Medical Schools That Don’t Require the MCAT
- Oct 31, 2023
- MCAT Blog, Med School Admissions
- Reviewed By: Liz Flagge
If you’re a premed on the path to medical school, we don’t need to remind you that the MCAT is hard, the MCAT is important, and it plays a significant role in medical school admissions.
But what if there was a way to bypass the MCAT altogether?
No, you are not imagining it: There are medical schools that don’t require you to take the MCAT.
So why doesn’t everyone take this route?
Well, for one, not every medical school offers this entrance option, which significantly reduces the number of schools you can apply to. The other reason is the increased competition — as if applying to medical school isn’t hard enough.
However, if you’re still interested in learning how to save yourself from weeks of content review, practice exams, and mountains of flashcards, keep reading to explore the pros and cons of applying to medical school without taking the MCAT.
How to Get Accepted to Medical School Without Taking the MCAT
If your heart is set on medical school, but you don’t want to take the MCAT, baccalaureate-MD programs and early admission programs (EAPs) are the two most common alternatives.
What Are Baccalaureate-MD Programs?
Think of a baccalaureate-MD program as a joint undergraduate-medical school degree where students can transition seamlessly from undergrad into the MD program. Most combined MD programs take eight years (four years to earn a bachelor’s degree and four years in medical school).
Baccalaureate-MD programs include BA/MD, BS/MD, and BFA/MD degrees.
What Are Early Admission Programs (EAPs)?
Also known as Early Assurance Programs, EAPs are very similar to BA/MD degree programs, allowing applicants to secure a spot in medical school years in advance. However, BA/MD degree programs admit students straight from high school (when they’re applying to college), while the EAP admissions process doesn’t begin until well into undergrad.
Each school’s EAP has different admissions requirements, but you can expect the process to be highly competitive. You are, after all, applying to medical school with fewer data points (i.e., MCAT score and complete undergrad GPA) to illustrate your academic and career potential.
At a minimum, you’ll need to take certain prerequisite courses before applying and show your commitment and dedication to medicine through extracurriculars, such as shadowing, clinical experience, and volunteering.
Much like the traditional medical school admissions application, you must submit a personal statement, letters of recommendation, supplemental essays, and, in some cases, your SAT/ACT scores.
At best, you’ll secure early acceptance to medical school! At worst, you’ll get to experience how challenging applying to med school will be — but the silver lining is you’ll be better prepared for when you go through the regular process with a competitive MCAT score that will set you apart from the sea of applicants!
Is It a Good Idea to Bypass the MCAT?
No-MCAT medical schools are out there, so should you even consider taking your chances with the MCAT? Well, the MCAT plays a pivotal role in opening up wider opportunities for all aspiring medical students. Research has consistently shown a strong correlation between MCAT scores and students’ success during their initial year of medical school. However, your score doesn’t truly determine your long-term success in medical school or as a doctor.
We can’t deny how much the MCAT is factored into medical school admissions. For example, if you have a lower GPA, a high MCAT score communicates your ability to understand, apply, and undergo tests on difficult concepts.
And what if the medical school of your dreams (or at least your top medical schools) doesn’t offer any BA/MD degree programs or EAPs? Choosing a medical school for the sake of not taking the MCAT could end up hurting you in the long run if the school isn’t a good fit.
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Medical Schools That Don’t Require the MCAT
Here is our list of the top 10 medical schools in the U.S. that don’t require the MCAT.
1. Adelphi University
Located just outside New York City, Adelphi University offers joint degrees with partner medical and professional schools and life-changing research, internship, and travel opportunities.
Adelphi joins SUNY Upstate to offer a combined 4+4 Guaranteed Entrance/Accelerated Scholars medical degree program without MCAT requirements. Students can earn a BSc, BA, or BFA at Adelphi before transferring directly to SUNY Upstate Medical University.
- Completion of at least 90 credits of coursework at Adelphi, including all general education requirements, major coursework, and prerequisite coursework.
- No grades of C or below in any courses.
- An overall science grade point average of 3.5 each semester, with a 3.5 cumulative GPA.
2. Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Founded in 1881, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is a private, independent institution with a long tradition of academic and research excellence.
