UMKC’s Gold Humanism chapter recognized nationally

Graduating chapter members and adviser Carol Stanford, M.D. ’79, proudly displayed their award banner at graduation.

The School of Medicine’s chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society was one of three nationwide to win this year’s Distinguished Chapter Award.

The med school chapters at Vanderbilt and Georgetown also were recognized. The awards recognize advancement in patient-centered care, sustaining a humanistic learning environment and demonstrating leadership.

The UMKC chapter has been led for several years by Dr. Carol Stanford, who earned her M.D. at UMKC.

The School of Medicine’s 15-year-old chapter has been a leader in the national society, particularly advancing ideas for National Patient Solidarity Week. The week, in February each year, is filled with activities that encourage stronger bonds between patients and their physicians, nurses and other care givers. Those activities include making Valentine’s Day cards for patients at Truman Medical Center and distributing them along with roses, and Tell Me More, a program that encourages learning more about patients so they are known as individuals beyond their medical conditions.

B.A. / M.D. Program


Program Overview


A medical student’s journey begins as soon as they enter the UMKC School of Medicine’s B.A./M.D. program. Immediate exposure to a curriculum that builds a strong foundation in medical science and clinical skills is integrated with the liberal arts and humanities into a year-round program. Our program allows students to choose an undergraduate major and earn their B.A. and M.D. in six years.

During the first two years of the program, three-fourths of a student’s time is dedicated to the arts and sciences to fulfill baccalaureate degree requirements, while one-fourth is spent in medical school coursework.  In the final four years of the program, the majority of the student’s time is spent in medical school coursework with a smaller percentage of time spent completing baccalaureate degree requirements.

Students pursue baccalaureate degrees in a variety of areas:

The ability to pursue certain undergraduate degree options is dependent on the college credit a student is able to transfer in from high school.  College credit may be accepted for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, CLEP or dual-enrollment courses.

Clinical Experience and Physician Interaction

Students begin clinical experiences in the third week of the program through the docent system.  A docent is a teaching physician who also serves as a mentor as a student advances through the curriculum.  In years 1 – 2, students are assigned to docent teams of 10 – 15 students from their class.  In this early docent experience, students are educated and mentored on the fundamentals of medicine.

In years 3 – 6, students are assigned to docent teams of 12-15 year 3 – 6 students, a docent, a clinical pharmacologist, a clinical medical librarian, an education team coordinator and other health care professionals.  In this docent experience, students spend a half day per week every week assisting with outpatient care in a continuing care clinic.  This team also works together on the internal medicine rotation two months out of the year in years 4 – 6.


Students have the opportunity to work with faculty in both clinical and research settings.  Students involved in research have the opportunity to present their findings each spring at the annual Student Research Summit, and funding is available to support student research projects.  The Office of Research Administration facilitates student research programs as well as coordinates supplemental research lectures and seminars.


Students at the UMKC School of Medicine have the opportunity to develop community partnerships, provide community service and reflect upon their experiences.  Students participate in service-based programs, such as the Sojourner Clinic, a free outpatient clinic developed and managed by medical students, and the Kansas City Free Eye Clinic.

Current Student Profiles

Madison Iskierka
Madison Iskierka
Hometown: Blaine, Minnesota
Class of 2022
Specialty Interest: Neurology, Surgery
Why did you choose to attend the B.A./M.D. program at UMKC?

One of the reasons I chose to attend the BA/MD program at UMKC is because of the opportunities it provided for clinical exposure and patient interaction beginning the first year. This was something that was important to me because I knew that I wanted to get involved with patient interaction right away, and UMKC really emphasized the importance of this. I was also drawn to the fact that this program was designed to support camaraderie and a sense of “togetherness” among classmates. UMKC encourages an environment based on students helping one another and working together to succeed in medical school.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

My most enjoyable experience at UMKC has been the time I have spent with patients and doctors in the hospital and clinical setting. Immediately out of high school, we were already going into patient rooms and practicing our interviewing skills. Looking back at the first few interviews I did as a first year, I realize just how much I have grown and learned which is extremely rewarding. Outside of medicine, UMKC has offered so much exposure to other cultures which is something that has helped me to be a better medical student as well as a better person overall. The great diversity of this program has allowed me to become friends with people from so many different backgrounds and  has given me a new appreciation for their cultures.

