Vaqueros MD Early Assurance Program


Apply Now Print Page

If you are a South Texas high school student, UTRGV’s new Early Assurance Program is your path to medical school close to home in the Rio Grande Valley. UTRGV and the School of Medicine are proud to announce the Vaqueros MD Early Assurance Program (EAP). In partnership with the UTRGV Honors College, the program will select a limited number of high-achieving South Texas students who will begin their undergraduate career in Fall 2020 while also receiving the assurance of a seat in the UTRGV School of Medicine’s entering class of 2024.

The competitive online application process will begin November 1, 2019, with completed applications due January 22, 2020.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Vaqueros MD is designed for high-achieving high school seniors who meet the following criteria:

Attend and will graduate from a South Texas high school within the following counties:
Webb, Zapata, Starr, Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy, Kenedy, Brooks, Jim Hogg, Kleberg, San Patricio, Aransas, and Nueces.

Enter UTRGV as incoming first-year students.

Are accepted and officially enrolled in Vaqueros MD through the Honors College within any major.

Submit letters of recommendation from high school teachers, counselors or administrators, or one letter of recommendation from the EAP Coordinator.

Complete on-campus interviews with UTRGV and SOM faculty and staff.

Demonstrate maturity, motivation and other attributes reflecting exceptional leadership, character, and achievement through recommendation letters and interviews.

Have scored at the 90th percentile or above in one sitting on the SAT (math & critical reading) or the ACT.

Rank in the top 5% of their high school graduating class and possess a minimum 3.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale and a 3.75 or higher cumulative GPA in science courses.

FAQs

  • What is 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.

  • Who can apply?

    High school seniors and/or juniors (with advanced standing) in South Texas who are interested in applying to UTRGV and have an interest in an Early Assurance Program (EAP), attending medical school or other health professional program, after receiving their undergraduate degree.

    Accepted applicants will automatically be enrolled in the Honors College and can graduate with any major, so long as they remain an Honors College scholar through graduation and UTRGV admission requirements to the School of Medicine are met.

    To be eligible for the Vaqueros MD program, high school applicants must graduate from a South Texas high school within the following counties: Webb, Zapata, Starr, Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy, Kenedy, Brooks, Jim Hogg, Kleberg, San Patricio, Aransas, and Nueces.

    For UTRGV School of Medicine requirements visit the Admissions Requirements page.

  • What is the eligibility criteria?

    Vaqueros MD is designed for high-achieving high school seniors (or juniors with advanced standing) who:

    • Attend and will graduate from a South Texas high school within the following counties: Webb, Zapata, Starr, Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy, Kenedy, Brooks, Jim Hogg, Kleberg, San Patricio, Aransas, and Nueces.
    • Enter UTRGV as incoming first-year students.
    • Are accepted and officially enrolled in the Vaqueros MD program through the Honors College within any major.
    • Submit letters of recommendation from high school teachers, counselors or administrators or one letter of recommendation from the EAP Coordinator.
    • Complete on-campus interviews with UTRGV and SOM faculty and staff.
    • Demonstrate maturity, motivation and other attributes reflecting exceptional leadership, character, and achievement through recommendation letters and interviews.
    • Have scored at the 90th percentile or above in one sitting on the SAT (math & critical reading) or the ACT.
    • Rank in the top 5% of their high school graduating class and possess a minimum 3.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale and a 3.75 or higher cumulative GPA in science courses.
  • How do I apply?

    Once you are accepted to UTRGV, you may begin your online Vaqueros MD application. Visit the Vaqueros MD website for eligibility requirements, gather your documents, and meet with your academic advisor.

    Visit Vaqueros MD - Apply Now to access the online application. The application period will start November 1, 2019, and will end on January 22, 2020.

  • What is the cost to attend, is there financial aid available?

    Students with financial need to attend UTRGV should complete their FAFSA/TASFA. If financial need is verified, students may be eligible for grants and loans to cover tuition, fees, and other costs of attending UTRGV.

    Starting Fall 2020, students with a family adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less may qualify for UTRGV Tuition Advantage and have tuition and mandatory fees fully covered.

    Thinking ahead to UTRGV School of Medicine, the cost of tuition and fees per year is $18,298 for in-state tuition cost (second lowest in Texas) and $31,398 for out-of-state students (third lowest in the nation).  The SOM provides scholarships based on available funds to attract and sustain enrollment of students from the Rio Grande Valley.

  • Why attend UTRGV and a Medical School in the Rio Grande Valley?

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), ranks third among public universities in Texas that provides the best value for college students and has been ranked as the fourth-best university in Texas, according to Best Colleges in Texas (2018). UTRGV is the second largest Hispanic-serving institution in the nation and was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities for high school students in the Rio Grande Valley, including an all-new School of Medicine building with state-of-the-art classrooms, research labs, and library.

    The UTRGV School of Medicine welcomed its charter class of 55 medical students in the summer of 2016. Today, the UTRGV School of Medicine has more than 200 medical students and over 200 medical residents and fellows serving in 13 hospital-based training programs throughout the Rio Grande Valley with more training programs on the horizon.

    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.

    The UTRGV School of Medicine is dedicated to increasing the number of medical students from the Rio Grande Valley and beyond, advancing research important to the community, and transforming the quality of patient care in the valley. Today, the UTRGV School of Medicine has four graduating classes with a total of 210 medical students, 32% of whom are RGV students. The University’s goal is to increase that rate to 50%, ultimately giving more South Texas students a direct path to medical school close to home.

  • What makes the Rio Grande Valley a wonderful place for anyone to call home?

    With beautiful sunsets and subtropical coastal weather, the Rio Grande Valley offers a high quality of life for families and has consistently been ranked among the most secure and safest large metro areas to live in the country. The RGV is one of the most affordable areas in the nation to live in, with a large network of medical facilities, city parks, restaurants, rich bicultural traditions, and community events. South Texas is one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States with a current population of approximately 1.5 million, whose average age is below 30, with Hispanics comprising 85% of the population.

  • Why did UTRGV add a medical school in 2016?

    The mission of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine (UTRGV SOM) is to educate a diverse group of dedicated students who will become physicians and future biomedical scientists who will serve across all the disciplines of medicine; to bring hope to patients by advancing medical knowledge through research; to integrate education and research to transform the quality and accessibility of patient care in an integrated manner; and to engage with the Rio Grande Valley communities to benefit Texas and the world.

    UTRGV SOM’s vision is to be the South Texas leader in providing physicians dedicated to practicing patient-centered medicine in underserved communities, increase the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine and educating the physician workforce of the 21st century in the Rio Grande Valley and beyond, and serve as a catalyst for change and betterment in our region, nationally, and globally.