Pre-Medical School Scholarship Program

To Conserve the Fighting Strength

The goal of the Pre-medical Scholarship Program is to prepare cadets for medical school and service as military physicians.

What Are the Requirements?

Up to 2% of each graduating class may enter medical school directly from West Point. Participants in this program must be endorsed by the USMA Medical Program Advisory Committee (MPAC) and gain admission to a medical school in the United States. The Chemistry and Life Science Department provides courses in organic chemistry, advanced biology, cell biology, human physiology, genetics, human anatomy and biochemistry that are important for those interested in medical school. The majority of premedical cadets select the Life Science major. 

What Happens after I Graduate?

Since the medical school program was introduced for the Class of 1979, ten to twenty members of each class have proceeded directly to various medical schools. A number have attended the Department of Defense Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USU). While enrolled in USU, they draw pay and allowances as a second lieutenant. Tuition, equipment, and book costs are also paid by the U.S. Government. Those attending civilian medical schools receive financial support through the Army Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). While in school, these students serve in a reserve status. The scholarship pays tuition, books, fees, and a monthly stipend.

Cadets who do not enter medical school directly from the Academy may apply to USU or compete for a Health Professions Scholarship while on active duty. The number of USMA graduates who attend medical school following a period of active Army service approaches, or even exceeds, the number of those who go straight from USMA to medical school.

Pre-Medical School Scholarship Program FAQs

The table below lists the average Grade Point Averages (GPAs) and Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) Scores for schools that accepted cadets during the last three years. 


Average GPA

Average MCAT

St. Louis University
Nebraska (UNMC)
Texas A&M 
Wake Forest 
USC Greenville 
University of North Carolina
Medical College of Wisconsin 
Uniformed Services University 
Michigan State CHM
Nova Southeastern COM 
Rocky Vista University 

Up to 2% of each class (approximately 20 cadets) are allowed to attend medical school immediately upon graduation. There is no requirement to be ranked within the top 2% of the class. There is no limitation on the number of graduates who attend medical school after spending time in the Army. Officers fulfilling active-duty service obligations (ADSOs) must be released by their branches to attend medical school. 

If you want to attend medical school immediately after graduation, you must take the MCAT in the spring of your second class (Cow) year. 

The obligation depends on your school (USU or civilian) and the length of your residency. In addition to the 5-year West Point obligation, you will incur an additional 4 years if you go to a civilian medical school (HPSP), or an additional 7 years if you attend USU.  Longer residencies (example: surgery) add more time. You will not start "paying off" the obligation until you complete your Graduate Medical Education (residency program).   

In the spring of Cow year, cadets apply to the Medical Program Advisory Committee (MPAC) for endorsement to attend medical school. However, most cadets decide when they declare their major and select courses. If you are interested earlier, make that known to Academic Counselors in the Chemistry and Life Science Department and the Office of the Dean. 

Cadets interested in attending medical school can major in any discipline they choose; however, they must ensure that all necessary pre-medical course requirements are met.  West Point’s broad core curriculum provides the academic diversity that many medical schools seek.  Most aspiring physicians at USMA major in Life Science.  This major appeals to their passion for science and facilitates MCAT preparation by providing depth in biology courses.  In addition, the required premedical courses are all embedded in the major.  Other common majors include Kinesiology, Environmental Science, Psychology and Mechanical Engineering.

Beyond one full year of each of the core courses (chemistry, math, English, physics), the minimum requirements for most medical schools are 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry with lab, 2 semesters of biological science with lab and one semester of Biochemistry. The USMA courses are: CH383 Organic Chemistry I, CH384 Organic Chemistry II, CH375 Introduction to Biology, CH387 Human Physiology, and CH473 Biochemistry.

In the Life Science major you will take CH385 Cell Biology, CH388 Genetics, CH457 Microbiology, and CH479 Biotechnology. These courses will help prepare you for the Biological Foundations portions of the MCAT and medical school. Majors will also take CH371, Introduction to Analytical Chemistry. This course will help prepare you for the Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems portion of the MCAT. Cadets endorsed to attend medical school may take CH460 Human Anatomy.  This challenging course provides excellent preparation for medical school classes.     

The USMA Medical Program Advisory Committee (MPAC) meets in April and interviews second class cadets interested in attending medical school.  The board is chaired by the Commander, or Deputy Commander, of Keller Army Community Hospital and has members from Keller, the Dean’s Office, the Chemistry and Life Science Department, USU and USCC. Cadets are required to have a 3.2 academic GPA or higher and an MCAT score of 500 or higher. Applicants must be scheduled to complete the five minimum required courses listed above, by the end of Cow year, to be considered for an interview by the board.  “Provisional” endorsement is announced in April so cadets can apply to schools in the spring.  Final selections are confirmed in August after MCAT scores are reviewed.   

Your academic GPA, BCPM (biology, chemistry, physics, math) GPA, MCAT, and interview are the most important factors. Medical schools place a high premium on research, clinical exposure (shadowing), volunteer work and community service.  As a result, these are also carefully considered by the board. Other important factors include your military and physical performance as well as recommendations from the staff and faculty.   Members of the MPAC re-evaluate applicants after MCAT scores are received during the summer. The committee seeks to choose the cadets most qualified to attend medical school immediately upon graduation from the Academy.  

Absolutely! There are many advantages to going on active duty for a few years before attending medical school. In fact, of all the USMA graduates that are Army physicians, half went to medical school immediately after graduation and half went after serving some active-duty time. Whichever option you choose, however, it is important to complete all the courses you need to be accepted to medical school while at USMA. It is very difficult to find the time to take additional courses while on active duty.

Pre-Medical School Scholarship Recipients