Student organizations involved with/honors and awards:

Peer Mentor, Student Ambassador, Executive Board Member of Period KC organization, Member of Association of Women Surgeons interest group, Dramatic Health Education Program

Kevin Varghese
Kevin Varghese
Hometown: Overland Park, KS
Class of 2023
College/University Attended: Cardiology or Ophthalmology
Why did you choose to attend the B.A./M.D. program at UMKC?

Growing up, my parents inspired me to serve those around me. I knew at the end of high school that I want to be a doctor, as medicine is the best combination of science, humanity, and leadership. I then considered what my future would be like at a traditional 4-year undergraduate university. While there are many ‘pre-med’ students, most do not end up becoming doctors. I chose to come to UMKC because I valued the assurance: if I work hard and follow the path ahead of me, then I will become a physician. Instead of worrying about vying for limited seats, I may now focus on being the best medical student I can.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

The first physician I shadowed is a graduate of UMKC, so I knew coming in that the community is very strong. While I love the patient experience from the very first year, I believe that one of UMKC’s greatest strengths is the close-knit community. Medical school is hard, but having good friends going through the same struggles helps you to band together. I have met remarkable people in my class. But it doesn’t stop there: the faculty are invested in student success and are interesting individuals. The upper year students are also very helpful, answering questions about forthcoming classes and giving advice. There is no need for competition at UMKC, especially when everyone is focused on collaboration.

Student organizations involved with/honors and awards:
  • Angela Barnett Award for Humanism
  • Sarah Morrison Research Award
  • Sojourner Clinic External Affairs Webmaster
  • Biochemistry Supplemental Instructor
  • Camp Cardiac Faculty Recruitment Director
  • School of Medicine Student Ambassador

Chidera Okafor
Chidera Okafor
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Class of 2021
Specialty Interest: OB/GYN, Dermatology
Why did you choose to attend the B.A./M.D. program at UMKC?

For me, UMKC distinguished itself from other programs because of its unique emphasis on early clinical training, which offers me the opportunity to immerse myself in the hospital setting—engaging and interacting with patients and different physicians from year one. Additionally, the shorter duration (6 years) was an attractive proposition as it allows me the benefit of starting and establishing a career earlier in my life. UMKC has graduated so many successful and accomplished physicians, and it is a gratifying privilege to even be given the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of those who have come before me. I aspire to be a part of the future of medicine, and I truly believe that UMKC School of Medicine provides me with the platform to do so.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

Thus far, the community of diverse individuals at UMKC has easily created a lasting impact on my life. Seeing acquaintances quickly turn into lifelong friends and colleagues, who encourage me to stay driven and focused, has humbly shaped the way I view the world. At the core, we all share the same passion and desire to help and heal people and, through that, we inspire each other and create this warm, welcoming environment to learn, grow, and strengthen one another.

Student organizations involved with/honors and awards:
  • Vice President of the Year One Class of 2021
  • Student Ambassador
  • Historian and Member of SNMA
  • Member of African Student Cultural Organization

Bobby Johnson
Bobby Johnson
Program of Study: B.A./M.D.
Hometown: Camdenton, Missouri
Class of 2020
Specialty Interest: Trauma/Neurosurgery, Emergency Medicine
Why did you choose to attend the B.A./M.D. program at UMKC?

At the end of my junior year in high school, I read a statistic from the World Health Organization that 54.5 million people die globally every year—that’s 104 people every minute. I knew that my time could not be wasted; people’s lives now depended on it. As a result, my sole interest was in the six-year program when I first visited UMKC. After my visit, however, I no longer wanted to be a student at UMKC simply because of the medical program; I wanted to be a student at UMKC because every human interaction I had while on campus brought me face-to-face with the underlying philosophy of this university: true student success. UMKC staff and faculty truly want their students to be successful, not only as students, but also as people—people who are able and equipped to do and be their best. When I left campus after my visit, UMKC was more of a home than an institution. 

