A Guide to Medical Schools That Don’t Require the MCAT [2023]

Many popular medical school tutoring and consulting services provide very inaccurate lists of schools that don’t require medical students to complete the MCAT. I’m Dr. Ken Tao, an MCAT expert for MedSchoolCoach, and I’m going to set the record straight.

There are currently 16 baccalaureate-MD programs and 20 EAPs in the United States that may admit students without taking the MCAT. However, each of these programs are incredibly competitive and have limited spots. The MCAT is waived only because accepted students have shown academic and extracurricular success in other ways.

For most prospective medical students, the MCAT is required for medical school acceptance. But for a select few, there are other ways to get into medical school without the MCAT.

Note: Data in this section is as of September 2023. Programs frequently adjust their requirements, and not all of these are immediately updated online. To verify whether or not your chosen program requires the MCAT, check with the school’s admissions office.

Can you go to med school without the MCAT? 

Yes, there are technically 3 ways to get into medical school without taking the MCAT:

  • Apply for baccalaureate-MD programs (BS/MD, BA/MD, or BFA/MD) that don’t require the MCAT,
  • Take part in an early assurance program (EAP), or
  • Go to an international medical school that doesn’t require the MCAT (not recommended if you plan to practice medicine in the US).

Note: Some schools abroad do not require the MCAT, but they may not be accredited or allow for a straightforward pathway to a U.S. license. We strongly advise against choosing this route if you plan on returning to the United States to practice medicine.

Whether you’re a high school student considering your future, a pre-med in the application process, or aren’t a great test taker, you have reasonable options. Let’s take a look at your options and the list of medical schools you should consider.

Baccalaureate-MD Programs (BS/MD and BA/MD)

What are baccalaureate-MD programs? 

BS/MD and BA/MD are dual-degree programs that provide a streamlined path for students to earn both their undergraduate degree (a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science) and their Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

Several of these programs typically do not require the MCAT but still have very competitive admission requirements and few spots. Many BS/MD programs take only 5-20 students per year. Applicants must have a high GPA, strong SAT or ACT scores, stellar extracurriculars, and solid letters of recommendation.

In addition, most BS/MD and similar programs actually do require students to take the MCAT before moving to their medical program and may or may not have a minimum score requirement.

Baccalaureate-MD enrollees are typically required to maintain a very high college GPA, especially in math and science coursework. The programs also look for a strong portfolio of extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or job experience related to healthcare. Admissions committees want to see the applicant’s commitment to a career in medicine.

There are a total of 69 dual degree programs across the US. According to the latest available data, 16 of these waive the MCAT requirement to get into med school.

How Long Do Baccalaureate-MD Programs Take?

Baccalaureate-MD programs typically take seven or eight years to complete, with undergraduate studies usually taking three or four years, and the medical degree the standard four years. A few of these programs offer accelerated six-year programs.

Students on a BS/MD or similar path bypass the traditional medical school application process in their senior year of undergraduate studies. The workload can require students to attend classes over the summer, but in the end, it can reduce the overall stress and uncertainty of medical school admissions.

WATCH: Admissions to Medical School Without the MCAT

Pros and Cons of BA/MD and BS/MD Programs

While BS/MD programs offer a unique path for students set on a future medical career, they come with their own set of advantages and drawbacks.

Benefits of BS/MD Programs:

  • Early medical school admission — High school seniors who get into these programs have a guaranteed spot in medical school, assuming they maintain certain GPA and minimum MCAT requirements..
  • No MCAT requirement — Some BS/MD programs do not require students to take the MCAT or require students to take the test but set no minimum score requirement. This can reduce the stress of MCAT prep and the pressure associated with this supersized exam.
  • Time efficiency — Certain programs combine undergraduate and medical education into six or seven years instead of the traditional eight or more. This accelerated path can save time and years of tuition money, while also allowing students to start their medical careers earlier, which increases their lifetime earning potential.
  • Focused curriculum — Given the guaranteed medical school admission, students in BS/MD programs often engage in a curriculum focused on health sciences from the get-go. This focus can provide a strong foundation for medical school and beyond.

