What criteria must I pass to get into West Point from civilian college? Is there anything I can do to enhance my chances of being accepted? I’ve read many articles on how to get into West Point from High School, but nothing about college.
Also, I am pursuing a career as a battlefield trauma surgeon in the military. Is West Point the right college for me? Can people who attend West Point pursue a medical career in the military?
My understanding is that West Point doesn’t accept transfer students and that you would start over as a freshman.
Also, the academy limits how many students they will send directly to med school: https://www.usma.edu/chemistry/sitepages/faq.aspx
Hopefully @ChoatieMom mom will chime in.
You can certainly apply to any of the service academies from a civilian college but, as @momofsenior1 pointed out, you will start over as a freshman (Plebe). If medical school is your goal, none of the academies is good route as producing doctors is not their mission, and those slots are few (and getting fewer than the excellent link above suggests). For the West Point Class of 2019, including Branch Detail, 81% of the class branched combat arms; there were only 7 slots for Medical Services (not med school) and probably fewer than ten who were selected for medical school this year. The point of the academies is producing officers for our armed services, so officership needs to be the goal you convey loudly and genuinely to West Point. If your goal is both serving and becoming a doctor, the recommended strategy is doing your medical studies through a civilian path and applying to the Army after you have your MD.
If you do want to apply to West Point from college, your transcript needs to mimic the Plebe curriculum (physics, chemistry, calculus) and show high marks in those areas. There are many threads discussing college-to-service academy on the serviceacademyforums.com website, so I suggest you do some research there to read the advice of current military members and candidates who have successfully navigated this route.
If the plan is to go to medical school, you’re best shot is to avoid West Point, and you might want to consider avoiding ROTC. Most military doctors opt to have the Army pay for medical school once they’re accepted. When you graduate, the Army puts you through a watered-down basic training and give you a residency program at Captain rank/pay.
Once you commit, they own you. What you want to avoid is committing to the Army too soon, and having medical ambitions postponed or destroyed.
I would suggest doing a lot of research on how to go about becoming a military surgeon. There are many routes and most of them have very high attrition along the way. Remember also that if you do get into medical school from West Point there is no guarantee that you will be a surgeon. Your specialty will be determined by the needs of the service. As was mentioned above, they own you. In my opinion, a far better route is to go to college and be very good. Then apply to USUSH for medical school ( https://www.usuhs.edu/ ). Another option is to finish undergrad medical school and do your surgical residency, then apply for a direct commission.
While a small number of cadets do go to med school upon graduation this option is really limited to the top few percent of the class. It is definitely not something you should plan on
Your best bet is to apply for the HPSP (Health Professions Scholarship Program) once you have already gotten accepted into a medical school or a DO school. Then, they will pay for med school plus a stipend. As for your specialty, that is actually not determined by the needs of the service (as someone mentioned above) but rather by your qualifications to get into that residency/fellowship program.