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

This is a difficult question to answer, because it’s hard to know exactly where to even begin: the basketball games, the random events (like Meet the Greeks and Union Fest), intramurals, the Docent Program, random Kansas City adventures…the list goes on and on. UMKC and the B.A./M.D. program have provided me with so many opportunities to just experience life—to fail, grow, succeed, cry, laugh, explore; I just get lost in the beauty of it all. I guess it all boils down to the people. Everything I’ve experienced or have been a part of has been all the sweeter because of the people I get to share each moment with. So rarely are such caring, funny, mischievous, bold, daring, intelligent, and loving people ever found, and so enthralling and enriching it is to be around them.

Student organizations involved with/honors and awards:
  • UMKC Campus Ambassador, Leadership Team
  • UMKC School of Medicine Ambassador
  • Years 1-3 Weekly Bible Study
  • Dramatic Health Education Program
  • Emergency Medical Interest Group
  • Internal Medicine Interest Group
  • Student Interest Group for Neurosurgery
  • American Medical Association
  • Richard T. Garcia Memorial Awardee

Financing your Degree

Costs, Financial Aid and Scholarships

It is important to take into consideration the cost of your medical education and your individual financial needs. Long-term financial planning should include estimated educational fees, supply costs, and room and board for six years of medical school. These amounts are likely to increase over the six years you are in school, so you will want to factor those increases into your planning.

School of Medicine Estimated Education Fees for 2021-2022

The estimated annual educational fees for 2020-2021 provide estimated financial costs to assist you in planning. These estimated expenses are subject to change without notice.*

Year 1 (Fall / Spring) Expense Estimate
Academic Fees & Costs Resident Tuition & Fees $22,886
Regional Tuition & Fees•• $33,488
Non-Resident Tuition & Fees $44,092
Room & Board (on-campus fall / spring) $11,748
Books & Supplies $2,670
Year 2 (Fall / Spring / Summer) Expense Estimate
Academic Fees & Costs Resident Tuition & Fees $28,462
Regional Tuition & Fees** $41,650
Non-Resident Tuition & Fees $54,840
Room & Board (off-campus) $15,664
Books & Supplies $3,220
Years 3-6 (Fall / Spring / Summer)***  Expense  Estimate
Academic Fees & Costs Resident Tuition & Fees $35,280
Regional Tuition & Fees** $51,818
Non-Resident Tuition & Fees $68,348
Room & Board (off-campus fall / spring / summer) $15,664
Books & Supplies $4,110

*Additional fees may include fees associated with transportation, immunizations, the United States Medical Licensing Examination and other miscellaneous fees.

**Students who are residents of Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska or Oklahoma qualify for the regional rate.

***Students in Years 3-6 are classified as professional students.

If you have questions about your residency status, please contact the Residency Office at 816-235-8652. 

Financial Aid

The UMKC Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships can assist with providing additional information regarding financial aid programs. The University participates in federal and state grant and loan programs including the Federal Pell Grant, Missouri Student Grant, Primary Care Resource Initiative for Missouri and Federal Stafford Loan. Health Education Assistance Loans, work-study programs and need-based and academic scholarships are also available for qualified students. In addition, the UMKC Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships can offer you more information on the types of expenses you can expect, as well as the type of assistance that might be available to you.

In general, students interested in merit or need-based financial aid may be eligible for various scholarships, loans, grants and/or other financial aid programs. To be considered for such programs, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available online at starting October 1.

For additional financial aid information, contact:

UMKC Financial Aid and Scholarships Office
1418 Health Sciences Building
2464 Charlotte Street
Kansas City, MO 64108-2718
Phone: 816-235-6782


Students interested in scholarships from the School of Medicine must complete the FAFSA by February 1. Scholarships offered by the School of Medicine are awarded based on an evaluation of both merit and need. Because admission to the six-year combined degree program is so competitive and merit is an essential component to the overall selection process, financial need is a greater factor in determining scholarship recipients. Students who do not complete a FAFSA or students who do not demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA will not be considered for scholarships. Students may be eligible for additional scholarship aid offered by organizations external to UMKC and the School of Medicine. Community organizations, high school organizations, employers, corporations and other scholarship sources provide scholarship opportunities for students. Students are encouraged to apply for such scholarships in order to decrease the overall cost of medical school.