Drawbacks of BS/MD Programs:

  • Limited flexibility — With a fixed curriculum and strict schedule, these programs may not offer much room for exploration outside the medical field. This structure can be a disadvantage for students who later decide they want to pursue a different path or those who want a broader undergraduate experience. In addition, some programs have summer requirements involving courses, volunteering work, or internships. 
  • Highly Competitive — Due to their unique offerings and benefits, BS/MD programs can be extremely competitive. Applicants often need a high GPA and high school extracurricular activities related to healthcare to stand out in the admissions process. Many programs accept only 5-20 students per year.
  • Geographical Limitations — The binding nature of these programs mean students must commit to the same institution or a partner institution for their undergrad and medical school programs. Students who may wish to experience different environments or have aspirations to attend specific medical schools may see this as a downside.
  • In-State Residency Requirements — Many programs are only open to students who reside in certain states. 

All Baccalaureate-MD Programs in the United States

Each Baccalaureate-MD program operates differently. In general, programs on this list require prospective students to apply during high school.

Students who are accepted into a baccalaureate-MD program will then be automatically accepted to the linked medical program. However, they must maintain the program’s requirements throughout their undergraduate education.

In some cases, baccalaureate-MD programs require students to take the MCAT and achieve a minimum score or to take the MCAT but do not specify a score requirement. 

