6 Year Medical Programs Out Of High School

Last Updated on September 6, 2022 by Ngefechukwu Maduka

Do you dream of becoming a doctor? If you’re set on going to medical school, then a combined BS/MD or BA/MD program might be for you. The majority of these combined programs allow motivated high school students to go right from undergraduate to medical school without having to go through another application process.

While there aren’t a ton of spots available in combined programs, there are schools throughout the country that offer them. Before we look at those, however, let’s review what BA/MD and BS/MD programs entail, as well as the pros and cons for high school and young undergraduate applicants.

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What Are Combined BA/MD and BS/MD Programs?

Combined programs allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree—either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS)—and then proceed directly into a medical program for a Doctor of Medicine (MD). Since students are already accepted to medical school, they can forgo the typical medical school admissions process near the end of undergrad.

Instead of applying separately to medical school, students just go through one major admission process at the end of high school (or, occasionally, a condensed application process early in college) that encompasses both the undergraduate and graduate admission processes. Programs that ask students to apply after first getting admitted to the college are typically referred to as early assurance programs.

Students in combined programs commit to a specific college and medical school or network of schools. This medical school is usually part of the same institution or a partner school in the same region or college network.

For instance, the SUNY and University of Texas systems, along with the Eastern Virginia network, offer students various choices of medical schools among their connected or partner colleges. On the other hand, students in Boston University’s combined program would have to attend BU for both undergraduate and medical school.

While combined programs offer students early assurance, some of them still require applicants to take and do well on the MCAT. Students must also maintain a certain GPA as they work their way through required college classes. Many offers are conditional on the student’s undergraduate and testing performance.

Most combined programs are the same length as non-combined ones: eight years. In other words, most students in direct medical programs will still go to college for four years and then to medical school for four years. A few programs offer accelerated programs by compressing the amount of time spent as an undergraduate; these may be seven or even just six years in length.

For example, California Northstate University offers both an eight-year combined program and a six- to seven-year combined program. It has eight-year BS/MD programs, and also offers a fast-tracked six- or seven-year BA/BS/MD program.

Students interested in the six-year program spend two years as an undergraduate and four years as a graduate with two summer terms. Meanwhile, seven-year students have three undergraduate years and four graduate years with one summer term, whereas eight-year students spend four years each in undergraduate and graduate studies (plus one summer term).

Before taking a closer look at accelerated programs, let’s go over some of the pros and cons of combined medical programs for students.

Pro: you’ll get to impress people by adding MD after your name whenever you sign it. Con: you might not be able to watch shows

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Combined BA/MD and BS/MD Programs: Pros and Cons

Now that we’ve covered what exactly combined medical programs are, it’s time to take a look at the pros and cons of entering one.

Pros of a Combined Medical Program

Applying to medical school is a competitive and stressful process, so the major pro of getting into a combined program is that you won’t have to go through all that application stress! Rather, you’ll be able to rest easy and focus on your academics, knowing you’ve already been accepted.

What’s more, a combined program allows you to commit fully to your goals and pursue medicine in your academic and professional path. You’ll be focused on medicine throughout your education and graduate with an MD.

Not only will you have a steady educational and career path, but you can also benefit from the stability of studying at one school or in one system of schools. Through a combined program, you’ll get deeply immersed in a community and can get to know your professors and facilities well during your studies.

Finally, in addition to offering students a stable and challenging program in their chosen fields, many combined programs provide scholarship money. Since they tend to be extremely selective, direct medical programs often offer financial aid to high-achieving students who get in. Getting this money can greatly assist you in achieving your educational goals.

Of course, there are some downsides to think about for combined medical programs. Let’s consider some of the cons of committing to a six- to eight-year program.

Cons of a Combined Medical Program

First, there’s time: most combined programs involve eight years of intensive study. Although these programs do eliminate the hurdle of a stressful med school application process, they also demand a huge commitment from high school students. Your goals could very well shift as you grow and have new experiences in college. Combined programs call for a great deal of dedication and commitment from young students whose aims might change as they grow older.

Of course, dropping out of the program is always an option if your goals change. If you do drop out but later change your mind and decide to reapply to med school, you might end up stuck at a school that wasn’t your first choice or find yourself lacking required courses.

