The University of Kentucky College of Medicine–Northern Kentucky Campus and University of Cumberlands (UC) have signed a cooperative agreement that grants two outstanding sophomore students who meet the UK College of Medicine admission criteria assured acceptance to the UK College of Medicine-Northern Kentucky Campus upon graduation from Cumberlands.

In partnership with Northern Kentucky University (NKU) and St. Elizabeth Healthcare, the University of Kentucky College of Medicine has developed a regional campus in Northern Kentucky that will enroll its first class in 2019, pending Liaison Committee on Medical Education and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges approval. Academically excellent students from Cumberlands who demonstrate the qualities of a competent, caring physician, and whose goals are to ultimately study and practice in the northern Kentucky region, will be able to apply for the Early Assurance Program.

“The Early Assurance Program will be offered to Cumberlands students in the second semester of their sophomore year,” explained Dr. Julie Tan, Department Chair of Chemistry at Cumberlands. “Those students will receive assured admission to the Northern Kentucky Campus once they successfully complete the program’s requirements and graduate from Cumberlands.”

The Early Assurance Program is geared toward exceptional students who have strong academic standing, can articulate why they want to go into medicine, and are committed to participating in all elements of the program. Two UC students will be accepted into the program each year.

Eligible students must show strong due diligence, academic excellence, and skill in their field. Applicants must have completed at least 60 credit hours applicable to a degree, either earned or in progress, including two semesters of major coursework in biological sciences, with laboratories; three semesters of major coursework in chemistry, including organic chemistry, with laboratories; two semesters of college English and/or communications. A minimum GPA of 3.6 in both science coursework and overall is required, as well as an ACT composite score of 26 or higher.

“Not only will successful candidates be guaranteed a spot in medical school early on,” said Dr. Tan, “they will also benefit from special enrichment experiences. These will begin during the summer after their acceptance and wrap up the following summer, immediately before they apply.”

Additionally, these UC students will have exposure to hospital and office practice through shadowing and mentoring experiences with physicians established in NKY in collaboration with St. Elizabeth Healthcare. Students will also have access to targeted research experiences, medical college admissions test preparation, and a one-week boot camp experience to help prepare for application to medical school.

The selection process for the program will be administered by an admissions advisory board comprised of faculty representatives from UC, the Admissions Office of the UK College of Medicine in Lexington, and the Administration from the Northern Kentucky Campus.  The admissions board will assess the student’s grades, qualifications, and character to determine which two students will receive acceptance into the Early Assurance Program.

Once two students are chosen, these students will be exposed to numerous invaluable experiences that will help prepare them for medical school and work in the medical field. Upon graduating from Cumberlands, when these students apply for acceptance into the UK College of Medicine-Northern Kentucky Campus, they will be guaranteed acceptance into the program.

Students interested in applying for the Early Assurance Program can learn more about the application process by attending a special presentation by Carol Elam, EdD, the associate dean for admissions and institutional advancement at the UK College of Medicine. The presentation will be held on Cumberlands’ campus on Wednesday, March 7 from noon until 12:50 p.m. in the Correll Science Complex, room #B135. Dr. Elam will also discuss the MCAT during the presentation.

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at