Early Assurance Program
Selected candidates are offered the assurance of medical school admission without an MCAT score and prior to the regular admissions process. Hence, program participants reinvest the time typically spent on preparing for the MCAT and participating in the regular admissions process to explore other areas of interest during their academic careers, thus broadening their college experience.
Eligible applicants will have demonstrated academic excellence in their college work and must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for Early Assurance:
Cumulative Science GPA >=3.5
Cumulative Total GPA >=3.5
Most competitive applicants will meet the following criteria:
All courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (including labs) >=B+
All other courses >=B
Eligible applicants will have completed at least two semesters of biology, two semesters of general chemistry, and one semester of organic chemistry by the end of their sophomore year. Three of these courses must be completed with a final grade by the end of the fall semester of sophomore year in order to be eligible to apply and all five courses must be completed with a final grade no later than the summer semester following sophomore year in order to be eligible for an offer of admission to the program. AP credit does not count toward these course requirements (so upper level coursework is expected when this applies). All coursework must be completed at Tufts University.
Applicants must report their college entrance exam score(s). Most accepted applicants to the Early Assurance program have a combined SAT Critical Reading and Math score above 1300 or an ACT Composite score above 30.
Please note that meeting the minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee that an applicant will be selected to interview for the Early Assurance Program. Other factors, including letters of recommendation, essay, and experiences will also be considered.
All applicants to the Early Assurance Program in any given year are considered applicants to the entering class matriculating two years later. Eligible students must be scheduled to complete their current academic programs in the two academic years following application to the Early Assurance Program and must be ready to enroll at TUSM two years after applying.
Traditional MD Program: Sophomores at Tufts University are eligible to apply to the Early Assurance Program.
Maine Track Program: Sophomores at Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College and all University of Maine campuses are eligible to apply to this program. Students from Maine colleges are only eligible for the Maine Track Program.
How to Apply
The Prehealth Advisor at participating schools will email application instructions no later than December of each year. The application deadline is February 1.
The TUSM Admissions Committee reviews the applications submitted by interested candidates and invites selected candidates to visit the medical school for an interview. Interviews are usually conducted in April. The Admissions Committee requests selected candidates to forward transcripts to the committee after the spring term grades have been posted. After reviewing transcripts, the committee admits candidates to the program.
Candidates admitted to the program continue their studies at their undergraduate school for the duration of their current academic programs.
During this time, they are required to complete any medical school coursework prerequisites not yet taken (such as a remaining semester of chemistry or a semester of physics) by the end of their junior year (see FAQ tab for exceptions). Competency prerequisites can be completed any time prior to graduation.
Also during this time, applicants are required to maintain the following academic standards: a Science GPA and a Total GPA of 3.5 or above; a grade of B+ or greater in courses in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, including labs; and a grade of B or above in all other courses. Applicants must meet these standards for assured admission to TUSM. Applicants who do not entirely meet these academic standards are not assured admission to TUSM, but may be admitted at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.
In the summer or fall of their senior year, candidates apply to TUSM via an AMCAS special program application that precludes applying to other medical schools.
If these requirements are met, admission to TUSM is assured.
All offers of admission to TUSM, both via the Early Assurance Program and via the regular admissions process, are contingent upon the following:
- Satisfactory completion and TUSM review of the AAMC-facilitated criminal background check (see AAMC website for details of the service)
- Your ability to fulfill the Technical Standards of TUSM
- Your compliance with a high standard of ethical conduct and integrity, both before and after your admission to TUSM (see details below)
As a prospective medical student you are embarking on a professional career which requires a high standard of ethical conduct and integrity. It is expected that students admitted to Tufts University School of Medicine will make a personal commitment to abide by a standard of behavior that will establish a firm foundation for future professional conduct. This requires avoidance of any form of intellectual dishonesty as well as the demonstration of respect for the rights and well being of others. Prospective Tufts students are expected to be responsible citizens of their own community as well as the greater community. They are expected to comply with all university policies, local ordinances, and state and federal laws. Failure to uphold these requirements prior to enrollment at Tufts University School of Medicine may result in the rescinding of an Offer of Admission.
Students entering into TUSM via the Early Assurance Program will not be required to sit for the MCAT examination prior to matriculation.
Candidates who are admitted to the Early Assurance Program are not required to make a binding commitment to TUSM at the time of admission. Candidates may consider their options and remain uncommitted during their junior year following admission to the Early Assurance Program. The binding commitment to TUSM occurs at the fall of their senior year preceding medical school matriculation, when the candidate submits an AMCAS special program application that precludes the candidate from applying to other medical schools for that entering year.
Candidates who are admitted to the Early Assurance Program may decide against continuing with the program for a variety of reasons. Such reasons may include the following:
- The candidate wants to apply widely to a large number of medical schools in order to evaluate and compare many programs before making a commitment to enroll at a particular medical school.
- The candidate wants to apply to his or her state medical school(s) before making a commitment to a private medical school. (Private medical schools are significantly more expensive than state schools. Candidates are encouraged to research this issue and discuss it thoroughly with their families).
- The candidate may have suffered significant academic setbacks in the academic year following admission such that his or her academic performance does not fulfill the requirements of the program, and thus the candidate is not assured of medical school admission via this program. Candidates in this situation are very strongly advised to consult their college premed advisor.
Candidates who decide (for whatever reason) not to continue with the Early Assurance Program but rather to apply via the regular admissions process to multiple schools are welcomed and encouraged to apply to TUSM as well. While the assurances of the Early Assurance Program would no longer apply, the TUSM Admissions Committee would be happy to consider regular-process applications from candidates in this situation. Please note that candidates who decide to apply to multiple schools via the regular admissions process will need to consult with their college premedical advisor for information and advice regarding the timetable and requirements of the regular admissions process.
Admission to the Early Assurance Program is a conditional admission to a specific TUSM entering class, i.e., the class that matriculates two years after the application year. For example, a candidate who applies successfully in the spring of 2019 will be offered a conditional admission to the TUSM class that enters medical school in August 2021. If a candidate who has met all Early Assurance Program requirements and has received a formal admission to TUSM wishes to take a year off after college before enrolling in medical school, he or she would need to submit a formal request for a deferred matriculation. The Admissions Committee considers such requests on a case-by-case basis.
While an Early Assurance Program participant may postpone his or her enrollment year by requesting and receiving a deferral, under no circumstances can he or she advance the enrollment year. If an Early Assurance program participant were to graduate from college after three years of study instead of the traditional four (i.e., one year after applying to the Early Assurance Program), that student may not enroll at TUSM a year ahead of schedule. Students who expect to graduate from college in three years and who wish to enroll in medical school immediately after graduation are encouraged to meet with their premedical advisor for information and advice. Students in this situation are eligible to apply to TUSM via Early Decision or regular process.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many students apply to the traditional MD Early Assurance Program, and how many are admitted?
We receive between forty and fifty applications for this program each year. Of the applicants who meet the minimum eligibility requirements, a majority are invited to interview. Of those who are interviewed, approximately fifty percent are admitted to the Early Assurance Program.
I know that to be eligible to apply, I must have taken at least 5 science courses by the end of my sophomore year. Can I apply if some of those courses were taken during the summer, at another school, or as AP courses in high school?
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.
What happens if I am admitted to the Early Assurance Program but do not finish my premed courses during my junior year following admission? What if I schedule physics for my senior year?
In this case, we would wait until we had the opportunity to review your performance in that course before issuing a formal admission to the medical school. Assuming your academic performance met the program’s requirements, you would receive a medical school admission letter in the spring or summer prior to medical school enrollment as opposed to the preceding fall or winter.