On the flip side, if you switch your major from pre-med to something else, you might have to add more semesters as an undergrad. As you can see, though possible, giving up such a selective program you worked hard to get into would almost certainly be a stressful and nerve-racking ordeal in itself!

Another potential con of some combined programs is the commitment to the same location for eight years. Some students might be ready to experience a new city after undergrad, but those in combined programs will likely have to stick around for another four years. Though some combined programs involve relocating to a partner school, most are at the same university.

Just as combined programs limit your choices in terms of medical schools and location, they also typically don’t offer much flexibility in curriculum. While your fellow students might discover different fields or participate in study abroad programs, your own course schedule might not allow for as much exploration.

This kind of intensive, structured program might be a pro for some students and a con for others. Just be aware that combined programs call for a big commitment at a young age, and carefully consider whether you’re ready to make that leap.

Before we check out the full list of schools offering combined medical programs, let’s take a moment to go over accelerated programs and how they’re unique.

Accelerated programs take an already intense track of study and send it into hyperspeed.

What Are Accelerated BA/MD and BS/MD Programs?

An accelerated program is a type of combined medical program that’s shorter than the typical eight years. Most of these programs are seven years long, but a few are as short as six years.

Usually, the undergraduate portion, rather than the medical school portion, is shortened. These programs might combine two required classes into one or have students attend year-round by taking intensive courses throughout the summer.

As with combined programs, students will move directly from undergrad into a medical school program to which they’ve already been accepted—they might just be a little younger than their peers.

Accelerated BA/MD and BS/MD Programs: Pros and Cons

In addition to the considerations discussed above, what are some of the pros and cons specific to accelerated combined medical programs? Let’s take a look.

Pros of an Accelerated Medical Program

As a combined program, an accelerated program shares all the pros discussed above, such as the opportunity to get early acceptance to medical school and to commit to a field of study you’re passionate about.

Furthermore, the shorter time means you can enter medical school and earn your MD even faster, giving you a leap ahead into your profession by a year or more.

Because these programs are shorter, they might also have a lower cost than the traditional eight-year path. Note that accelerated programs are by no means easier than non-accelerated ones; in fact, they’re usually even more challenging because they compress the same material and requirements into a shorter amount of time.

If you’re a high-achieving, motivated student, an accelerated medical program may be just the kind of challenging and intensive experience you’re looking for.

Cons of an Accelerated Medical Program

The accelerated nature of these programs means that they demand even more of a commitment from applicants, who are often young high school students. These fast-paced programs are a huge challenge and offer even less flexibility than the regular eight-year combined programs.

If you commit to an accelerated program, not only do you have to be absolutely sure about your decision to earn your MD in a shortened period of time, but you also have to be prepared to miss out on some normal undergraduate experiences.

As someone studying on the fast track, you won’t have as much time to explore, socialize, or perhaps study abroad. Such experiences as these can be enriching parts of college, so think deeply about whether you’re ready to limit them.

Additionally, accelerated programs often require students to study year-round, limiting the potential for summer jobs, travel, and/or internships. These programs can be grueling, packing already tough classes like Organic Chemistry I and II into one semester. The main risk here is that the stress could turn you away from a path you would’ve otherwise enjoyed had you instead taken the slower route.

Finally, because the program is shorter than others, you need to do your research to make sure it’s high quality. Whether you’re committing to a combined or accelerated program, it’s important to do extensive research to ensure you’re committing the next six to eight years of your life to the best program for you.

Choose a medical school already! Your cat is tired of playing patient.

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Combined BS/MD and BA/MD Programs: Full List

Below is an updated list (as of April 2020) of combined BS/MD and BA/MD programs in the United States. We’ve divided the list as follows:

Some schools have several medical programs lasting six, seven, or eight years. You can click on the name of each school to learn more about its combined medical programs and admission process.

Note that there are a few combined programs on the list that are only available to state residents (or require students to become state residents once they matriculate as an undergrad). These programs have been marked with an asterisk.

Combined BA/BS/MD Programs for High School Applicants

With these combined programs, you apply as a high school student and get guaranteed admission to medical school. To keep the offer valid, you’ll have to take required courses and maintain a certain GPA.

Despite your guaranteed admission to medical school, you might still have to take the MCAT for some of these BA/MD or BS/MD programs.

In the table below, we list how long each program is and the estimated annual tuition for first-year students. We’ve also bolded the programs that for sure accept international students.

Most of these programs are available only to US citizens or permanent residents, so international students interested in a BA/MD program should double-check that their college of choice extends the opportunity to international students as well.

SchoolProgram Length (Yrs)Est. Freshman Tuition
Albany Medical College/RPI, Union College, Siena College7 or 8$54,000 (RPI), $56,853 (Union), $39,200 (Siena)
Baylor College of Medicine8$44,544
Boston University School of Medicine7 or 8$56,854
Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine8$57,112
California Northstate University College of Medicine6, 7, or 8$45,000
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine8$52,448
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University7$10,076**
CUNY Medical School (Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education)/City College of New York7$6,930**
Drexel University College of Medicine8$34,764
Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine/Florida A&M University*7 or 8$5,785**
Florida State University College of Medicine7 or 8$5,656**
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences7 or 8$58,550
Hofstra/Northwell School of Medicine8$46,450
Howard University College of Medicine6$26,464
Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville/University of Evansville8$37,500
Medical College of Georgia/Augusta University*7$8,864**
Mercer University School of Medicine8$37,508
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine7 or 8$56,232
Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences-Newark/New Jersey Medical School7$12,230**
Saint Louis University School of Medicine8$46,400
Stony Brook University School of Medicine8$7,070**
SUNY Downstate Medical Center/Brooklyn College8$6,930**
Temple University School of Medicine8$16,080**
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine*8$11,772**
Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine*8$6,432**
Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College/Pennsylvania State University7$18,454**
University of Alabama School of Medicine8$10,780**
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine8$9,982**
University of Colorado School of Medicine/University of Colorado Denver*8$10,176**
University of Connecticut School of Medicine*8$14,406**
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine*8$10,776**
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine6$7,075**
University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine*8$7,268**
University of New Mexico School of Medicine*8$5,586**
University of Oklahoma College of Medicine7 or 8$4,788**
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine8$18,628**
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry8$57,188
University of South Alabama College of Medicine*8$7,896**
University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine7$5,069**
University of Toledo College of Medicine7, 8, or 9$8,834**
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine8$14,596**
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis8$54,250
Wayne State University School of Medicine8Covered by college

*In-state residents only, or in-state residents given preference
**Tuition for in-state residents
US and Canada students only

So your preferred program wants you to wait and apply as an undergraduate? I guess your pets can put up with this doctor-patient make-believe game just a little longer.

accelerated medical programs

Combined BA/BS/MD Programs for Undergraduate Applicants

The following schools offer programs you apply to once you’ve already been accepted there as an undergrad. They might ask you to apply as a freshman or sophomore.

Like the list above, you can click on the name of each school to read more about its BA/MD and BS/MD programs in addition to its admissions process.

Once again, we’ve bolded the programs that also accept students who are not US citizens or permanent residents, but it’s definitely worth double-checking that program’s website before applying, as this sort of thing can change without notice.

SchoolProgram Length (Yrs)Est. Freshman Tuition
Boston University School of Medicine8$56,854
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University/University of the Sciences8$27,500
Drexel University College of Medicine8$34,764
East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine*8$4,452**
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences*7 or 8$58,550
Hampden-Sydney College7 or 8$45,690
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai8Varies
Indiana State University*8$9,036**
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine8$45,500
Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine*8$8,412**
Meharry Medical College8Varies
Northeast Ohio Medical University*8Varies
Rutgers Biomedical & Health Sciences/New Jersey Medical School7$12,230**
Rutgers Biomedical & Health Sciences/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School7$12,230**
SUNY Upstate Medical University8Varies
Temple University School of Medicine7$16,080**
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine*8$11,772**
Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College/Pennsylvania State University7$18,454**
Tufts University School of Medicine8$59,560
Tulane University School of Medicine8$52,760
UC Riverside School of Medicine*8$11,442**
University of Central Florida College of Medicine8$6,379**
University of Florida College of Medicine7$6,380**
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine7 or 8$52,080
University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine7$5,069**
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine8$14,596**

*In-state residents only or given preference or accepts students from certain partner colleges only
**Tuition for in-state residents

†Accepts students from US/Canada undergraduate institutions only
US and Canada students only

A combined medical program isn’t exactly “until death do us part,” but it’s still a big commitment! Make sure you’re ready to make it.

bSMD programs for international students

Deciding on a Combined BA/MD or BS/MD Program

Applying to college requires a lot of research, and applying to a combined medical school program requires even more. When you agree to a dual degree program, you’re not just committing to a school for four years of undergraduate coursework—you’re committing to six to eight years of both undergraduate and graduate education.

Because of the nature of this commitment, you must carefully consider your reasons for wanting to attend medical school. Make sure that you understand your program’s requirements and are comfortable pursuing an intensive track of study in the same city for the foreseeable future.

Combined programs are highly selective, and they tend to expect applicants to have some experience, often through an internship or volunteer work, in the medical field. Any kind of firsthand experience working in a medical setting or shadowing a doctor can help you determine whether an MD is the right degree for you.

If you feel ready to commit to this path, then it’s critical to put together the strongest application you can. Demonstrate your passion for the field through your essays and experiences, and show admission officers that you have the maturity and drive to pursue your pre-med and medical degrees in a combined program.

If you ultimately decide that a combined program is the right path for you, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the assurance of a guaranteed medical school acceptance. Of course, you can probably only relax for a moment. Then it’s back to work!

How would you like to earn your medical degree in just six years? Thanks to accelerated direct medical programs (also called combined BS/MD or BA/MD programs), this could be your reality.

Direct medical programs target high-achieving high school students who are committed to entering the medical field. These elite combined degrees give students the opportunity to go directly from undergraduate to medical school, without the hassle of the typical med-school admissions process. With a BS/MD or a BA/MD, students earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree at the end of their undergraduate study. They then move directly into a medical program, often at the same school, to earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

Typically, undergrad students who are interested in entering medical school must complete pre-med courses and apply to medical school separately at the end of their four years. As anyone who has braved this process is aware, getting into medical school from undergrad is exceedingly difficult, and by no means guaranteed — even for very strong students. In a combined BS/MD or BA/MD program, motivated high school students undergo one major admissions process for both pre-med and med school. The great benefit is that they go into their freshman year with the knowledge that they have already been accepted into medical school, and are officially on the path towards their white coat.Recommended For You

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It should be noted that there are some programs, known as early assurance programs, that require students to be accepted to their undergraduate college of choice before applying to enter the combined program. Additionally, while many combined undergraduate and medical school programs are part of the same institution, there are some programs that require students to complete their undergraduate degrees at one institution, and go to a partner school in the same region or network of colleges to complete their medical degrees. One such program is the Rice/Baylor Medical Scholars Program (MSP), which begins at Rice University for the undergraduate portion, but finishes up with medical school at Baylor.

Combined programs generally last eight years, which is the same amount of time that a typical medical student would spend in a non-combined program. So although these are granting combined BS/MD or BA/MD degrees, students still experience four years as undergraduates followed by four years as medical students. There are, however, some schools that offer accelerated programs. These compress the total amount of time spent studying before residency to seven years, or even as few as six.

The Benefits of Accelerated Programs

Because the application process for getting into medical school is often stressful due to the number of interested (and highly qualified) students applying, the most obvious benefit of a direct medical program is the assurance that once you’ve been accepted as an undergraduate, you have also been accepted into medical school. You will still need to focus on doing your best and growing as a student, but you’ll never have to grapple with that nagging question, “What if I don’t get in?”

Committing to an accelerated program also means that you’ll save money, because programs often compress the same material into fewer courses. And on top of saving money, you’ll finish your program in a shorter time, six or seven years, meaning that you’ll earn your MD (and get a head start on your career) ahead of other students who must complete their undergraduate degrees before starting medical school.

