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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Honors Program in Medical Education

Frequently Asked Questions

The information below provides answers to questions frequently asked by both prospective and admitted HPME students. Should you need additional information, please contact us.


 Can I apply early decision to the HPME?

While students may not apply early to HPME, as of the 2019–20 academic year, a very small number of students admitted to Northwestern through the Early Decision (ED) program may be invited to apply for HPME in January. These students will not be guaranteed admission to HPME, and their ED commitment to attend Northwestern will stand regardless of the HPME outcome. However, this will allow students who would otherwise choose to apply ED to do so and still be eligible for consideration in HPME’s selection process.

 Can I complete HPME in less than seven years?

No, the Honors Program is not designed to be completed in less than seven years. 

 Can I transfer into HPME after enrolling at Northwestern?

No, HPME is only open to graduating high school seniors. Current Northwestern students may consider the Northwestern Undergraduate Premedical Scholars Program. Prospective applicants who have already begun college or have already completed a degree elsewhere, are not eligible to apply. 

 Does the HPME accept the Common Application?

While Northwestern accepts the Common Application for undergraduate admission, applicants to the HPME must submit a separate honors program application in addition to the Common Application. Applications are granted only to students who demonstrate superior high school achievement and academic aptitude. Learn more in the How to Apply section of the site.

 How do I schedule a tour of Feinberg School of Medicine?

At this time there are no tours or campus visits for HPME or Feinberg School of Medicine. Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission for tours of the Evanston campus and information sessions. We encourage all HPME applicants to attend both a general campus tour of the undergraduate campus as well as a college specific tour for the undergraduate college the applicant will be applying into for admission.  After a tour has been scheduled, a prospective HPME applicant can contact our office via email to request a pairing with a current student to learn more information about HPME.  In the event that a current student is not available, we will pair you with a student via email.  

 I already submitted copies of my teacher and counselor recommendations to Undergraduate Admissions; do I need to send a second copy of recommendations to the HPME office?

Yes, applicants to HPME are required to submit a secondary school report, counselor recommendation and English teacher recommendation to the Honors Program via the HPME online application. This is in addition to any materials submitted via the Evanston campus.  These materials must be submitted via the online application. We do not accept application materials via postal mail, fax or email. All materials must be submitted by the deadline for consideration.  

 When are HPME decisions made?

Students will be notified of their status by April of your application year. HPME decisions are sent out electronically within a few days of the undergraduate decisions. 

 Why should I consider the HPME program?

We encourage you to learn more about the program and specifically the unique experiences of our current and past students. You can also read the following essay from a former HPME student:

"Why a BS/MD Was Right for Me" by Marguerite Huff
© 2011 Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.
Reprinted with permission from Imagine magazine.

Undergraduate Study

 Am I eligible for financial aid? Are there any additional HPME scholarship?

All financial aid at Northwestern is awarded on the basis of family need. Like most private universities, we provide assistance to students who otherwise would not be able to attend. Families who believe that they cannot meet the cost of a Northwestern education with their available resources (parents' and students' incomes, savings, and other assets) should apply for financial aid.

The average financial aid award consists of a grant, a student loan, and part-time employment through the Federal Work-Study Program. Half of our undergraduates receive Northwestern grants, while 60 percent receive some form of financial aid.

Applicants must submit both the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for financial aid. For more information on financial aid, please contact the

Tuition and financial aid are both handled through each respective campus for HPME students. For more information, please see the links below:

Northwestern Undergraduate Financial Aid

Feinberg School of Medicine Financial Aid

 Can I complete research at the undergraduate level?

Yes, there are research opportunities available for HPME students. Many of our students participate in the HPME Summer Research Program (HPME SRP) at Feinberg. Learn more about this program via our Awards and Fellowships page.

 Do I have to major in a science discipline in undergrad?

No. HPME students are able to choose from the following options when selecting a major:

School of Communication Students

HPME students in the School of Communication major in Human Communication Sciences within the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. 

HPME students have the option of selecting an area of concentration within CSD. Well-designed course plans are recommended for different areas of concentration. HPME students from other majors can pursue an HCS minor if their schedules allow.

McCormick School of Engineering

HPME students in the McCormick School of Engineering pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering.

Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

HPME students in WCAS are able to select any major of their choosing.  Weinberg students earn either a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree with a full year of study abroad, depending on the student’s degree selection.

Students will work with their HPME college adviser to arrange their courses over three or four years in order to fulfill major and HPME requirements.

 Is the MCAT required for matriculation to medical school?

No, the MCAT is not required to matriculate into Feinberg. Only HPME students wishing to apply to the MD/PhD program are required to take an MCAT. 

 What are the undergraduate program requirements for HPME students?

HPME students are required to take a sequence of science courses in Chemistry, Biology and Physics that will prepare them for the academic demands of medical school. HPME students entering Northwestern in fall 2019 and later must fulfill GPA requirements in their science courses (3.55 or above) and overall academic courses (3.7 or above).  Current HPME students should refer to the HPME requirements documentation for the year in which they entered Northwestern to view their academic requirements and GPA requirements (available via the secured HPME site). 

 What if I decide that I want to apply to other medical schools?

The HPME is a non-binding program. Though we strongly encourage our students to matriculate to Feinberg, we do not prohibit current undergraduate students from applying to other medical schools. The only students prohibited from applying to other medical schools are students on a gap year, as their seat at Feinberg is being held pending their return to academics.