We wrote previously on Texas Tech’s BS/MD program, and now turn to another BS/MD program within Texas, at Texas A&M. This is not a single program, but a collection of early assurance programs, which prepare a student for medical school, and offer them acceptance if certain goalposts are met.
As with all BS/MD programs, applications are highly competitive and involve a far more rigorous process than applying to the school as a whole. In this article, we’ll explore the various facets of Texas A&M’s Early Acceptance program, how to apply, and its benefits. We’ll also cover a bit of application strategy. Let’s get started!
General Program Requirements
While the Early Acceptance program has many individual branches, they all have the same requirements, both for applicants and in order to be admitted into the College of Medicine. We’ll cover these first, then give a brief overview of each individual program.
In order to be admitted into the College of Medicine after their time in the program, students must fulfill the following requirements:
- Earn a cumulative GPA of 3.5, and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 in science and math courses.
- Complete all required coursework for the College of Medicine, scoring no lower than a B in any required course.
- Complete the MCAT, and score in at least the 80th percentile. You may retake the MCAT once if you fail to get the required score the first time.
- Participate in advising activities with the College of Medicine’s advising office.
- Gain clinical experience shadowing or volunteering in a healthcare setting, with a minimum requirement of 60 hours per year.
- Perform a minimum of 60 hours of community service per year.
These requirements seek to ensure you are fully prepared for medical school by the time you are admitted. You may still apply to the medical school if you do not meet these requirements, but they will not guarantee your acceptance.
Every year, the program accepts a number of incoming high school students, the number accepted depends on the program. Students must be either National Merit Scholars, or College Board Hispanic Scholars, African-American, Native American, and/or Rural Recognition in order to apply. You must be a US citizen or permanent resident; Texas residency is preferred, but not required. In order to apply to the program, you must do the following:
- Submit an application between December 1st and February 1st.
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.5, rank in the top 10% of your graduating class, and score a minimum 1300 SAT or 30 ACT.
- You must apply to the program through a separate online application.
- Two letters of recommendation are required, one of which must be from a science teacher.
- Unofficial transcripts are also required.
- Interviews are required for finalists.
- Application to this program is separate from your application to A&M as a whole.
Finally, current sophomores may apply to join these programs. The number of students accepted every year depends on the program. The application process and requirements are generally the same as those for incoming freshmen, though with requirements for college GPA and prerequisite courses.
This program allows students to earn a degree from Texas A&M’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and to be granted conditional acceptance to the College of Medicine. Five incoming freshmen are accepted each year, and up to five sophomores are admitted into the program each year as well.
This program is unique, as it guarantees acceptance not to merely the Medical College, but to the highly competitive Engineering Medicine program within it. The purpose of this program is to train students in medical engineering, so as to enable them to create the next generation of medical technologies. Students earn a degree from the school of engineering as part of this program. Up to 15 students are admitted every year, from both incoming freshmen and sophomores.
This program allows students to matriculate through the School of Engineering, and then gain conditional acceptance to the College of Medicine. Unlike the above program, this doesn’t grant access to the Engineering Medicine program, only the wider college. Up to five incoming freshmen are admitted to this program a year, as are up to five sophomores.
This program allows students to matriculate in the College of Science and gain conditional acceptance to the College of Medicine. Up to five incoming freshmen and five sophomores each year are accepted into the program.
This program is only available to current A&M students who are members of the corps of cadets, and who wish to pursue a career as a military physician. This program is open to all second and third-year students who meet the minimum selection requirements, and they actively encourage qualified students to apply. Students in this program are partnered with current med school students as mentors and are given free access to an MCAT study program. Students in this program are expected to commit to the College of Medicine for medical school, and to a branch of the armed forces to join post-graduation.
Texas A&M does not release acceptance data for any of the programs, but do note that a limited number of students are accepted into medical school each year from each potential pipeline (except Cadet to Medicine). For most of the programs, there are up to ten students per year (five admitted as freshmen, and five admitted as sophomores), but only up to five students from each are selected to attend the College of Medicine.
Thus, while this program does provide a pathway to medical school, it is not guaranteed, as it is based on both your performance and that of your fellows. For ease of admission, and for the highest chances of successful matriculation into medical school, the corps of cadets program is the best. Of course, that has its own drawbacks, which is likely why it is so highly incentivized.
If you are applying to one of the other programs, you will need to demonstrate your commitment to medicine, and your academic preparation for the school. The applications do not require additional essays, so you will need to show your commitments primarily through your extracurriculars.
The academic cutoffs given are the minimum needed to apply; the program expects to see greater talents than the bare minimum from applicants (except in the cadet’s program, which specifies that all qualified students are encouraged to apply). Merely meeting the minimum academic requirements is not enough to earn you a spot, you must exceed them. As with all other BS/MD programs, you want your GPA to be as high as possible when applying.
While Texas A&M does not release application data, it is likely that these programs are not equally popular. The programs run by the colleges of science or engineering are likely far more competitive than the college of agricultural science (though this does not mean gaining acceptance to the agricultural science program will be easy; just slightly less competitive).
If your academic qualifications are competitive, you will likely get invited for an interview. This is how admissions officers determine your fitness for the program, and for a career in medicine more generally. Be prepared to discuss your past experiences with medicine, your motivations for becoming a doctor, and what specifically about Texas A&M’s Early Acceptance program appeals to you.
BS/MD programs are quite competitive, far more so than standard college applications. If you want more information about these programs generally; what they offer and application strategy advice, see our article on BS/MD programs. We hope that this article has given you a good understanding of the specifics of A&M’s program, and what sets it apart.
College applications are always stressful, but BS/MD programs are far more so than normal, due to increased admissions requirements and lower acceptance rates. If you want to hear how we can help you on your journey to medical school, either through BS/MD programs or when applying as a pre-med student, schedule a free consultation today. We’ve helped hundreds of students get into their top colleges, and we’re always happy to hear from you.