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Frequently Asked Questions About the Tulane Accelerated Physician Training Program (TAP-TP)

  1. What is TAP-TP?
  2. Who is eligible to apply?
  3. How do I apply to the program?
  4. When will I be notified of the application committee’s decision?
  5. Is financial aid available for the program?
  6. Can I drop out if I decide I do not want to continue in the program?
  7. Is the Public Service component Mandatory?
  8. How many people can be accepted into the program each year?
  9. Do I have to be a science major to be in the program?
  10. When do I receive my undergraduate degree?
  11. Is there a minimum GPA required?
  12. Are MCATs required?
  13. How will the first year of medical school courses be applied to the degrees?

1. What is TAP-TP?

TAP-TP is a novel 2+1+4 bachelor degree/MD/public service program started at Tulane through the School of Science and Engineering (SSE) and the School of Medicine (SOM) in 2009. The program allows academically talented freshman to apply to an integrated physician-training program. The program includes two years of undergraduate study at Newcomb-Tulane College followed by a mandatory year of public service and four years of medical school at Tulane School of Medicine. Whereas there are other programs in the US that allow a student to enter an accelerated MD program, TAP-TP is unique in its public service requirement. Because medicine is a service profession, the faculty of the SSE and SOM at Tulane have incorporated a public service year into their program. During that year, students are expected to work in Southeastern Louisiana performing public service. The faculty view the public service year as a time for maturation and fulfillment of service needs. Additionally, students enrolled in TAP-TP undertake a supervised research project during medical school.

2. Who is eligible to apply?

Matriculating freshmen students enrolled in the Honors Program and who meet the admissions criteria are eligible to apply. Admissions criteria include: A score of 5 on the AP Biology exam or a score of 7 on the IB Biology exam, or by successfully completing an approved college level biology course designed for biology majors.

The undergraduate segment of the TAP-TP program is rather compressed, so additional college level course credit earned by AP credit or through completion of approved college level courses is highly desirable.  Credit for courses at another institution must be formally approved by the individual academic departments and the Registrar’s office. Your academic advisor can assist you in having your prior coursework evaluated.

3. How do I apply to the program?

Interested matriculating Honors students will fill out a brief application, which will be made available on the Pre-Health Advising website by mid-May of each year. Applications are due prior to the student’s arrival to Tulane University. Applicants will then be interviewed by faculty from the School of Science and Engineering and the School of Medicine, as well as a representative from the Office of Public Service. Interviews will take place in the first week of classes in the fall semester.

4. When will I be notified of the application committee’s decision?

Students will be notified of acceptance within 48 hours of their interview. At that time, students will work with an academic advisor to make any necessary adjustments to their class schedule for the remainder of the fall semester.

5. Is financial aid available for the program?

YES. As with other programs at Tulane, financial aid, including scholarships, is available.

6. Can I drop out if I decide I do not want to continue in the program?

YES. Students admitted to the TAP-TP program who decide to leave the program early will be able to do so without penalty. Students will continue to work closely with their academic advisor and the faculty of TAP-TP to develop an academic plan to pursue alternative paths to medical school or alternative academic interests as appropriate.

7. Is the Public Service component mandatory?

YES. The faculty considers this an essential component of the program. Tulane has a long history of public and community service, requiring community service on the medical school curriculum for over 20 years. As New Orleans is an underserved community (especially following Hurricane Katrina) and Louisiana a low income state, the marriage of an educational program and public service is a natural mix for Tulane.

8. How many people can be accepted into the program each year?

The program is limited to at most 10 undergraduate students per year.

All suitable applicants are considered for inclusion in the program. All applicants undergo a panel interview. Roughly half of applicants are typically admitted to TAP-TP.

9. Do I have to be a science major to be in the program?

YES. The program was approved as a joint B.S./M.D. degree. Further not all science majors can be completed within the program. In order to complete the rigors of an accelerated undergraduate program, the applicant must major in Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB). 

For students wishing to pursue a School of Liberal Arts major, the Tulane Creative Scholars Program may be a better option. The Creative Scholars Program allows sophomore students to apply for an early acceptance to medical school. The Creative Scholars Program requires students to major in a School of Liberal Arts concentration and to complete an honor’s thesis. Students accepted into the Creative Scholars Program begin medical school at Tulane University after completing their undergraduate degree.

10. When do I receive my undergraduate degree?

Students in TAP-TP will receive undergraduate degrees after completion of the initial two undergraduate years, the public service year and one year of medical school (after year 4).

11. Is there a minimum GPA required?

Students in TAP-TP are required to maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA at the end of each semester. If a student doesn’t meet the GPA requirement for one semester, he or she will be placed on a one-time-only one-semester probationary period to raise their GPA to the minimum requirement. Students who are unable to maintain the required GPA will not be allowed to continue in the TAP-TP program.

12. Are MCATs required?

Students in TAP-TP are required to take the MCAT after completing their first two years in the program.

13. How will the first year of medical school courses be applied to the degrees?

The first year medical school coursework is pointed towards the undergraduate AND the graduate level degree. As medical school coursework is graded Pass/Fail, the undergraduate GPA is not impacted by the credits earned.  In addition to earning elective credit for the Human Physiology course, students may satisfy the capstone requirement for the BS degree in Cell and Molecular Biology by writing a term paper on a topic relating to some aspect of human physiology.  Students planning to use this mechanism to satisfy the capstone requirement should consult with a co-director of the TAP-TP program for instructions.  All first year medical school coursework credits are to be considered as coursework at the upper division level. The Registrar's Office must manually point courses towards both degrees once the grades have been posted.



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