Thread for BSMD 2020-2021 Applicants

Please post here if you are applying during 2020-2021 season.

Courtesy @Roentgen

Questions you should think about for medical school selection

Results - 2020


Please check out the previous years RESULTs thread to get an idea of stats and profiles of students getting into BS/MD program. Here is the link:


Results - 2019

Active parents & students: Thinking loud. Each of us can prepare one generic post from individual perspectives upfront when you get some time.

Many times lot of folks will start similar questions and we can refer them to post # xx.

Since it is the 6th cycle for me and finding difficult to squeeze more time, plan to do when I get some time in next month. Thanks to all for your contributions in the past and hopefully in the future it will continue.


Start posting in this thread if you are upcoming cycle student.

Stonybrook is a good BS/MD choice, especially if you are a NY resident.
Perceived assumption majority of seats given to NY residents being a public school.
Also it helps if research done. If NY resident, just apply and think about it next April '21 to join or not.

Thanks @GoldenRock for your guidance for past 6 cycles. I have been doing it for half that time and know how demanding it can be. Was thinking of going on a rather long break myself before reading your post.
Good luck and best wishes to your D and family !


StonyBrook is a very good university and medical school is very solid.

You need to apply to one of the three honors program and if selected you get Presidential Scholarship which covers full tuition.

About 12-15 students via each honors program are called for interview and ~12 are selected.

Deadline is around Jan 15.

Thank you @GoldenRock and @NoviceDad for the information. You guys are providing great guidance for future students.

We are not NY residents so I guess my D chances will be slim at Stony Brook.

My D has ACT = 36 and SAT = 1550 (both with essay but essay scores not so great in both). I read in some previous posts that some schools consider SAT superior to ACT. So for my D, which scores should we report? Should we report both?

I would have said SAT if the score was slightly higher by 20-30 points. 1550 is kind of average score for applicants to these programs. See if your D can take another shot at SAT and raise it. Otherwise go with ACT.

The programs seem to be having bias against ACT are Pitt GAP and NU HPME (the latter seems to superscore SAT though)

Submit your ACT score.
ACT 36 = SAT 1600

And I disagree with @rk2017 on NU-HPME. They treat both SAT and ACT on-par.

Pitt GAP - frankly no one knows what they are thinking - every year they surprise us.
May be @rk2017 is right here.


Echoing what @rk2017 said, thanking you for your guidance for the past 6 years.
This will be my 4th cycle and this can take up a lot of time but is worth every minute of it.
All the best to your D.

@GoldenRock - Thank you for your contributions during the past 6 years!!!

Your idea of referring to posts with their #xxx sounds good to me.

@rk1235rk - A bunch of kids applied to Stony Brook/Renaissance Medical school 8 years BA-MD program and five students based on my count got into Stony Brook during the 2019-2020 cycle. Atleast 3 of the 5 students are not residents of NY state.

We visited Stony Brook last year and they explicitly told that do not have instate preference for BA/MD. They have only 10-12 total seats for the BA/MD program and admission is very selective.

SUNY Stony brook is considered flagship state university in NY state. Stony Brook Renaissance is an established and reputed medical school. It provides good education and they have good residency matches. Both UG and med school are public universities

Stony Brook, NY is a typical university town with university transportation. A lot of facilities (wellness centers/gymn, libraries etc). gives good credit for APs. Since your child will be part of Honors college or Scholars program, they will get extra benefits including research opportunities.

Application deadline is Jan 15. You need to get accepted to UG and then one of the three Honors programs (WISE, Scholars or Honors) to be considered for Scholars for medicine program. You have a in person interview during the 3/4th week of march.

If you get selected - you are likely to get a provost scholarship (out of state full tution) and National Merit scholarship if qualified. This is based on kids who received admission last cycle.

@rk2017 , @NoviceDad - Thanks also for your contributions to this forum for last 3-4 years. I am actively following this forum for last one year and have benefitted a lot so decided to give back. I have been actively contributing for only 3 months…and beginning to understand the effort it takes.

Thank you @Vicky2019
Appreciate your inputs and participation

Thank you @rk2017 for your inputs, participation and guidance.

