Admission to Undergrad & Med School as a High Schooler – Is This Right for Your Student?

By Maxine Seya

Has your student been dreaming of being a doctor since she was 5 years old playing with her toy stethoscope?

Is your high schooler sure she wants to go to medical school and has the 3.8+ to prove it?

Your student might be a great candidate for a program offered by select universities that allows high school applicants to get admitted to grad school at the same time they get admitted to undergrad.

Generally, your student will apply as a high school senior.

This type of program is typically geared toward health professions, like medicine, dentistry, or physician’s assistant.

These Programs Have Several Names

The names include:

  • guaranteed admissions program
  • BS+MD
  • 4+4
  • 3+4
  • direct entry
  • 7-year medical program

Overview of Guaranteed Admissions Programs

Colleges want students to attend, do well, and eventually graduate from their institution.

The guaranteed admissions program is one way to get admits excited about 4+ years at one school, instead of just trying it out for one or two years, then transferring to a different college that then receives their tuition dollars.

Why do it?

The benefit for applicants is that they may be guaranteed a spot in the medical school or dental school upon successful completion of their Bachelor’s degree at that same institution.

Many times they are not required to even take the MCAT or DAT or any graduate school admissions tests: students must simply maintain a certain GPA to reserve their seat.

With the competitiveness of medical or dental schools, this alleviates the stress of applying and interviewing for a seat while still a junior or senior in undergrad balancing a heavy workload.

Instead of spending their undergrad career preparing for admission to medical or dental school like finding the right internships and lab experiences, figuring out the right premed prerequisites, asking for letters of recommendation, etc., these students may explore other interests, hobbies, or passions traditionally unrelated to medicine, like playing sports, reading 18th century English literature, or studying abroad. More exploration as an undergrad can fuel a more relaxed experience while still gaining the worldly, well-rounded perspective needed to succeeded as a health professional.

Examples of Guaranteed Admissions Programs

The University of Detroit Mercy, for example, offers a 7-year Dental Program that enables applicants to earn a Bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in seven years, instead of the traditional eight years. The first three years are spent completing the undergraduate degree requirements in the College of Engineering & Science, working toward a B.S. in Biology or B.A. in Chemistry.

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Maxine Seya
Maxine Seya is a former investigative journalist, college consultant, and admissions interviewer. She studied at Peking University (Beijing, China) and Université Paul-Valéry (Montpellier, France) and investigated for CNN and Huffington Post before graduating from Northwestern University. She founded SocratesPost to share the human stories behind the admission gates and offer parents clarity as they help their teens with college.