NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Nine Rutgers University students have begun a pre-medical school program that ensures entrance to medical school and allows them to pursue studies and degree outside of science.

Initiated this fall, the 4 + 4 program offered to students in the Honors College will guarantee them a seat at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as long as they maintain a required minimum grade-point average and fulfill all requirements for a pre-med course.

Additionally, the undergraduates have the time and opportunity to study other majors. One student would be able to pursue a fine arts degree, and another student will study music production and learn Japanese while also in a track studying to be and ear nose and throat doctor, the university said.

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Students admitted to the program and able to kep up their grades will be spared from studying for and taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Eliminating the MCAT saves each student an estimated $3,000 in preparation and test fees, and likely hundreds of hours of study time, Rutgers officials say. 

As described by the university, the program is intended to help pre-med students develop the skills most valued by medical schools, including interdisciplinary learning, broad-based critical thinking,  teamwork and a global perspective, skills often developed in humanities, fine arts and other studies outside the pre-med sciences.

The program is open to Honors College students who are first-year recipients of a Rutgers Presidential Scholarship.

Included in the program is a collaboration with the Rutgers Global Health Institute, which explores health around the world and methods to improve conditions access to care.