Our Early Assurance Program with the Penn State College of Medicine gives outstanding second-year Penn State Behrend students the opportunity to apply for provisional early acceptance to Penn State's College of Medicine in Hershey.
Please note that because of circumstances prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn State has adopted a test-optional admission policy for the 2021 application cycle. While test scores will not be required for general admission, they will be a required application component for phase I of the 3+4 Accelerated Programs (Primary Care, Optometry, and Pharmacy) and Penn State College of Medicine Early Assurance Program.
Academic criteria for applying to the program is:
- Achieve a SAT score of at least 1300
- Cumulative GPA of 3.6 at the end of the sophomore year
- Completion of eight of ten required math/science courses (inorganic chemistry, two semesters; organic chemistry, two semesters; biology, two semesters; physics, two semesters; mathematics (calculus recommended), two semesters)
- Demonstrate high academic achievement in both science and non-science curricula/
- Extra-curricular activities and student involvement in human service experiences also are considered in determining admission to the program.
Students applying to the program submit a completed application to the Health Professions Advisory Committee of Penn State Behrend for review at the completion of the sophomore year. The application must include:
- Typed statement of 300 to 500 words describing:
- significant past experiences
- personal interests
- motivation for pursuing a career in medicine
- plans for the future.
- Three letters of recommendation from faculty members must support the application.
- Evaluation by the Health Professions Advisory Committee involves review of the criteria above and a personal interview.
The Health Professions Advisory Committee forwards application material and a letter of support for competitive applicants to the Penn State College of Medicine.
The Admissions Committee of the Penn State College of Medicine reviews completed applications and selects students for personal interviews. The most competitive students are offered a provisional acceptance to the Penn State College of Medicine through the Early Assurance Program. Final acceptance to the Penn State College of Medicine is contingent upon satisfactory fulfillment of annual criteria below.
Criteria for Continued Participation in the Program
Following acceptance of the provisional offer for admission to the Penn State College of Medicine, the applicant must:
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5
- Complete all remaining requirements for the undergraduate degree and the math/science courses detailed above.
- Students are encouraged to select a broad-based curriculum and participate in a wide variety of extracurricular programs, including volunteer activities, for the remainder of their college career.
- Students admitted to the program must take the Medical School Admission Test (MCAT) during the spring semester of their junior year. This is a formal requirement for admission to the Penn State College of Medicine
- Although a specific score is not required, students are expected to perform at or above the mean score when compared to the previous entering class (9-10 in each numbered section and 60th percentile in the Writing Sample).
- Students having one or more score below this level receive individualized counseling by the health professions adviser (in discussion with the Penn State College of Medicine) as to additional courses or other academic work that would be beneficial during the final year of college. Students with MCAT results significantly below this standard may be required to retake the examination in August.
The Health Professions Advisory Committee of Penn State Behrend follows each student admitted to the program and submits an annual progress report to the Penn State College of Medicine.
Formal Acceptance to the Penn State College of Medicine
Formal acceptance to the Penn State College of Medicine is contingent upon:
- Successful completion of academic requirements for the undergraduate degree
- Continued demonstration of personal integrity
- Submission of a final transcript.
This will usually follow completion of four years of undergraduate study, but it is recognized that some students will be able to complete their baccalaureate degree requirements in less than four years. Also, in some cases, with concurrence of both the Admissions Committee at the Penn State College of Medicine and the Penn State Behrend Health Professions Advisory Committee, exceptional students might be able to matriculate at Hershey after their third year of undergraduate study. In such cases, the Pre-Professional Option of the Biology Major will transfer credits from the first year of medical school back to the undergraduate program so that accelerated students can receive their B.S. degree in Biology–Pre-Professional Option after successful completion of their first year of medical school study.
For further information or to discuss the procedure for acceptance into the Early Assurance Program, contact: