The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is one of the most difficult tests you’ll have to take in your life. Unfortunately, it’s also necessary for medical school admission.
But, not everyone can do well on the MCAT. Maybe you’ve taken the MCAT a couple of times and aren’t satisfied with your average MCAT score.
Or maybe you simply want to skip all the stress that comes with the exam.
Luckily, you can opt for medical schools that don’t require an MCAT as part of their entry requirements. I’ve spent countless hours researching all the ways to get around the MCAT, and I’m happy to report that it is possible.
Here’s a list of medical schools that don’t require taking the MCAT.
Med Schools That Don’t Require MCAT Summary
- Students need high MCAT scores to get accepted into most medical colleges.
- Some medical schools have medical programs that don’t require an MCAT to get in.
- There are four ways to get into a med school without first taking the MCAT.
- You’ll have to show impressive grades and qualifications to be able to enroll in programs that don’t require the MCAT.
1. BA/MD & BS/MD Programs that Don’t Require MCAT
Traditional medical school admissions require students to get a BA degree first.
The BA degree should have courses such as General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, English, Physics, General Biology, and humanities courses.
Then, at some point during the studies, the student will take the MCAT test and apply to medical schools. 
However, some medical schools don't require the MCAT. These schools offer a joint degree:
- BA/MD — Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine
- BS/MD — Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine
This is primarily the opportunity for exceptional high school students to get a spot in a medical school before beginning graduate studies.
“BA/MD and BS/MD joint programs help students fast track through studies, especially as with these schools you can skip over the MCAT.”
- Nadine Evans, Bemo Academic Consulting
Students apply for a combined degree program while still in high school.
If they are accepted, they will first obtain the BS or BA degree and then proceed to obtain an MD degree.
The difference between BA and BS is in the curriculum — students will take different courses.
Most combined degree programs last around seven years. The student spends the first three or four years in undergrad studies and then automatically shifts towards medical school.
For these combined degree programs, the MCAT isn’t required. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get in.
In fact, you’ll have to fight hard with other applicants for your spot, and you’ll need impressive SAT and ACT scores.
Medical Schools that Offer BA/MD & BS/MD Programs
Here’s a list of medical schools that don’t require the MCAT and offer joint degree programs:
- University at Albany/Upstate Medical University
- CUNY School of Medicine
- Drexel University College of Medicine
- George Washington University
- Howard University
- Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine
- Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine
- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
- Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine
- The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences
- The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
- University of Florida College of Medicine
- University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
- University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences
2. Early Assurance Programs
An Early Assurance Program (EAP) is another way to avoid taking the MCAT.
Some medical schools offer this program to exceptional undergraduate students.
These students can apply at the end of the second or beginning of the third year of study.
If the application is accepted, these students automatically matriculate after graduation and become medical students.
Same as with BA/MD and BS/MD, this is a highly competitive program, and medical school admissions committees take on a holistic approach, so there’s no need to take the MCAT.
Instead, students will need a good GPA, impressive extracurricular activities, and core biology classes.
Note: EAP is limited to specific four-year universities, so if this is something you’re interested in, check if your university has an EAP option before enrolling.
Universities that Offer EAP
Here’s a list of American medical colleges that offer EAP:
- Albany Medical College
- Boston University
- Boonshoft School of Medicine
- Brody School of Medicine
- Dartmouth University Geisel School of Medicine
- Drexel College of Medicine
- Georgetown University School of Medicine
- Loyola Stritch School of Medicine
- Maine Track at Tufts Medical School
- SUNY Upstate
- SUNY Buffalo
- Penn State College of Medicine
- Tufts University School of Medicine
- University of Rochester
- University of Toledo College of Medicine
- Wake Forest
3. Flexible Admissions Programs
Flexible Admissions Programs are similar to Early Acceptance Programs but different from combined degree programs.
You should apply for this program early on in your undergraduate studies. Most prospective students apply in sophomore or junior year.
If you’re accepted, you’ll automatically matriculate after you get your undergraduate degree.
The main advantage of a Flexible Admissions Program is that you don’t have to worry about doing the prerequisite courses, as you know you’re set to start medical school after graduation.
This gives you more leeway to focus on extracurriculars that you like, and they don’t have to be about medical science.
Same as with EAP and combined degree programs, these are also tough to get in.
You need a high GPA, good letters of recommendation, scholarly accomplishments, and work history, but no MCAT.
Students who do college credit courses during high school have the best chance of getting in.
Since they already have college credit courses out of the way, they can concentrate on taking core classes during the first couple of years in undergrad studies.
Universities that Offer Flexible Admissions Programs
Compared to the first two programs I’ve talked about, there are fewer med schools that offer the flexible program:
- University of Toledo Medstart Program
- Icahn School of Medicine FlexMed Program at Mt. Sinai
4. Medical Honors Programs
The last way to get a medical degree without having to take the MCAT first is the Medical Honors Programs.
Only one med school currently offers this program, and it’s the University of Florida.
The program is officially called the University of Florida Junior Honors Program, and it doesn’t require the MCAT.
The program is a 7-year BS/MD combined degree program, and it’s only available to US students.
Because it’s a combined program, it also means students are accepted while still in high school and must complete all the prerequisite courses before the student's matriculation.
Same as with all other programs offered by med schools that don’t require the MCAT, it’s highly competitive.
You need a minimum GPA of 3.7 in math and science subjects. Other things the med school admission committee looks at are research experience and medical experience, such as volunteering.
Medical Schools that Don’t Require MCAT: Final Thoughts
Most med schools require high MCAT scores in order to accept students who want to study medicine.
However, there are some ways to bypass the regular admissions process and the MCAT requirements and get into the desired med school.
If you want to avoid the MCAT, you can choose between combined degrees, early assurance, medical honors, or flexible admissions programs.
Successful applicants should be prepared to provide impressive GPA scores, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation.
So, yes, there are ways to avoid the MCAT. But, no one can guarantee admission. You’ll still have to work hard and show some impressive achievements to enter a med school.
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