Applying to Medical School

Medical School Early Assurance Programs List and FAQs

Many medical schools offer conditional early acceptances to undergraduates through Early Assurance Programs (EAPs). These programs allow students to secure matriculation in medical school early in their undergraduate career, often without the MCAT. 

Typically, students apply at the end of their sophomore year or the beginning of their junior year. EAPs are ideal for highly qualified students dedicated to healthcare professions who have excelled academically in their first two years of college.

Note from a seasoned admissions advisor and former AdCom: these programs are highly competitive! For the overwhelming majority of pre-med students, EAPs will not be a relevant factor. Only a few schools offer EAPs, and the few programs that do exist are very selective. Most prospective medical students will have to go through the traditional application process after their third year of undergrad.

However, if you do attend an undergraduate institution that offers an EAP, it may be worth considering this route. Accepted students can focus more on extracurricular and academic interests for the remainder of their undergraduate school experience without the pressure of maintaining a high GPA. They also save the money, time, and stress typically required to apply to medical school the traditional way.

Wondering how competitive an applicant you’ll be at your chosen schools? Use our Medical School Chance Predictor to understand how to best rank the schools on your list.

All Early Assurance Programs in the United States (2024)

Program requirements vary by school but generally include strong academic performance, commitment to medicine, and completion of premedical courses. Each school’s EAP has unique details, so understanding the specific program is crucial.