For additional information about School of Medicine scholarships, contact:

UMKC School of Medicine
Office of Admissions, M1-103
2411 Holmes St.
Kansas City, MO 64108-2792

Campus Visit Options

KC Skylijne

The UMKC School of Medicine understands the importance of visiting campus to determine whether or not UMKC and the School of Medicine can offer you the right experience for your college education. The School of Medicine offers several options to learn more about our B.A./M.D. Program.

On-campus BA/MD Visits

During an On-campus BA/MD Visit, prospective students will get to see the Volker campus in midtown Kansas City and the Health Science District campus in downtown Kansas City. Candidates will meet with an admissions representative who will provide a presentation about the program and application process, followed by an admissions Q&A, and a Q&A with current BA/MD students. The current students will then give a tour of the School of Medicine.

Monday, September 11, 2023 @ 9:30 am

Monday, September 18, 2023 @ 9:30 am

Friday, October 6, 2023 @ 9:30 am

Monday, October 23, 2023 @ 9:30 am

Friday, November 3, 2023 @ 9:30 am

Friday, November 10, 2023 @ 9:30 am

Monday, December 4, 2023 @ 9:30 am


On-campus BA/MD Visits (Volker Not Included)

During an On-campus BA/MD Visit, prospective students will get to see the Health Science District campus in downtown Kansas City.  Candidates will meet with an admissions representative who will provide a presentation about the program and application process, followed by an admissions Q&A, and a Q&A with current BA/MD students. The current students will then give a tour of the School of Medicine. Note: A visit to the Volker campus is not included.

Stay tuned for future visit dates!


Virtual BA/MD Visits

During a Virtual BA/MD Visit, prospective students will get to meet an admissions representative who will host a live virtual presentation, followed by an admissions Q&A, and a Q&A with current BA/MD students.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023 @ 3:30 pm

Wednesday, October 18, 2023 @ 3:30 pm

Wednesday, November 8, 2023 @ 3:30 pm

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 @ 3:30 pm


B.A./M.D. Viewbook image






Explore our Virtual Viewbook

Webinars and Recordings

For students who are unable to attend or participate in another School of Medicine event, we offer the opportunity for students to learn more about the School of Medicine by participating in a webinar. Students participating in the webinar will learn more about the B.A./M.D. program, and will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenter.

Please view our most recent presentation recording outlining the B.A./M.D. Application Process (2018).

*Update from this video: a minimum of three reference forms are still required for application, but a maximum of five will be accepted.
Virtual Group Visits

For those who would like to schedule a virtual group visit, the School of Medicine is offering virtual group visits.

For more information or to schedule a group visit, please contact the School of Medicine Office of Admissions at 816-235-1870 or

Zoom Appointments

For students who are unable to attend a freshman visit, a campus visit day, or a prospective student reception, we offer the opportunity to learn more about the School of Medicine through a Zoom appointment. These appointments are NOT designed for students who have had the opportunity to visit campus or attend another School of Medicine event, but rather for students who are unable to take advantage of those opportunities and would like to learn more about what the School of Medicine has to offer. The School of Medicine Office of Admissions will be happy to honor requests for a Zoom appointment from those students who have not already attended a School of Medicine event.  Zoom appointments are offered Monday – Friday.

To schedule a Zoom appointment, please email the School of Medicine Office of Admissions at In your email, please include three possible dates and times (including your time zone). Someone from the School of Medicine Office of Admissions will confirm the appointment time as soon as possible.


For more information about our visit options, please contact the School of Medicine Office of Admissions at or 816-235-1870.

Application Timeline

Doc KC
August: Application Becomes Available

The application process involves two separate applications: the General Application for Admission to UMKC and the School of Medicine Online Supplemental Application. The required application fee covers both applications, and is paid at the time the applicant completes the General Application for Admission to UMKC. Students are encouraged to submit the General Application for Admission to UMKC online. The School of Medicine Online Supplemental Application must be submitted online.

