Early Careers in Medicine - The University of Tulsa
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Early Careers in Medicine

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The Early Careers in Medicine (ECM) program provides highly qualified undergraduate students at The University of Tulsa with a unique opportunity to pursue an early provisional acceptance into the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine program, leading to an M.D. degree.

Students may apply for the ECM program as early as their senior year in high school. Only five freshmen may enter this prestigious program each year.

To be eligible for the ECM program, students must meet the application requirements. Finalists for the ECM program will be interviewed by representatives from both TU and OU.

ECM students must enroll in both a major and a minor concentration program. Students may select any major and any minor at TU.

ECM students must meet or exceed the MCAT and GPA score of the previous year’s entering medical school class in order to be granted provisional acceptance without an interview. Students who do not meet that standard may still be considered through the traditional admission path as delineated by OU College of Medicine.

In order to be admitted to OU College of Medicine, provisionally accepted applicants must meet all academic and professional requirements and standards as defined by the OU-COM policy. They also must submit a completed application through the American Medical College Application Service and meet all deadlines prior to matriculation. Provisionally accepted applicants may matriculate through the Oklahoma City or Tulsa track.

For more information on this transformative program, please contact Jeffrey Alderman, Associate Professor of Community Medicine at jeffrey-alderman@utulsa.edu.

Benefits of provisional acceptance to OU College of Medicine

  • Interview process for medical school complete upon acceptance into the program if academic standards are met upon graduation from TU.
  • Undergraduate participation alongside medical students in the OU School of Community Medicine Summer Institute, which provides students and faculty an in-depth look at the health needs of the Tulsa area.
  • 1:1 advising by TU and OU faculty
  • Participation in a pre-med undergraduate honors program


For more information on this transformative program, please contact Jeffrey Alderman, MD, MS, Assistant Dean for Medical Education at jeffrey-alderman@utulsa.edu.


  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the benefits of the ECM program?

    The major benefit is that after graduating from TU, you may attend the OU College of Medicine (Tulsa or Oklahoma City campuses) without the need to apply or interview again. You will also receive personalized pre-medical advising from the ECM faculty director and join a tight-knit group of like-minded students on the TU campus. Each month, ECM students meet over dinner with the faculty director to discuss current topics in healthcare and medicine.

    If I’m accepted into the ECM program, am I committing myself to attending the OU College of Medicine in Tulsa or Oklahoma City?

    No. ECM students are free to apply to any medical college they choose. However, there is no guaranteed acceptance to medical school outside of the OU College of Medicine.

    What are the differences between the Tulsa and Oklahoma City programs?

    Except geographically, there’s little difference between the two campuses. One hundred and fifty students enroll into the Oklahoma City program and approximately 35 students begin the Tulsa program each year. Tulsa does place additional emphasis on community medicine, but the curricula, board exam scores, and residency placement rates are identical between Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

    Is my spot at the OU College of Medicine guaranteed when I graduate from TU? Could I lose my spot?

    Remember that ECM is an early assurance program. To guarantee your spot at OU, you must achieve a Science-GPA that is equivalent to the average Science-GPA achieved by incoming enrollees into the OU College of Medicine. Over the past few years, that number has been ~3.75 on a 4-point scale. Additionally, all ECM students must take the MCAT exam – and achieve a score that matches the average result achieved by incoming enrollees into the OU College of Medicine. Over the past several years, that score has been ~510.

    Am I required to major in Biology?

    No, you can major in any subject on campus you like. If you love biology, then you should certainly major in that subject. However, feel free to major in English, Chemical Engineering, Music, etc. We encourage you to follow your passion! Increasingly, more pre-medical students are leaning away from the natural sciences – as long as they satisfy all requirements for medical school admission.

    Must I have a minor at TU?

    Yes, in addition to having a major, all ECM students must declare a minor as well. You may minor in any subject you like.

    I’m not from Oklahoma. Will I become a resident of the state so I can pay cheaper in-state tuition rates at the OU College of Medicine?

    Oklahoma has enacted strict laws on what determines residency in the state. Just attending a university in the state is not enough – you are expected to maintain a domicile, earn income and/or pay taxes to establish residency. You may click here for more information on Oklahoma residency requirements.

