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 Scholars assured admission to the University of Kansas School of Medicine 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, for a total of 200 shadowing hours accumulated during the four semesters and one summer. Scholars also complete two patient case reports and 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 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, by June 10, with selected candidates invited for interviews in July. Candidates are selected for the program by August 1 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
  • Premedical science GPA greater than or equal to 3.50
  • Participation in programs designated by the School of Medicine
  • A satisfactory score on the MCAT examination

Additional Advantages

Participants in the Scholars in Rural Health program are strong candidates for the Kansas Medical Student Loan program, which provides tuition and living expenses for 120 students each year. Loan recipients agree to specialize in primary care or emergency medicine and work in a medically underserved area of Kansas.

Application Timeline

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


Application Instructions and Form

The online application is available April 1 through June 10 of each year. The online application will be made available for 2017 applicants on April 1, 2017. 

For more information contact:

Jason Edwards, M.Ed.
Director of Admissions and Premedical Programs, University of Kansas School of Medicine


Last modified: Jul 15, 2016