M.A. In Biomedical Sciences FAQ

Is the MCAT required for acceptance?

  • No, the MCAT is not required for admission to the program. Many students enter the program having never taken the MCAT. Others enter with a lower MCAT score, and improve their score while enrolled in the program; however, students who enter the program having already obtained the benchmark MCAT score are at a distinct advantage in that they can focus solely on course grades. Therefore, it is strongly advised that students at least attempt the MCAT prior to matriculation into the program.

Is there an MCAT preparation class within the program?

  • The program does not contain an MCAT preparatory class; however, personalized advice for MCAT study is provided and class schedules are arranged to facilitate MCAT preparation.

I have taken the MCAT multiple times. Which MCAT score do you consider?

  • Your most recent MCAT is the score that will be counted toward the benchmarks for the program. When the most recent MCAT does not meet the benchmark, but a previous MCAT does, consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis. Scores greater than three years old will not be considered.

I have taken the MCAT multiple times and if you pick my highest score in each section over the multiple exams, these numbers add to the benchmark MCAT score. Will this count toward my benchmarks?

  • What you are describing is known as a composite MCAT score and this does not count toward meeting the MCAT benchmark for the program.

Does the program accept students interested in other health professions, such as Pre-Dentistry or Pre-Pharmacy?

  • While the MABS program is designed for students pursuing a career in medicine, students with interests in other health professions are encouraged to apply.

Are your students accepted into medical programs other than VCOM?

  • Yes, we routinely have students accepted at other medical schools.

Can I hold a job while in the program?

  • The program is intense and will require your maximum effort to be successful; therefore, employment during the program is strongly discouraged.

Is an interview required?

  • An in-person interview is not required.

My overall or science GPA is below 3.0. Can I still be accepted into the program?

  • We cannot accept students with lower than a 3.0 overall or science GPA. The average GPA within the program is typically in the 3.2 range.

Do I need to have completed all prerequisites before entering the program?

  • Yes, this is an absolute requirement and it includes any prerequisite classes taken during the summer in which you enter the program.

How much does the program cost?

  • The total tuition for the MABS program is $28,000.

Is financial aid available?

  • Yes. Students are encouraged to apply for federal financial aid. Students can also call Bluefield Central at 276.326.4215 or email [email protected] to learn more.

Is on-campus housing available?

  • No. Bluefield University does not have student housing on the VCOM campus; however, there are many apartment units within walking distance to campus, and Blacksburg, being a college town, has an abundance of other housing options, as well.

How large is your class?

  • The program is capped at 130 students per year.

How many applications does the program receive each year?

  • We expect to receive over 500 applications for the current application cycle.

Can I choose to only take some of the offered classes each semester and extend the MABS to last for two full years?

  • No. Students within the program are required to enroll in all classes and complete the program in a single academic year. One of the goals of the MABS is to mimic a medical school curriculum and this cannot be accomplished without carrying the full class load of the program.

Can I begin classes in the spring semester?

  • No. All students take the program as a cohort and must begin in the fall semester.

Is the M.A. in Biomedical Sciences program offered at all four VCOM campuses?

  • No. It is currently only offered at the Virginia campus, but successful students may gain acceptance to the other VCOM campuses.

Do I have a choice of which VCOM campus I attend for medical school?

  • For December acceptances, VCOM will consider the permanent address given on the original application for the MABS program when assigning a campus. However, VCOM will spread acceptances from the MABS program across all four of its campuses. Students accepted in the March or May reviews are not guaranteed a specific campus. See Acceptance to the D.O. Program for more information.

Ready To Apply?

Please note: The MABS application cycle will open on August 12, 2022. The application deadline for this cycle is April 15, 2023. For more information, please email the Admissions Coordinator.

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


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