Biomedical Engineering students who plan to go on to medical school can follow the pre-med template shown on page 9 of this handbook. Following this template allows students to meet all requirements for taking the MCAT after their third year in the program and also ensures that all requirements for medical schools are met by the end of the fourth year. It should be noted that following the pre-med option will automatically satisfy all requirements for the traditional BME B.S. degree as the only difference is that the free electives and HASS electives are more constrained for the pre-med option to meet the MCAT/medical school requirements. One result of this is that the traditional BME B.S. degree requires 128 credit hours while the BME B.S. degree with the pre-med option requires 133 credit hours.
There is no formal process for declaring that one does want to participate in the pre-med option, however, it is strongly encouraged that you let the administrative staff of the department (Ms. Alisha Kennard) and your advisor know so that (a) your advisor can be switched to the pre-med advisor, (b) you can be added to the pre-med mailing list, and (c) the registrar can enable a Degree Works report for pre-med. Please note that admission to medical school is selective and that historically GPAs above 3.5 are required to successfully gain admission.
Physician Engineer (B.S./M.D.):
The Biomedical Engineering Department, in conjunction with Albany Medical College, also offers the Physician Engineer program in which students are able to earn a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer and an M.D. from Albany Medical College in 8 years. The MCAT requirement is waived for this combined program.
A separate application for this program is needed, where students apply just before the Arch, i.e., by May 31 of their second year. Application requirements are that a student follows the BME B.S. pre-med template, has a GPA > 3.5, has a strong interest in research, and is on track to meet all degree requirements. The application material consists of a one-page statement of purpose, a letter of recommendation, an official transcript, and a waiver/release form allowing the BME Department to obtain your application material. Application materials should be submitted to Ms. Alisha Kennard. Applications are reviewed by the department and a decision will be made during the summer of the second year. Selected students will be invited to interview at Albany Medical College in the second half of this summer and will be informed about their application before the beginning of the third year. Students admitted to the program need to participate in The Arch and plan to spend their “away” semester in the Personal Care Assistant program at AMC to start/increase their hours of patient contact. Students will receive a B.S. in BME from Rensselaer after the fourth year and a M.D. from Albany Medical College after the eighth year. Please note that this program is very selective.