Seven-Year Liberal Arts/Medical Education Program

The College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Medicine of Boston University offer a combined curriculum that provides an outstanding medical education while shortening the overall period of study. Qualified applicants include students who are completing four full academic years of secondary education and who are currently high school seniors, or students who have completed high school but have not enrolled in any college-level, degree-granting program. Those accepted are admitted to the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Medicine, subject to the review described under “Program Requirements” below.

The first three years are spent in the College of Arts & Sciences, where the student takes premedical science courses and elective courses in the humanities and social sciences. In addition, the second summer is spent taking a required biology course and elective courses in the humanities and social sciences, so that the undergraduate requirements are completed by the end of the third academic year. Following completion of the required premedical courses in the first two years of study, third-year students may enroll in medical school-related courses (modular medical courses) that will enhance the transition to the curriculum at the School of Medicine. All students are required to complete a minor.

Acceleration is made possible by the 12-week summer session. Although the program is accelerated, the student may have three summers completely free for pursuing other interests. Students in this program must complete 112 credits of coursework after matriculation in the College of Arts & Sciences and must meet all liberal arts, residence, and course-distribution requirements for the bachelor of arts.

First-year medical studies begin with the fourth year; the amount of time devoted to medical courses is the same as in the present conventional medical program. Students are awarded the bachelor of arts at the completion of the first year at the School of Medicine and the doctor of medicine at the completion of the program.

Scholarship Assistance and Loans

The full range of financial assistance programs is available to students in this program. Awards are based on financial need and academic achievement. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Financial Assistance Office.

Acceleration

The 12-week summer session is used at the end of the second academic year to achieve an accelerated pattern. Because this program requires only seven semesters of undergraduate work, advanced standing credit may not be used to further decrease the number of courses required for graduation. However, Advanced Placement exam results may be used to meet nonscience departmental requirements if approved by the department.

Program Requirements

Students in the program must demonstrate their capability to master an accelerated program of study and exhibit a high degree of maturity, integrity, and emotional stability in order to be promoted to the fourth year of the program (MED I). At the end of each semester, or as necessary, the Promotions Committee for Early Assurance Programs reviews students’ progress. Students are expected to maintain a minimum 3.20 GPA, overall and in the sciences, to be eligible for promotion to the next semester and ultimately to the medical school. Failure to meet the above criteria will result in appropriate action by the Committee, including academic probation, disciplinary probation, remedial coursework, suspension, or dismissal from the program. Students who have not achieved a 3.20 GPA cumulatively and in the sciences by the end of the third academic year are ineligible for promotion to the medical school.

At the end of each curricular year, or as necessary, the Promotions Committee requests a report from Judicial Affairs to determine if students have violated University policies, as well as a report from the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office to determine whether students have engaged in academic misconduct. The content of these reports is considered in all promotions decisions, including the decision on promotion to the School of Medicine. Any student who has violated University policies or engaged in academic misconduct has the opportunity to submit a written explanation to the Promotions Committee.

A student who, for any reason (e.g., academic, motivational, ethical, or emotional), is found to be ill-suited for the program may be transferred without loss of credits into the liberal arts curriculum. Such students may still aspire to a medical education either at the Boston University School of Medicine or at another medical school, although it must be by the conventional route. Students may transfer voluntarily out of the program at any point without loss of credit and continue their liberal arts education at Boston University.

Seven-year medical students entering the program after May 2013, although admitted to the School of Medicine, are required to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) no later than January of the third year in the program. Currently, students must achieve a combined score of at least 30 on the three numerically scored sections of the MCAT. The required score will be recalibrated when revisions to the MCAT format are introduced for the 2014–2015 academic year. The results of the MCAT are considered by the Promotions Committee when it makes the final decision as to whether to promote a student to the medical curriculum.

Students may not apply to other medical schools and remain in the program.

Promotion Requirements to Enter the School of Medicine

Students must complete all requirements of the College of Arts & Sciences and the Seven-Year Liberal Arts/Medical Education Program by the end of the spring semester of the third year to be eligible for promotion to the School of Medicine. Students who have not achieved a 3.20 GPA cumulatively and in the sciences by the end of the third academic year are ineligible for promotion to the medical school.

A report is requested from Judicial Affairs to determine if students have violated University policies. A report is also requested from the Dean’s Office to determine whether students have engaged in academic misconduct. The content of these reports is considered in promotion decisions. In addition, medical students may, in accordance with federal and state law, or institutional policy, be asked to consent to a criminal background check. For students in the Seven-Year Liberal Arts/Medical Education Program, this may occur at the time of promotion to the School of Medicine and/or at other times in the course of the medical school curriculum. The results of this criminal background check will be considered in promotion decisions.

Graduation Requirements for Bachelor’s Degree

Students must complete 112 credits of coursework after matriculation in the College of Arts & Sciences and must satisfy the distribution, language, and residence requirements for the bachelor of arts. In addition, students are required to complete a minor. Students receive their bachelor’s degree after successful completion of the first year of medical school.

The Curriculum

First Year, CAS I

Semester 1
  • CAS CH 181 Intensive General and Physical Chemistry 1
  • CAS PY 241 Principles of General Physics 1
  • CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar
  • Language, Divisional Studies, or minor course
Semester 2
  • CAS CH 182 Intensive General and Physical Chemistry 2
  • CAS PY 242 Principles of General Physics 2
  • Language, Divisional Studies, or minor course
  • Elective
Summer I (12 weeks)
  • Study Abroad Option

Second Year, CAS II

Semester 1
  • CAS BI 281 Fundamentals of Biology 1
  • CAS CH 203 Organic Chemistry 1
  • One course in the minor
  • Elective
Semester 2
  • CAS BI 282 Fundamentals of Biology 2
  • CAS CH 204 Organic Chemistry 2
  • One course in the minor
  • Elective
Summer II (12 weeks)
  • CAS BI 383S Fundamentals of Biology 3
  • Three electives (minor requirements)

Third Year, CAS III

  • Elective courses (minor requirements)
  • Modular medical courses
  • One course in biochemistry

Fourth Year, MED I

  • First-year medical subjects
  • Pre-clinical sciences

Fifth Year, MED II

  • Second-year medical subjects

Sixth Year, MED III

  • Third-year medical subjects
  • Clerkships

Seventh Year, MED IV

  • Fourth-year medical subjects
  • Programmed electives

Eight-Year Option

Some students may prefer an additional academic year to explore, in depth, a variety of academic interests. A student in good standing may request the opportunity to pursue a fourth academic year. This year will replace all summer work except for the third-semester biology course given in Summer II. Students choosing the eight-year option may take additional modular medical courses, complete work on a major, or enroll in graduate-level courses.

Required Science Courses

First Year

  • CAS CH 181, 182 Intensive General and Physical Chemistry 1, 2
  • CAS PY 241, 242 Principles of General Physics 1, 2

Second Year

  • CAS BI 281, 282 Fundamentals of Biology 1, 2
  • CAS CH 203, 204 Organic Chemistry 1, 2

Second Summer

  • CAS BI 383S Fundamentals of Biology 3