    Can I complete my courses at TU within 3 or 3 ½ years?

    You may consider graduating from TU early – but we caution against this. College is a time of academic, personal, and emotional growth. Caring for patients is an awesome responsibility that requires a scientific background and a well-developed, humanistic character. While you can complete your science requirements in a compressed timeframe, gaining emotional maturity often takes longer – which is what ultimately separates good doctors from mediocre ones. Plus, as a liberal arts university – TU offers a rich variety of classes that you should take full advantage of, especially before enrolling into medical school where few elective opportunities will exist.

    How will taking AP/IB courses bolster my chances for acceptance into the ECM program?

    We always like to see ECM applicants challenge themselves by taking advanced courses while in high school. But a word of caution: some students wish to use their AP Chemistry, AP Physics, or equivalent IB credits to substitute for college courses. Because these classes are considered pre-medical requirements, most medical schools prefer completion of college-level inorganic chemistry and general physics – even if you have pre-existing credits. You can certainly apply your AB/BC calculus credits from high school, but we strongly urge you to take additional quantitative science classes (advanced math, statistics, etc.) during your undergraduate years to remain competitive for medical school – especially if you’re looking beyond OU.

    What are my chances of securing a spot in the ECM program?

    Each year we receive dozens of applications and interview approximately 20 candidates. Ultimately, we can only choose five applicants to matriculate into the ECM program.

    When are ECM interviews held?

    For the upcoming year, interviews will be held virtually on Monday, February 19, 2024.  On the interview day, you will likely meet with three interviewers, made up of TU and OU College of Medicine faculty.

    I interviewed with the ECCM faculty and received word I was ‘waitlisted.’ What are my chances now?

    It depends. Some years, we have had every candidate on the waitlist gain an ECM spot, and in other years, no one comes off the waitlist. So much depends on the qualifications of the candidates we interview, and who ultimately chooses to enroll at TU.

    What if I decide I don’t want to be a doctor after all?

    That’s perfectly fine! You are not expected to know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life as a young adult. Some students ultimately decide to pursue alternative careers – but your membership in the ECM program and access to specialized advising will persist during your four years at TU, no matter what you decide.

  • Eligibility Requirements

    To be considered for the ECM program, applicants must meet one or more of the following eligibility requirements. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply.

    • National Merit Semifinalists who list The University of Tulsa as School of Choice with National Merit Scholarship Corporation
    • National Hispanic Scholars who rank in the top 10% of their graduating class
    • Students who either
      • Rank in the top 5% of their graduating class OR
      • Have at least a 4.0 weighted grade point average
    • In addition to meeting one of the above requirements, students must submit an ACT or SAT. While there is no specific minimum score required, we are typically looking for students who score in the top 5% on either test.
  • Application Requirements
    • Submit a completed University of Tulsa application by February 1.
    • Submit a completed Early Careers in Medicine application by February 1. You will need your username and password from your TU application for admission to log in.
    • Submit a letter of recommendation from a community member or educator who is familiar with the student’s commitment to service and learning by February 1. Letters of recommendation should be emailed to apply@utulsa.edu with the subject line ECM Letter of Recommendation and include the student’s name.

    The top 15-20 applicants will be selected to interview on February 19, 2024. Selections for program will be made by early April 2024.

  • Medical School Pre-Requisites

    Science and Math

    • BIOL 1603/1611
    • BIOL 1703/1711
    • BIOL 2124/2120
    • CHEM 1013/1011
    • CHEM 1023/2021
    • CHEM 3013/3011
    • CHEM 3023/3021
    • PHYS 1013/1011 OR PHYS 2053/2051 (the latter requires Calculus I)
    • PHYS 1023/1021 OR PHYS 2063/2061 (the latter requires Calculus II)
    • MATH: Variable, from no requirement to MATH 2014 + MATH 2024

    ENG 1033 and 3003 (or equivalents) Other: Variable, various social sciences highly recommended; science or math majors generally use BLOCK II courses to fulfill these pre-requisites (see below)


    Science and Math

    • CHEM 4133
    • BIOL 3xxx or BIOL 4xxx


    • SOC 1033
    • PSY 2253
    • STAT 2013