Marshall University and School of Medicine name inaugural class for accelerated B.S./M.D. program

The Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine has announced the selection of the inaugural class for the newly created accelerated B.S./M.D. program, which allows students to complete the requirements for both degrees in seven years.

The program is open to highly motivated West Virginia high school students who achieve a minimum ACT composite score of 30 (or equivalent SAT), an ACT math score of 27 (or equivalent SAT) , as well as a cumulative GPA of 3.75 on a 4.0 scale.  Other admission criteria include three letters of recommendation and an on-campus interview.

Students will begin in August 2015 as university freshmen and will be collaboratively guided throughout their undergraduate years by both an undergraduate adviser and a School of Medicine mentor to help ensure their success in the accelerated program.

Continuing requirements for the program include selecting biology as a major, maintaining a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, successfully completing at least 26 credit hours during each academic year, and participating in enrichment programs during the three years of the undergraduate portion of the program.

“I couldn’t be happier we have launched this program at Marshall,” said Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the School of Medicine. “We all recognize that West Virginia needs more doctors. One of the ways we can make that happen is to develop programs that attract and retain our state’s best and brightest students.”

Students who successfully complete the program requirements will matriculate directly into medical school.  They are not required to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Additionally, they will receive a tuition waiver for the medical school portion of the program.

Jennifer T. Plymale, associate dean for admissions at the School of Medicine, described the incoming students as exceptional.

“These students had a number of options to continue their education elsewhere, but chose Marshall,” Plymale said. “It is our goal that these outstanding students will remain in the state to care for West Virginia’s residents.”

Dr. Charles C. Somerville, dean of the College of Science at Marshall, was part of the development team for the novel program.

“Dean Shapiro and Associate Dean Plymale deserve the credit for creating a very attractive program,” Somerville said. “The B.S./M.D. program will bring highly talented students to Marshall University, shorten the time it takes for those students to begin practicing medicine in West Virginia, and allow them to complete their educations with limited debt.  It’s a win for everyone involved, and we are very excited to be part of it.”