The Rural Medical Scholars Program (RMSP) is based in Tuscaloosa and conducted by College of Community Health Science, a branch of the University of Alabama School of Medicine. The Rural Medicine Program (RMP) is a jointly sponsored program between the University of Alabama School of Medicine and the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Auburn University.

The 2021 Rural Medical Program Application is now open on November 1, 2019. Interviews for the programs will be held in Birmingham on February 28, 2020.

Both the RMSP and RMP are five-year programs with a pre-matriculation year spent on the undergraduate campus of the program. 

For applicants applying to enter the School of Medicine in 2021, the application deadline to submit a completed admissions application is January 13, 2020.  Accepted individuals will begin the pre-matriculation year in the summer of 2020.

About Rural Medicine

Applicants to the Rural Medical Scholars Program and Rural Medicine Program are committing to become primary care physicians and to practice in communities and small towns in Alabama.

By applying and submitting an application to a Rural Medical Program, the applicant will:

  • Commit to become a primary care physician and enter practice either in a rural community or in a small town in Alabama.
  • Be permitted to apply to both the Rural Medicine programs and the Regular MD program. If selected and/or waitlisted for either/both programs, the applicant will be given a deadline in the spring by which they must withdraw from one of the programs.

In order to matriculate, Rural Medical Program applicants must, among other things:

  • Successfully complete the pre-matriculation coursework
  • Meet any and all contingencies required for admission
  • Meet all other requirements for regular admission to the School of Medicine

Eligibility Requirements

 Applicants must meet the minimum requirements for consideration for the regular admission program. The admissions committee selects Rural Medical students based on characteristics, including academic, personal, teamwork orientation, and self-motivation, that predict their abilities to become outstanding rural physicians.

Specific Requirements to be eligible for consideration by the Rural Medicine Student Programs

  • Be a legal resident of Alabama
  • Have lived in a rural area of Alabama for no less than eight years or graduate from a rural Alabama high school
  • Commit to practice Family Medicine or primary care in a rural area of Alabama
    • By submitting an application to a Rural Medical Program, the applicant affirms his or her commitment to become a Primary Care Physician and to enter practice either in a rural community or in a small town
  • Complete a year of undergraduate or graduate education in the Rural Medical Program (Pre-matriculation year)
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.3
  • Have a minimum MCAT score of 495 or higher
  • The earliest MCAT date considered is 2018; the latest MCAT date considered is January 2020.
  • If the MCAT has not been taken prior to application, a provisional acceptance may be granted to individuals with an ACT of 24 or higher or a SAT (math + verbal)  of 1100 or higher.  Provisional acceptance will include a date by which the applicant must achieve the minimum score.  This date is typically prior to matriculation to the pre-matriculation year in Tuscaloosa or Auburn.

Specific requirements in order to matriculate into the School of Medicine as a Rural Medicine Program student:

  • Students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.20 or higher in the pre-matriculation undergraduate or graduate program
  • Have earned a bachelor's degree prior to matriculation in medical school

Applicants provisionally accepted will be notified of specific contingencies in their official letter of acceptance. All contingencies must be met in order to matriculate.

To Apply

1. Complete the Special Programs Application to one or both of our Rural Medical Programs.

  • Only one application is needed to apply to either program or both.
  • Applicants should strongly consider applying to both programs.

2.  Submit the Special Programs supplemental material, which requires:

  • An OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT from all colleges and universities applicants have attended.  These can be sent electronically to or mailed.
  • A non-refundable $100 application fee to be paid online
  • Letters of reference submitted online. The letters of recommendation should include a rural community letter that talks about involvement or commitment to the community (examples could be a rural physician or community leader) in addition to a pre-health professional committee letter at their undergraduate school or two science faculty letters.
  • Transcripts, letters of recommendation and the application fee must be received by the application deadline.

3. Transcripts can be submitted electronically to or to the address below by the application deadline:

    Medical Student Services/Admissions
    VH-100, 1720 Second Avenue South 
    Birmingham, AL 35294-0019 
    Ph. (205) 934-2433, FAX (205) 996-0277

4. After submitting the online application, you may return to the admissions portal to check which documents have been received by our office.

5. If accepted, applicants must complete a second application on the AMCAS website after June 1. This application is required of all applicants applying to U.S. medical schools. 

Interview Date

Interviews are conducted one day each year for each Rural Medical Program. Interviews for the 2021 entering class will be held February 28, 2020.
  • Applicants interviewing for the Rural Medical Scholars Program and/or Rural Medicine Program will interview in Birmingham.

All applicants are notified of their admission status shortly after the interview.
  •  If applicable, any applicant that submits an application to a rural medical programs acknowledges and accepts that, if offered acceptance to a UASOM Rural Medical Program, they will be withdrawn from the regular M.D. program Alternate List of the University of Alabama School of Medicine.