Pre-Professional Scholars Program
The Pre-Professional Scholars Program (PPSP) grants undergraduate admission and conditional admission to Case Western Reserve's School of Medicine or School of Dental Medicine.
Admission to PPSP is highly competitive. Outstanding students who are not selected for the program still may be considered for undergraduate admission to Case Western Reserve; many choose to enroll in the first-year class.
Note: PPSP is an application plan for first-year students and differs from our combined graduate study programs; we offer a number of combined degree programs to which you can apply after admission.
8-year medicine program
The average Pre-Professional Scholar in Medicine candidate:
- Pursued a challenging course of study in high school
- Presented academic credentials that would rank among our most competitive applicants for admission
- Engaged in meaningful volunteering and shadowing experiences to gain exposure to medicine
- Was a recognized leader in their school and community
- Participated in a range of extracurricular activities
- Demonstrated care and concern for others
While the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is not required, Pre-Professional Scholars who choose to take it must present a total score above the 94th percentile to maintain the conditional acceptance to the School of Medicine. Failure to achieve this score will result in cancellation of eligibility for admission to the School of Medicine.
As a Pre-Professional Scholar, you must complete your bachelor's degree before beginning professional studies. If you complete your undergraduate degree requirements in fewer than four years, you are required to pursue other significant experiences to enhance your professional and/or personal development, such as:
- Study abroad
- Additional undergraduate coursework
- Graduate coursework
7-year dental program
As an interested student in our dental program, you must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) and earn an average score of 18 or higher on both the academic and perceptual ability sections. You also must complete the prerequisite courses for dental medicine school.
Applying to the Pre-Professional Scholars Program
To apply to the Pre-Professional Scholars Program, select Regular Decision or Early Decision I as your preferred admission plan. Later in the application, you can indicate your interest in applying for PPSP.
If you apply Regular Decision and are not selected as a PPSP finalist, you can be considered under the Regular Decision admission plan.
If you apply as a PPSP candidate under Early Decision I, you commit to attending Case Western Reserve if admitted to the undergraduate program—regardless of whether you are selected as a finalist for PPSP. You must make this commitment before you would know about your status with PPSP.
Pre-Professional Scholars Programs
Conditionally Guaranteed Admission to the University's Professional Schools
The Pre-Professional Scholars Programs in Medicine and Dentistry grant conditional commitments of admission to some of the professional schools at Case Western Reserve University to a few outstanding entering first-year undergraduates.
These commitments are honored upon successful completion of the requirements established by each professional school. Students admitted to these programs are relieved of much of the anxiety and uncertainty associated with pre-professional studies. Consequently, they feel free to undertake challenging courses of study and pursue a variety of interests as they prepare for professional studies.
Pre-Professional Scholars in Medicine are free to choose any of the bachelor’s degrees available in the University. Pre-Professional Scholars in Dentistry are not required to complete a bachelor's degree, but may elect to do so in any of the bachelor's degrees available. Participants who wish to change their career goals or apply for admission to other professional schools are free to do so.
Pre-Professional Scholars Program in Dentistry
Each year, approximately 10 exceptionally well-qualified high school seniors who plan to pursue careers in dentistry are offered places in the Pre-
Professional Scholars Program in Dentistry. This program requires seven years: three years of successful undergraduate study and four years at the School of Dental Medicine.
Pre-Professional Scholars in Dentistry are not required to complete a major, but if they elect to earn a bachelor's degree they are free to choose a major in an area of interest. Students who elect to complete a bachelor's degree must either complete all degree requirements by the end of their third year or switch to the Senior Year in Professional Studies program, which permits them to substitute the work of the first year in dental school for that required during the last year as an undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor of Arts. Students who switch to the Senior Year in Professional Studies program in order to complete their bachelor's degree will not lose their conditional admission to the School of Dental Medicine, but they are expected to complete all requirements for the Pre-Professional Scholars Program.
To qualify for the place reserved in the School of Dental Medicine, a Pre-Professional Scholar in Dentistry must achieve the following:
- A cumulative grade point average of 3.500 or higher for all coursework, as well as for all science coursework taken, including, but not exclusively, biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
- A Perceptual Ability score of 18 or higher and an Academic Average score of 19 or higher on the Dental Admission Test (DAT) of the American Dental Association. The test must be taken no later than October of the third year.
- Successful completion of a SAGES First Seminar, two University Seminars, a SAGES writing portfolio, at least one course in the arts and humanities, at least one course in the social sciences, and two semesters of physical education.
- A successful transition interview with faculty representing the School of Dental Medicine's admissions committee, usually scheduled after the receipt of grades from the fall semester of the third year.