The Drawbacks of Accelerated Programs

Combined programs require a high level of specialized commitment from students. This can be a lot to ask of high school students, whose interests and goals might change drastically over the course of their time in college. Of course, some students know from a young age that being a doctor is exactly what they want to be when they grow up; and they are more than ready for the commitment. As you make your decision about whether to apply for a BS/MD or BA/MD, just keep this in mind: these programs require intense dedication. Although you can get out of a combined program if you decide that it’s not for you, doing so might cause you a lot of stress and disappointment.

Also recall that, if you decide to pursue an accelerated program, you’ll be packing eight years of schooling into as few as six years. Because you’ll often be going to school year-round in order to finish your degrees in six or seven years, there won’t be a lot of time or flexibility for some of the typical undergraduate experiences; these include regular socializing, traveling, getting a summer job, or having an internship. This lack of flexibility can be so taxing for some students that it lessens their interest in direct medical programs.


Six-Year Programs to Try

Still, if you’ve weighed the pros and cons of attending a six-year program, and you’ve decided that this is the path you want to take, below are three great options for accelerated direct medical programs.

-Howard University College of Medicine

Located in Washington, D.C., Howard University College of Medicine offers a BS/MD dual degree that lets students complete the requirements for both the BS and the MD in six years. The College of Medicine admits a limited number of students from the College of Arts and Sciences each year. Entrance requirements for the program include a minimum science grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 and a minimum overall GPA of 3.5. The student must also take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), and earn a minimum total score of 504. A strong interview and supportive letters of recommendation are also required.

Founded in 1868, Howard University College of Medicine offers a long history of preparing students to become “competent and compassionate physicians who provide healthcare in medically underserved communities.”

-UMKC School of Medicine

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine is located in Kansas City, Missouri, known as the City of Fountains. The UMKC School of Medicine offers a BA/MD program that integrates medical science and clinical skills with the liberal arts and humanities. This year-round program gives students the opportunity to earn their BA and MD degrees in just six years. Students spend the first two years of the program fulfilling undergraduate degree requirements, with one-fourth of their time dedicated to medical school coursework. After these initial two years, students shift the majority of their focus to medical school classes, and spend less time completing their undergraduate studies.

The average unweighted high school GPA for a student admitted to the BA/MD program at UMKC is 3.89, and applicants must achieve an unweighted GPA of at least 3.0 in the 17 core requirements of the university. The average ACT score for a student admitted to this program program is a 32, and the average SAT is a 1420. Applicants must achieve a minimum of 24 on the ACT in order to qualify, and 1160 on the SAT if it was taken after March 2016. The writing sections on the ACT and SAT are not factored into admissions decisions. 

Kansas City boasts a rich cultural and arts atmosphere, and attending college in Kansas City puts you within minutes of a number of cultural and entertainment options. These include the Country Club Plaza, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Royals baseball, and Chiefs football.


As Early Assurance Option

-Kent State University

Though Kent State’s accelerated Integrated Life Sciences BS/MD program stopped accepting students in the fall of 2017, the university has continued its partnership with Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) through an Early Assurance Program (EAP), formerly known as Baccalaureate/M.D. (Bacc./M.D.). With this program, undergraduates can apply for early assurance to NEOMED in the fall of their sophomore year, and can matriculate two years after they are accepted. While the total time commitment for this program is longer than six years from beginning to end, EAP pre meds benefit from the knowledge that their spot at NEOMED is waiting.

Admitted EAP students must meet all of NEOMED’s prerequisites prior to matriculating, which include pre med coursework as well as minimum GPA and MCAT scores. Eligible applicants must have completed 59-90 credit hours, including two semesters of lab-based biology and lab-based general chemistry, and must have a minimum GPA of 3.25. As long as students meet academic and professionalism standards, EAP students will have a reserved spot in NEOMED’s class upon finishing their baccalaureate degrees and graduating from Kent State.

Kent State offers an inviting and forward-focused atmosphere, providing students with a family of supporters who want to see them succeed. Additionally, downtown Kent is home to great restaurants, live music, museums, and much more, which can enhance your university experience.


If you know that you want to go into the medical field — and you want to get there fast — an accelerated direct medical program might be right for you. With  any of these competitive programs, you can go from college freshman to medical professional in just six years.

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