InstitutionStateAccepts Applications?EligibilityMCAT Required?
Albany Medical CollegeNYYesOpen to Union College undergraduates who have completed their sophomore year; must maintain a 3.5 overall and BCPM GPA and have an ACT score of 31 or SAT score of 1400No
Boston University School of MedicineMAYesOpen to all med school applicants, with a focus on Black, Brown, Latino, and Pacific Islander student representation; must take the MCAT (no minimum score specified)Yes
Brody School of MedicineNCYesOpen to ECU Honors College applicants who are legal NC residents; must maintain 3.5 overall and science GPANo
Case Western Reserve University School of MedicineOHYesMust maintain a 3.63 or higher BCPM and overall GPANo
Central Michigan University College of MedicineMINoOpen to CMED Honors student applicants; must maintain a 3.25 GPA, participate in CMED Honors seminars + community, volunteer, and clinical activities consistent with the CMU College of Medicine missionYes
Dartmouth University Geisel School of MedicineNHNoOpen to Dartmouth University juniors only; minimum GPA not specifiedNo
Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of MedicineFLYesOpen to FIU students who have been enrolled in the Honors program for at least 2 semesters; must maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.6 and a minimum BCPM GPA of 3.5 and score a minimum of 505 on the MCATYes
Georgetown University School of MedicineDCNoOpen to fourth-semester Georgetown University pre-med students; must maintain a 3.6 overall and BCPM GPANo
George Washington University School of Medicine & Health SciencesDCYesOpen to students in the second semester of their sophomore undergraduate year; must have a minimum overall 3.5 GPA and no C’s or below in science courseworkYes
The FlexMed Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNYYesOpen to all med school applicants entering their second full-time year of college; must maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA and have an ACT or SAT score availableNo
Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of MedicineWVNoOpen to Marshall University students; must have a 3.5 BCPM and overall GPA; must have a minimum composite ACT of 24 or composite SAT of 1160 (the program does not accept Superscores)No
Michigan State University College of Human MedicineMINoOpen to junior pre-med students at Michigan State University partner schools with preference given to first-generation college students and those with financial disadvantages; must have a minimum and BCPM GPA of 3.0 and score at least 500 on the MCAT with no subscores under 125Yes
Northeast Ohio Medical UniversityOHNoOpen to undergraduate students currently enrolled at a cooperating college or university who earn an early assurance nomination through their current school’s nomination process; students must maintain high overall grades, math and science grades, and MCAT scoreYes
Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineILNoOpen to Northwestern University undergraduate students only; minimum GPA 3.7No
Penn State College of MedicinePANoOpen to second-year Penn State Behrend students with a cumulative 3.6 GPA and SAT score of 1360; must take the MCAT and perform at or above the mean score of the previous entering classYes
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolNJOpen to students at Rutgers University, Seton Hall University, Saint Elizabeth University, Monmouth University, and The College of New Jersey; for educationally and/or economically disadvantaged undergraduates interested in careers in medicine; contact the Dean’s office for more information
Temple University, Lewis Katz School of MedicinePAYesOpen to students enrolled at Temple University, Washington & Jefferson College, DeSales University, Lehigh University, Moravian College, or Muhlenberg College with a 3.6 overall and science GPA; must sit for the MCAT (no minimum score specified)Yes
Texas A&M University School of MedicineTXYesOpen to second-year Texas A&M students; must have cumulative 3.50 BCPM and overall GPA and score at least an 80% percentile MCAT Comprehensive Score with not less than a 67% percentile in each of the subsections (2 attempts are allowed)Yes
Tufts University School of MedicineMANoOpen to sophomores at Tufts University (traditional MD program) or sophomores at Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, and all University of Maine campuses (Maine track only)*Will be required after the 2027/28 academic year
Tulane University School of MedicineLADepends on programTulane University offers 2 separate EAPs: Creative Premedical Scholars Program and Tulane Pathway to Medicine; both programs have varying requirementsYes
UC Riverside School of Medicine’s Thomas Haider Early Assurance ProgramCAYesOpen to UC Riverside undergraduate students or recent graduates with a 3.4 cumulative and BCPM GPANo
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Marnix E. Heersink School of MedicineALYesOpen to students enrolled at a partner university and who have completed three full-time (or semester hour equivalent) semesters of college; must have a 3.5 or higher overall and BCPM GPA; must take and earn a minimum score of 495 on the MCAT by September of senior yearYes
University of Arizona College of Medicine – PhoenixAZOpen to public university students in Arizona; other details not available online.
University of Arizona College of Medicine – TusconAZYesOpen to UArizona W.A. Franke Honors College Students with a minimum 3.6 cumulative GPA; not a traditional EAP as students must apply during junior year; includes a summer mentorship and immersive medical training; must receive a minimum score of 506 on the MCAT and maintain a 3.6 GPAYes
University at Buffalo, Biomedical SciencesNYYes*Requires nomination; open to all medical school applicants who are traditionally underrepresented in medicine; must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative and BCPM GPAYes
University of Chicago Loyola Stritch School of Medicine Early Assurance ProgramILNoOpen to all Loyola University Chicago undergraduate students with a 3.5 cumulative GPA; must score at least 507 on the MCATYes
University of Florida Medical Honors ProgramFLYesOpen to all med school applicants who have completed their second year with a 3.9 cumulative and BCPM GPA; SAT of 1400 or ACT of 32 is also requiredNo
University of Illinois College of MedicineILOpen to Bradley University sophomore or junior students who have completed at least 2 courses at Bradley; Illinois permanent residents are given preferenceYes
University of Kansas School of MedicineKSYesTwo programs offered: Scholars in Rural Health and Scholars in Urban Health; 3.25 overall and BCPM GPA required; students with significant experience living in rural or urban communities and wish to practice medicine in a similar Kansas community are invited to applyYes
University of Kentucky College of MedicineKYNoOpen to sophomores at one of the UK College of Medicine EAP partner universities with a cumulative and BCPM 3.6 GPA who wish to practice medicine in KentuckyNo
University of Missouri – Kansas City School of MedicineMOYesOpen to sophomore and junior students at a partner university
University of Rochester School of MedicineNYYesOpen to all sophomore med school applicants at Spelman College with a 3.6 cumulative GPANo
University of South Alabama College of MedicineALYesOpen to all med school applicants (preference given to Alabama residents and students residing in the service areas of Mississippi and Florida) with a 3.5 cumulative GPA; minimum ACT/SAT requirements vary by in- or out-of-state classification; must score at least 504 on the MCATYes
UofSC School of Medicine GreenvilleSCYesOpen to UofSC juniors who have completed four semesters at the Columbia campus of USC are eligible to apply to the EAP. Applicants may major in any area of study and must have a minimum institutional GPA of 3.75* and a minimum pre-requisite course GPA of 3.75* anticipated by the end of the fall semester of the junior year.Yes
University of Toledo Medstart ProgramOHYesOpen to all incoming junior med school applicants at a US college or university with a 3.7 cumulative and 3.5 science GPA; must have ACT/SAT scores to submit (ACT 30 or SAT 1350 are strongly recommended)No
Wake Forest School of MedicineNCNoOpen to Wake Forest University undergraduates who have completed sophomore year; must maintain a 3.5 overall and science GPA and score the School of Medicine’s minimum MCAT requirementYes
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityRIYesRhode Island residents current in their junior year at a partner university may apply; must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA  Yes
Wayne State University School of MedicineMIYesStudents at Grand Valley State University and Calvin University with a 3.5 overall and BCPM GPA may apply; must meet minimum 70th percentile MCAT score for matriculationYes

What Makes a Strong Candidate for an Early Assurance Program?