Program NameMCAT Required?DegreesStateProgram LengthMinimum GPAMinimum Test Scores
University of Alabama/UAB School of MedicineNoBS/MDAL8 years3.6 
University of Arizona / College of Medicine -TucsonNoB/MDAZ7 to 8 years
California Northstate University/CNU College of MedicineYes, 497 minimum required (510 or higher preferred)BS/MDCA7 to 8 years  
University of Colorado Denver/ University of Colorado School of MedicineNoBS/MD
CO8 years3.5ACT 27
SAT 1185 (Evidenced-Based Reading, and Writing + Math)
University of Connecticut/ UConn School of MedicineYes, minimum score in 80th percentile rank; no subtest scores below 55th percentile rankBS/MD
CT8 years3.6 
Florida Atlantic University/ The Schmidt College of MedicineNoBS/MDFL7 to 8 years4.3 (Weighted)ACT 33
SAT 1490
Florida International University/  Herbert Wertheim College of MedicineNot SpecifiedBS/MDFL7 Years3.7ACT 31
SAT 1350
Augusta University/Medical College of GeorgiaYesBS/MDGA7 to 8 years3.7ACT 32
SAT 1450
University of Illinois Chicago Guaranteed Professional ProgramYesBS/MD
IL8 yearsACT 28
Indiana State University/Indiana University School of Medicine (open to residents of rural Indiana only)Yes, minimum score must meat the mean score of the previous year’s matriculantsB/MDIN8 years3.5ACT 27
SAT 1270 (Evidenced-Based Reading, and Writing + Math)
University of Evansville/IU School of Medicine EvansvilleYesB/MDIN8 years4.0ACT 29
SAT 1360
Grambling State University/Meharry Medical College (open to Black/African-American students only)Yes, score must meet the current minimum MCAT score (changes yearly)BS/MDLA7 to 8 years3.25 
Wayne State University/ Wayne State School of MedicineYes, Successfully complete the MCAT with a score no less than the 70th percentileBA/MD
MI8 years3.5ACT 28
SAT 1310
Missouri Southern State University/Kansas City UniversityNoBS/MDMO7 years3.7ACT 28
SAT 1310
St. Louis University/SLU School of Medicine (does not offer guaranteed admission to the school of medicine but does increase chances of acceptance)Yes, a score of at least 508 must be achieved.MO8 years  
University of Missouri-Kansas City/UMKC School of MedicineNoBA/MDMO6 years ACT 24
SAT 1160
Caldwell University/Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolYes, students must receive a competitive scoreBS/MDNJ7  years3.5SAT 1470 (Critical Reading and Math)
Caldwell University/St. George’s UniversityNoBS/MDNJ7  years3.5SAT 1270
The College of New Jersey/Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolYes, no minimum score requiredBS/MDNJ7 years3.8ACT 30
SAT 1400 (Evidence-Based Reading & Writing, and Math sections)
Drew University/Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolYes, no minimum score requiredBA/MD
NJ 7 years3.8ACT 34
SAT 1500 (Verbal and Math)
Monmouth University/St. George’s University School of MedicineYesBS/MDNJ8 years3.4ACT 30
MCAT 25+
Montclair University/Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolYes, students must receive a competitive scoreBS/MDNJ8 years3.0SAT 1100 (Evidenced-Based Reading, and Writing + Math)
New Jersey Institute of Technology/Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolYes, students must receive a competitive scoreBS/MDNJ7 years3.6ACT 33
SAT 1490
Rowan University/Cooper Medical SchoolYesBS/MD
NJ7 years  
Rutgers University/Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolYes, students must receive a competitive scoreBA/MDNJ7 years ACT 32
SAT 1400 (Evidenced-Based Reading, and Writing + Math)
University of New Mexico School/ University of New Mexico School of MedicineYesBA/MDNM8 years ACT – Math 22, Reading 19, Science 19, English 19
SAT – Math 540, Reading 410
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences/ SUNY Upstate Medical UniversityNoBS/MDNY90% average minimumACT 31
SAT 1360
Brooklyn College/SUNY Downstate College of MedicineYes, a minimum score of 509BA/MDNY8 years  
The City College of New York/CUNY School of MedicineNoBS/MDNY7 years  
Hofstra University/Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine (for underrepresented in medicine (URM) and economically disadvantaged pre-med students)Yes, a score equivalent to the 80th percentile at the first sitting must be achievedBS/MD
NY8 years3.7ACT 32
SAT 1410 (Evidenced-Based Reading, and Writing + Math)
Purchase College/ SUNY Upstate Medical UniversityNoB/MDNY90% average minimumACT 25
SAT 1200
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute/Albany Medical CollegeNoBS/MDNY7 years3.5ACT (No minimum)
SAT (No minimum)
Siena College/Albany Medical CollegeNoBA/MDNY8 years ACT 30SAT 1360
St. Bonaventure University/George Washington University School of MedicineYesBS/MD
NY8 years3.6ACT 30
SAT 1390 (Evidenced-Based Reading, and Writing + Math)
Stony Brook UniversityYesB/MDNY8 years3.8SAT 1490
SUNY Polytechnic Institute, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry/ SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine NoBS/MD
NY8 years3.5ACT 25
SAT 1200
Syracuse University/ SUNY Upstate Medical UniversityNoBS/MD
NY8 years3.5ACT 29
SAT 1360
Union College/Albany Medical CollegeNoBS/MDNY8 years ACT 30
SAT 1410
University at Albany/ SUNY Upstate Medical UniversityNoB/MDNY8 years90% average minimumACT 29
SAT 1360
University of Rochester/ University of Rochester School of Medicine and DentistryNoBS/MD
NY8 years  
Case Western Reserve University/Case Western Reserve’s School of MedicineNoB/MDOH8 years  
University of Cincinnati/University of Cincinnati School of MedicineYesBS/MDOH8 years3.5ACT 29
SAT 1300 (excluding writing portion)
University of Toledo/University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences (guaranteed medical school interview if requirements are met; not a guaranteed acceptance)Yes, a score in the 65th percentile or greater guarantees an interviewB/MDOH7, 8, or 9 years3.5ACT 28
SAT 1310
The University of Oklahoma/ University of Oklahoma College of MedicineYes, a score equal to or higher than the averageBA/MDOK7 to 8 years  
University of Tulsa/ University of Oklahoma College of MedicineYes, achieve a score that matches the average result achieved by incoming enrollees.B/MD*
*Students must also choose a minor
OK8 years4.0Typically a score in the top 5% on either test. 
Drexel University/Drexel University College of MedicineYes, a score of 511 or a total of 513 with no section score less than 127BS/MD
PA8 years3.5ACT 31
SAT 1420
Penn State/Sidney Kimmel Medical CollegeYes, a score of 508 or moreBS/MDPA7 years  
Temple University/Lewis Katz School of MedicineNot SpecifiedBA/MDPA7  years ACT 28
SAT 1273 (Verbal and Math)
University of Pittsburgh/University of Pittsburgh School of MedicineOnly required if student is accepted without an SAT or ACT score, score is only used for advising (not admission) purposesPA8 years ACT 34
SAT 1490
Brown University/Warren Alpert Medical SchoolNoB/MDRI8 years  
Baylor University/Baylor College of MedicineNoBS/MDTX8 years3.7ACT 32
SAT 1430
Texas Tech University/ Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of MedicineNoB/MDTX8 yearsACT 30
SAT 1360
George Washington University/GW School of Medicine and Health SciencesNo, but they do require an MCAT practice exam scoreBA/MDWashington, D.C.7 to 8 years  
Howard University College of MedicineYes, 504 minimum requiredBS/MDWashington, D.C.6 years3.5ACT 28
SAT 1300

The Top 9 Baccalaureate/MD Programs in the US

1. Brown University

The Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) is an eight-year program that integrates undergraduate and medical school education. Brown is the only Ivy League school that offers an MCAT-free path to their medical school, The Warren Alpert Medical School.

