Preferred Applicant Track for Medicine
The Preferred Applicant Track for Medicine offers VCU Honors College premedical students an opportunity to apply to the Honors College Guaranteed Admission Program for Medicine at the end of your sophomore year at VCU. Upon successful completion of the Guaranteed Admission Program, students will be eligible to enter the School of Medicine without further competition.
All premedical students entering VCU as freshmen are eligible for the Preferred Applicant Track. Students who are not admitted to the Honors College prior to entering VCU must meet the requirements for admission to the Honors College and be accepted prior to the end of the second year of undergraduate studies.
In order to apply, a student must be in good standing in the Honors College with a 3.5 cumulative grade point average, and all coursework must be completed for a letter grade without electing the Pass/Fail grade option. Students must have completed, or be enrolled in, the following course: HONR 250/UNIV 112 and HONR 200/UNIV 200, MATH 200 and 201 (first and second semester of calculus), CHEM 101-102 and labs, BIOL 151-152 and labs, CHEM 301 and lab (first semester of organic chemistry), and PHYS 207. Courses must be completed at VCU during either the fall or spring semesters or by AP/IB/dual-enrollment credit in high school. Any exception to this requires the written approval of the Director of the Guaranteed Admission Program.
Candidates who have received any institutional sanction, such as an honors-code violation, or any legal convictions are not eligible to apply.
Although we are certainly delighted to have strong premedical students transfer to VCU to complete their premedical training, the Preferred Applicant Track for Medicine is open only to students who enter VCU as freshmen. Transfer students are not eligible.
An application for admission to the Honors College Preferred Applicant Track Program (Medicine) will be available during the spring semester of your sophomore year. This application, along with two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a practicing physician, must be submitted to the Honors College by the deadline date.
The application will be available on the VCU Honors College application portal. Students should log in using their VCU eID and password. A minimum of two and maximum of four reference letters are required. One letter must be from a practicing physician who is not a relative nor a caregiver to you. These letters should include, but are not limited to, statements about your ability as a student, potential as a health professional, and extracurricular activities within your school and community.
When you fill out the application, you will list the name and email address of each reference writer. Upon submission of the application, each reference writer listed will receive an email from the Honors College with instructions on how to upload their letter online to your application. While the application can be saved prior to submission, the emails to reference writers are only sent upon submission of the application. Please note that you may track the status of your reference letters after submission of the application by logging back into the portal, but all letters will remain confidential.
There are two essay prompts for the Preferred Applicant Track Program application:
1. Provide a narrative statement describing your motivation for choosing your specific healthcare profession. (5000 characters or less)
2. What are two characteristics you possess that would make you a great future healthcare provider in your chosen field?(1500 characters or less)
Additional fields on the application will request information on exposure to the healthcare profession, community service, extracurricular activities, honors and awards as well as research experiences.
Applications and all supporting materials must be received in the Honors College office by May 1, 2023. If your file is not complete by close of business (4:30 p.m. EDT) on this date, you will not be considered by the selection committee. There are no exceptions to this deadline; it is your responsibility to make certain that materials are received by the stated deadline date. Interested students are encouraged to apply early in order to ensure adequate time for submission of all required materials.
If accepted into the Guaranteed Admission Program, students must complete all of the requirements of the Guaranteed Admission Program. Guaranteed students take a core of rigorous courses designed to prepare them for success in their medical training. Careful advising within the Honors College helps students complete necessary coursework and complete all of the requirements of the guarantee.
The Admissions Office of the School of Medicine will select students to be invited for interviews. The interview will be held on VCU’s MCV Campus in June. Interviewees should expect to spend a full day on campus for this interview. Because of the limited number of guaranteed positions, not all applicants are interviewed, even though they may be highly qualified. You will be notified of your interview status by early June. No more than 16 candidates will receive an interview, and of those 16 candidates, no more than 12 will receive an offer of admission.
Questions are frequently raised about the criteria for acceptance by the medical school. All applicants should be aware that these decisions are not made on the basis of academic performance alone. Each year, the School of Medicine has many more qualified applicants than it can possibly accept. The stated academic criterion of a GPA merely indicates the baseline each applicant must attain for consideration for the program. The noncognitive qualities taken into consideration for the Guaranteed Admission Program are the same as used in regular medical school acceptance. These include, but are not limited to: interpersonal skills, maturity, personal motivation, both written and oral communication skills, letters of recommendation, evidence of commitment to healthcare, experience in related healthcare fields, compassion, a high level of community service and the assessment of the interviewer who sees the candidate at the personal interview.
The interviewer’s job is to develop a sense of the candidate’s personality and oral communication skills and to convey these qualities to the committee. Decisions are made based on a ranking of all potential students utilizing each committee member’s assessment of the above-mentioned criteria. Since many factors are considered for acceptance, occasionally individuals with lower GPAs are ranked for an admission offer ahead of individuals with higher GPAs.
You must complete the requirements for the Guaranteed Admission Program. If you do this, you will be able to enter the VCU School of Medicine without any further competition.
The Guaranteed Admission Program for Medicine is an eight-year program — four years of undergraduate study and four years of study at the School of Medicine. If you wish to apply for an earlier date of admission, you must go through the standard admission process.
You will still have the benefit of an excellent premedical education. Further, all applicants who are not offered admission in this process will be given an opportunity to meet with the Director of the Guaranteed Admission Program to review your credentials and gain concrete suggestions on what you can do to be more competitive in the standard admission process.
No minimum SAT score is required for this track. However, you should be aware that you will be expected to achieve well academically in a challenging curriculum. We are aware that SAT scores alone will not guarantee academic success. Therefore, for this program we are choosing to focus on your demonstrated achievement, rather than your test scores.
Students are free to choose any of the undergraduate majors offered by VCU. All can accommodate the prerequisite coursework for medical school and offer excellent premedical preparation, although tightly structured majors may require summer school to complete the prerequisites. Your four years as an undergraduate should be a time of wonderful challenge, exciting discovery and the joy of learning — all experiences that are best achieved if you choose a major you are passionate about. Your Honors College advisor will work closely with you to help you accomplish your learning goals.
Contact Associate Dean Carrie G. Connolly, Ed.D., at (804) 828-1803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.