The Early Assurance Programs offered above are highly competitive due to their limited slots and the substantial advantages they offer. Accepted students can focus on their undergraduate coursework without the pressure of the traditional medical school application process.

Here are some key qualities and qualifications that would make you a strong candidate for an EAP:

  • A high GPA: Often in the range of 3.5 to 4.0 on a 4.0 scale. While specific GPA requirements vary by program, maintaining a high GPA is crucial to stand out among applicants.
  • Competitive test scores: You’ll need competitive ACT or SAT scores for most EAPs. For some programs, you’ll also need to take the MCAT and score high (often, a minimum score of 510 is required). Note: Most programs waive the MCAT requirement at the time of application but may require it later with a minimum score threshold.
  • Commitment to medicine: Commitment to health professions can be demonstrated through relevant volunteer work, clinical experiences, shadowing physicians, participating in medical or health-related research, and a genuine passion for health care. Competitive applicants will have shown an extensive commitment to this field so far in their educational career and personal lives.
  • Leadership: Leading a student organization, participating in community service, or engaging in other meaningful pursuits highlights a candidate’s ability to manage multiple responsibilities and contribute positively to their community.
  • Personal attributes: Admissions committees value candidates with maturity, compassion, and a strong moral compass. Personal statements, recommendation letters of recommendation, and interviews often assess these qualities.

Is clinical experience required to apply to Early Assurance Programs? Clinical experience is not required to apply to EAPs, but an appropriate level of clinical volunteering, shadowing, or other experience reflects a commitment to medicine and would positively reflect on you.

Does the prestige of your undergraduate institution matter for admission into early assurance programs? Your undergraduate institution’s prestige isn’t considered when selecting EAP recipients.

Need to strengthen your pre-med CV? Get 1-on-1 coaching from a former admissions committee member to plan your classes, identify extracurriculars, and build your candidacy for medical school.

Is the MCAT Required for Early Assurance Programs?

The MCAT requirement in EAPs has evolved. Traditionally, one of the major benefits of EAPs was the ability to secure a place in medical school without taking the MCAT.

However, in recent years, many institutions have adjusted their policies regarding the MCAT requirement for EAPs. While some programs continue to waive the MCAT altogether, others have introduced new policies that require applicants to take the test.

In these cases, the requirements typically vary by minimum score requirements:

  • MCAT requirement with no minimum score: This approach allows the programs to ensure that students have taken the test, providing an additional data point for assessment without penalizing them for not achieving a particular score.
  • MCAT requirement with a minimum score: This ensures that the students meet a baseline level of competency expected for medical school readiness. These minimum scores are often set at competitive levels, reflecting the high standards of the institutions.

Many institutions that don’t require the MCAT still strongly encourage applicants to take the exam during their senior year of undergrad to prepare for the medical school curriculum and to be eligible for several merit-based scholarships that require competitive MCAT scores.

How Do EAPs Differ from B/MD Programs?

While both EAPs and Baccalaureate/MD (B/MD) programs offer early pathways to medical school, several significant differences exist in terms of application timing, structure, and requirements:

  • Application timing: EAP students apply at the end of their sophomore year or the beginning of their junior year in college. B/MD students apply during their final year of high school.
  • Commitment timing: EAPs are designed for students who decide on a medical career after experiencing some college education. B/MD programs require students to commit to a medical career from an early age, usually while still in high school.
  • Program structure: EAPs allow students to complete their undergraduate degree in standard timing but with more flexibility. B/MD programs combine undergraduate and medical school curricula into a continuous program. Some B/MD programs offer accelerated options for participants to finish the undergraduate/medical school process in 6-7 years rather than the traditional eight.
  • Institutional partnerships: Some EAPs accept applications from students at any undergraduate institution, while others only take applicants from certain schools. Certain programs offer preference to students based on location or status (e.g., favoring Missouri residents or students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds). B/MD programs require you to attend a linked undergraduate school and medical program, which is established at the time you apply during high school.