Students pursuing the PLME can specialize in either sciences or humanities, with the program encouraging the pursuit of honors or advanced placements.

2. Case Western Reserve University

The Pre-Professional Scholars Program in Medicine at Case Western provides conditional commitments of admission to 15-20 high school seniors each year. The entire program involves eight years of study. 

Pre-Professional Scholars are expected to meet specific GPA requirements and excel in personal and professional development. Successful completion leads to admission to the University Program of the School of Medicine.

3. Baylor University

Together with the Baylor College of Medicine, high-performing high school students can apply for the Baylor2 Medical Track. This program is one of several medical track programs that Baylor University offers for high-performing high school students. 

The program eliminates the need for the MCAT. With more efficient medical studies, it reduces the traditional pre-med route from eight years to seven.

Baylor2 for medical students is highly competitive, requiring strong academic records and a demonstrated commitment to the medical field. Only six students are accepted to this track each year.

4. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute partners with Albany Medical College to offer the Rensselaer Med Program, a combined BS/MD path for future physician-scientists. This accelerated program spans seven years, where students spend three years at Rensselaer for undergraduate studies and then four years at Albany Medical College for the MD portion.

This program has a strong focus on innovation and technology and suits those interested in the intersection of medicine and engineering. 

In the Rensselaer Med Program, the MCAT requirement is waived but students must maintain a strong GPA and demonstrate a commitment to the medical profession during their undergraduate studies.

5. University of Missouri 

The University of Missouri (Mizzou) offers the only accelerated six-year BA/MD program in the US. Partnering with the University of Missouri School of Medicine, this program allows students to complete their bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Medicine degree in record time.

For the first two years, students take undergrad courses with a pre-med focus at Mizzou before moving on to four years of professional study in the School of Medicine. 

Admission into this program is highly selective, with candidates expected to show not only high academic achievements but also a passion for the medical profession.

6. University of Rochester

The University of Rochester offers a unique BS/MD program through its Rochester Early Medical Scholars (REMS). This eight-year program integrates a robust undergraduate education with a comprehensive medical curriculum at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. 

Accepted students spend their first four years completing an undergraduate degree in any field of their choice at the university. Following undergrad is four years of intensive study at the School of Medicine.

Candidates must demonstrate excellent academics, a passion for medicine, extracurricular activities, and leadership capabilities to be considered during the admissions process.

7. Syracuse University

Syracuse partners with SUNY Upstate Medical University to offer an 8-year Upstate Accelerated Scholars (UAS) Program for students interested in a future in healthcare. 

The first four years of this comprehensive program are spent completing undergraduate studies at Syracuse University. Enrollees will then spend four years studying medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Syracuse University is currently testing a “test-optional” policy for college applicants, allowing high schoolers to apply without an ACT or SAT score. However, UAS program applicants are still required to submit ACT or SAT scores, as the MCAT requirement waived for medical school admission.

8. George Washington University

George Washington University’s Dual BA/MD program is a seven-year educational program for a select group of highly qualified applicants. Students spend three years at the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences followed by four years at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate an exceptional academic record, a 90th percentile or higher high school GPA, and a demonstrated passion for healthcare through extracurricular experiences. 

Although an official MCAT score is not required, this path does require a practice MCAT test score to be submitted. 

9. CUNY School of Medicine

The Educational Program at the CUNY School of Medicine/Sophie Davis Biomedical Education (CUNY Med) is a seven-year BS/MD program. CUNY Med’s Educational Program is uniquely designed to foster a deep sense of commitment toward working in underserved communities of urban areas.

The curriculum integrates an undergraduate education in biomedical sciences with medical education from the CUNY School of Medicine. This structure provides students with an accelerated pathway to a medical career, omitting the MCAT requirement. 

The program’s distinct focus on health disparities make it a match for students dedicated to championing healthcare equality in their professional pursuits.

