Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: What is the TCNJ/New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) 7-Year Combined BS/MD Program?
Answer: It is a joint undergraduate-medical degree program in which a student spends three years at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in an approved major, and four additional years at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS). Approved undergraduate majors currently include biology, biomedical engineering, chemistry, economics, engineering science, mathematics, English, history, philosophy, physics, and Spanish. Upon successful completion of the first year of medical school (year four), the student is granted the BS or BA degree in the chosen undergraduate major from TCNJ. The MD degree is awarded after successful completion of the program in the seventh year by NJMS.
Question: What is the deadline for applying to this program?
Answer: The deadline is December 1st of the year preceding the year in which the student would begin the program. Thus, the current deadline is December 1, 2017, for students wishing to begin the program in the Fall of 2018.
Question: Does AP credit and previous college coursework count toward the completion of undergraduate requirements at TCNJ?
Answer: Yes, but with certain qualifications: The AP credit and college course(s) must be deemed equivalent to courses required by the college or major; the credit equivalency is applied to introductory, entry-level courses only (with the exception of Foundations of Biological Inquiry, which cannot be exempted by AP credit); and at least 8 classes of approved science coursework are completed at TCNJ.
Question: During the 3-year undergraduate program at TCNJ, is the credit load per semester greater than in normal 4-year undergraduate programs, and are summer courses required?
Answer: No, the semester load is the same as that of other full-time TCNJ students. For Biology majors, the only course taken earlier than normal is Biology Seminar, a 4-credit, journal-based course usually populated by seniors. No summer classes are needed as long as the curriculum is followed. There is a required summer research program at NJMS or another research university to be completed no later than the summer immediately prior to the first year of medical school (summer of year three in the 7-Year program).
Question: Is there an admissions quota, and how many Seven-Year students are currently enrolled at TCNJ?
Answer: Usually, about 20 freshmen enroll in the Seven-Year Medical program at TCNJ. There is currently a cohort of about 60 students enrolled over the three-year program at TCNJ who will continue to NJMS.
Question: What is the retention criterion for the 7-Year program?
Answer: To remain in the program, students must:
- Complete the three-year undergraduate curriculum at TCNJ in an approved major, and earn a 3.5 (B+) cumulative and science average GPA EACH semester;
- Earn a B or better in each of the basic science courses required by the Medical School (Foundations of Biological Inquiry, General Chemistry I/II, Organic Chemistry I/II, and Physics I/II);
- Earn no grade below a C in any course;
- Take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) no later than the SPRING of the third (and last) year at TCNJ. There is no minimum score required; and
- If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must obtain U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status by the time you ENTER NJMS.
Question: Is this program the only pathway to medical school from The College of New Jersey?
Answer: No it is not! For over 30 years our graduating seniors have been successfully admitted to a wide variety of US medical schools. The vast majority of our pre-meds are NOT in the Seven-Year program. Over the last five years, about 75% of traditional medical school applicants from TCNJ have gained entry into one or more US medical schools. (i.e., Case Western, Duke, Dartmouth, Drexel, University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, Jefferson, University of Virginia, University of Maryland, University of Alabama, Tulane, Mt. Sinai, Einstein, NY Medical College, SUNY-Syracuse, Temple, NYU, Pennsylvania State-Hershey, Columbia, Washington University and of course, New Jersey Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School).
We also participate in the Early Assurance Program with SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine, in which highly qualified students apply as sophomores, and accepted students finish the four-year degree at TCNJ without having to take the MCAT. New York state residency status can be earned by the start of your second year at the medical school (in-state tuition is significantly more affordable). For more information on this program, visit www.smbs.buffalo.edu/ome.
Our mission is not only to prepare the pre-med for success in the application process, but, more importantly, to prepare our students for success in medical school and beyond.
Question: What are the MINIMUM academic eligibility requirements to apply for admission to the TCNJ 7-Year Medical Program?
Answer: The following are the MINIMUM academic eligibility requirements to apply:
- Standardized Test Scores: Students must have a minimum SAT score of 1500 on the Reading and Math sections from ONE TEST DATE. No exceptions will be made. (The test may be taken more than once, but the combined score must be from one sitting.) For students entering in the Fall of 2017 ONLY, scores from either the new SAT or the old SAT will be accepted. Alternatively, a 33 or higher composite ACT score AND rank in the top 5% of their high school class may substitute for the SAT. However, if the SAT is taken, this score will also be considered. (The incoming class of 2015 had an average SAT I score of 1550+, SAT II scores of 730+, and average ACT scores of 35.)
- High School academic achievements: Applicants must be in the top 5% of their class, and/or have an unweighted GPA of 4.5 or 95% depending on how the school evaluates achievement. You should have participated in school, community or other activities that demonstrate service and leadership. You should also have had good exposure to medicine and/or healthcare. While SAT II and AP tests are optional, many of our accepted students have taken many of these examinations.
Question: What is the process for applying to the College’s seven-year medical program?
