B.A. / M.D. Program


How many students apply to the B.A./M.D. program each year? How many students are interviewed?

The School of Medicine receives approximately 1500 initial applications to the B.A./M.D. program, and about 1000 of these students complete the full application process. The Council on Selection will select approximately 350 students to participate in the interview process.

How many students will enter the B.A./M.D. program each year? How many students are from Missouri?

The incoming class will be 105 – 110 students, with 60-65 students admitted from the state of Missouri, 30-35 students admitted from the regional states (Arkansas, Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska or Oklahoma) and 10-15 students admitted from out-of-state.

If admitted to the B.A./M.D. program, will I need to reapply or take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)?

Students admitted to the B.A./M.D. program do not ever take the MCAT. If admitted to the B.A./M.D. program, students are fully admitted to medical school and are not required to take the MCAT or go through a reapplication process.

What undergraduate degree options are available for students in the B.A./M.D. program?

Students may pursue a Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry or Bachelor of Arts in Biology. (Curriculum plans for each degree can be found in the UMKC Catalog in this section) These degrees have the most overlap with the MD course requirements. Selection of the baccalaureate degree is usually determined by the number of transferable courses gained from AP, IB, dual-enrollment courses or transfer credit.

Do you accept AP, IB or college credit?

Yes!  Students may apply up to 30 hours of test credit (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or CLEP) towards their degree. There is no limit on the amount of transfer credit or dual credit accepted. Education Team Coordinators will work with students who have more than 30 hours of test credit to identify the most useful credit to apply to their undergraduate degree. Students can follow these links to see more information regarding the required exam scores for test credit and/or transfer credit equivalency information.

How is each year in the program structured? How are the first two years different from the last two years?

The first two years of the program focus on the undergraduate coursework, with about 75% of the time spent in undergraduate degree courses and 25% of the time spent in medical school courses. In addition, students in the first two years participate in a docent experience (clinical experience) to introduce students to the fundamentals of medicine. Students are assigned to a group of 12-15 students with other students from their same class.

In years 3-6, the majority of coursework taken fulfills MD degree requirements with the exception of one semester in Year 4 where students complete the undergraduate degree requirements. In addition, students in years 3-6 are assigned to a new docent team of 10-15 students for the last four years of the program. This docent team will spend a half-day each week working in an outpatient clinic and will spend two months out of the year in years 4-6 on the internal medicine rotation.

When do students begin their clinical experiences?

Students in the B.A./M.D. program will begin their clinical experiences in the third week of the program, through participation in the docent experience. Docents are teaching physicians who provide guidance and mentorship during the clinical experiences. In the first two years, students will spend 2-3 hours per week at a hospital or clinic in the Kansas City area learning the fundamentals of medicine. In years 3-6, students will spend a half-day each week working in outpatient clinics and will also spend two months each year (years 4-6) on an internal medicine rotation. In addition, students will participate in clinical clerkships in years 4-6 in Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Family Medicine and Surgery.

Who are the hospital partners of the UMKC School of Medicine? Can students participate in experiences at other hospitals around the country?

The primary affiliates to the UMKC School of Medicine are: Truman Medical Center, Truman Medical Center-Lakewood, St. Luke’s Hospital, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Center for Behavioral Medicine, Kansas City VA Medical Center and Research Medical Center. In addition to these affiliates, students may arrange clinical experiences, when appropriate, at various hospitals/clinics with the help of the School of Medicine Office of Student Affairs.

Do students go to school year-round throughout all six years?

In the first two years, students will follow the UMKC academic calendar. Classes will be held during a 16-week semester in the fall and spring semester, and an 8-week semester in the summer. In the first two years, students will take classes during the fall, spring and summer semesters.

In years 3-6, students will shift to the medical school calendar which will include 13 blocks (~four weeks each) of coursework and/or clinical clerkships with a one block of vacation (taken at the discretion of the student). The vacation block may or may not coincide with other university breaks.

How many credit hours do students enroll in each semester?

Students will typically enroll in 19-22 hours per semester. Students who enter with transfer credit through AP, IB or dual-enrollment may take a reduced academic load, but will still be enrolled in a minimum of 18 hours.

What is offered in terms of academic advising?

All students receive advising from an Education Team Coordinator (ETC). In the first two years, a student’s ETC will be located in the Year 1-2 Office on the UMKC Volker Campus. The Year 1-2 ETC specializes in the undergraduate coursework available to the student. Once a student promotes to year 3 and is assigned to a new docent team, the student will also be assigned to the ETC responsible for the docent team. This new ETC will remain the student’s ETC for the last four years of the program. Education Team Coordinators and other School of Medicine staff meet regularly with students in one-on-one appointments, class meetings and orientation settings to discuss relevant and timely policies, processes and resources.

Outside of coursework, what exams do the students have to take throughout the six years? How do UMKC students perform on those exams?

Students are required to pass Step 1 of the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) Exam in Year 4 and USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge and Clinical Skills exams in Year 6. An exam called the Comprehensive Basic Sciences Exam is taken prior to USMLE Step 1 to see how prepared you are for Step 1. UMKC students pass these exams at rates comparable to the national average. Last year’s reporting of Step 1 placed UMKC above the national average on pass rate and average score. National Subject Exams are also required of students in Behavioral Science, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics and General Surgery.

