General Information

What is the MED program?

The MED program is a demanding academic preparatory program for minority and underrepresented students with an intensive curriculum that mimics the first semester of medical and dental school. The program enhances your studying and testing skills and strengthens your sciences to prepare you adequately to begin medical or dental school. Participants take courses in Biochemistry, Gross Anatomy, Histology, Microbiology, Physiology, and Dental Theory (if applicable). Only students interested in dentistry take the Dental Theory component. The Dental Theory portion of MED is held at Durham Technical Community College, students are responsible for their transportation to and from. Your performance in MED is a good indicator of your potential for success in these fields of study.

How long is the program and when/where is the program held?

The program is tentatively planned for nine (9) weeks and will run next year from May 25, 2020 through July 25, 2020. It is held on the campus of UNC – Chapel Hill at the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.

What is the typical daily schedule?

Classes and professional sessions are scheduled Monday – Friday, 8:00 – 6:00 pm daily with study review sessions on Saturday. Participants are in class for the full time most days. All scheduled sessions are required, unless indicated by the program staff. A typical weekly schedule would resemble the following: (Note: Not a final schedule)


8:00-9:30am Quiz #1 Biochemistry & Microbiology

9:30-10:00am Quiz Feedback

10:00-10:50am Microbiology

11:00am-12:00pm Microbiology

1:00-2:30pm Microbiology Lab

2:30-4:00pm Cultural Competence and Health Disparities Seminar

4:00-6:00pm Simulation Course


8:00-11:00am Microbiology

1:00-2:45pm Biochemistry

3:00-5:00pm Dental Theory


8:00-9:45am Biochemistry

1:00-2:30pm Microbiology

2:45-4:45 Biochemistry Small Groups


8:00-10:50am Microbiology

11:30am-1:15pm Biochemistry

2:30-4:00pm Professionalism Seminar

5:00-6:00pm Dental Theory


8:00-9:45am Biochemistry

10:00 – 11:00am Microbiology

1:00 – 3:00pm Microbiology Lab


9:00am–12:00pm Review Session

Can you miss any days of MED?

Students accepted into the MED Program are expected to be present for the full duration of the program. Absences are excused in the event of personal illness or extenuating circumstances. However, extended absence from the program will hinder performance as the program is rigorous and has weekly examinations without time for making up missed work and further participation in the program will be left to the discretion of the Director.

How many people apply each year?

Over 300 applications are completed each year.

How many people are chosen each year?

The program accepts 90 applicants in total. Seventy (70) applicants are accepted for the medical component and twenty (20) for the dental component.

When are selections made?

Applicants should expect notification about the status of their application during the first week of April.

Is there a waitlist?


Is the waitlist ranked?


Are there interviews?



What is the amount of the stipend?

The amount of the taxable stipend is ~$2400, which is distributed in two installments of $1600 and $800 at 21 day intervals. These funds are intended to help subsidize the cost of meals, transportation, and general living expenses. Housing and other program materials are provided by the MED Program.

Are accommodations provided?

The program pays for participant housing in an on-campus dormitory. Participants must bring all personal items. Furniture is provided in the dormitory (bed, dresser, and desk included).

Applying to the Program

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must have completed at least three years of college course work including Organic Chemistry (Part 1) and possess a strong background in the major biological and physical sciences that are preparation for medical and dental school. A cumulative science GPA of 2.75 or higher is highly recommended. Criteria for selection are based on a number of factors, including educational promise, a strong commitment to a health career, and lack of past opportunities. You must be considered disadvantaged in some way to be eligible. Refer to question below regarding disadvantaged status for clarification. The program is designed for rising seniors in undergraduate school and post-graduates. There is no age limit and you do not have to currently be enrolled in school. As long as you fulfill the requirements of the program, your application will be considered with the same consideration as other applicants.

What is the definition of underrepresented, in terms of being eligible for the MED Program?

The definition for underrepresented status is any student who is considered educationally, economically, or socially disadvantaged within the USA. Examples of each are as follows:

Education: Attending schools that are considered disadvantaged in ranking or are located in under-served areas of the state (such as Eastern & Western NC)

Economic: Low family income and individual income

Social: A member of certain groups that are considered underrepresented in the medical/dental professions, such as African-American, American Indian, Hispanic or Pacific Islander.

Non-traditional students: An older applicant may be considered non-traditional, as well as students with military background and students who are changing their career path.

Can out-of-state applicants apply?

Yes, non-North Carolina residents are encouraged to apply. Each summer approximately one-third of the participants are from other states.

Are international/foreign students eligible?

Eligible: US Citizens or Permanent Resident Alien (green card)

Ineligible: Any visa type that is NOT Permanent Resident Alien

Are current medical/dental applicants eligible?

Yes, students currently applying to medical and dental schools are able to apply. If you have completed the AMCAS or the AADSAS application and applied to either UNC School of Medicine or Dentistry, you should email our office at or requesting release of your application, including letters of recommendation and transcripts to our program. Please provide your application ID and name. You will still need to complete the online MED application and submit financial information (if applicable) by the deadline.

What if I am a re-applicant to the MED program?

Re-applicants are eligible to apply. Re-applicants should notate on the online application that their previous year’s application be added to the current year application. From your previous application, your picture, essay, transcript and letters of recommendation can be used for the current year’s application. However, re-applicants must still complete and submit the following items:

1. Current online MED Application

               2. Updated Transcripts

3. One new additional letter of recommendation.


Completing The Application

When do applications become available?

Applications for the 2020 MED cycle will be available Wednesday, October 16th, 2019.

Where are applications available?

Applications will be available via the website.

What is the deadline for submission of the application and supplemental materials?