November 1: Application Deadline

The General Application for Admission to UMKC and the School of Medicine Online Supplemental Application are due by this date. All supporting documents must also be submitted by this date (this includes reference forms, high school transcripts and test scores). Applications created but not complete by the November 1 deadline (11:59 p.m. CST) have until December 15 to complete and submit all application materials as a late applicant. Late applications will be reviewed with other late applicants and only if space is available. Applications that remain incomplete will not be considered for admission.

The latest test score accepted as “on-time” is the October test date.

January: Offers to Interview are Extended.

Applicants selected for an interview or placed on the interview waitlist will be notified electronically by the end of January. Applicants not selected for an interview will also be notified electronically.

January 20: College Transcript Deadline

Applicants applying as current college students must submit a college transcript complete with fall semester grades before the application can be reviewed for interview. Offers to interview will not be extended until the college transcript with fall grades has been received.  Applicants who do not have an official transcript on file by January 20th will not be considered for admission. Note: for high school seniors, mid-year reports with fall semester grades are not required and will not be reviewed.

February: Interviews Take Place

All applicants selected for interview must select and confirm a date for interview. All applicants will be interviewing remotely with the School of Medicine. Interviews will be virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions.

February 1: Priority Deadline for Filing the FAFSA

Students interested in financial assistance (loans, grants, work study, etc.) are encouraged to submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid by this date in order to receive priority consideration for such aid. In addition, students interested in School of Medicine scholarships must submit the FAFSA by this date in order to be considered. The FAFSA can be completed online at

April 1: Offers of Admission are Extended

Students being offered admission will be notified electronically of their acceptance to the program. Scholarship offers may also be made at this time. Students placed on the alternate list or denied to the program will also be notified electronically at this time. All admission decisions are communicated electronically and will not be communicated via phone.

May 1: Deadline to Accept Offer of Admission

Applicants who have been offered admission to the School of Medicine have until May 1 to make a decision. If the School of Medicine does not hear from the applicant by May 1, admission may be rescinded and offered to another student.

May (Ongoing): Offers of Admission are Extended to Alternate Students

The School of Medicine will begin extending offers of admission to those students who were originally placed on the alternate list. Offers of admission to alternate students are ongoing until the desired class size is reached.

Information for Parents

At the UMKC School of Medicine, we recognize the important role that a parent plays in the college decision-making process.  You are, in most cases, the single greatest influencer in one of the biggest decisions of your student’s life.

As your son or daughter is applying to medical school, we would like to provide you with some recommendations as to how you might assist in making this admissions process as smooth as possible:


Support your student during this process.  The application and application process are extensive, and require many hours of preparation.  Supporting your student through the application process can help reduce some of the stress associated with applying to medical school, and allowing your child to take the lead on this process can help them develop independence, a trait they will need as a first-year medical student.

Encourage your student to contact the Office of Admissions with questions about the application and application process.  If he/she takes the initiative to contact the office, he/she will have a better understanding of how the process works by hearing the information.

Contact the Office of Admissions with questions you might have.  Although, as mentioned above, we want your student to be the primary contact person in this process, we also want to make sure that you understand the process as well.  Admission to medical school has changed throughout the years, and we encourage you to invest time in learning about the current process.

Encourage your student to investigate all of the options for pursuing medical education.  A combined-degree program is a great opportunity, but is not the best choice for all students.  Spend some time investigating all of the options with your student so that he/she selects the program and university that is the best fit.

Encourage your student to investigate a variety of career options.  The student most committed to a career in medicine is the student who has investigated both this career and others.  By investigating multiple professions, your student will choose the right career path with absolute certainty.

Listen and offer advice throughout the college search process.  You are the most influential person in your child’s decision about where to attend college, and we encourage you to interact with your child throughout this process by asking questions, providing answers and helping him/her weigh the pros and cons of the options.

Support your child through the interview process.  If selected for an interview, this will be a nervous experience and probably the first time your student has participated in a high-stakes interview.  Support him/her, provide advice, reassure him/her of why he/she was selected for an interview and encourage him/her in the face of fear or doubt.  The admissions committee would not have selected him/her to interview if there wasn’t something intriguing.


Complete the application for your student. Students are invited to interview, and applications completed by parents most often do not match what the student presents in an interview. Let your student express himself/herself in the application; the best applications come from students who represent themselves in an honest way. Remember, “we” are not applying to medical school, your student is.