What types of tutoring or other academic support exist?

During the first few years of the program, students are enrolled in basic medical science courses. These courses offer tutoring, and additional resources are offered for those courses we have identified as some of the most challenging. In addition, a course called Learning Basic Medical Sciences is designed to give all students in their first year of medical school a core of learning strategies to prevent academic difficulty and to improve higher-order cognitive skills. Course topics include discussions of learning styles, efficient study techniques and current basic science coursework. Study groups are available in the core basic science courses of the school curriculum. The groups consist of three to five students and a group facilitator/tutor, meeting once or twice a week. Test performance has consistently been enhanced for students actively participating in these groups. Therefore, all medical students are encouraged to participate fully. Study-group leaders are selected on the basis of their own performance in the course, their abilities to communicate course content and the recommendations of course professors. Lecturers in the School of Medicine provide several support sessions and open office-hours during the week as well as individual appointments for students to attain their learning goals. For many classes the school provides successful senior medical students as tutors. Tutors set meeting times and agenda according to students’ needs. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of Supplemental Instruction for courses in which it is offered.

Does career counseling exist at the School of Medicine?

The School of Medicine has a Career Services Department in the Office of Student Affairs. This consists of an Assistant Dean for Career Services, a Manager of Career Counseling and an Administrative Assistant. Services are integrated into the six years of the program and culminate in assisting students in a successful “Match” with a residency program.

When do students decide on a medical specialty, and how do they know where they will go for residency?

Some students enter medical school knowing what type of medicine they want to practice and others take time in medical school to investigate the specialties before making a commitment. Ideally students know by Year 4 which specialties they want to further investigate so that they can optimize their schedules in Year 5 and 6. Students attend residency programs throughout the country, with some concentration in Missouri and the Midwest. The most common specialty areas entered within the last seven years have been Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Anesthesiology and Radiology. Students have also matched in some of the most competitive specialties like Dermatology, Ophthalmology and Plastic Surgery.

Are there opportunities to study abroad?

Students have a variety of study abroad experiences that they may explore in the program. Students may choose to participate in medically related study abroad experiences through one of our partner schools in Mexico, Austria or China. Additional experiences offered through the School of Medicine may be available in countries other than the ones listed above, and students would work with the Education Team Coordinator to explore those opportunities. Depending on the individual student schedule, students may also be able to explore non-medically related experiences through the Volker campus. Depending on the number of credit hours the student earns in high school, they may be able to complete the undergraduate degree in year 4 through a study abroad experience.

Are there research opportunities?

Graduates from UMKC report the same level of access to research opportunities as students at traditional medical schools. Students can do research with their undergraduate faculty as part of the baccalaureate degree, with basic science or clinical faculty at the School of Medicine or at other institutions as a visiting student or while on Leave of Absence. Research opportunities are advised by the School of Medicine Office of Research Administration.

Do students have time to participate with activities outside of medicine? How much time do students actually have to pursue other interests?

Students have access to hundreds of organizations and thousands of activities organized on the Volker Campus and by the School of Medicine. There are over 50 School of Medicine student organizations and a number of traditions and activities. Students may also participate fully in the services and activities provided to all UMKC students through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. The UMKC Office of Student Involvement, located at the UMKC Student Union, coordinates the cultural, social and recreational programs for UMKC.

Can a student have a part-time job?

Some students are able to manage a part-time job, however it is not always recommended. Students are encouraged to acclimate to college life prior to pursuing any employment. On-campus jobs are always preferable to off-campus jobs because they generally tend to be more convenient and flexible. Most students in years 3-6 are unable to work due to the structure of the curriculum.

Where do students live in the first two years of the program? Where do they live in the last four years of the program?

Students are required to live in UMKC Residential Life for the first fall and spring semesters.  After that, students are welcome to continue in residence life or move into their own housing. University apartments are available at Oak Place and on the Hospital Hill campus. These apartments include furniture, utilities and security and programming similar to the Residence Hall. Other students will move closer to Hospital Hill by renting with roommates or purchasing housing in the area.

What are the meal options while living on campus?

Students have a wide variety of meal options from which to choose while living on campus. Some meal options also include agreements with local restaurants/food chains in which meals may be charged to a student’s dining account. Residential Life and Dining Services can provide more information on meal plans and meal plan costs.

Do students need a computer?

Computer Labs are available in a variety of buildings across campus. Generally students prefer to have their own laptops so they are not bound by lab space or hours. Most of the UMKC campus offers Wi-Fi which requires a student login to access.

Do students need a car to get around?

Students manage fine without a car, although some students prefer to bring a car. Students bond with their docent teams and friends in the residence hall and it is easier for students to catch a ride to Docent Team Experience, the store or a social outing. Docent Team Assignments are made with consideration of whether members of the team have a car. Students with cars do not seem to mind giving rides as most of the time they are all going to the same place. Parking Operations can offer more information on parking fees and the location of student parking.