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 >=3.7
Cumulative Total GPA >=3.7
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 (or, for the Maine Track, your home school).
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 1400 or an ACT Composite score above 32.
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 Tufts School of Medicine 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.
The Prehealth Advisor at participating schools will email application instructions to potential applicants during their sophomore year.
The Tufts School of Medicine Admissions Committee reviews the applications submitted by interested candidates and invites selected candidates to visit the medical school for an interview. Interviews are typically held 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. It is expected that all coursework will be completed at your home institution. Any exceptions must be approved by the TUSM Office of Admissions prior to taking the course.
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 3.7 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 Tufts School of Medicine. Applicants who do not entirely meet these academic standards are not assured admission to Tufts School of Medicine, but may be admitted at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.
In the summer or fall of their senior year, candidates apply to Tufts School of Medicine via an AMCAS special program application that precludes applying to other medical schools.
If these requirements are met, admission to Tufts School of Medicine is assured.
All offers of admission to Tufts School of Medicine, both via the Early Assurance Program and via the regular admissions process, are contingent upon the following:
- Satisfactory completion and Tufts School of Medicine review of the AAMC-facilitated criminal background check (see AAMC website for details of the service)
- Your ability to fulfill the Technical Standards of Tufts School of Medicine
- Your compliance with a high standard of ethical conduct and integrity, both before and after your admission to Tufts School of Medicine (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 Tufts School of Medicine 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 Tufts School of Medicine 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 Tufts School of Medicine 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 Tufts School of Medicine as well. While the assurances of the Early Assurance Program would no longer apply, the Tufts School of Medicine 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 Tufts School of Medicine entering class, i.e., the class that matriculates two years after the application year. For example, a candidate who applies successfully in the winter/spring of 2023 will be offered a conditional admission to the Tufts University School of Medicine class that enters medical school in July 2025. If a candidate who has met all Early Assurance Program requirements and has received a formal admission to Tufts School of Medicine 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 Tufts School of Medicine 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 Tufts School of Medicine via Early Decision or regular process.
Frequently Asked Questions
We receive over 100 applications for this program each year and interview under 50. Of those interviewed, approximately fifty percent are admitted to the Early Assurance Program. This is a highly selective process, and meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee that an applicant will be invited to interview.
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.
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.
All applicants are strongly encouraged to complete their coursework for a traditional grade when the option to do so exists. This is particularly true for prerequisite and science courses. The Early Assurance program is a competitive and highly selective admissions option. Since the MCAT is waived for EAP applicants, this puts greater emphasis on coursework and grades to determine an applicant’s fit and readiness for medical school.
Again, we strongly encourage EAP applicants to complete coursework for a traditional grade. Exceptions to this will be considered on a case by case basis. Exceptions should only be requested in extenuating situations or where the option is deemed appropriate, and requests should be made prior to opting for Pass/Fail grading.
Tufts University School of Medicine will continue to use standardized testing (ACT/SAT) as a required element in review of Early Assurance Program applications. This applies to students who select to apply to an undergraduate program that has a Test-Optional policy and did not submit ACT/SAT scores for undergraduate admissions. To be eligible for the Tufts University School of Medicine Early Assurance Program, applicants must submit a valid ACT/SAT score report taken PRIOR to undergraduate matriculation. Students without a valid ACT/SAT score are ineligible to apply and are strongly encouraged to apply to Tufts University School of Medicine in the traditional application cycle.
Competitive EAP applicants will have meaningful experiences that demonstrate that they have actively and intentionally explored the field of medicine. We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic complicated the ability to acquire clinical exposure/experience; however, exceptions will not be made to this expectation. Those who may be lacking clinical exposure or experience for whatever reason, should attempt to gain this exposure/experience prior to applying in the regular admissions process.