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How Can I Be a Strong Candidate for a BS/MD Program?

Students wanting to attend med school have a lot of competition to go up against. Here's some great expert advice on preparing early to make yourself stand out.

Todd JohnsonTodd Johnson
Founder and President
College Admissions Partners
BS/MD programs are looking for students who are very strong academically but also dedicated to a career in medicine. Many programs have minimum academic requirements to even be considered, and this typically includes being in the top 10% of your high school class or, if your school does not rank, a 3.8 unweighted GPA. Additionally, these programs are looking for a minimum SAT score of 1350–1400 on the Critical Reading and Math sections or 2100 on all three sections of the SAT. If a student has taken the ACT, they will need at least a 30. The strongest candidates will be in the top 5% of their class and have an SAT score above 2200 or an ACT score greater than 32. But grades and test scores alone are not enough. Students need to have significant volunteer experience (at least some of which is health care–related), experience with doctor shadowing, and some research experience. In addition, you will need to show leadership and maturity to be a strong candidate for these competitive programs.

Charlotte M. Klaar, PhDCharlotte M. Klaar, PhD
Klaar College Consulting LLC
Being a strong BS/MD candidate means starting as early as you can in your health care endeavors. While you're in high school, try to get work in a hospital, doctor’s office, or laboratory. Perhaps you can get an internship, some of which are paid, in one of these settings. I would also do an informational interview or two with physicians you know. Ask them about how they made the journey to becoming a doctor, what they would do differently, and what are the best and worst decisions that they made along the way. These insights will better prepare you for the program itself as well as ways to improve your application.

Get more expert advice to your med school questions just like this in our Health and Medicine—Ask The Experts section.

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