Answer: Students should apply to The College of New Jersey’s Seven-Year Medical program utilizing the common application (usually available by late July) available at www.tcnj.edu/~admiss and indicate as their first choice the Seven-Year Program in the preferred major area of study (i.e., Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Math, English, etc.). Additionally, the student may want to indicate regular admittance to a four-year program of study at TCNJ as a second choice, should the student not be selected for the Seven-Year program. If financial aid will be needed, please indicate that on the common application as well, as all financial aid for accepted students to the Seven-Year Medical program MUST be initiated by the common application process.
School Status upon admissions: Applicant must be a high school senior. It is not possible to transfer into this program from other colleges or from other 3 or 4-year programs within The College of New Jersey. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be eligible to be interviewed for the Seven-Year program. The first interview is with a Medical Career Advisor at TCNJ (telephone interviews are available only for applicants living distantly in another state). Assuming this interview is favorable, you will then be considered for a later interview with a New Jersey Medical School Admissions representative in Newark, New Jersey. This interview must be done in-person, regardless of home location. The final admission determination is made by New Jersey Medical School. There is no early decision process for the Seven-Year Medical program. There is, however, an early decision process for the college (please contact admissions for that application deadline).
Admittance to Program: The admission process is not finalized until the first week in April. Dr. Shevlin, the Seven-Year Program Director at TCNJ, will notify the accepted students once the list has been received from NJMS. PLEASE NOTE: There is no wait-list, nor are there subsequent rounds of admission to this program.
Please attempt to submit your application when all standardized test scores have been taken. Your application must be postmarked by the December 1 deadline. State of residence has NO bearing on your admissions to the Seven-Year program. You must however, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident by the time you enter medical school.
Question: What is a typical numeric breakdown of the high school senior applicant pool for the Seven-Year Medical program at TCNJ?
# of students who apply 400
# of students academically eligible to interview 200
# of students who receive an interview at TCNJ 100
# of students who receive an interview at NJMS 80
# of students who are accepted into the Seven-Year Program 40
# of students who enter program Fall semester 20
Recent average SAT of accepted students 1534
Recent average GPA of accepted students (Unweighted) 4.72 or 100.05%
Question: Who makes the final admissions decision for acceptance into the Seven-Year Medical Program?
Answer: The Rutgers NJMS Admissions Committee makes the final decision, based on the student’s common application and attachments, and evaluation of both interviews.
Question: What financial aid is available at TCNJ?
Answer: Financial Aid and Scholarship monies are awarded through the Admissions Office and the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Please contact these departments for further information.
- Admissions: Trenton Hall, Room 228; (609) 771-2131; http://admissions.pages.tcnj.edu/
- Student Financial Assistance: Green Hall, Room 101; (609) 771-2211; http://financialaid.pages.tcnj.edu/
Question: What are the housing opportunities The College of New Jersey for the Seven-Year students?
Answer: All students admitted to the Seven-Year program are guaranteed on-campus housing during their entire three years at TCNJ.
Question: If I am not accepted to the TCNJ Seven-Year Program, what is the fate of my application?
Answer: Your college application is still processed by TCNJ Admissions if you have indicated a second-choice major on the Common Application. You will be considered for admittance to the major of your choice, financial aid and all other offerings. Please note that the average freshman accepted to The College of New Jersey is in the top 7% of their graduating class and has an average SAT score of about 1300 in critical reading and math.
Question: How can I tour The College of New Jersey including the Biology Department and dormitories?
Answer: Visit http://www.tcnj.edu/visitors.html or simply log onto www.tcnj.edu, and select Visitors and Community under Resources on the lower left hand box. Either site will direct you to the Campus Tours link, maps, directions and other important information.
Question: If I am accepted to the Seven-Year Medical program at TCNJ/NJMS, must I attend NJMS (in Newark, New Jersey)?
Answer: You are free to withdraw from the Seven-Year program at any time during your three years at the College of New Jersey. The medical school, of course, will then withdraw its guarantee. During your fourth year at TCNJ, you may apply to any medical school you wish. Your medical school acceptance will be based on the regular criteria: cumulative GPA, MCAT scores, letters of recommendation, medical school interviews and experience.
Our Medical Careers Advisory Committee consists of seven science faculty members (Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology) who offer personalized advisement on all aspects of pre-medical preparation. In addition, we have an in-house MCAT prep course and local chapter of AMSA (American Medical Student Association), both of which are valuable resources for the pre-medical student. The AMSA chapter sponsors presentations by health career students and practitioners, and tours of area health professional schools, engages in charity fund-raising, and offers peer and faculty advisement on all phases of pre-medical preparation.
Note: Students formerly in the Seven-year program with good MCAT scores and grades have successfully applied to other medical schools during their junior year (i.e., Temple, Robert Wood Johnson, University of Texas-San Antonio, SUNY Syracuse, Washington University and Duke University). Seven-year students must officially declare their intention to matriculate at NJMS or to withdraw from the Seven-Year Program before December of their Junior year.
Admissions Office: 609.771.2131 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Aid Office: 609.771.2211 or email@example.com
Student Housing Office: 609.771.2301 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Program Director: Dr. Dennis Shevlin, email@example.com
Medical Careers at TCNJ: 609.771.2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org*
*December through February is our busiest time. Returning phone calls and e-mail messages often takes a week or more during this period.