Medical School Admissions

Post-Baccalaureate Early Assurance Pathway

The Process

The Early Assurance Post-Baccalaureate pathway is a two-step process to admission at NEOMED in the College of Medicine as an first-year medicine student.

The pathway features a primary care focus for those who intend to practice medicine in urban health environments. Students who have or will have successfully completed a baccalaureate (often referred to as “four-year”) program of study from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in the United States prior to matriculation to medical school may be eligible to apply.

Successful candidates will enroll into a two-year, post-baccalaureate program of study at Cleveland State University. All students enrolling in the Early Assurance Post-Baccalaureate pathway should do so with the clear understanding that they must complete all the requirements of the post-baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation into the Doctor of Medicine degree program. Students must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and apply for admission through AMCAS to be eligible to matriculate to NEOMED. This pathway remains a competitive process where there are often more admissible candidates than there are seats.

Step 1

Applying for Post-Baccalaureate Early Assurance

Interested candidates should review the NEOMED admission website for important procedures and deadlines. Decisions are the result of a holistic review process that places considerable emphasis on candidates’ demonstrated abilities to thrive in medical school (including mastering high-stakes testing) through evidence-based evaluation as well as reflecting the mission of the pathway. In order to consider whether to apply for early assurance application consideration, students should consider the following application eligibility guidelines:

  • While candidates with a minimum college overall/cumulative GPA of 3.0 may be considered for postbaccalaureate early assurance, a minimum overall/cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher is required for medical school admission to NEOMED at the completion of the post-baccalaureate program. Therefore, candidates should expect to be reviewed in a holistic manner in light of their demonstrated academic achievement as to their potential to meet or exceed that admission standard following their post-baccalaureate work. Note that all GPA’s are calculated using AAMC practices which includes all graded course attempts. Any institutional academic forgiveness policies are not included in early assurance GPA calculations.
  • In a similar manner, a minimum overall/cumulative BCPM GPA of 3.4 or higher is required for all post baccalaureate coursework in the subject areas of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math for medical school admission to NEOMED. Candidates with academic backgrounds demonstrating ability to meet or exceed those requirements by the end of their post-baccalaureate enrollment may receive more favorable consideration for early assurance that those with academic records well below that level of performance. All BCPM GPA’s are calculated using AAMC practices which includes all graded course attempts. Any institutional academic forgiveness policies are not included in early assurance BCPM GPA calculations.
  • Candidates whose grade point averages may not meet the above descriptions may also offer additional evidence of preparation for the early assurance post-baccalaureate program by sitting for the MCAT and attaining a score of 492 or higher or taking the GRE and scoring a minimum of 150 on each of the verbal and quantitative GRE subtests.
  • It is rare that candidates without any science and math coursework in their undergraduate backgrounds are offered post-baccalaureate early assurance. Such candidates are encouraged to minimally complete some form of college-level science and math preparation prior to applying for early assurance.
  • Many post-baccalaureate early assurance candidates have exceptional life experience and human capital that suggests outstanding potential alignment with the mission of the Urban Health Partnership. The admission committees may weigh more recent coursework, such as grades earned within the last 5 years, more significantly than older coursework for more mature students.
  • All post-baccalaureate early assurance candidates must complete the CASPer test with scores made available to NEOMED at the time of the official transcript deadline for admission consideration. Completed applications without CASPer results shall not be eligible for interview consideration. CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program, and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing CASPer, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process. The CASPer test is comprised of 12 sections of video and written scenarios. Following each scenario, you will be required to answer a set of probing questions under a time contract. The test typically takes between 75-90 minutes to complete. Each response is graded by a different rater, giving a very robust and reliable view of personal and professional characteristics important to our program. No studying is required for CASPer, although you may want to familiarize yourself with the test structure at www.takeCASPer.com, and ensure you have a quiet environment to take the test. Please visit www.takeCASPer.com to familiarize yourself with the American Professional Health Sciences test (CSP10101). In order to take CASPer, you will be responsible for securing access to a computer with audio capabilities, a webcam, and a reliable internet connection on your selected test date. CASPer can be taken practically anywhere that you can satisfy the aforementioned requirements. No exceptions will be provided for applicants unable to take CASPer online due to being located at sites where internet is not dependable due to technical or political factors. The associated fees for taking the CASPer test are the responsibility of the student applicant.
  • Interested candidates must apply using the NEOMED early assurance application for admission via the Applicant Portal.
  • Applicants must complete the entire application and submit all required credentials by the deadline for verification (including test results and official transcripts from all previously attended colleges.) As of the time of Compass publication the application fee is $ 95.00 payable at the time of application.
  • Interviews will be granted on an invitation-only basis following application review. A successful inperson interview at NEOMED and also at Cleveland State is required prior to offer of early assurance. All interviews are conducted in person and require travel to both universities.
  • Selection into the post baccalaureate pathway is via an annual selective process. Early assurance offers will be made in the spring.

Step 2

Applying for Admission to the M.D. Program after acceptance into the Post-Baccalaureate Early Assurance Program

Note: Students currently enrolled in the Post-Baccalaureate/M.D. pathway at Cleveland State University that were admitted with an offer of provisional admission to NEOMED prior to candidates offered early assurance in 2018 should refer to their Committee on Academic and Professional Progress Phase 1 (CAPP Phase 1) requirements guide in effect at the time of their offer of provisional admission. The CAPP 1 requirements guide contains all continuation and promotion standards and processes still in effect for legacy pathway students. The following refers to Early Assurance Post-Baccalaureate pathways students who accepted offers in 2018 or later. Effective with Early Assurance pathway students that accepted offers of early assurance in 2018 or later, CAPP Phase 1 will no longer monitor the retention, promotion or dismissal of partner pathway students.

Candidates granted early assurance seat reservation through the Early Assurance Program Post-Baccalaureate pathway are required to complete the following in order to receive admission to the College of Medicine as M1 students:

  • Students must follow all AMCAS Early Assurance application procedures and deadlines.
  • Students must continue to complete post-baccalaureate coursework as prescribed by Cleveland State University.
  • Early Assurance Post-Baccalaureate students must attempt the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) at least once prior to January 31 of the preceding academic year to be eligible for admission to NEOMED. E.g. – If a student is applying for fall 2021 admission, he or she must sit for the MCAT at least once by January 31, 2021.
  • Early Assurance Post-Baccalaureate students must apply for admission through AMCAS using the Early Assurance admission plan prior to September 1 of the preceding year to be eligible for final admission to NEOMED. E.g. – If a student is applying for fall 2021 admission, he or she must apply for admission through AMCAS using the Early Assurance plan by September 1, 2020.
  • Early Assurance students must be on track to successfully complete all required pre-requisite courses with a grade of “C-” or better to apply for admission to NEOMED.
  • Early Assurance students neither re-take the CASPer test nor do they interview at the time of application for admission to NEOMED.
  • Early Assurance Post-Baccalaureate admission decisions will be made by the NEOMED College of Medicine Admissions Committee in the March meeting using academic data available in January. Candidates will receive an admission decision within approximately three weeks.
  • Early Assurance Post-Baccalaureate pathway students shall be required to meet all admission criteria, or they may not be admitted to NEOMED as M1 students. Effective 2019, the final admission decision will be made by the NEOMED College of Medicine Admissions Committee.

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