Wondering where your scores would be if you took the MCAT today? MedSchoolCoach offers a free practice exam to gauge your performance and future study needs.

Early Assurance Programs 

Early Assurance Programs (EAPs) provide an opportunity for students to secure a spot in a partner medical school during their second year of undergraduate studies. 

Applicants may only apply to one program at a time but gain the benefit of not taking the MCAT if accepted. If they are accepted, students may decline entrance to the chosen program.

The aim of these programs is to allow students to focus on their undergraduate studies and deepen their learning experiences. These programs often look for applicants with a commitment to extracurricular activities, especially those related to medicine.

All EAPs operate differently and have their own eligibility requirements. What sets them apart from baccalaureate MD programs is that early assurance programs:

  • Require students already be enrolled in a four-year accredited college or university
  • May or may not require applicants to be accepted to any specific undergraduate program (some only accept applicants from their linked school or a short list of partner schools)

You apply to EAPs after being accepted and/or attending an undergraduate institution. Baccalaureate-MD programs, on the other hand, require students to apply as part of their undergraduate application process and accept applicants to their undergraduate institution and offer provisional acceptance to the school of medicine at the same time.

All EAPs in the United States

Below is a list of each of the total 19 EAPs available to students in the United States.

ProgramEligible ApplicantsState
University of South Alabama College of MedicineAll med school applicants (preference given to Alabama residents and students residing in the service areas of Mississippi and Florida)AL
UC Riverside School of Medicine’s Thomas Haider Early Assurance ProgramUC Riverside undergraduate students or recent graduatesCA
University of Florida Medical Honors ProgramAll med school applicants who have completed their second yearFL
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Early Assurance ProgramAll med school applicantsIL
University of Chicago Loyola Stritch School of Medicine Early Assurance ProgramUndergraduate students at Loyola University ChicagoIL
University of Kentucky Early Assurance ProgramSophomores in the Lewis Honors CollegeKY
Boston University Early Medical School Selection ProgramAll med school applicants, with a focus on Black, Brown, Latino, and Pacific Islander student representation.MA
Tufts University School of Medicine Early Assurance ProgramSophomores at Tufts University (traditional MD program) or sophomores at Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College and all University of Maine campuses (Maine track only)MA
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Early Assurance ProgramJunior pre-med students at Michigan State University partner schoolsMI
Brody School of Medicine Early Assurance ProgramEastern Carolina University freshmenNC
Wake Forest School of Medicine Early Assurance ProgramWake Forest University undergraduates who have completed sophomore yearNC
Dartmouth University Geisel School of Medicine Early Assurance ProgramDartmouth University juniorsNH
Albany Medical College Early Assurance ProgramUnion College undergraduates who have completed their sophomore yearNY
The FlexMed Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiAll med school applicantsNY
University at Buffalo SUNY Jacobs School of Medicine Early Assurance ProgramAll med school applicantsNY
The University of Rochester School of Medicine Early Assurance ProgramAll med school applicantsNY
University of Toledo Medstart ProgramAll med school applicantsOH
Penn State College of Medicine Early Assurance ProgramSecond-year Penn State Behrend studentsPA
Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine Early Assurance ProgramAll (Early Assurance) or second year students at Temple University or Washington & Jefferson College (Early Decision)PA
Georgetown University School of Medicine Early Assurance ProgramFourth-semester Georgetown University pre-med studentsWashington, D.C.

The Top 5 Early Assurance Programs (EAPs) in the United States

1. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s FlexMed Program

This program allows college sophomores from any major to apply for early assurance of acceptance to their School of Medicine. The FlexMed program aims to attract future physicians with an interest in human rights and social justice.

2. Dartmouth University — Geisel School of Medicine EAP

Dartmouth’s EAP is also not limited to their undergrad students. The program is open to all college students in their second year of studies, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. 

The Dartmouth EAP aims to reduce the application pressure for students committed to earning a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree at Geisel.

3. University of Florida Junior Honors Medical Program 

Students apply for this medical honors program in their second year of undergraduate studies at the University of Florida. If accepted, they’ll spend the next two years completing their bachelor’s degree while also fulfilling medical school prerequisite coursework.

Once they’ve completed their bachelor’s degree, students then transition to the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. Here students will also participate in clinical experiences, community service, research opportunities, and professional development, all under the mentorship of faculty and practicing physicians.

