e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

ESF, Upstate Partner on Accelerated Scholars Program Students who meet undergrad requirements guaranteed admission to medical school10/22/2019


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) has signed an agreement with Upstate Medical University to join Upstate Accelerated Scholars Program, a guaranteed medical school entrance program available to undergraduate applicants starting in fall 2020.

ESF is among a growing list of schools that have signed to partner with Upstate's Accelerated Scholars Program.

Students admitted to the program and who continue to meet all the course and GPA conditions during their undergraduate studies will automatically be accepted for medical school at Upstate. This eliminates the need to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and costly applications to multiple schools to try to secure admissions into a program.

This is a rigorous program, and students need to meet certain requirements before being considered for acceptance. Students need to apply to both ESF and the Accelerated Scholars Program while still in high school. Students will also notify ESF admissions of their intention to apply, so they can receive assistance with the application process. Incoming qualifications include a 3.5 or 90 percent high-school GPA, combined SAT scores of at least 1360 or composite ACT of 29, and extracurricular activities that document experience in a healthcare setting and a commitment to community service.

Students admitted to both ESF for their bachelor's degree program and the Accelerated Scholars Program who continue to meet coursework and GPA requirements and complete additional programs at Upstate during their undergraduate studies will automatically be accepted for medical school at Upstate. Students will meet with the pre-med advisor after acceptance at ESF, to decide on their major while at ESF, as five different majors from three departments can meet the requirements of the program.

"The ESF-Upstate Accelerated Scholars Program provides another avenue for our students to find ways to improve their world, this time through healthcare fields. There is a clear connection between the degradation of environmental systems and negative impacts on human health and so it makes complete sense that some of ESF's students would be interested in the intersection between the environment and human health," said Dr. David Amberg, ESF interim president. "We have had a strong research collaboration with Upstate in environmental health and medicine for several years and so it is a natural progression to look at joint educational programs in this critical area."

"Students have long come to ESF to earn their bachelor of science degree before applying to medical school," noted Dr. Lee Newman, associate professor in ESF's Department and Forest Biology. "ESF offers many majors that allow students to meet this career goal. However, this program adds an extra level of incentive for students to choose ESF for their undergraduate degree. This program gives students the secure knowledge of admission into the medical school, so they can focus all their efforts on earning good grades and time to put into volunteer programs that will benefit them as medical professionals, without the worry of having to go through the application process"

"We are very excited about our agreement with ESF as it is a great way to expose ESF undergraduates to a variety of graduate-level opportunities at Upstate," said Krystal Ripa, director of special admissions programs at Upstate. "The Accelerated Scholars Program creates a clear pathway for an ESF student to avoid the stress of applying to medical school and go on to a high-caliber medical school that is right next door. Students from ESF also have an extraordinary understanding of environmental initiatives from their undergraduate years, which has the potential to enhance the field of medicine and greatly aligns with Upstate's goal to be more environmentally friendly."

Ripa notes that the summer programs, available to Upstate Accelerated Scholars students centered around the Association of American Medical College's Premedical Competencies, focus on skills needed for success in medical training, such as critical thinking, effective communication and cultural competency, among others. Undergraduates will also be able to connect and build community with their future medical student colleges on social media and through on-campus opportunities, including interaction with mentors who are currently enrolled in medical school.