Last week I talked about the fact that there are no easy BS/MD programs. Today I want to talk about a related concept. What BS/MD programs are a safety for a really strong student.
I was asked this question 3 times in the past two weeks by new clients as we discussed possible BS/MD options. All three students are very strong academically and all three have good volunteering and research backgrounds. Despite the strong background of each of these students, there is no BS/MD program that is a safety.
There are two basic reasons that no BS/MD program is a safety. First, with acceptance rates that run between 1 and 8% of the applicants, there is no one that is guaranteed acceptance. Think of it this way. Is Princeton a safety because its 7.29% acceptance rate is higher than Harvard’s 5.79%? Or course not. When dealing with acceptance rates below 30%, no school is a safety.
The second reason that no BS/MD program is a safety is because while grades and test scores are important, those items alone will never get you admitted. There is much more that goes into the decision of who to admit to a BS/MD program. Moreover, grades and test scores are not an indicator of how easy a BS/MD program is for a particular student.
I regularly have students not get accepted into programs like Penn State and UMKC which statistically have somewhat lower average grades and test scores. Yet these same students are admitted to programs like Rice/Baylor, Brown PLME and Northwestern HPME all of which have much higher average grades and test scores. There can be all sorts of reasons for decisions like this but as a student you need to understand that this happens all of the time.
This post is not meant to discourage you at all. But it is meant to help you understand the reality of admissions to these super competitive programs.