> WWAMI Medical Education Program
Information for High School Students
Here are some questions high school students interested in the WWAMI Program may have:
The WWAMI Medical Education Program is a cooperative program of the University of
School of Medicine and the Montana University System. This program makes it possible for
Montana students per year to enter the University of Washington School of Medicine. The
students who are admitted to this program take the first year of medical school at Montana State
and the second year at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. During their third
years students work in hospitals and clinics rather than classrooms. Students in the WWAMI
take third and fourth year courses not only in the Seattle area but also in a number of other sites
states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. In this way WWAMI students receive an
education that is
balanced with respect to urban versus rural medical practice.
Since most medical schools require four years of college (a few require only three), applying
WWAMI Program and other medical schools is something that you would do no earlier than your
of college. Therefore, rather than wishing to know details about the WWAMI Program at this time,
more likely to be concerned about choosing an undergraduate college and an undergraduate
that will prepare you in the best way for getting into medical school and doing well once you
admitted. In the following paragraphs are our responses to specific questions and concerns that
school students have often asked about WWAMI and medical education in general.
There is no single answer to this question. The medical profession welcomes and needs
with different educational backgrounds, talents and interests. All medical students need aptitude
strong background in the natural sciences. In addition, medical schools want to be sure that
students have studied social sciences, humanities, communications skills and, increasingly,
skills. Most medical schools have very few specific requirements (usually amounting to
25% of the total undergraduate curriculum) so that potential students will have freedom to follow
individual interests in choosing an undergraduate curriculum. Approximately half of all
medical school major in the biological sciences. Many students also major in the physical
(chemistry, engineering, physics, mathematics, etc.) and many students major in non-science
(sociology, psychology, political science, history, English, economics, art, music, etc.). These
have as good a chance of getting into medical school as biological science majors. The concept
specific "Pre-Med Program" has become obsolete. Students interested in medicine should
undergraduate program which not only includes the courses required for medical school
which also is interesting, stimulating and challenging to the individual student.
Yes, students at Montana State University receive excellent preparation for medical school
careers in medicine. MSU offers all of the
courses required for entrance in American medical schools. Because Montana State University
strength in the natural sciences, the quality of
these required courses is very high. Montana State University also has an excellent program for
students who are planning to enter medicine or other health professions. There are a large
undergraduate majors that students can select. Students who have not decided on a major when
MSU may elect a general studies program until such a time that they are ready to choose a major.
there is the University Honors Program, designed to encourage well motivated students to enrich
course work with cross-disciplinary seminars, undergraduate research and undergraduate theses.
State University has an excellent record in the placement of applicants into medical school.
No. In order to be eligible for the WWAMI Program a student must have been a legal resident
State of Montana for at least one year at the time of application to medical school, but there are
preferences or restrictions as to where the student can receive his or her undergraduate education.
more than half of the students admitted to the WWAMI Program have received their undergraduate
at one of Montana's private or public colleges, but each class also includes students who have
attended out-of-state colleges. High school students should be encouraged to obtain the best
college education that is
within the reach of their ability and resources.
A strong academic record is needed to prove that you can cope with the rigorous academic
curriculum of medical school. Most students admitted to the WWAMI Program have a cumulative
point average of more than 3.5. However,
students with lower grade point averages are occasionally admitted if they demonstrate unique
accomplishments which show that they would do well in medical school and would be well
suited to a
medical career. Just as important in the medical school admissions process as evidence of
success are other attributes such as evidence of curiosity and initiative, evidence of compassion
concern for the welfare of human beings and evidence that the student's interest in medicine is
At the present time we receive approximately one hundred applications per year for
the twenty available WWAMI positions. Many Montana students (about twenty per year) attend other medical schools
United States. Nationwide there are approximately three applicants for each available place in
Many students choose to enter medical school as soon as they have completed their college
education. In that situation, the decision to apply to medical school must be made by the spring
student's junior year. However, many students decide to go to medical school many years after
completed their undergraduate education. The average age of students entering the WWAMI
approximately twenty-five, and each year some of the twenty entering WWAMI students are more
years old. Indeed, evidence of maturity is one of the things that medical school admissions
look for in their selection of medical students.
Students in the WWAMI Program pay in-state tuition rates for one year at Montana State
(approximately $9,000 per year) and for three years at the University of Washington
(approximately $21,000 per year). In addition, students pay
$4,688 per year tuition surcharge
which is used to fund a
debt repayment program for physicians who practice in an area of Montana that has a physician
These tuition rates are slightly below the national averages for publicly supported medical
greatly below the tuition rates of private medical schools. Nevertheless, most medical students
some indebtedness during the years of their medical education. The average indebtedness of WWAMI
medical students who graduated in 2004 was $110,000.
I am pleased that you are taking an early interest in a medical career. If you have any other
questions or if
there is anything that I can do to assist you in achieving your goal, please call or write.