An Easier Way Into Medical School? Consider an Early Assurance Program

May 19, 2021


Landing a prime spot at a choice medical school will always be competitive, particularly as applications continue to soar. Reports within the past year show applications are up 17 percent and enrollment is at two-decade high with multiple underrepresented groups making gains. But there is a way to help get your foot in the door far ahead of your competitors if you’re willing to put in the work and if your pre-med school offers the right program.

Early Assurance Medical School Programs, known informally as EAPs, offer an alternate route that helps save time, money and significant stress for high-achieving students who dedicate themselves to a medical career. Many secure spots as early as the end of their sophomore year in college, long before having to take the MCAT. In fact, students in some EAPs are allowed to skip the MCAT altogether.

Among the colleges with  EAPs are Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine in New Hampshire.

Of course, there are strict requirements and a few catches. Most EAPs stipulate that a student complete certain coursework by the end of the second year of college in order to be accepted, typically five premed core science courses covering biology, chemistry and physics material similar to that required for medical school admissions. Students also must maintain a certain grade point average and demonstrate high motivation, good character and dedication to medicine. And there’s often an agreement that participating students are barred from applying to medical schools other than those with which an EAP is connected. The University of Toledo in Ohio considers it a withdrawal from its MedStart EAP with the university's College of Medicine and Life Sciences if an accepted student applies to another med school via AMCAS.

EAPs can be extremely selective. Honors College at East Carolina University in North Carolina and its Brody School of Medicine accept just four students per year. And some schools give preference to historically underrepresented groups. Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine, for instance, favors students at partner colleges and universities who are first-generation college students, graduates of a low-income high school, eligible for need-based grants or have interest in a high-need medical specialty area. 

If the idea piques your interest, talk with your college’s advisor or contact those at your choice medical schools to ask about feeder EAPs. And to get an even sharper competitive edge, consider enrolling in WOLFPACC, offering tutoring as well as COMLEX and USMLE review courses. Call 904-209-3140 or visit us online to talk with an enrollment specialist today.