Joint Bachelor’s/M.D. Program Frequently Asked Questions
- Is my spot in the School of Medicine (SOM) guaranteed?
If you meet all of the outlined requirements, you are guaranteed an interview with the School of Medicine during your fourth year of undergraduate study. This is a tremendous advantage as only about 10 percent of the applicants to the SOM will be called in for an interview. Additionally, 25 percent of the seats in the SOM are reserved exclusively for Seton Hall students. This means that as a Seton Hall student, you are in a very strong position to gain entrance to the SOM. However your performance during the interview will be a primary factor in determining your admission to the SOM. For this reason, the joint-degree program cannot guarantee you admission to the SOM.
- Am I obligated to enroll in the School of Medicine (SOM) once I am admitted to the joint-degree program?
If you are offered admission to the SOM, you have no obligation to enroll. This affords you a wonderful option; however, you are still welcome to apply to other medical schools and accept whatever offer best suits your interest and goals.
- Can transfer students apply for the joint-degree program?
No, this program is not open to transfer students. Only students applying as incoming freshman are eligible to apply.
- Can I apply to this program in the spring semester?
No, this program does not accept applications for the spring semester. Students admitted to the program also cannot defer their admission to the spring.
- What if my standardized test scores or G.P.A. are just a bit lower than your requirements?
The requirements for admission into the joint-degree program are very strict. Students whose scores do not meet the minimum requirements cannot be admitted to the program.
- What if I cannot maintain the requirements to transition from the B.A./B.S. degree to the M.D. program?
The requirements to maintain eligibility to transition to the M.D. portion of the program are very strict. You must obtain all of the required grades and take all of the prerequisite courses. Even if your cumulative G.P.A. is just slightly below the minimum requirement, you cannot continue in the program. You also cannot retake or repeat courses to improve your grades in a specific course or your cumulative G.P.A.
If you do not maintain the requirements needed to transition to the M.D. portion of the program, you are still eligible to apply to the SOM; the main difference is you will no longer be offered a guaranteed interview. However, you will still benefit from the fact that the SOM will enroll at least 25 percent of each incoming class exclusively from Seton Hall University.
- Are there scholarships available?
Significant scholarships are available for the undergraduate portion of the program during the first four years. Many of these scholarships are automatically awarded to students upon admission to Seton Hall University.
Students will not find out about scholarship offers from the School of Medicine until they are offered admission to the SOM. However, the SOM will offer generous scholarships to many students. In fact, Hackensack Meridian Health has established a $100-million endowment fund to support scholarships for students attending the School of Medicine.
- What is the best academic major for me to pursue as an undergraduate?
Students can major in any subject during the course of their undergraduate study. The SOM has no requirement for a specific academic major as long as all of the prerequisite courses have been taken. The prerequisite courses do include several courses in the sciences, which would correspond nicely with majoring in a science such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry or physics. However, majoring in a science is not required. Students with interest in other subjects will be able to pursue a degree in another discipline and still take the required prerequisites. This may require taking a minor or a double major or some extra credits over the summer. Students in this program are advised to work closely with their academic adviser and plan proactively with their intended major in mind.
- Will AP courses or college credits earned during high school be accepted?
Students who have earned a 4 or 5 on an AP exam and/or higher-level IB scores of grade 6 or higher will receive credit at Seton Hall for these courses. Similarly, students who took college credits during high school can submit college transcripts for these courses and earn credit if they earned a C or better. While you may earn credit for these courses, they may not necessarily waive the course requirements for your degree. This will depend on which academic major you choose and the rules of this specific academic department.
- What if I take longer than four years to complete my B.A./B.S. degree or took a leave of absence during my studies?
You can still continue to transition to the M.D. portion of the program as long as the G.P.A. requirements, course grades and other conditions are still met. It is not required that you complete your degree in four years, but it is ideal. Please also keep in mind that undergraduate scholarships cannot be extended beyond four years and require continuous full-time enrollment. In addition, please note that the SOM begins classes in July. So, if you graduate in January (4 ½ years or 3 ½ years), you will need to wait to begin coursework at the SOM until July.
- Can students in the Pre-Med/Pre-Dent Plus apply to this program?
Yes, students enrolled in the state-funded Pre-Med/Pre-Dent Plus program can also apply to the joint M.D. program. All admission requirements and program standards remain the same.
- Why is New Jersey residency a requirement and how do I establish this for the purposes of this program if I am not currently a resident?
The Hackensack Meridian Health Network is most interested in providing seats in the School of Medicine to students who are most likely to remain committed to their health network and seek employment there upon completion of their M.D. program. To meet this condition, residency in New Jersey can be established by obtaining a New Jersey driver's license or State ID and complying with the State requirements needed to issue this credential. You must do this before you apply to the School of Medicine.
- Can International Students enroll in this program?
Unfortunately, international students cannot be admitted to this program. You must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident to enroll in the program.
- 25 percent of the seats in the School of Medicine are set aside for Seton Hall graduates, will this entire 25 percent come from the joint bachelor's/MD program?
It is anticipated that the majority of the students who fill the 25 percent of Seton Hall's guaranteed seats in the School of Medicine will come directly from the Joint MD program. However, other Seton Hall graduates who were not initially enrolled at Seton Hall through the Joint MD program may also compete for these seats. However, it is only the students in the Joint MD program that are guaranteed an interview.