Question: I am interested in pursuing medicine in college and I have narrowed my list of potential colleges down to six. Five of these offer an accelerated BS/MD program, which is attractive to me but I've heard can be hard to get into. Should I expand my list to include other colleges?
As you are aware, accelerated bachelors/M.D. programs are fiercely competitive, and admission to them is generally far more difficult than it is to the colleges and universities that sponsor them, if youâ€™re not applying to these special programs. For example, the middle-range SAT scores for Drew University in New Jersey are about 560-670 Verbal and 550-650 Math, yet there is a minimum requirement of 1,400 for applicants to their combined medical program, and the majority of those admitted score closer to 1,500. Big difference, eh?
Thus, it sounds like your list should probably include one more college that you consider â€œrealisticâ€ and one that you consider â€œsafeâ€ (but would be at least reasonably happy to attend).
We feel that we canâ€™t give fully responsible counsel here without knowing more about you and the colleges that interest you. However, we do want to stress the highly competitive nature of the combo med programs, though it does sound like you have your finger on the pulse of this situation already.
If you have not done so already, you might also want to visit the College Confidential Pre-Med and Med School discussion forum. You'll find some "war stories" there from other combo-program aspirants--both those who made the final cut and those who had to swallow the bitter pill of disappointment.