Today I want to discuss one of the techniques I use in deciding which BS/MD programs to recommend to which student. I divide the programs into three tiers of programs based roughly on level of academic competitiveness.
Now, I want to make this perfectly clear. This is not a “ranking” of BS/MD programs to say which is the best or better than another. This is based purely on the type of academic background students typically need to be competitive for a particular program.
The first academic tier of programs include such programs as Northwestern HPME, Brown PLME and Rice/Baylor. To be competitive for these programs you typically want near perfect grades and test scores. 3.95 or better unweighted GPA is typical. For test scores you will want a 34 or better ACT or a 2,250 or better SAT.
The second academic tier programs include ones such as Boston University, George Washington University and the University of Miami. To be competitive for these programs you will want a 3.9 or better unweighted GPA, and ACT test scores of 32+ or SAT scores of 2,200+.
For the third tier of programs, you will need a 3.85+ unweighted GPA and ACT scores of 30+ or SAT scores of 2,150+. Programs in this group are many of the programs associated with state universities.
One thing you must understand is that these tiers are based on grades and test scores only. But grades and test scores alone will never determine who is accepted into a BS/MD program. Admissions decisions are based on the rest of your application including your essays, activities and the interview. You may have great grades and test scores but if you don’t have the rest of the package, you are not going to be competitive for a BS/MD program.
The other thing to understand is that each program is looking for something a little different and being competitive for one level will not necessarily make you competitive at another level. I routinely have students admitted to Tier 1 programs that are rejected at Tier 2 and Tier 3 schools. Are they academically strong enough for these other tiers? Yes. But for whatever reason that lower tier program was not interested.
Needless to say, there are many other factors that I consider in deciding which programs to recommend to which student, but hopefully this will give you some guidance into one issue considered by the BS/MD programs in admissions.