This accelerated biomedical program leads to the B.S. degree from Rensselaer and the M.D. degree from Albany Medical College (AMC). Through this program, both degrees can be obtained within seven calendar years, including some summers.
Admission to the biomedical program is limited to individuals who have not yet initiated full-time undergraduate study and who display the motivation, maturity, and intellectual capacity necessary to pursue this accelerated course of study. Rensselaer conducts initial reviews and then forwards applications of candidates meeting the Institute’s program standards to Albany Medical College for further review. Only those applicants with uniformly superior academic credentials and the highest test scores are invited to the required interview at Albany Medical College. Some experience or demonstrated interest in biological or biomedical research during high school is considered as a factor in admission. The interview process assesses the applicant’s motivation for medicine, level of maturity, and level of personal development.
The biomedical program seeks and admits students without discrimination based on race, religion, color, gender, age, or handicap as defined in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or national or ethnic origin. Ordinarily, admission to the program is limited to citizens of the United States. Candidates must complete secondary school with superior scholastic credentials. Course work must include four years of English, one year each of physics, chemistry, and biology, and mathematics through precalculus. The SAT with writing and the SAT Subject Tests, or the ACT with writing will be accepted in fulfillment of test requirements for students applying for the seven-year accelerated physician-scientist program. These students must complete their tests by the December test date. The SAT Subject Tests are required in Mathematics (Level 1C or 2C) and science (biology, chemistry, or physics). Scores of tests taken thereafter will not be considered. Preferably, secondary school applicants will have taken these tests in the spring preceding application. Applications must be filed and completed prior to November 1, which is earlier than application for normal admission.
Provided that the student maintains satisfactory standards of academic achievement, admission leads automatically to entrance into Albany Medical College after three years of study at Rensselaer (six semesters). A minimum grade point average of 3.40 (overall GPA and science/math GPA) is required each semester at Rensselaer. At the completion of the third fall semester, a minimum grade point average of 3.40 is required both in overall course work and in science/math for promotion to the medical portion of the curriculum. All course work at Rensselaer must be satisfactorily completed before beginning the fourth year of study at Albany Medical College. A grade of D or F in any science course generally requires immediate transfer out of this program. Grades of I (Incomplete) are not accepted without justification involving illness or specific course structure. When an Incomplete is granted, the course work must be completed no later than one month after the last day of the examination period of the semester in which the incomplete was received.
Promotion to the medical portion of the curriculum is based not only on academic achievement, but also on the fitness of the student to enter the profession of medicine. Students may transfer into Rensselaer’s regular four-year undergraduate program at any time during the premedical portion of the biomedical program. The three years of Rensselaer study include a sound basis in the physical sciences, an introduction to the major concepts and principles of biology and biological research, and ample opportunity to become acquainted with the humanities and social sciences. Students in the biomedical program will take 24 courses at Rensselaer over the three years. During the third summer (the transition between Rensselaer and Albany Medical College), students continue with research projects begun while at Rensselaer. These research projects will be completed during the fourth summer while at Albany Medical College. Students should plan on spending eight weeks of full time study during the summers. Biology course credit will be given for the two courses taken during the third summer and five additional preclinical courses taken at Albany Medical College to complete the undergraduate requirements for the B.S. degree.
Since many biomedical students will enter Rensselaer with advanced placement credit, a large proportion will have undergraduate course work credit in excess of standard requirements. These advanced placement credits will allow them to take advanced or additional course work, but cannot be used to decrease the length of time allotted to their undergraduate experience or to decrease the number of courses prescribed in the curriculum. All courses specifically named in the curriculum must be taken at Rensselaer, or given AP credit, or transferred in from courses taken prior to admission at Rensselaer. After completing the fourth year of the program, students receive a B.S. degree from Rensselaer. The M.D. degree is received at the end of the seventh year and is dependent upon completing all requirements for the B.S. degree. Requests for further information and applications for admission to this program should be addressed to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street, Troy, New York 12180-3590.