Scholars in Rural Health

Scholars with robot patient

Preparing Tomorrow's Doctors for Success

The Scholars in Rural Health program is designed to identify and encourage undergraduate students from rural Kansas who are interested in building successful careers as physicians in rural areas. Students apply for the program in the second semester of their sophomore year in college.

The program provides assured admission to the University of Kansas School of Medicine for selected students upon successful completion of program requirements and graduation from their undergraduate institution.

The KU School of Medicine is recognized as a leader in the training of rural physicians. KU School of Medicine is consistently ranked as having one of the top primary care and rural programs in the nation. We have placed first in the nation for students selecting family medicine on a running five year average according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. The School of Medicine now has three campuses to meet our mission. 

Program Activities

Students in the Scholars in Rural Health program discover the rewards and challenges of rural practice as they prepare for entry into medical school.

The program exposes students to the variety of health care services in rural areas, including hospital and office practice. During the junior and senior undergraduate years, scholars learn at the side of an assigned mentor in the region of his or her home community. A total of 200 hours will be accumulated during the four semesters and one summer. Scholars also complete four patient case reports, one each semester.

Additionally, scholars attend an initial orientation in Salina and a meeting at the end of each spring semester in Wichita. During the senior year, scholars complete a manuscript reviewing a topic related to rural health service or clinical care.

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Kansas resident
  • Significant experience living in a rural community
  • ACT/SAT score at or above the 75th percentile
  • Attained a minimum of sophomore standing and have two years of undergraduate education remaining
  • Completed one academic year of college undergraduate instruction in both general biology and general inorganic chemistry, including lectures and associated laboratories
  • An intention to practice medicine in rural Kansas
  • Evidence of the dedication and compassion necessary to be a competent and caring physician

Selection Process

Students submit application materials to the School of Medicine. Suitable candidates are invited for interviews. Up to 16 candidates are selected for the program each year.

Program Requirements

Once accepted into the program, students must meet the following requirements for assured admission:

  • Degree from an accredited college or university
  • Fulfillment of KU School of Medicine prerequisites
  • College GPA greater than or equal to 3.50
  • GPA in a premedical science curriculum greater than or equal to 3.50
  • Participation in programs designated by the School of Medicine which may include activities on the undergraduate campus
  • A satisfactory score on the MCAT examination

Additional Advantages

Participants in the Scholars in Rural Health program receive priority consideration for the Kansas Medical Student Loan program, which provides tuition and living expenses for 120 students each year. Loan recipients agree to enter an approved primary care residency and work in a medically underserved area of Kansas.

Application Timeline

Applications available Now
Application completion deadline June 10
Acceptance notification letters mailed August 1


Application Instructions and Form

You may apply to the Scholars in Rural Health program in one of two ways. Beginning in 2015, you may apply online at Apply Online. The online application is brand new and is actually in beta testing for 2015 (there is thus the potential for discovering an issue/bug during the process).  If you chose to use the online service and run into a problem, please contact Greg Fay (; 913-588-7347) for assistance.  If you have a problem with the online application or would prefer, you may still apply using the following paper forms:

Application Instruction Sheet for Scholars in Rural Health Program (PDF)
Application to the Scholars in Rural Health Program (PDF)

For more information

K. James Kallail, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Kansas School of Medicine–Wichita

Last modified: Aug 24, 2015