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  • When and how will EMSAP interviews be conducted this year?

    Please refer to the chart provided at the School Application Information tab in order to determine when each program will have their specific interviews.

  • What is EMSAP?

    EMSAP is the Early Medical School Acceptance Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The program includes both early acceptance dental and optometry programs. All three programs (medical, dental, and optometry) provide students with conditional acceptance to UAB professional schools.

  • What is the deadline for applying to EMSAP?

    The deadline for applying to EMSAP is November 15, 2023. In order to apply to EMSAP, students must be admitted to UAB as first-time freshmen no later than November 15, 2023.

    Students must apply for admission to UAB using their official test score and high school transcript. Students admitted to UAB through test-optional review are not eligible for EMSAP.

  • What kind of ACT/SAT score do students need to be competitive?

    The minimum required scores for applicants are a 30 composite ACT or 1360 SAT and a 3.5 GPA. The academic average for the EMSAP Class of 2020 was a 33 ACT or 1470 SAT and 4.34 high school GPA.

  • Does EMSAP take super scores?

    No, UAB and the EMSAP program does not accept super scores, but does request that students report all available test scores for review.

  • Can I take a December standardized test?

    No. The December standardized test score results are released too late to be considered for admittance to EMSAP.

  • How many EMSAP applications are submitted each year?

    The number of applications varies each year, but EMSAP often receives over 400 completed applications from qualified students.

  • How many applicants are invited for an interview?

    On average, up to 36 students are invited to interview for the medical program, up to six students are invited to interview for the dental program, and up to four students are invited to interview for the optometry program.

  • Who conducts the EMSAP interviews?

    The members of the admissions committee for each professional school conduct all interviews – these are the same people who interview graduating college seniors for medical, dental, and optometry school at UAB.

  • 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. If a student misses an interview for any reason (e.g. weather emergency, illness, flight cancellation), it cannot be rescheduled. For this reason, it is advisable to arrive in Birmingham well before the reception and interview.

    EMSAP Interviews will be conducted in a virtual setting by the Heersink School of Medicine committee.

  • How many applicants are accepted?

    Please refer to the chart provided at the School Application Information tab to see when decisions are typically announced.

  • Is there a preference for in-state students?

    Yes, EMSAP prefers in-state students. About two-thirds of those admitted are from Alabama.

  • When are acceptance decisions announced?

    This year, interviews will be on March 4th and those accepted will be notified by April 1.

  • Are there special scholarships for EMSAP students? Do these cover out of state tuition?

    No, there are no special scholarships for EMSAP students, but most EMSAP students are recipients of UAB’s merit-based scholarships. This is an extraordinary benefit of this program, as very few of the other 100+ BS/MD programs grant scholarships for undergraduate tuition.

    You can visit uab.edu/scholarships to view your eligibility for merit-scholarships and find more information. We also encourage students to contact their admissions counselor to discuss additional endowed or applications based scholarships they may be eligible for. Students can locate their admissions counselor at uab.edu/mycounselor.

  • Do you have to be in the Honors College to be in EMSAP?

    No. EMSAP is a special admissions program that exists independently of the Honors College.

  • Do you have to be a U.S. citizen to apply to EMSAP?

    You must either be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident at the time of application.

  • Can I graduate in fewer years in EMSAP?

    EMSAP is not an accelerated program and frowns upon spending fewer than four years in college and four years in medical school. In rare circumstances, EMSAP students may apply for early admission to the UAB Heersink School of Medicine, but must do so as a regular applicant and go through the regular admission process to the UAB Heersink School of Medicine involving letters of recommendation, interviews, and secondary materials. These will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

  • Can EMSAP students apply to medical schools outside of UAB?

    Yes, unlike most BS/MD or early acceptance programs, if UAB students in EMSAP apply to other schools, they do not lose their guaranteed spot in UAB’s medical, dental, or optometry school. Undergraduate EMSAP alumni have attended medical schools at Harvard, John Hopkins, New York University, Vanderbilt, Duke, and the University of Pennsylvania.

  • What are the academic expectations of EMSAP students?

    Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.60 with a 3.50 GPA in math and science courses. EMSAP students must take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) prior to matriculating to the SOM and earn a score of 506 on the MCAT exam. EMSAP students are motivated to excel and previous EMSAP students have won Rhodes, Marshall, Goldwater, Soros, and Fulbright Scholarships.

  • What should I expect from the EMSAP interview?

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine interview process for applicants now looks a little like speed dating. EMSAP interviews will be conducted in a virtual setting and will not take place on campus. Students selected to interview will receive all interview details from the Heersink School of Medicine.

  • How will EMSAP prepare me for medical school?

    Requirements for admission to the UAB School of Medicine and other medical schools are undergoing important changes, moving away from an emphasis on molecular biology and organic chemistry to the social sciences and a more well-rounded applicant. These changes reflect changes in the nature of medical practice, which needs fewer researchers and more primary care physicians, and hence, the changing nature of the new MCAT and new admissions criteria for medical schools. EMSAP is at the forefront of acknowledging these changes and in preparing its graduates to be competitive for scholarships at the UAB School of Medicine and for admission to the best medical schools in America, as proven by a 20-year track record of accomplishing both for many of our graduates.

  • What other medical schools have EMSAP seniors been accepted besides UAB?

    Previous EMSAP students have been accepted to a variety of distinguished medical and dental schools including those listed below. In addition, over 75 EMSAP students have been granted a full or partial scholarship as they matriculated to the UAB Heersink School of Medicine.

    • Baylor College of Medicine
    • Case Western Reserve University
    • College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center*
    • Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
    • Duke University
    • Emory University
    • Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
    • Grossman School of Medicine at New York University
    • Harvard Medical School*
    • Johns Hopkins University*
    • McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center
    • Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Ga.
    • Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
    • Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine
    • Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania*
    • Pritzker School of Medicine at University of Chicago
    • UCLA School of Dentistry*
    • University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
    • University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine*
    • University of South Alabama
    • Vanderbilt University*
    • Washington University, St. Louis

    *notates that the student received a scholarship

  • What can I do to make myself a better applicant?

    It is important to be honest on your application. The best applicants are those who tell their own story and not what they believe the admissions officers want to hear.

  • Can I schedule a meeting with Dr. Pence before interviews?

    Dr. Pence cannot meet with applicants before they are semi-finalists. However, it is possible for the applicant to contact current EMSAP students with questions. It is preferable that the applicant, not the parent, takes the lead asking questions and contacting the Office of Undergraduate Admissions because this way, the applicant will gain a better understanding of the process and we will gain a better understanding of the applicant.

  • Are EMSAP students permitted to take a gap year between graduating with their undergraduate degree and starting medical school?

    Admitted students can request to defer their start date with the UAB Heersink School of Medicine for one year. To do so, they will formally request so by April 30th (~3 months prior to start date). These requests are approved on a case- by-case basis by the Admissions Selection Committee. If an EMSAP student is granted a gap year, he has accepted admission to the Heersink School of Medicine and a space is reserved for him. As a result, he cannot apply to any other medical school the following year, because he has already committed to UAB. AMCAS will not let students apply who have committed previously to a medical school and accepted a spot.

  • Can student receive feedback on their application or interview?

    Due to the volume of applications and the confidentially of the committee that selects and interviews applicants, we are unable to provide feedback to students regarding applications or interviews.

  • What do EMSAP student do when not in class?

    For information about the non-academic life of EMSAP students, please watch the video A Week in the Life of UAB EMSAP Students.

  • How many EMSAP students have won prestigious Scholarships?

    Neel Varshney and Ameen Barghi won the Rhodes, and Jason Lott won the Marshall Scholarship. Lillen Chien won a Fulbright in 2018 and Tanvee Sinha in 2019.

    Five EMSAP students have also won Clinton Scholarships for study abroad, including Wendy Jiang, Michael Liptrot, and Kevin Lee.

Natasha Mehra, MDLearn more about EMSAP Alumni who are now UAB Faculty!

Daniel ElstonCongratulations to Daniel Elston on his Fulbright Award!