Frequently-Asked Questions About EMSAP1. What is EMSAP?
EMSAP is the Early Medical School Acceptance Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Since its inception, the program has expanded to include both early acceptance dental and optometry programs. All three programs (medical, dental, and optometry) provide students with conditional acceptance to UAB professional schools. Students are required to maintain a 3.5 math/science GPA and an overall GPA of 3.6, and students must also score a certain score on their MCAT (minimum 28) or DAT (average of incoming dental class).
2. What are the deadlines for applying to EMSAP?
The deadline for applying to EMSAP is December 15th. However, before a student is allowed to apply to EMSAP, he or she must have already been admitted to UAB.
3. What kind of ACT/SAT score do students need to be competitive?
The minimum required score for application is a 30 ACT and a minimum combined score of 1340 on the critical reading and math sections of the SAT. However, the average of students accepted to the program is a 33.5 ACT and 1450 SAT.
4. Does EMSAP take super scores (combining scores from sections from different testing days)?
No. The combined score must be from one testing day.
5. Can I take a December standardized test?
No. The scores usually are released too late to enter considerations for admittance to EMSAP.
6. How many applications does EMSAP receive?
The number of applications varies from year to year, but EMSAP often receives over 200 applications.
7. How many applicants are invited for an interview?
Of the total application, up to 30 students are invited for an interview for the medical program, up to 6 are invited to interview for the dental program, and up to 4 are invited to interview for the optometry program.
8. Who conducts the interviews?
The members of the actual admissions committee for each professional school conduct all interviews – the same people who interview graduating college seniors for medical, dental, and optometry school at UAB.
9. Is the reception the night before the formal interview a mandatory event?
Yes, so plan on traveling to Birmingham early the day of the reception.
10. Can a make-up interview be scheduled for any reason?
No, because the committee members volunteer a day away from their professional practice, this is the only day that interviews are conducted. Unfortunately, if a student misses an interview for any reason (e.g. weather emergency, illness, flight cancellation), we cannot reschedule it. For this reason, it is advisable to arrive in Birmingham well before the reception and interview.
11. How many applicants are accepted?
The medical program usually accepts around 12 students to fill 10 slots, The dental program accepts 2 to 3 students for its slots. The optometry program accepts 1 student. There is a list of alternates for all three programs; students on this list sometimes later gain admission.
12. Is there a preference for in-state students?
EMSAP does not have any quotas for in-state students. Generally, the class is balanced between in and out-of-state students, but decisions that determine if students are admitted are based on the student, not necessarily his or her resident status.
13. When are acceptance decisions announced?
The acceptance decision will be announced within a week of interviews. Dr. Gregory Pence, EMSAP director, calls every student who interviewed to inform him or her of the committee’s decision. Interviews are usually the last week of January, toward the end of the week.
14. Are there special scholarships for EMSAP students? Do these cover out of state tuition?
No, there are no special scholarships for EMSAP students, but scholarships at UAB are formulaic in that if you have a certain GPA and standardized test score, you automatically receive an offer of a scholarship. Often, these fully cover out-of-state tuition or in-state tuition; they may cover some room and board. There is an additional special scholarship for National Merit Finalists.
This is an extraordinary benefit of this program, as very few of the other 100+ BS/MD programs grant scholarships for tuition. This is another reason that admission to EMSAP is so competitive.
15. Must you be in an honors program in the Honors College to be in EMSAP?
No. As a favor to EMSAP, the Honors College is handling applications this year, but EMSAP is now a special admissions program, not part of the Honors College. As such, some of the information on the Honors College website about EMSAP is now incorrect: EMSAP students do not participate in leadership courses in the Honors College, do not need 30 hours extra of honors to graduate, but do get priority registration and the ability to live on a honors floor in the freshmen dorm.
16. Doesn’t being in an honors program increase your chances of being accepted into EMSAP?
No. The decisions are made completely independently of each other. Whether or not you are in any regular honors program has no effect on your chances of acceptance into EMSAP.
17. Is one honors program better than another for EMSAP students?
The various honors programs serve different constituencies with different desires. Please consult each honors program for its unique identity.