Contact the Office of Admissions on behalf of your student. Let your student demonstrate some independence in this process, and further develop skills such as effective communication and responsibility. Let your student take the lead in their application process; don’t take the lead for them. You are welcome to contact the office with questions, but encourage your student to be the key contact in this process.

Assume that the admissions process is the same as when you applied to college or medical school. In most cases, the process is drastically different and your memories of the process and college may not apply to your student. You should attend college fairs and other informational meetings to better understand the current process and requirements.

Assume that there is only one right path to medicine. Many great physicians have completed medical education through a variety of paths. By limiting your student to only consider combined-degree programs, you may be causing unnecessary stress on what should be an exciting time in his/her life.

Limit your student to the career path that you select for him/her. Allow him/her to come to this decision after investigation and self-reflection. The admissions committee for medical school will not enjoy hearing that a student is interested in medicine because it is what his/her parents prefer.

Make decisions for your child regarding his/her college choice. Wherever he/she chooses to attend, it is where HE/SHE will be attending, not where you will be attending. The most successful students are those students who feel they have made the decision that best suits their wants and needs for a college experience.

Prepare your student too much for the interview. Over-prepared students struggle on the day of the actual interview, trying to remember all of the pre-prepared answers to questions and trying to think of the “right” way to respond to a situation. As mentioned above, the best applicants are those who represent themselves honestly and sincerely. Help boost confidence by providing reassurance, not over-preparing.

We understand that the application process to college is stressful and may cause stress in your house or in your relationship with your child.  We also understand that these stresses may be intensified by the process of applying to medical school as a high school senior.

Our natural response as a parent is to want to help our child through this process to protect them from this stress, but by letting them take the lead in this process we are teaching them to be independent, reliable and confident students.  We wouldn’t encourage you to let them pursue this process on their own, but we would encourage you to strike a balance in your approach to the medical school application process.  As a parent, your greatest contribution to this process is to offer support and encouragement, help your student identify his/her academic and career goals, be a good listener and provide guidance.

If you have questions throughout the process, please do not hesitate to contact the School of Medicine Office of Admissions at 816-235-1870 or


High School Diversity programs

The UMKC School of Medicine is committed to providing opportunities for prospective students to investigate careers in the health professions and sciences and to learn more about the School of Medicine.

High school students interested in learning more about what the UMKC School of Medicine has to offer should register for a campus visit through the UMKC Office of Admissions.

Students from the Kansas City metropolitan area have additional opportunities for investigation of a health science career. Students who have an interest in pursuing a career in the health sciences should think about taking advantage of the following opportunities:

  • Summer Scholars is a program designed for minority and underprivileged students who demonstrate a solid academic performance and ability, and who have an interest in a health sciences career.
  • Saturday Academy is a program designed to strengthen the math and science skills of participating students.

Students interested in either of these programs should contact the Office of Admissions at 816-235-1870 or


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.


Doctor and students visiting a patient

During the first two years of the program, three-fourths of a student’s time is dedicated to the arts and sciences to fulfill baccalaureate degree requirements, while one-fourth is spent in medical school coursework. In the final four years of the program, the majority of the student’s time is spent in medical school coursework with a smaller percentage of time spent completing baccalaureate degree requirements.

Students select from three baccalaureate degree options:  Liberal Arts, Chemistry, or Biology.  Selection of the baccalaureate degree is dependent upon the number of transferrable courses available from high school (AP, IB, dual enrollment, etc.) To learn more about the typical six-year program of study, please visit the 2022 UMKC Academic Catalog.

