at Duke University

Students can earn a medical degree in three years under the accelerated program. These programs are designed to cater to students who are driven, talented, and with excellent academic records to pursue medicine. 

Below are some of the medical schools that offer Accelerated Medical Programs:

  • New York University School of Medicine
  • McMaster University
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine
  • Mercer University School of Medicine
  • The University of California Davis
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • University of Louisville
  • Penn State College of Medicine
  • Duke University School of Medicine
  • Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
  • The Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • University of Kentucky School of Medicine
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • University of North Carolina School of Medicine
  • Stony Brook University School of Medicine
  • Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine
  • Meharry Medical College
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • NYU - Long Island School of Medicine

International Medical Schools that Don’t Require the Completion of an Undergraduate Degree

The admission process to medical schools in the US for international students is challenging. 

And only 35% of US medical schools accept international applications due to a lack of requirements such as US citizenship holder or permanent residentship holder, and more. 

And undergraduate applicants outside of the US, UK, and Canada must complete additional coursework to qualify and cover the requirements for admission. 

Here are some of the medical schools in the US that accept international students:

  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
  • Brown University - Alpert Medical School
  • Boston University School of Medicine
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
  • Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Creighton University School of Medicine
  • Duke University School of Medicine
  • Emory University School of Medicine
  • Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
  • Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Howard University College of Medicine
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
  • Mayo Medical School
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
  • Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Tulane University School of Medicine
  • Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Yale School of Medicine

According to the Association of American Colleges (AAMC), medical schools in the US had around 1,890 foreign applicants in 2019, and 48 medical schools have accepted international applicants. 

However, only 325 foreign applicants have surpassed the admission process. 

Also, the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine only requires a minimum of 90 coursework credits. And applicants must have completed six English coursework credits, with three Literature credits and another three Composition credits. It also highly recommends its applicants have Biology, Physics, Statistics, Humanities, Chemistry, Biochemistry, and other Social Sciences courses. 

A high school graduate can apply for medical school without an undergraduate college degree in the United Kingdom. They can submit their application during their final year in high school. 

For example, the University of Oxford Medical School's academic entry requirement requires its candidates to have at least a grade A in Chemistry and Biology, Physics, Mathematics, or Further Mathematics. And also, the applicant must have three A-levels in Critical Thinking and General Studies and an international A-level in Thinking Skills. 

International students should have an IELTS score of no less than 6.5 across all categories, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening, with an overall score of 7.0. 

Below are some of the medical schools in the United Kingdom that accept international high school applicants:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • University College London
  • Imperial College London
  • King’s College London
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Manchester
  • Queen Mary University of London

Below are some of the medical schools in Canada that accept without a bachelor’s degree:

  • University of Calgary
  • University of Alberta
  • McMaster University
  • Queen’s University
  • Western University
  • Memorial University
  • Dalhousie University
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Manitoba

3 Proven Tips for High School Students Who Are Considering Med School

Applying to medical school takes a lot of hard work, determination, and effort to comply with all the admission requirements. 

It is challenging for high school students since they are not following the traditional admission process of most medical schools that requires an undergraduate degree before continuing to a medical degree. 

Aside from the preparation you need to do for the MCAT and to meet the minimum GPA of the medical school you are considering, you also need to submit and do letters of recommendation,  additional coursework, extracurricular activities, interview, and more. 

Here are some helpful tips to increase your chance of getting accepted to medical school. 

Get Good Grades. 

Nothing beats an excellent academic record, and this is why it is crucial that you need to do well in high school if you are considering getting into medical school. 

However, it is not a primary factor for successful admission. Still, it will affect your application whether or not you have exemplary grades, especially in those subjects that are among the prerequisites for a medical degree. 

Most medical schools require a minimum GPA of 3.6 or above, while other institutions only need an average GPA of 3.0. Also, medical schools' admission requirements vary from one institution to another. 

And to help you gain leverage on your application, you should maintain good grades in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and English.

Do Relevant Extracurricular Activities.

Medical schools are very particular about the extracurricular activities you include in your application. 

Remember that admission to medical school is tight, and your application should be impressive and outshine other applicants. 

The admission officers want to know your dedication and interests in medicine. And your extracurricular activities should be worthwhile, wherein you are learning from them and how you can apply your acquired learning in medical school. It is also best to consider how it can strengthen your skills. 

You can explore community or volunteer service in nursing homes, hospitals, private clinics, retirement and respite centers, and more. Also, you can do a teaching assistant or tutor, as it will help you develop your communication skills, empathy, leadership, confidence, and interpersonal skills. 

Your extracurricular activities should align with your interests, goals, and values. And not just choose any extracurricular activities because they might look good in your application or think the admission committee expects you to do them.

Check the Different Programs Offered by Medical Schools to High School Students

Medical schools offer many programs to high school students who wish to take up medicine without an undergraduate program. 

These programs will help you proceed directly to a medical degree without needing a bachelor’s degree beforehand. It includes Direct Medical Program, Accelerated Program, Early Assurance Program, and more.

You need to check and do your research on which of these programs suits you best. Also, you must consider that every medical school's requirements differ for each program. 

Note that these programs are highly competitive, and the acceptance rate is nearly 2%, so the selection process is meticulous, and only those deserving applicants get accepted.

Additional FAQs on Getting into Medical School from High School

Can You Put High School Activities on the Medical School Application?

Yes, you can include high school activities on your medical school application if they are relevant to a medical degree, such as volunteering in community programs, joining medical missions, and more. 

Also, ensure that all your extracurricular activities involve clinical experiences and avoid listing unnecessary activities in your application.

What is Direct Entry into Medicine?

Direct entry to medicine is a program designed for high school students who want to take a medical degree. It includes Accelerated Direct Medical Entry Programs, Dual BS/MS Programs, and more. 

y taking a direct entry program, high school students can enroll in medical school without having a bachelor’s degree.

Can I go straight to Medical School After High School in Canada?

No, most medical schools require a bachelor’s degree before you can proceed to medicine. 

However, there are programs such as direct medical programs that high school students can utilize to enter medical school. It is a partnership program between a medical school and a university or college that allow high school students to apply for a medical degree.


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