4. Georgetown University School of Medicine Early Assurance Program

At the end of sophomore year, Georgetown’s students become eligible to apply for Georgetown’s EAP, regardless of their major. Students must have completed specific coursework with a high GPA, but no MCAT is required.

5. University of Toledo — MedStart Program 

The MedStart Program is designed to accept a select group of talented students into the College of Medicine and Life Sciences during their second year of undergraduate studies.

One distinct feature of this program is its focus on cultivating physicians who are dedicated to addressing healthcare disparities in underserved communities. 

They encourage applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to community service and have a clear vision of how they plan to make a significant impact in the medical field.

Empowering HBCU and Female Students: Spelman College

Spelman College is an HBCU empowering women as they continue into the medical and dentistry fields. Spelman students have various pathways to medical school, allowing them to benefit from a liberal arts education while providing them with a direct route to a medical degree.

Medical schools that partner with Spelmen to offer dual degree programs and EAPs include: 

  • Boston University 
  • University of South Alabama
  • University of Rochester
  • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Morehouse School of Medicine
  • State University of New York Upstate College of Medicine
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
  • University of Wisconsin Rural and Urban Scholars in Community Health
  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine

Why International Medical School Is Not for Everybody

If you are a qualified applicant who has a good chance of getting into a US medical school, you should go that route. However, international medical school may be appropriate for three specific circumstances:

  • US students who plan to practice medicine in the country where they attend medical school
  • US students with low GPA and/or MCAT scores
  • Non-US students 

International medical graduates (IMGs) must typically complete residency in the States or restart residency if they wish to practice in the US. They also may have to repeat other parts of their medical education.

In May 2023, Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee signed a bill into law that makes Tennessee the only state that does not require IMGs to repeat residency to become licensed in the state. According to Stat News, other states are expected to follow Tennessee’s lead.

Prospective doctors who want to practice medicine in Tennessee may now consider an international medical school (including residency), many of which don’t require an MCAT score. In TN, physicians who studied abroad must still prove equivalent training, pass licensing exams, and otherwise be fully licensed in good standing to practice medicine.

Can I practice medicine in the US if I went to medical school in Canada? It’s possible to practice medicine in the United States if you go to a Canadian medical school. The easiest way to accomplish this is by completing a US-based residency.

However, there may be additional barriers, like visa requirements, to consider. Some physicians who went to medical school in Canada report that they felt like “second-tier” applicants in the Match. It may be more difficult to pass US licensing exams, as some of the terminology and areas of focus differ.

Can I Apply To Med School Without an MCAT Score?

Applying to medical school without an MCAT score is possible, but it requires careful planning, strong academic achievement, and a deep commitment to the field of medicine. Becoming a medical professional requires extensive knowledge, hands-on experience, and dedication to providing healthcare to those in need. 

You must choose to apply to dual-degree programs while you’re still in high school, and deadlines to apply to EAPs are very strict (and may also occur during your high school career). Applying to medical school outside of these options without an MCAT score can be tricky. 

Is it bad to apply to med school without an MCAT score? Your AMCAS can still be verified without an MCAT score, but schools that require this score will not review your application until it is added.

There are many reasons why you may be searching for schools that don’t require an MCAT score. Not everyone is a great test taker, but it is still in your best interest to at least try a practice test. After all, you’ll need to be well-versed in the topics on the MCAT to pursue a future in healthcare.

Will a low MCAT score affect my chances of getting into medical school? A low MCAT score can impact your chances of getting into medical school. The good news is that the test can be retaken, and there are other aspects of your application, like your personal statement and extracurricular activities, that can help you stand out.

What is the lowest MCAT score accepted into DO school? The lowest MCAT scores that will be accepted into a DO school depend on the school itself and the scores of the other applicants. In general, a 490 is the lowest acceptable MCAT score.

There is one DO school that will accept an alternative to the MCAT score. The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine will instead take your ACT/SAT scores and GPA to calculate an Academic Index Score

If you have your heart set on specific medical schools or want the ability to choose where you will study, it is in your best interest to start a study schedule for the MCAT. 

Preparing for Medical School in High School

Starting your medical journey early can be advantageous, and high school is a prime time to begin laying the groundwork for your future career in medicine. 

