Direct entry programs expect prospective students to have completed rigorous science courses.

While most potential doctors explore the option of medical school during their undergraduate education, others are sure they want to attend medical school during their high school years. Luckily for these students, some medical schools offer direct entry programs that enable them to be admitted while still in high school. While the admissions criteria are stringent, direct entry programs save time and money for goal-oriented medical students.

Rensselaer Polytech and Albany Medical School Joint Program

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York works with the nearby Albany Medical College to provide a joint direct-entry program for distinguished high school seniors. This program evaluates students based on SAT scores in addition to select SAT II exams in mathematics and one of either physics, chemistry or biology. Students are evaluated based on the rigor of their high school science background and their maturity and preparation for a joint Bachelor of Science and M.D. program. If admitted to the program, students spend five semesters undertaking rigorous laboratory and science work at RPI, then spend the sixth semester working at RPI and AMC. They earn an M.D. degree from AMC at the end of their seventh year of study.

Baylor University Medical School

In Waco, Texas, Baylor University accepts only four outstanding high school students to its eight-year B.S./M.D. program. Prospective students are required to score above 1400 on the combined math and verbal portions of the SAT, and be in the top 5 percent of their high school graduating class. If admitted, students must maintain an undergraduate grade point average of 3.4 to stay in the program.

Baylor offers an alternative program in cooperation with Rice University. Working together, Rice and Baylor select up to ten students who complete a bachelor's at Rice and are guaranteed admission to Baylor Medical School.

Case Western Reserve

Ohio's Case Western Reserve University provides a direct entry program for prospective students. For this program, students complete a joint B.S. and M.D. over an eight year period. In addition to SAT, GPA and high school transcripts, applicants must complete an on-campus interview with the medical school that is comparable to the interview given to medical students admitted in the same manner as bachelor's degree graduates. To be admitted, students typically graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class and earn a total SAT composite score between 2200 and 2300.

Caltech and UCSD Partnerships

The California Institute of Technology joins with the University of California San Diego to offer a direct entry medical program to only six students per year. To apply, students must apply to Caltech by the early action deadline. Students are either admitted or rejected by mid-December. If accepted, they must then complete an additional application for the direct entry partnership with UCSD. By mid-February, potential medical scholars are interviewed. In a typical year, about 35 students are interviewed, but only six are selected for the program. Once selected, students must maintain an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 in order to remain in the program and successfully advance to the medical school at UCSD.