We’re continuing our series on BS/MD programs, after exploring Texas Tech’s and Texas A&M’s offerings. Today, we’ll look into the Baylor2 program (pronounced “Baylor squared”), so-called because you begin at Baylor University in Texas, then continue at the Baylor College of Medicine (which used to be connected but are no longer under the same organizational umbrella).
This is not the only BS/MD program that funnels undergraduate students into Baylor College of Medicine; the highly prestigious Rice/Baylor program does as well. While we won’t be covering that today, it may appear in a future article.
BS/MD programs are all highly competitive but offer tremendous upsides to the students in them. For more general information about these programs, see our article on BS/MD admissions, and our article on how to write BS/MD application essays. Now, let’s jump in!
What is Baylor2?
The program is an 8-year combined undergraduate and medical degree, where students are admitted to Baylor University and conditionally accepted to the Baylor College of Medicine. Students spend 4 years at each school.
The program also awards scholarships to all students within it, of either $10,000 or $2,000 per year in undergrad (two students will receive the maximum, and the rest will get $2,000). Two additional scholarships of $10,000 are awarded to students in the program upon their entrance to medical school.
Students in the program may major in whatever they wish at Baylor, but are expected to take all required pre-med coursework, and have sufficient academic preparation by the time they enroll in medical school. Students in the program are required to take the MCAT as well and must score in the range of 501-507, with no individual section scoring less than 125 in order to enter medical school.
Students in the program are given ample opportunities to volunteer and connect with doctors and healthcare settings and are expected to do so as part of their preparation process, though there are no strict time requirements. The program also affords students a number of research opportunities within Baylor University, as it is under the umbrella of the Honors College, with all the enhanced resources that it provides.
How to Apply to Baylor2
You must begin by applying to Baylor University; you will be unable to access the other parts of the application until this is done. Baylor requires two letters of recommendation and an answer to a single prompt in addition to the personal statement. This is:
- What are you looking for in a university, why do you want to attend Baylor, and how do you see yourself contributing to the Baylor community? (450 words)
While this essay is technically only required for students applying to Baylor Early Decision, we recommend answering it if you are applying to Baylor2, as it is an additional chance to tell admissions officers about your abilities and values.
Once you have applied, you will gain access to the GoBaylor portal. You will be able to apply to Baylor2 through this. The program has the following eligibility requirements:
- An ACT score of 32 or an SAT score of 1430
- A GPA of 3.7 or being in the top 5% of your graduating class
- You must be a US citizen or permanent resident
These are the minimum requirements to apply; competitive applicants will have GPAs close to 4.0, and very high scores on their standardized tests.
You have until November 1 to submit your Baylor University application, the special program applications open on September 1 however, so we recommend submitting ahead of the deadline, to make sure you aren’t rushing to finish your Baylor2 app.
There are two rounds of applications accepted for Baylor2, the first has applications due on October 1, and the second due on November 8. You are notified of the results by January 15 for round one, and April 9 for round two.
For the application itself, you will need to complete an online form, and answer an essay question. You may make changes to your application until you hit submit, but once you have submitted, you may no longer edit it. A select number of students will be invited to interview with the Baylor College of Medicine. The essay question you need to answer is:
- Why do you want to pursue your career in medicine at Baylor University and Baylor College of Medicine? (500 words)
The program only accepts six students each year.
Baylor BS/MD Application Strategy
As with all BS/MD programs, the most important thing is to show that you are academically prepared for the rigors of the program. Specifically, you should get very high grades in very difficult classes (especially math and science), and should participate in extracurriculars directly related to science and medicine.
Participating in healthcare-related extracurriculars serves two purposes. First, it introduces you to the concepts used in medicine and gives you a solid layer of foundation that can be built upon later. Second, it lets you experience, however briefly, what a career in medicine is like, so you can decide if it is the right path for you. This makes involvement in healthcare-related extracurriculars a great idea for anyone interested in pursuing medicine; the fact that they look great for admissions is just an added bonus.
The program asks for a single essay; they will learn more about you and what you’ve done through the interview. This means you have only so many words to impress them, and need to craft a stellar narrative to make the best use of your limited space.
This essay is actually asking two separate, but related questions:
- Why do you want to pursue a career in medicine?
- Why do you want to pursue a career in medicine through this program specifically?
We recommend spending around half your essay addressing each part of the question. Begin by covering what made you want to be a doctor. Altruistic and selfless motives are preferred; after all, being a doctor is all about helping others. It is ok to write about the death of a loved one, but be aware this is a very common motivation for entering the field. What about your own case made this a burning need?
We also recommend focusing primarily on how you pursued this interest, and in so doing fell ever more in love with the field of medicine. This allows you to discuss your healthcare-related extracurriculars, and demonstrate what sets you apart from other applicants.
You can either go in-depth into one activity or conduct a brief survey of everything you’ve done. One allows you to share more details, and show a greater growth over time, while the other allows you to cover more of what you’ve accomplished. Neither approach is inherently better, but you will find one suits your accomplishments and skills as a writer more.
When writing about the programs, remember that you have to address both undergrad at Baylor University and the MD program at the Baylor College of Medicine. We recommend dividing space evenly between the two in your response.
You should be as specific as possible when discussing why these programs are a good fit for you. The goal is to show why you would thrive in the program, and provide specific details from the program’s offerings that suit your interests and needs. Consider mentioning the work of professors or labs, specific course offerings or specialties, or extracurricular opportunities on campus. If your essay reads like it could be written about any medical school, you need more detail.
All BS/MD programs offer an amazing opportunity and experience, but each is also unique, with its own quirks and benefits. The road to becoming a doctor is necessarily a challenging one because the skill and ability doctors need for their jobs is very high. That difficulty begins with getting into med school, or a BS/MD program.
If you want help crafting your application to Baylor2, or in finding the perfect extracurriculars to help you apply to BS/MD programs, schedule a free consultation with us today to learn how we can help you. We have a depth of experience helping students apply, and are always happy to hear from you.