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, during which students complete the Medical Science major (composed of specific premedical science courses), a minor, the BU Hub general education program, and additional elective courses in the humanities and social sciences. The second summer of the program is spent taking a required biology course and courses that fulfill either minor requirements or BU Hub requirements outside the major, 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. Students in this program must complete 112 credits of coursework after matriculation in the College of Arts & Sciences and must meet all 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.

Acceleration

Acceleration is made possible by the 12-week summer session. 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 non-science departmental requirements if approved by the department offering the course.

Scholarship Assistance and Loans

The full range of financial assistance programs is available to students in this program. The awards are based on financial need and academic achievement. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Undergraduate Financial Assistance office and the Boston University Medical Campus Student Financial Services office.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students graduating with the BA in Medical Science are expected to demonstrate mastery of concepts, topics, and methods in the physical and life sciences that are considered foundational for the study of medicine.
  • Students graduating with the BA in Medical Science are expected to demonstrate focused knowledge of an academic discipline or interdisciplinary field of study through the completion of a minor.
  • Students graduating with the BA in Medical Science are expected to demonstrate academic integrity and mature conduct as a member of the University community.
  • Students graduating with the BA in Medical Science are expected to demonstrate mastery of the first year of the pre-clinical curriculum at Boston University School of Medicine.

Requirements

Program Requirements

Students must complete the Medical Science major, a minor, the BU Hub requirements, 112 credits of coursework after matriculation, and all requirements for the bachelor of arts. All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major (or minor) and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students in the Medical Science major will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Quantitative Reasoning, Communication, Scientific and Social Inquiry, and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

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 each undergraduate semester and 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 BA requirements in the College of Arts & Sciences. 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 education at Boston University.

Seven-year medical students entering the program, 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. Students must achieve a combined score at or above the 80th percentile on the four numerically scored sections of the MCAT. 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 or have not met the program’s MCAT requirement 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 all requirements for the bachelor of arts, including completion of all BU Hub general education requirements. 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 (4 cr)
  • CAS PY 241 Principles of General Physics 1 (4 cr)
  • First-Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 120) (4 cr)
  • BU Hub requirements outside the major; or course for the minor; or elective course (4 cr)
Semester 2
  • CAS CH 182 Intensive General and Physical Chemistry 2 (4 cr)
  • CAS PY 242 Principles of General Physics 2 (4 cr)
  • BU Hub requirements outside the major; or course for the minor; or elective course (4 cr)
  • BU Hub requirements outside the major; or course for the minor; or elective course (4 cr)
Summer I (12 weeks)
  • Study Abroad Option

Second Year, CAS II

Semester 1
  • CAS BI 281 Fundamentals of Biology 1 (4 cr)
  • CAS CH 203 Organic Chemistry 1 (4 cr)
  • BU Hub requirements outside the major; or course for the minor; or elective course (4 cr)
  • BU Hub requirements outside the major; or course for the minor; or elective course (4 cr)
Semester 2
  • CAS BI 282 Fundamentals of Biology 2 (4 cr)
  • CAS CH 204 Organic Chemistry 2 (4 cr)
  • BU Hub requirements outside the major; or course for the minor; or elective course (4 cr)
  • BU Hub requirements outside the major; or course for the minor; or elective course (4 cr)
Summer II (12 weeks)
  • CAS BI 383S Fundamentals of Biology 3 (4 cr)
  • Three BU Hub requirements outside the major; or course for the minor; or elective courses (12 cr)

Third Year, CAS III

  • BU Hub requirements outside the major; or course for the minor; or elective courses
  • 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.

Courses

See CAS course listings for descriptions of natural science courses.