Here are some steps you can take during your high school years to prepare for a path toward medical school, particularly if you’re considering a BS/MD, BA/MD, or an Early Assurance Program:

  1. Academic preparation — Strive to achieve a high GPA and take AP) classes, particularly in science and mathematics.
  2. Standardized tests — Prepare for the ACTs and SATs to achieve high scores and increase your chances of admission.
  3. Extracurricular activities — Get involved in health-related extracurricular activities to showcase your dedication and commitment to the medical field.
  4. Shadowing and internships — Gain first-hand exposure to the medical field through shadowing doctors or pursuing healthcare internships. This experience demonstrates your seriousness about the profession.
  5. Develop a well-rounded skill set — Medicine is not solely about science; it’s about people. Skills such as communication, empathy, leadership, and teamwork are all important in the healthcare field. Participate in student government, sports teams, debate clubs, or community service.
  6. Seek guidance and mentorship — Advice and mentorship from professionals, such as guidance counselors, teachers, or even medical professionals can provide valuable insights into a future in healthcare.

By demonstrating academic excellence, dedication to healthcare, and a well-rounded skill set, you can increase your chances of gaining admission into a program that bypasses the MCAT and sets you on the path toward your dream career in medicine. 

For students that are still undecided in high school, you always have the opportunity to choose to pursue medical school at a later date and our friends at MedSchoolCoach can help you prepare.

Schedule a meeting with our enrollment team to see how we can help you boost your MCAT score. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the MCAT?

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a heavily weighted component of the application process for medical schools. It’s a comprehensive, standardized examination designed to assess problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts crucial to the study of medicine.

The MCAT tests basic knowledge and skill that medical students need to successfully complete their studies.

The MCAT is known for being a challenging and time-intensive undertaking, requiring months of diligent study time.

What are the average MCAT scores for students accepted to medical schools? 

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), average MCAT scores in the 2022-2023 academic year were:

  • 506.5 for all medical school applicants
  • 511.9 for matriculants (students accepted to medical school)

What is the difference between Early Assurance, Guaranteed Admission, and Early Decision Programs?

Early Assurance Programs (EAPs) allow students to apply to a single medical school before their first typical med school admissions cycle. EAPs may allow accepted students to go to school without taking the MCAT. Students accepted to an EAP may choose to attend a different MD or DO school if they change their mind.

Guaranteed Admissions Programs (GAPs) are similar to early assurance programs but students apply earlier and must still meet minimum MCAT score requirements. Students must already have been accepted or attending the undergraduate institution but apply during freshman year rather than sophomore year (like EAPs) or junior year in the typical med school admissions cycle (like EDPs). Students accepted to an GAP may choose to attend a different MD or DO school if they change their mind.

Early Decision Programs (EDPs) are available at a much larger number of schools than EAPs or GAPs but still require students to take the MCAT to apply. Applying to an EDP is more binding than EAPs or GAPs — students accepted via EDP must complete their medical education at that institution.

Does Northwestern University offer a dual-degree program?

Although they’re mentioned on most “best of” lists for BS/MD programs, Northwestern no longer has an active baccalaureate-MD program. 

Northwestern University’s Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME) was an accelerated seven-year BS/MD program culminating at the Feinberg School of Medicine. However, the university discontinued the HPME in 2020 with no plans to restart it.

What medical schools in Texas do not require the MCAT? 

There are 2 medical schools in Texas that don’t require the MCAT, Baylor and Texas Tech.

The Texas Medical School application is unique, utilizing the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS) instead of the more common AMCAS. TMDSAS is a unified system for Texas’s public medical, dental, and veterinary schools. It requires distinct essays, recommendations, and operates on a different timeline. Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes the state’s commitment to innovative approaches in medical education, like the Joint Admissions Medical Program, and their state-of-the-art medical facilities.

Kachiu Lee, MD

Dr. Lee specializes in BS/MD admissions and has been working with this unique population of applicants since 2010. After attending a prestigious boarding school for high school, she was accepted into seven combined bachelor-medical degree programs. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL with a Bachelors of Arts in Biology. Afterwards, she graduated from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL. She then completed a dermatology residency at Brown University, and served as Chief Resident during her final year. She completed her fellowship in Photomedicine, Lasers, and Cosmetics at Massachusetts General Hospital and was a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School. Academically, she has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and lectures internationally on photomedicine and dermatology.

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