6-Year Medical School Programs

Found out about combination degree programs, such as BS/MD, that can be completed in as few as six years, including common courses and admission requirements. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

6-Year Dual Degree Program Information

Those wishing to become licensed to work as doctors will need to complete several years of education and training before they are eligible. While many students elect to take four years of undergraduate education followed by four years of medical school education, there are options that can combine these degrees into a dual-track program to cut the total length down to as few as six years. Below you'll find a range of courses you might expect to take in one of these accelerated programs.


Students in this undergraduate course will typically learn about the important concepts, terminology and practices relevant to the study of living organisms. Students in this course may receive a general overview of an array of topics in biology, such as genetics, biological principles, biological structures, proteins, and biochemical interactions. This course will usually have an accompanying laboratory component in which students may get to examine and practice biology first-hand.

Human Anatomy/Gross Anatomy

Students in this course tend to learn about the anatomical layout of the human body, as well as its structures, systems, organs, and functions. Students may need to commit to memory much of the anatomical terminology and relevant biological processes unique to our species. Courses like these typically divide the human anatomy into several sections, such as skeletal anatomy, musculature, the anatomy of the brain, organs and their related systems, functions, characteristics, and interactions. Students may also examine anatomy from a clinical standpoint and learn, for example, how to apply anatomical knowledge to the process of clinical diagnosis.


In contrast to gross anatomy, which focuses on macroscopic anatomy, this course will generally focus on the aspects of anatomy at work on the microscopic level. Students may learn about the microscopic structures that make up the human body, as well as the many chemical reactions and cellular interactions that go on inside of it. Students may examine these topics in relation to gross anatomy, as well. This might include topics such as the relationship between skeletal microstructures and bone, and cartilage, the skeletal anatomy at large, or how connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments function on a microscopic level. This course can often have a lab associated with it, as well, wherein students may use microscopes to examine cellular structures in the context of histology.


In a course on disease, students might learn about types of diseases, as well as the methods and practices involved in diagnosing and treating them. This course may instruct students on what diseases are at the cellular level, and how viruses and bacteria can damage cells and impede normal functions. Students have the chance to learn to identify diseases and symptoms through a variety of diagnostic methods, such as understanding what changes in organ function are related to what sorts of diseases.

Clinical Skills

Students will generally need to take a course or courses to learn about the skills and competencies that can be expected of them during the clinical portion of medical school. Students in these courses will typically be introduced to basic aspects of effective treatment and care, and the skills that clinicians need to build positive relationships with patients and maximize health outcomes. Through lectures, first-hand clinical practice scenarios, and demonstrations, students may learn about how best to communicate within a patient-physician dynamic and how to conduct medical examinations and interviews.

Six-Year Medical School Admission Requirements

Since these programs can be less common, and since they functionally involve admission into both an undergraduate and a graduate program, admissions requirements can be somewhat irregular. While some schools may guarantee admission into the graduate school to students who successfully complete the undergraduate portion of this dual-track degree type, other schools may require students to apply to the graduate portion of the program separately. In general, these programs will require high school transcripts and standardized test scores to be submitted, such as ACT and SAT test scores. Students may also need to submit a short personal essay describing their motivations within this field of study, their professional goals, or other information that might supplement and strengthen a student's application in their own words. Students may also be given the opportunity to list extracurricular activities and experience within the field of medicine to further flesh out their applications. An on-campus interview may also be required.

In summary, accelerated programs exist to cut down on the time that it takes to complete a medical education from 8 years down to as few as 6 through a dual-degree program. These programs have a variety of courses, such as anatomy, histology, and disease. Admission requirements might include high school transcripts, test scores, and a personal essay.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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