- Successful completion of the following courses, with a minimum of 30 credit-hours in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics taken at Case Western Reserve University:
|Course ID||Course Title||Credits|
|BIOL 214 & 214L||Genes, Evolution and Ecology & Genes, Evolution and Ecology Lab||4|
|BIOL 215 & 215L||Cells and Proteins & Cells and Proteins Laboratory||4|
|BIOL 216 & 216L||Development and Physiology & Development and Physiology Lab||4|
|CHEM 105||Principles of Chemistry I||3|
|CHEM 106||Principles of Chemistry II||3|
|CHEM 113||Principles of Chemistry Laboratory||2|
|CHEM 223||Introductory Organic Chemistry I||3|
|CHEM 224||Introductory Organic Chemistry II||3|
|CHEM 233||Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory I||2|
|CHEM 234||Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory II||2|
|MATH 125||Math and Calculus Applications for Life, Managerial, and Social Sci I||4|
|PHYS 115||Introductory Physics I||4|
|PHYS 116||Introductory Physics II||4|
Pre-Professional Scholars Program in Medicine
Each year, 15 to 20 exceptionally well-qualified high school seniors who plan to pursue careers in medicine are offered places in the Pre-Professional
Scholars Program in Medicine. Pre-Professional Scholars receive a conditional commitment of admission to the University Program of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine to be honored upon successful progress toward and completion of the bachelor’s degree. The Pre-Professional Scholars Program in Medicine requires eight years: four years of successful undergraduate study leading to the bachelor’s degree followed by four years in the University Program of the School of Medicine. Pre-Professional Scholars in Medicine who complete their undergraduate degree requirements in fewer than four years are required to pursue other experiences intended to enhance their professional and personal development during the period following the receipt of their bachelor’s degree and until study at the School of Medicine begins.
Pre-Professional Scholars in Medicine are free to choose from among all of the degree and major programs offered in the university, but must complete the courses in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics/statistics, and behavioral sciences listed in the Conditions of Admission letter they received when accepted to the program. Pre-Professional Scholars are expected to demonstrate successful academic progress by meeting the following level of performance: A CWRU cumulative GPA of 3.63 and a cumulative American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) GPA and AMCAS Biology, Chemistry, Physics and MATH (BCPM) GPA of 3.63 at the time of application and maintained on final graduation transcripts. They are also expected to continue to fulfill expectations for outstanding professional and personal development as outlined in the Condition of Admission letter. These expectations include, but are not limited to, maintaining academic integrity and adhering to the university’s standards of conduct (all academic integrity and judicial offenses will be reported to the School of Medicine), clinical shadowing, and involvement in undergraduate activities and community programs.
Pre-Professional Scholars in Medicine are not required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) for the program. However, if they do take the MCAT, they are expected to achieve a score that is above the 94th percentile. Program participants who have an interest in applying to other medical schools or who wish to be considered for a dean’s merit scholarship at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine should plan on taking this test.
Progress is reviewed with each student at regular intervals in the program. At the end of the third year, Pre-Professional Scholars in Medicine who have met the required levels of performance go through the normal admission procedures for the University Program of the School of Medicine, including submitting an application through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and an interview. Participants who do not meet the required levels of performance may still be admitted into the University Program of the School of Medicine, but such admission will be subject to review and approval by the School of Medicine’s Admissions Committee.
Successful completion of the Pre-Professional Scholars Program in Medicine guarantees admission only to the University Program of the School of Medicine. Students seeking admission to the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine must complete a separate application and will be considered in competition with all applicants for that program.
Applying to the Pre-Professional Scholars Program
Prospective students who wish to apply to either of the Pre-Professional Scholars Programs should do so through the Office of Undergraduate Admission. All forms are included within the application materials. Select Regular Decision or Early Decision I as your preferred admission plan. Later in the application you will be able to indicate your interest in applying for PPSP.
Those who apply Regular Decision and are not selected as a PPSP finalist will have an opportunity to be considered under the Regular Decision admission plan.
Pre-Professional Scholars candidates who apply under the Early Decision I admission plan commit to attending Case Western Reserve if admitted to the undergraduate program, regardless of whether they are selected as finalists for the Pre-Professional Scholars Program. This commitment needs to be made before candidates would know about their status with the Pre-Professional Scholars Program.
Admission to the Pre-Professional Scholars Program is highly competitive. Students who are not selected for the program may still be considered for undergraduate admission to Case Western Reserve, and many choose to enroll in the first-year class.
For more information, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission.
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Using these identifiers, the committee generally selects 60-80 finalists to come to the campus to interview. These applicants are notified by Feb.1 of their status as finalists, and are offered admission to the general undergraduate program at that time.
Finalists are required to visit campus for the PPSP interviews held each March. This interview experience is a two-day program that includes exposure to medical school staff and faculty, tours of campus and medical school facilities, and other experiences related to study as both an undergraduate at CWRU and as a medical student at the SOM.
These finalists sit for a formal joint interview with members of the medical school admissions committee and appropriate administrators representing the undergraduate experience, the latter including such stakeholders as pre-medical advisors and senior staff from the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Finalists are also observed in a seminar classroom setting that is facilitated by a faculty member. Both the interview and classroom experience are evaluated with specific rubrics.
Following the two-day visit, a final selection committee comprised of members from the undergraduate and medical campuses convene to select the PPSP candidates.
