Because we do not want to exclude high-achieving students who may be treading a curricular path that has diverged from the standard pre-med course sequences, we are reluctant to issue inflexible rules concerning this question. However, our admissions committee does have expectations; we hope the following statement will be helpful in clarifying the committee’s concerns.
When evaluating an Early Assurance program applicant’s academic record, the admissions committee is interested in observing the applicant’s academic performance in at least five rigorous science courses taken in a challenging environment. For many applicants, this will mean that the five courses will have been taken at the applicant’s undergraduate institution during the regular academic year in the context of a full course load.
Some applicants, however, have taken even more rigorous paths that may include AP courses and/or summer courses as well as advanced (beyond the introductory level) science and/or math courses. Such applicants present the committee with ample evidence of their academic ability and are by all means encouraged to apply.
Other applicants, while meeting the minimum eligibility requirements, may have taken a somewhat less rigorous path. In general, AP courses and summer school courses are considered less rigorous than courses taken during the academic year and may weaken an application that does not also contain additional evidence of academic achievement. Summer courses taken at other schools that are considered less rigorous than the same courses offered at the applicant’s home school may also weaken the application.