Undergrad in 3 years plus Masters to do before medical school

My S is also planning to graduate in 3 years. Are there any recommended masters programs to do before getting into medical school ? He is thinking of MPH for now but also looking into other ideas. Any suggestions?


  1. Just to be clear, if someone wants to do UG in 3 years and go for MD, still that is possible (that is what my D did). But student should have lined all the ducks (MCAT, Clinical and non-clinical experience, good GPA etc).
  2. If your S plans to take a gap year, it is not that it is a must to do any masters program. For MD, what ever pre-req done in UG is sufficient. Rather focus on MCAT, get paid or unpaid clinical experience during the app cycle year. If he can manage all these comfortably along with Masters, then it is fine too. Either combined Masters and get it done in 4 years along with UG or MPH or take up a job. GL

Medical schools don’t consider graduate degrees when making admission decisions. Admission is dependent on undergraduate GPA/sGPA only.

A MPH is considered an “easy” (i.e. non rigorous) degree by med school adcomms and will not improve (or hinder) your son’s med school admission odds.

If your son is planning for a gap year, I’d suggest a clinical employment job as the most productive use of his time. Clinical–as in direct patient contact/care–not research, or even clinical research, both of which do not boost patient contact hours.

It is possible to successfully apply to medical school after completing undergrad in 3 years, but it requires careful advance planning and starting the expected ECs immediately upon enrolling in college so the your son has completed all the necessary components by the end of his sophomore year. The med school application process takes a full year. Students apply in May/June and begin med school classes in July/August of the following year. So, if your son hopes to go straight thru undergrad to med school without a gap year, he needs to apply at the end of sophomore year. (But note that he will be compared against those who took 4 years to graduate in terms of coursework rigor and ECs.)

FYI, many medical schools offer students the opportunity to earn a concurrent MPH during med school if that something he really wants to do.


One other thing to know:

Not all med school accept AP/IB credits. Not all med schools accept CC credits. (CC credits are considered less rigorous, less competitive and more likely to be grade inflated than coursework taken at a 4 year college.)

Medical schools very strongly recommend (and in med school speak that means require) that all AP/IB and CC credits be supplemented with additional upper level coursework in the same departments as the AP/IB/CC credits. Preferably supplemented by an equal number of credits to those earned by alternative pathways.

See this FAQ: FAQ Pre-med courses, AP/IB/etc. credit and college/DE courses, etc.

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