I recently talked about the fact that many BS/MD programs have certain grade and MCAT requirements to advance to the medical school.
If that is the case, what benefit is the BS/MD program over applying to the medical school through the traditional approach? The benefit is that the requirements of most of the BS/MD programs to advance to the medical school are lower than the requirements a student would want to meet if applying traditionally.
It is common for a BS/MD program to have a 3.5 or 3.6 undergraduate GPA requirement to advance to the medical school. But if applying to a medical school through the traditional route, you would want a minimum of 3.6 and higher would make you a more competitive candidate.
With the MCAT, BS/MD programs have various approaches. Some don’t require the MCAT at all. Others require the MCAT but don’t care what the score is. Many do require the MCAT with a minimum score but that score is typically a 507 to a 510. When I am working with traditional medical school applicants, I typically advice that you want 510 minimum and higher is better.
Let’s look at some examples. Boston University’s BS/MD program requires a 3.2 GPA and an 80% MCAT score to advance to the medical school (This is currently about a 510). But if you were applying to any medical school, a 3.2 GPA would be considered too low and admissions would be very unlikely. Let’s look at Boston University specifically. For traditional applicants to BU, the median GPA is a 3.86 and the median MCAT is a 518.
Case Western’s BS/MD program requires a 3.63 minimum GPA to advance to the medical school and no MCAT is required. If applying to Case Western’s medical school through the traditional route, the median GPA is 3.86 and the median MCAT, which is required, is a 519.
Hofstra’s BS/MD program requires a 3.6 minimum GPA to advance to the medical school and an 80% MCAT (roughly 510). Their median GPA traditionally is a 3.84 with a median 518 MCAT.
Those examples will hopefully give you some idea of the potential benefits of a BS/MD program over a traditional application to medical school. Does this mean that everyone interested in medicine should apply to a BS/MD program? Absolutely not. For many students interested in becoming a doctor, the traditional approach is still be best one for various reasons. But if a student has the commitment to becoming a doctor early on, the lower grade and MCAT requirements of BS/MD programs can offer a great advantage.