SOM Programs

Early Assurance Program

Vaqueros MD

Vaqueros MD is a Pre-Medicine Early Assurance Program (EAP) at UTRGV. The goal of the program is to increase the number of South Texas high-achieving students who enroll and complete their medical education at the UTRGV School of Medicine (SOM). Candidates for the new program will be selected through a competitive selection process that includes targeted recruitment of students at regional high schools in fall 2019.

Up to five (5) applicants will be selected for admission to the program in spring 2020. Admitted students will begin their UTRGV undergraduate education in the Honors College in any major in fall 2020, and if the requirements for admission to the School of Medicine are met, students will be guaranteed a seat in the UTRGV School of Medicine’s entering Class of 2024.

Using innovative competency-based medical education, the UTRGV School of Medicine is training the next generation of physicians committed to improving the lives and well-being of their community through research and compassionate, patience-centered care. The UTRGV School of Medicine is also developing biomedical scientists who will lead the charge in advancing research on diseases - diabetes and infectious diseases - that affect South Texas.

To learn more about the UTRGV School of Medicine Early Assurance Program, visit Vaqueros MD website.

Dual Degree Programs

UTRGV MD/MS in Bioethics
Doctor of Medicine/Master of Science in Bioethics 

Students who enroll in the UTRGV MD/MS in Bioethics program will gain advanced learning and develop skills in bioethics and social justice to:

  • Address complex bioethical issues of health disparities in multicultural populations
  • Transform challenges into opportunities of change that promote health equity
  • Shape clinical practice, research and policy to advance equitable delivery of health care

The program focuses on bioethics, social justice, and health equity allowing graduates to possess specific skills to create opportunities and manage resources effectively while remaining responsive to the diverse challenges within complex health care, social, political, and economic climates. 

The UTRGV School of Medicine along with the UTHealth Houston School of Public Health and the School of Biomedical Informatics are offering two dual degree programs. Starting with the Class of 2022, medical students can apply to these programs through the School of Public Health and the School of Biomedical Informatics if they are in good academic standing at the School of Medicine.


Doctor of Medicine/Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics

Students who enroll in the MD/MSBMI program will learn how to decipher large amounts of data related to patients to:

  • Make the best clinical decisions regarding patient care, including patient safety
  • Inform the development of public health and clinical research initiatives.

A biomedical informatics degree is useful in clinical and research settings because it allows healthcare professionals and researchers to take large amount of data, information and knowledge to make inferences regarding medical treatment, drug development and clinical trials. With biomedical informatics, healthcare providers can develop protocols to improve care – such as reducing medication errors or hospital readmissions – and improve patient safety. At the population health level, biomedical informatics can help spot trends and assess the burdens of disease, including financial and economic burdens, to make decisions about interventions.


Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Health

The MPH allows students to learn and develop skills in the core public health disciplines of:

  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental and occupational health
  • Epidemiology and disease control
  • Health promotion and behavioral sciences
  • Management, policy and community health

UTRGV School of Medicine students will be able to complete the MD and MPH programs in four years because of shared credits between the two institutions.