Year 1 Fall

MEDICINE: Medical Terminology, Learning Basic Medical Sciences, Fundamentals of Medical Practice

ARTS & SCIENCES: Functional Anatomy w/Lab, General Chemistry I w/Lab, two General Education Requirements*

Year 1 Spring

MEDICINE: Fundamentals of Medical Practice II

ARTS & SCIENCES: Microbiology w/Lab, General Chemistry II w/Lab, Sociology: An Introduction, two General Education Requirements*

Year 2 Summer

MEDICINE: Hospital Team Experience

ARTS & SCIENCES: Organic Chemistry w/Lab, Cell Biology

Year 2 Fall

MEDICINE: Fundamentals of Medical Practice III

ARTS & SCIENCES: Human Biochemistry, Sociology Life Cycles, General Psychology, Arts & Sciences Elective, Genetics, two General Education Requirements*

Year 2 Spring

MEDICINE: Fundamentals of Medical Practice VI, Clinical Correlations

ARTS & SCIENCES: Human Structure Function I, II and III

Year 3

MEDICINE: Clinical Correlations, History of Medicine, Pathology I (General/Clinical), Medical Neurosciences, Clinical Practice of Medicine I, Intro to Pharmacology (Self-Paced), Pathology II (Anatomic/Systemic), Medical Microbiology, Clinical Practice of Medicine II, Continuing Care Clinic (half-day weekly)

ARTS & SCIENCES: Human Structure Function IV

Year 4

MEDICINE: Pharmacology, Behavioral Sciences in Medicine, Year 4 Docent Rotation, Family Medicine I, Ambulatory Care Pharmacology (Self-Paced), Continuing Care Clinic (half-day weekly), Patient-Physician-Society I and II, Electives

ARTS & SCIENCES: Courses for B.A. degree*

Year 5

MEDICINE: Psychiatry, Prescribing for Special Populations (Self-Paced), Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, Family Medicine II Rural Preceptorship, Surgery, Year 5 Docent Rotation, Continuing Care Clinic (half-day weekly), Electives

ARTS & SCIENCES: Humanities/Social Science

Year 6

MEDICINE: Year 6 Docent Rotation, Emergency Medicine, Rational and Safe Drug Prescribing (Self-Paced), Continuing Care Clinic (half-day weekly), Electives**

ARTS & SCIENCES: Humanities/Social Science

Years 1 & 2

During this time, the student completes a significant portion of their baccalaureate degree while being introduced to the basic medical sciences. The Fundamentals of Medicine series (I-IV) builds on communication skills and learning to perform a patient-centered interview. This provides the students an opportunity to learn more about themselves, their profession, and further develop effective interviewing skills. The Fundamentals of Medicine series offers a unique theme each semester: women’s health (Fall Year 1), geriatrics (Spring Year 1), pediatrics (Fall Year 2) or adult medicine (Spring Year 2). Presentations on various medical symptoms and clinical findings are provided to integrate anatomy and physiology with medical history-taking, and provide a format for learning about developing a differential diagnosis based on the patient’s history.

In addition, clinical experiences begin immediately through the docent team experience and continue to advance as the student progresses through the six years. During docent team, teams of 10-12 students meet for two hours each week during the semester with the docent (teaching physician) at one of our partner hospitals. Information learned in the classroom is integrated throughout this clinical experience. Bridging the first two years, students spend one week during the summer semester completing the Hospital-Team Experience. This experience provides a greater understanding of the roles of patient care professionals and the hospital community as a team caring for the patient.

Year 3

Students will join a new docent team consisting of Year 3 – 6 students and a variety of health care professionals. At this time, students move from classes primarily on the UMKC Volker Campus to the Hospital Hill Campus for intensified basic medical science courses that will prepare students for increased clinical responsibilities.

As a part of the docent team experience, students will spend one-half day per week assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of patients in outpatient clinics at two partner hospitals. The clinical assignment provides continuity of patient care, as well as a wealth of clinical experience.

Years 4 – 6

In Year 4, students will return to the UMKC Volker campus to complete coursework towards the baccalaureate degree. While completing the undergraduate degree, students continue to participate in clinical assignments.

During the last three years of the program, students have a number of experiences to complete the curriculum.

  • Students will be immersed in a one-month rural Missouri preceptorship that provides experiences in societal and health care concerns unique to non-urban primary care settings.
  • Two months a year, students join their full docent team for daily ward rounds called docent rotation. This docent rotation, month-long clinical rotations and continuing care clinic make up most of the final three years.
  • Clerkships in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Surgery are the required medical school clerkship offerings in the final two years.

* Three to 12 credit hours will come from general degree requirements and/or core major requirements.

**Students may take 6-7 electives in year 6. They must choose three clinical electives from nine designated categories. One of these electives must be a critical care elective.