This committee reviews the evaluations of both the interview and classroom observations, as well as details from the finalists’ applications. Following these discussions, the committee selects who will be offered admission to the PPSP, with the number offered admission based on the number of positions available, as determined by the SOM, in conjunction with the number who are deemed to be a good fit for the program itself. The committee also identifies a small number of alternates.
PPSP candidates are notified of their acceptance via a hardcopy letter by April 1 and are expected to respond by May 1 of their intention to enroll.
From my interactions with admissions, about:
60-80 are finalists (offered an interview)
20-25 are accepted into the PPSP program
May 20, 2021
Given the economic impact of COVID-19 (including job loss, furlough, or reduced-income), we anticipate that students matriculating into the 2022 class of the University Program of the CWRU School of Medicine will likely demonstrate greater financial need as compared to past years. In recognition of these unique circumstances, the School of Medicine has made the decision to focus our resources on helping to meet this need, and will be awarding only need-based aid this year.
Additionally, we are well aware of the disruptions COVID-19 has caused this past academic year, and are prepared to be as flexible as possible with our current, and future applicant pools. In light of this, we will accept online courses and labs that occured during academic year 20-21 due to the remote instruction model. While letter grades for prerequisite coursework are still preferred, we understand the difficulty that this may pose for many, and as such, CWRUSOM will accept Pass/No Pass grading for prerequisite courses for the 2020winter/spring, summer, fall semesters, and spring 2021.
At the Forefront of Education
In 1952, the School of Medicine at CWRU (then known as Western Reserve University) implemented an innovative curriculum now widely credited with initiating changes in medical education throughout the country and around the world.
The School of Medicine is fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the authority that grants accreditation to U.S. and Canadian medical degree programs. In 2002, our education program became only the third institution in history to receive the best review possible by the LCME.
A Tradition of Excellence
There has never been a more exciting time to enter the field of medicine.
And at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, we know that choosing a medical school can be both exhilarating and stressful. We strive to make the application process as simple as possible so that you have time to decide what's most important and which school will provide you the best education, experiences, and choices to achieve your goals!
The goal of our admissions process is to further the mission of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, which includes excellence in medical education, discoveries in translational science, and improving community health. To best meet the needs of the diverse populations in Ohio and beyond, and to achieve the goals of the institution, the School of Medicine's admissions process uses a balanced and holistic approach that considers an applicant's academic metrics, experiences, and personal attributes in order to achieve the educational benefits of a diverse student body and future physician work force.
The Admissions Committee also recognizes that many applicants who are underrepresented in medicine come from geographically, socioeconomically, and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, and that people from these backgrounds are more likely to eventually serve disadvantaged, underserved and marginalized populations. As such, our admissions selection approach also encourages consideration of disadvantaged status, as broadly defined, in the decision-making process.
Choose one of our three pathways into medicine below and take YOUR first step today!
Md reserve bs case western
Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 2015
Why did you choose a BS-MD program?
I became interested in being a pediatrician when I was about 8 years old. In high school, through both school subjects and clinical shadowing, my interest in medicine was fortified, and I knew that applying to medical school was in my future. I attended a high school where academic and personal balance were prized, so I knew I wanted a similarly full opportunity in college to pursue other interests before attending medical school. I learned about the Case Western Reserve University BS-MD program—the Pre-Professional Scholar’s Program (PPSP)—during my college interview at the university. It sounded perfect—a full four years of undergraduate studies (or a year of freedom if you finished your degree early), no required courses or major, the freedom to either take the MCAT® exam and apply elsewhere, or forego the stress and stay at CWRU. At the same time, I saw my brother, then a senior in college, struggle through the traditional medical school admissions process. I knew right then that this program was what I wanted.
Do you interact only with BS-MD students, or do you take classes with other medical students?
The university PPSP is fully integrated into both undergraduate and medical school experiences. During undergrad, the PPSP students had a common advisor who coordinated optional monthly meetings featuring various panelists including program graduates who were currently in our medical school, admission directors, and financial aid directors.
How is being a medical student different than the undergraduate program?
Being a medical student is a lot more difficult than I anticipated. I’d always heard getting into medical school was the hard part. Since I had a fairly pain-free admissions experience, I’m definitely biased. Still, no one ever said being here was hard, either. However, there’s a comforting level of camaraderie that’s present in medical school. And unlike undergrad, everything you learn and study is really interesting and directly applicable to your future.
In addition to having an early acceptance into medical school, what are the other perks of being in a BS-MD program?
During my four years prior to medical school, the security and freedom I had in the PPSP allowed me to major in Spanish, something I was interested in and thought would serve me well in my future career. The program also gave me time to take advantage of CWRU’s Integrated Graduate Studies (IGS) program where I earned my Master of Public Health, with a concentration in global health, alongside my degree in Spanish. I consider myself very fortunate that I had the opportunity to take advantage of the amazing programs at CWRU, and that I was able to tailor my education to my professional interest.
What advice do you have for others who are interested in doing a combined BS-MD degree?
Fully embrace whatever degree program you’re enrolled in to make the most out of your experiences.
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