How Are EAPs and EDPs Different?

Early Decision Programs (EDPs) also aim to secure early medical school acceptance and acceptance creates a binding commitment for the student to attend the associated medical program. But EDPs differ from EAPs in timing and other requirements:

  • Eligibility: Programs that offer EDPs allow students from any undergraduate school to apply. To apply to an EAP, you may need to attend a specific undergrad program and/or fulfill other requirements.
  • Application timing: EAPs take applications during sophomore or junior year of undergraduate studies. EDPs take applications early in the first year of the medical school admissions cycle, often beginning in the spring of junior year (or spring of senior year, if you’re taking a gap year).
  • MCAT requirement: Applying early decision generally doesn’t allow you to skip the MCAT. Some EAPs waive the MCAT requirement, but this varies by school.
  • The primary medical school application: EAPs provide conditional acceptance during undergraduate studies, offering flexibility in course selection and the ability to skip over the traditional med school application process. EDPs follow the traditional pre-med curriculum and application process, but offer an early application decision; you’ll still fill out the AMCAS or AACOMAS and follow the standard application process.
  • Institutional partnerships: EAPs are often (though not always) linked to certain medical schools and their partnered undergraduate institutions. If a medical program offers an EDP, they will accept applications from students from any undergraduate institution, as long as they fill out a primary application for med school.
  • Standard admissions cycle opportunities: One major drawback of applying early decision is that, should you be rejected, you will probably need to wait until the next year’s application cycle to re-apply to medical school. That’s because early decision programs only release admissions decisions on October 1 of each year, much too late for you to submit a competitive application to other schools. On the other hand, EAPs process applications earlier in your undergraduate career, so you’ll know in advance if you didn’t get accepted and still have the chance to apply during the first cycle when you’re eligible.

Benefits of EAPs

I’ve discussed the benefits of Early Assurance Programs extensively in this article, but they deserve repeating. EAPs help undergraduate students secure a spot in medical school early, sometimes without needing to take the MCAT. 

These programs allow students to focus on their undergraduate studies with more academic flexibility. This enables them to explore various interests and take courses they might otherwise avoid. This early acceptance also frees up time for students to engage in extracurricular activities, research, or other pursuits that enrich their overall educational experience.

Possible Disadvantages of EAPs

Early Assurance Programs also have some potential drawbacks. The main drawback is their competitive nature and selectivity. It’s hard to get a spot! Also, EAPs are restrictive — once you commit to one, you won’t have the freedom to apply to other medical schools later on.

For most students, going the EAP route is probably not realistic. However, it’s probably best to talk this through with a Physician Advisor who has experience working with pre-meds and who can help you navigate your specific situation.

How to Know If It’s Right for You

Deciding to apply to a medical school’s EAP is an exciting possibility if you’ve got what it takes to be competitive. You can consider applying to an EAP if:

  • You have a high GPA (typically 3.5 or above) and excel in science courses.
  • You prefer to avoid the MCAT or take it without pressure. (Remember, this only applies to about half of EAPs.)
  • You are certain about pursuing a medical career early in your college years.
  • You have relevant medical or health-related experience.
  • You have strong extracurriculars, including leadership, volunteering, or research experience
  • You want more flexibility in your undergraduate course selection.
  • You are ready to apply by the end of your sophomore year or the beginning of your junior year.

And if your application isn’t successful, you’ll still be able to apply to medical school during a later application cycle. (That’s one positive that sets EAPs apart from early decision programs.)

Get World-Class Support to Choose Where and How to Apply

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Renee Marinelli MD

Renee graduated magna cum laude from California State University San Marcos with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. While attending school, she worked for a neurosurgeon where she led clinical trials. Renee attended the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine where she served on the admissions committee and interviewed many applicants. In medical school, Renee met her future husband, a military scholarship student. After medical school, both Renee and her husband attended family medicine residency in Hawaii where she also served on the residency admissions committee. She has mentored and assisted many students in the medical school admissions process and brings a wealth of experience serving on both medical school and residency admission committees. She is excited to continue to provide guidance to students while spending quality time with her son.

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