The Guaranteed Entrance for Select Majors program at this institution permits exceptional high school students who plan on studying Spanish, Chinese, or engineering to apply to the University of Albany for their undergraduate education and simultaneously apply for admission into Upstate Medical University’s Doctor of Allopathic Medicine (MD) program.
- A minimum overall grade point average of 3.5 in college.
- A minimum grade point average of 3.5 in all college science courses.
- Paid or volunteer exposure to the healthcare field.
- Public service participation.
3. The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
The Warren Alpert Medical School (WAMS) of Brown University is an Ivy League institution located in Providence, Rhode Island.
The BS/MD program there is known as the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME). It combines undergraduate education with professional medical studies in an eight-year program and is a principal route to WAMS admission.
- Meet all premedical course requirements.
- Applicants who have been previously dismissed, withdrawn, or graduated from a medical school are ineligible.
- International Applicants: one year of completed coursework from an accredited school in the US or Canada.
4. CUNY School of Medicine
With a mission to increase diversity and representation, CUNY School of Medicine is home to healers, academic leaders, and scholars committed to addressing inequities in New York City.
The Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program at CUNY School of Medicine enrolls high-school students with outstanding academic records into an eight-year BS/MD program. No MCAT is required to join the program.
- A minimum grade point average of 85 through the first three years of high school.
- Five letters of recommendation.
- Three essays on given topics.
5. Drexel University College of Medicine
Dedicated to providing the highest quality biomedical education, Drexel University College of Medicine excels and innovates in education, research, and delivering compassionate care in the Philadelphia region.
Drexel offers a BA/BS+MD Early Assurance Program, a combined 4+4 program allowing students to gain early acceptance into its undergraduate and medical programs. Students must have biological sciences, chemistry, or biomedical engineering in their bachelor’s degree.
- A minimum 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 weighted scale.
- A combined SAT score of at least 1420 or a minimum ACT composite score of 32.
- US citizenship or permanent residency.
6. George Washington University
The George Washington University Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences have teamed up to offer a competitive program designed for high school seniors who exhibit academic excellence.
Unlike other programs on our list, this BA/MD program takes only seven years to complete. Although an MCAT is not required, applicants must submit a practice MCAT score and other required application materials.
- A minimum 3.60 overall GPA.
- No grades of C or below in any science courses.
- An MCAT practice exam score from an online MCAT review course.
- Participation in medical and service-related experiences.
7. Hampton University
The Joint BS/MD program at Hampton University is offered in collaboration with Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, Virginia.
In addition to outstanding academic performance, this institution gives preference to high school students with a variety of extracurricular leadership experiences. These include scientific research and healthcare experiences through local hospitals, physician’s offices, or rescue squads.
- A minimum GPA of 3.68.
- Fulfilling published AMCAS requirements upon applying for admission.
8. Marshall University Joan C. Edward School of Medicine
Located in West Virginia, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine is a state-supported, community-based medical school established in 1977.
Marshall University offers both a Bachelor of Science and a medical degree in an accelerated seven-year program. To be accepted into the program, applicants must major in biology and meet high academic standards.
- A minimum high school grade point average of 3.75 on a 4.0 scale by the end of junior year.
- Three letters of recommendation from high school teachers.
- A compulsory situational judgment test.
9. Montclair State University
The Health Careers Program at Montclair State University is offered in cooperation with Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School (R-NJMS). Before entering medical school, students can major in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, or molecular biology for the first four years of the program.
The program is designed for academically capable students who are passionate about medical school but lack the financial resources to attend.
- A minimum B average or above GPA.
- A minimum B average in science and mathematics.
- An 1100 or above SAT score — Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Mathematical composite, with at least a 550 on both.
10. Purchase College
Just like Adelphi University, Purchase College offers an eight-year baccalaureate/MD program in partnership with SUNY Upstate Medical University.
Students participating in the program can complete a BA, BFA, or BS in their first four years before automatically matriculating into medical school at SUNY.
- A cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher.
- Completion of medical school prerequisite courses: Biology I and II, General Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry I, General Physics I and II, Biochemistry, Statistics, and labs for all listed courses with no grade lower than a B.
- A course load of 12 credits each semester.
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