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 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. Special Undergraduate Registration Requirement provisions apply to HPME students. To remain in the program, students must maintain designated grade point averages both in required science courses and overall.

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.

After the first three or four years, HPME students who meet the program requirements matriculate to the Chicago campus as members of the first-year Feinberg School of Medicine class. After successfully completing their first year at Feinberg, Weinberg College students who have not received a BA degree qualify for a bachelor of science in medicine, and School of Communication students qualify for a bachelor of science in communication. McCormick School students either fully complete BS requirements in biomedical engineering during the undergraduate phase of their studies or qualify for the BS in biomedical engineering after successfully completing the second year at Feinberg.

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