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Frequently Asked Questions

There are two main goals of this program:

  • Help address the critical physician shortage in New Mexico by providing educational opportunities to those students who are most likely to return to the state to practice medicine. (The majority of NM counties are federally designated as being medically underserved.)
  • Encourage greater diversity of students trained as physicians. See the School of Medicine (SOM) Admission Policy.

Students who accept a position in the BA/MD program are required to attend the UNM School of Medicine and to sign a Statement of Commitment to these goals.

Eight years total. Most students will complete the undergraduate program in four years.

Accommodations may be possible for those who finish the undergraduate curriculum in three years. Note: If a student completes the undergraduate curriculum in three years, they are not allowed to enter the School of Medicine early, but will be encouraged to pursue additional coursework and/or other interests during their fourth year. They will transfer to the medical school with their class after the fourth year.

Medical school portion is four years.

No. Students are required to sign a Statement of Commitment to attend UNM School of Medicine.
28. An applicant wait list remains active until the first day of the UNM fall semester.

The University of New Mexico (UNM) Combined BA/MD Degree Program in line with the mission introduced the UNM BA/MD Merge Program. The Merge Program is designed to address attrition at milestones in the undergraduate portion of the UNM Combined BA/MD Degree Program. The goal of the UNM BA/MD Merge Program is to maximize Program matriculation to UNM SOM and ultimately increase the number of physicians serving in New Mexico communities demonstrating the greatest need.

How it works

Class size is evaluated on a semester basis and at milestones set by the Program. As the Program faces attrition due to academics, change of heart, etc., we seek to replenish the class to a total of twenty-eight students by opening a secondary application to those students on the respective cohort waitlist.

To be eligible students MUST:

  • Have accepted placement on the respective cohort waitlist, determined by the UNM BA/MD Sub-Committee on Admissions and approved by the UNM SOM Committee on Admissions
  • Be active at UNM during the semester of application
  • Be in the second semester of their second year
  • Have completed set Program milestones (listed below) at time of application
  • Have achieved a 3.5 cumulative GPA at time of application
  • Have achieved a 3.5 program milestone GPA (calculated by UNM BA/MD) at time of application

Program milestones

  • Chemistry 121 + lab 123L (4 credit hours)
  • Chemistry 122 + lab 124L (4 credit hours)
  • Biology 201 + lab (4 credit hours)
  • Biology 202 + lab (4 credit hours)
  • Chemistry 301 +lab 303L (4 credit hours)

Eligible student(s) are assessed by BA/MD leadership after the student’s second semester of their sophomore year.  In early June, a decision is made on whether applications will be required, or if leadership will instead use another form of acceptance (for example, a combination of waitlist placement and cumulative GPA).

Please keep in mind that attrition varies greatly from year to year, the Program provides no guarantee of available positions. The Program will first attempt to fill rural positions with rural students and urban positions with urban students after which the goal will be to replenish the class to twenty-eight.

Students are notified of the decisions, and if accepted, given a time frame by which the Program requires a reply. Selected students who accept their offered position are eligible for all resources of the Program, including a reserved seat at the UNM School of Medicine!

For more information please contact our office via email:

MERGE students who were original applicants (New Mexico High School seniors who applied) and were wait-listed may attend another institution for the first three semesters (Freshman year and first semester as a Sophomore), and still maintain eligibility for the MERGE program. However, they must have transferred to UNM for Spring semester of their Sophomore year in order to be considered as a candidate for the Fall of their Junior year.
  • Reserved seat at the UNM School of Medicine – consistently recognized by US News & World Report as one of the top-ranked programs in the nation.
  • Supportive undergraduate experience that offers opportunities and seminars specifically designed for BA/MD students.
  • Camaraderie with BA/MD peers and medical students.
  • Unique degree program that helps address the healthcare needs of New Mexico.
  • Supplemental scholarship paid for 4 years.
Students will be encouraged to apply for residency in New Mexico, but it is not required.
Students are allowed to pursue any area of medicine that interests them.
The goal of the program is to find students who have a sincere interest and commitment to staying in NM to practice medicine, particularly in the rural and/or medically underserved communities. All students are required to sign a Statement of Commitment to stay in New Mexico to practice medicine.
No, the BA/MD program does not cover the cost to attend the UNM School of Medicine.