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South Carolina Honors College

  • Cocky for BARSC-MD

Accelerated Undergraduate to MD program

The South Carolina Honors College and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine - Columbia offer an innovative “fast track” program for honors students who seek a medical degree. Named “BARSC-MD” for the two degrees it awards, this combined and accelerated program enables you to receive your undergraduate degree from the South Carolina Honors College, followed by your medical degree from the UofSC School of Medicine.  Students admitted to this program typically complete their undergraduate degree and their medical degree in seven years.

The BARSC-MD is a highly selective program for Honors College students and one of the most rigorous and challenging undergraduate programs offered by the University of South Carolina.  The program includes completion of all pre-med and additional honors requirements in three years and involves a significant research and thesis component.  Medical school starts in the 4th year of the program and is completed in four years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Only incoming honors freshmen are eligible to apply.  Interested students first complete an online application in the summer between high school graduation and the start of the fall freshman semester.  All Honors freshmen will receive an invitation to apply. This first-round application is comprehensive and requires additional essays and letters of recommendation than what is required in the Honors College application.  Top candidates are then invited to participate in a second-round selection process, which includes an interview with the UofSC School of Medicine.  This interview is typically conducted in late September to allow time for moving to campus and acclimating to classes and campus life.  Final selections for the program occur shortly after the interview.

An SAT or ACT score is strongly recommended to be considered for the 2021 BARSC-MD cohort. Standardized testing is an important component of medical education and medicine: course finals, clerkship shelf tests, licensing exams, residency in-service exams, specialty boards, and maintenance of certification exams. Therefore, the committee sees ACT or SAT scores as part of our holistic review of you as a candidate for the BARSC-MD program.

At least one official SAT and/or ACT score must be received by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions no later than July 1, 2021 for you to be considered as a BARSC-MD candidate. 

Successful students bring a high level of academic achievement, experience in health and science-related activities, community service and leadership skills, as well as strong desire and motivation to reduce the undergraduate experience to three years in order to enter the medical path a year early. 

Through the BARSC-MD program, the MCAT is not required.

The direct admission to the UofSC School of Medicine in Columbia is conditional upon successful completion of the BARSC degree and BARSC-MD program requirements.

Students through this program fulfill all general BARSC degree requirements, including a 9-hour senior thesis and 126 total credits, of which 69 are Honors credits.  Additionally, the curriculum for this track is focused on pre-med preparation, including required and recommended coursework and extracurricular activities.  Recommended coursework will fulfill the electives requirement.  There is a minimum GPA of 3.6 to remain in the program and a student’s senior thesis is typically completed by the end of the junior year before entering medical school.
BARSC-MD students are guided and mentored by an experienced advisor who directs the program.  While an undergraduate, students typically work closely with faculty on important health- and medical-related research.
No.  The BARSC-MD program is exclusively in collaboration with the UofSC School of Medicine in Columbia.

Yes.  Although participants complete the majority of their undergraduate curriculum by the end of the third year of the program, graduation occurs at the end of the fourth year/ first year of medical school.  Students in the program are also invited to participate in Revocation with their graduating class at the end of their first year of medical school.

The first year of medical school is very rigorous and we expect students to complete the vast majority of their undergraduate requirements, including the senior thesis, prior to matriculation.  In unusual circumstances students may use first year medical school courses to fulfill remaining bachelor degree electives. The grades from these courses will also apply to the undergraduate GPA.

At this time, fourth year funding through a student’s general university scholarship and/or state scholarship can be used to fund the first year of medical school if you do not graduate at the end of your third year. Interested students should consult with the university’s financial aid office for specific information about funding.

Yes.  As a BARSC-MD student you are eligible to apply for School of Medicine scholarships, subject to application requirements for each scholarship opportunity.  Check the School of Medicine website for further details.


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