The online application as well as letters of recommendation and CV/Resume should be uploaded in the system by January 14, 2020 and transcripts should be post marked by January 14, 2020.

Academic Background

What is the minimum overall GPA? 2.75

What is the minimum science GPA required? 2.75

What courses should be included in the science GPA?

ALL Biology, Chemistry, Math, and Physics courses should be included. This includes courses in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Genetics, Physics, and Mathematics. Courses in Psychology, Sociology, Public Health, etc should not be included. Courses should also be included that were taken at other institutions and during postgraduate work.

How do I calculate my science GPA?

Tally all your math and sciences courses to determine an average. We will do the official calculations for our purposes.

What are the Organic Chemistry requirements?

Our program requires one level of Organic Chemistry because students are at a disadvantage in the Biochemistry course if they have not successfully completed the first session when doing our program. This requirement is met with successfully passing Organic Chemistry I with a “C: or higher.

What does it mean to have a “strong background in the physical sciences”?

This means you have taken and successfully completed (a grade of B or higher) classes in the biological and physical sciences.

What if there is not enough space on the application to list all of my science courses?

You can submit an additional list to our office, but this is not required or necessary, as all of your courses are listed on your transcript(s).

What does it mean to explain grade discrepancies?

In this section, you should explain any poor performance in courses, repeated courses, course withdrawals, etc.


Which transcripts should be submitted?

Official transcripts only, in a signed sealed envelope from ALL institutions that you have ever attended to be sent in a single packet with the other requested items to our office. This includes summer session courses and bi-institutional programs, such as the Robertson Scholar’s Program. Please note, you do not need to submit any community college transcripts with ONLY non-science courses; if a science course(s) was completed, you must submit an official transcript.

Should I send a transcript if the courses were transferred to my primary institution?

Yes. Even if you received transfer credit for courses taken at an institution, you still need to send an official transcript from the other institution. Grades and credit hours for transferred courses do not routinely appear on primary institution transcripts.

What is the deadline for transcripts?

All transcripts should be postmarked by the application deadline date of Tuesday, January 14, 2020 along with all the other requested information. Please realize that it can take weeks for registrars to process transcript requests, so please allow sufficient time to meet the deadline.

What if the transcript cannot be postmarked by Tuesday, January 14, 2020?

You should contact the MED program by telephone or email to inform us. Then you should submit unofficial copies the transcript(s) by Tuesday, January 14, 2020. Please note that official transcripts are still required and should be submitted (by mail) as soon as possible. Delay in receiving your transcripts can delay review of your application.

Letters of Recommendation

Who should write my letters of recommendation?

Two academic letters of recommendation are required. At least one of your required letters of recommendation should be from a science professor who knows you academically/professionally, who is able to speak on your academic standing, and your ability/suitability to pursue a degree in Medicine and Dentistry. The best letters of recommendation are personal, and thus should come from people who you know well and that know you well. A third letter from a non-academic person can also be submitted for additional support.

What format should they submit the letters of recommendation?

A standard formal letter is appropriate. It can be addressed to the “MED Program Admissions Committee.” The letter should be uploaded to your application via you the upload link on your application homepage.  Once you have completed and submitted the application return to the homepage and you will find the upload link.  A link will be sent to your letter writer and they will be able to upload it to your application.

Financial Information

Do I need to submit financial documentation?

You are only required to submit financial documentation if you claim socioeconomic disadvantaged status. If you do not claim socioeconomic disadvantage status, you have the option to submit financial documentation if you deem it a necessary supplemental to your application.

What financial documentation should I submit?

The only acceptable forms of financial documentation are the Student Aid Report (SAR) compiled from your most current FAFSA application or IRS Tax Forms (not W-2 Forms). You should submit the most current financial documentation available.

– If you are an undergraduate/graduate student, who is claimed by their parents/guardian, then submit a copy of the most current year SAR and/or your parents/guardian tax forms (not W-2s)

– If you are an undergraduate/graduate student, who is not claimed by their parents/guardian, then submit a copy of the most current year SAR.

– If you not currently an undergraduate/graduate student and are working, who is not claimed by their parents/guardian, then submit a copy of your most current year IRS Income Tax Return forms (not W-2s).

What is the most current year financial information?

In order to most accurately assess economic disadvantaged status, the most current available financial information should be submitted. For example, if you are applying for the MED program for the summer of 2020, then the 2016-17 or 2018-19 SAR or 2018 or 2019 Tax Forms would be acceptable.

How do I know if I am independent or dependent?

You are considered independent if you were not or will not be claimed on anyone’s taxes. You are considered dependent if you were or will be claimed on another’s taxes.

What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?

The SAR is a summary of the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA applications are available online at are used to assess financial need. Do not send a copy of the FAFSA. Several days after submitting your FAFSA, you will be able to access a SAR, which should be mailed to our office.

What if I do not fill out the FAFSA?

If you are no longer in school, a copy of your 2018 or 2019 Income Tax Return will suffice for our records. If you are claimed as a dependent on your parent(s) taxes, you must also submit a copy of their income tax returns for 2018 or 2019.

Can I just indicate on my FAFSA that I want it to be sent to UNC-CH?

No. The Office of Special Programs is a distinct office separate from the Undergraduate campus. Therefore, we will not receive documents sent to UNC-CH. Please mail the SAR directly to our office or upload via the MED online application.

Supplemental Materials

Where should I send my transcripts? Send all supplemental materials to:

UNC School of Medicine
Office of Special Programs
c/o MED Program
41 MacNider Hall, CB#7530
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7530

Please remember to include your name on ALL materials submitted to the program.

Checking Status of the Materials

How do I check the status of received transcripts?

Our office staff will contact you if any materials are missing from your file as the application deadline nears.