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Summer Scholars

Instructor talks with students

2025 program dates will be available in October.  The application deadline is January 10, 2025.

Application will be available in October 

Summer Scholars is a program designed for aspiring physicians from communities experiencing health care disparities or medical provider shortages. For more than 40 years, participants hailing from those communities have been selected to participate in the rigorous 5-week program, which offers an immersive experience designed to give participants a realistic introduction to the first-year curriculum at Heritage College and to foster academic, career and personal success. 

College faculty and medical students teach courses in medical morphology, histology, immunology and biochemistry. There are also workshops on the admissions process, learning strategies, time management and other areas relevant to medical school experience. 

Annually, the program accepts 24 applicants who have encountered barriers that have impeded their path to medical school but who are passionate about practicing medicine with populations and in communities where there are limited medical resources and access to health care.

Program Description

During your time in the program, you will:

  • Be introduced to osteopathic principles and practices and learn the basics of biomedical sciences
  • Experience the curriculum, including volume, pace, and rigor, as a first-year student in our Pathways to Health and Wellness Curriculum
  • Demonstrate your readiness to enter medical school on both an academic and personal level
  • Build inclusive relationships by working as part of a team with other premedical students from a variety of backgrounds

Application Guidelines

While the program benefits rising college seniors and graduates, college juniors may also apply.


  • Come from a community considered a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Area (MUA) (
  • Qualify as economically or educationally disadvantaged. More details can be found on the Summer Scholars FAQ page.
  • Two letters of recommendation from natural science faculty who taught you in class OR one letter of recommendation from a premedical/health professions advising committee.
  • Official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions you have attended
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status
    A minimum of one year each of college-level chemistry, biology, and physics

Things we consider:

  • Science GPA
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Grade trends/academic performance
  • Essay question responses
  • Interest in osteopathic medicine
  • MCAT scores (only needed if you want to participate in the guaranteed interview; not required for selection into the program)
  • Faculty evaluations
  • Preference is given to rising seniors, recent college graduates, and nontraditional premedical students

Selection decisions will be made in February.

Applicants selected for the program will be notified via email.


For more information on the Summer Scholars program, contact or visit our frequently asked questions page.