BS/MD vs Traditional route

My case for considering conditionally guaranteed medical programs right after high school ----

If you are sure about pursuing Medicine as a career, should you opt for BS/MD programs or pursue the traditional pre-med / Medical route?

At the outset, let me share a statistic: Less than approx. 5% of all medical school students come through the BS/MD route. So clearly, a very small minority of student population is opting for BS/MD. But do not let that statistic mislead you. Why? Because universities offer <5% seats to their BS/MD programs. If they offer more seats, this percentage would be a lot higher.

The above dilemma becomes more important if you have secured an offer of admission from an Ivy-league level university. We must guard against one important thought-process - “If you can get an admission to Ivy-league undergrad then you can surely get admission into the “top ranked” medical school.” Most general folks are unfamiliar with the medical school admissions process and therefore they can get into the above thought process.

And add to that the potential scope of obtaining merit based scholarships while pursuing the traditional route.

Yes, with good grades, great MCAT score (>515), a resume complete with research, shadowing, volunteer and other factors, will get you a medical school admission. It may or may not be the same “Ivy-league kind” of schools.

What I am sharing here are some of the RISKS involved in the traditional pre-med / Medical route:

  1. Potential to complete your medical school in an accelerated manner: Many BS/MD programs are accelerated 7 year programs. A few are 8 year programs. 6 year programs have become rare after the recent change in MCAT examination. This means you can save one full year from the long-drawn process (11+ years) to become a medical doctor.

  2. Gap year(s): Even if you are from an Ivy League with great MCAT scores, we have numerous number (not outliers) of cases where students have had to take a gap year to strength their application. According to Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), 63.4% of matriculating students into a medical school had a gap year in 2018 and that percentage has been steadily increasing every year. To me, this represents a VERY HUGE risk as there is approximately 63% chance, you or your child may be hit with a gap year. And yes, if you get an admission after a gap year, you will be counted in the ~95% of the matriculants to a medical school via the traditional route.

  3. “Non-traditional” students: These are students with 2 or more gap years. It appears that “Ivy League” medical schools are matriculating more and more non-traditional students. Nearly 68% of students that matriculated into University of Pennsylvania’s Medical School are non-traditional. At Northwestern University, that percentage is lower but still significant at 23%. This trend is creating an extra pressure among students to take additional gap years to keep up with the competition.

  4. Low GPA: For traditional route, the impact of grade deflation or student not able to cope up with college due to bad selection of courses or other distractions is very real. FOR BS/MD, most colleges are flexible and supportive of their students. For example, at NU, you can take an extra-year in undergrad to pull-up your GPA to meet the HPME requirements. You do NOT have that luxury in a traditional route.

  5. The Myth that “since I can into Ivy League undergrad, I can definitely get into “Ivy League” medical school”: This myth has been broken so many times that there are “skeletons of students aspirations” lying around.

  6. Plan B: Selecting a “proper” undergrad is important - many kids take biology as their undergrad for both BS/MD and traditional route. If you look at career prospects for biology majors, you will quickly come to a conclusion, they are limited. So it would not have mattered if you did biology major at Princeton or Rutgers. On the other hand, if a student has interest in mathematics or computer science, doing that minor / double major would open up many options - even if you did that at Rutgers. So, undergrad college + major are both important. In that case, one has to plan for Plan B in the first year of college itself. That means - more work because you may have to load yourself with more coursework to do a meaningful minor or double major. How many parents/ kids are thinking about this?

So, the question of ask – are you comfortable with the risks with the traditional pre-med/ Medical route?

It boils down to that!

@Vicky2019, thank you for providing details for Stony Brook.
@rk2017, attempting SAT again during summer was definitely the plan for my D but now that might seems difficult. So I guess we will go with submitting ACT.


I have participated last 3 cycles first as a parent of an applicant and next as parent of a student who gave up 2 BSMDs for traditional path and I vigorously debated the pros and cons, but I I won’t be participating in this cycle.

I have created following two threads for anyone interested to participate or read about the experiences of BSMD applicants and BSMD vs traditional path pros and cons.

GL to all the applicants (and parents).

On a side note, Rutgers Mathematics department is really good (and tough)