Students accepted into the Pathways to Success Pre-Admissions Program are offered acceptance into a particular entering class of the University of Missouri School of Medicine, conditional upon their achieving certain academic standards, demonstrating ongoing professional conduct, and participation in required activities. Early or late matriculation is not allowed.

To be eligible to apply for the Pathways to Success Pre-Admissions Program students must:

  • Have a planned undergraduate graduation date three academic years from the time of application
  • Show high academic achievement during high school based on cumulative GPA and ACT/SAT scores
  • Have a minimum 3.3 cumulative GPA and minimum 3.3 Math/Science GPA. Cumulative GPA and cumulative Math/Science GPA will be based on grades obtained during the entire freshman year at the University of Missouri. AP credit and dual credit is already calculated as a part of the High School GPA and therefore will not be counted twice
  • Have A or B grades in required lecture/lab courses already taken at the time of application.
  • Show evidence of leadership and interest in a variety of extracurricular activities
  •  Be full-time enrolled at the University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Be a student that is a first-generation college student, from a socioeconomically disadvantaged background and/or a member of a group historically underrepresented in medicine.

Undergraduate Program Requirements

Course Requirements

PAWS students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 and a cumulative math/science GPA of 3.3 and earn A or B grades in the required course work listed below.

  • College English Composition or Writing Intensive, six credit hours or one year
  • College-level Mathematics (college algebra or above), three credit hours or one semester*
  • Biologic Sciences (e.g. biology, genetics, cell biology, animal physiology, molecular biology, histology), six credit hours or one year
  • Chemistry (through organic chemistry), twelve credit hours or two years
  • General Physics, six credit hours or one year

*Statistics courses will not meet the mathematics requirement

Students will submit a plan of study with their application outlining the courses they will take over the duration of the program to meet the course requirements of the School of Medicine. The plan of study will be reviewed and approved by the PSP Committee at the time of application. Any changes in a student’s plan of study will also need to be submitted to the PSP Committee for approval.

Program Requirements

Upon acceptance to the program the following components are also required of participants during their undergraduate years at the University of Missouri-Columbia:

  • Faculty Mentoring/Shadowing - students are required to do at least 16 hours of shadowing with their faculty mentors each semester for their first 2 years in the program. In the last year of the program participants are required to do at least 8 hours per semester.
  • Peer Mentoring and Tutoring - 2nd and 3rd year PAWS students will have the opportunity to mentor and are required to tutor J-PAWS and 1st year PAWS students.  Time will be allotted for tutoring during the monthly study sessions.
  • Health Care Related Experiences - Students are required to participate in 20 hours of health-related experiences per program year. These experiences may include but are not limited to: health research, leadership activities, hospital volunteering, hospice or nursing home activities and shadowing nurses or other health care professionals.
  • Community Service - Students are required to participate in 8 hours of community service per program year.
  • Monthly Meetings - Students will be required to attend PAWS monthly sessions and other activities planned throughout the academic year.
  • Study Sessions - participants are required to attend scheduled study sessions as outlined by the Pathways to Success coordinator
  • MedPrep I and MedPrep II - Students will be required to participate in MedPrep I and II offered by the University of Missouri School of Medicine.
  • MCAT Prep - The MCAT, with achievement of a minimal required score outlined by the program, is required of all participants for entrance into the School of Medicine.  Participants are required to attend the MCAT preparation course provided by the Pathways to Success Program at no cost to the student.
  • Required Summer Retreat - program participants are required to attend the one-week summer retreat the summer between their junior and senior years.

Pathways to Success Scholars Requirements

Upon matriculation into the University of Missouri School of Medicine, the Pathways to Success students become PAWS Scholars and are required to participate in the following:

  • Participate in Jump Start and Med Prep III Diversity Primer the summer prior to matriculation into the School of Medicine.
  • Meet twice a block with fellow PAWS scholars for PBL/IPC study sessions in year 1 and 2
  • Establish a mentor relationship with a faculty mentor during your 1st year that will continue through the four years at the SOM.
  • Meet at least twice per academic year with your faculty mentor
  • Meet at least four times per academic year with the Pathways to Success Wellbeing Advisor.
  • Attend at least three Pathways to Success meetings per academic year
  • Participate in the Pathways to Success Peer Mentorship program, being a peer mentor to one PAWS student per academic year.
  • Participate in PAWS USMLE Step I review

The University of Missouri School of Medicine reserves the right to modify the Pathways to Success program requirements at any time the medical school faculty or administration determines the change is in the best interest of the program and the School of Medicine.

Academic Review

Each June and February, the spring and summerfall semesters are reviewed for each PAWS student to assess cumulative academic performance. 

MCAT Requirements

PAWS students are required to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Scores must be available for review at the Preprofessional Scholars Committee meeting in August of the calendar year prior to their expected date of matriculation into medical school.

Students must achieve the following minimum MCAT score:

Total Score: 503

Student Conduct

PAWS students must follow the Student Conduct Regulations as stated in the University of Missouri rules and regulations.  Failure of a student to comply with these requirements will result in committee deliberations to determine whether the student may continue in the MU Pathways to Success Pre-Admissions Program. Participants are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a professional and ethical manner. Participants whose professional or ethical conduct is in question in any way may be reviewed by the Preprofessional Scholars Program Committee and may be dismissed from the program. PAWS students will be required to comply with all medical school matriculation requirements at the time of their matriculation.

How to Apply for PAWS