Honors Program in Medical Education


The Honors Program in Medical Education provides an opportunity for highly talented high school seniors to be admitted to an undergraduate program and to the Feinberg School of Medicine and to complete their formal premedical and medical studies in seven or eight years. Applicants should be able to qualify for advanced placement in chemistry and mathematics. Each year a small number of students are admitted to the program and to Weinberg College, the School of Communication, or the McCormick School. Only candidates applying directly from high school are considered. For information on applying, see Special Admission Programs. The HPME program will not be taking any applications in 2020. Please refer to the HPME website for more information. 

The first three or four years of the program are spent in undergraduate study, during which students must complete coursework that meets HPME requirements—including chemistry, physics, and biological sciences courses and labs—as well as courses that meet their school’s HPME requirements. These requirements can be found on the HPME website. Special Undergraduate Registration Requirement provisions apply to HPME students. To remain in the program, students must meet designated grade point averages both in required science courses and overall by the time of graduation from the undergraduate program.

In addition to the required science courses, HPME students enrolled in Weinberg College fulfill the college’s general education requirements by taking courses in four areas of inquiry: social and behavioral sciences, historical studies, ethics and values, and literature and fine arts. They complete at least one first-year seminar as well as other Weinberg College requirements. The third year is usually devoted to completing the requirements for a BA in Weinberg College by doing advanced coursework in the major and/or to studying abroad in a Northwestern-affiliated program. Students may also take an additional undergraduate year at Northwestern.

Students in the McCormick School spend three or four years pursuing an in-depth education in mathematics, the sciences, and engineering while taking core courses in biomedical engineering. To supplement their technical courses, students also take courses in the humanities and the social sciences.

Students in the School of Communication’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders supplement their HPME science requirements with courses in the social sciences, humanities, and the arts. At the same time, as majors in human communication sciences, they study the basic science principles underlying human communication and cognition, as well as hearing, speech, language, and learning disorders. Through exposure to both research and clinical activities, they consider the relationship between basic science and real-life health issues.

At the completion of undergraduate studies, after either three or four years, HPME students who meet the program requirements matriculate to the Feinberg School of Medicine. Please note, McCormick students may elect to matriculate before completing certain requirements of the Biomedical Engineering degree. These students receive their BS in Biomedical Engineering after successfully completing the second year at Feinberg. All other HPME students receive their undergraduate degrees prior to beginning medical school.

HPME students are encouraged to consider taking a gap year between the undergraduate program and matriculating to the medical school.

At the end of seven or eight years, HPME students qualify for the doctor of medicine degree from the Feinberg School of Medicine.