B.A. / M.D.

B.A./M.D. Program Overview

A medical student’s journey begins as soon as they enter the UMKC School of Medicine’s B.A./M.D. program. Immediate exposure to a curriculum that builds a strong foundation in medical science and clinical skills is integrated with the liberal arts and humanities into a year-round program. Our program allows students to choose an undergraduate major and earn their B.A. and M.D. in six years. During the first two years of the program, three-fourths of a student’s time is dedicated to the arts and sciences to fulfill baccalaureate degree requirements, while one-fourth is spent in medical school coursework.  In the final four years of the program, the majority of the student’s time is spent in medical school coursework with a smaller percentage of time spent completing baccalaureate degree requirements.

Students pursue baccalaureate degrees in a variety of areas:

  • Liberal Arts
  • Chemistry
  • Biology

The ability to pursue certain undergraduate degree options is dependent on the college credit a student is able to transfer in from high school. College credit may be accepted for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, CLEP or dual-enrollment courses.

Clinical Experience and Physician Interaction

Students begin clinical experiences in the first semester of the program through the docent system.  A docent is a teaching physician who also serves as a mentor as a student advances through the curriculum.  In years 1 – 2, students are assigned to docent teams of 10 – 15 students from their class.  In this early docent experience, students are educated and mentored on the fundamentals of medicine.

In years 3 – 6, students are assigned to docent teams of 12-15 year 3 – 6 students, a docent, a clinical pharmacologist, a clinical medical librarian, an education team coordinator and other health care professionals.  In this docent experience, students spend a half day per week every week assisting with outpatient care in a continuing care clinic.  This team also works together on the internal medicine rotation two months out of the year in years 4 – 6.


Students have the opportunity to work with faculty in both clinical and research settings. Students involved in research have the opportunity to present their findings each spring at the annual Student Research Summit, and funding is available to support student research projects. The Office of Research Administration facilitates student research programs as well as coordinates supplemental research lectures and seminars.


Students at the UMKC School of Medicine have the opportunity to develop community partnerships, provide community service and reflect upon their experiences.  Students participate in service-based programs, such as the Sojourner Clinic, a free outpatient clinic developed and managed by medical students, and the Kansas City Free Eye Clinic.

Core Competencies

Our curriculum utilizes experiences with patients, peers and faculty in clinical settings that develop students who are passionate about medicine. Students learn the skills and attitudes for compassion, honesty and integrity which receive the same priority as scientific and technical skills.

To further develop these skills and attitudes, the School of Medicine uses the following core competencies as the foundation for all educational experiences, as well as the selection of new students.

Interpersonal and communication skills are crucial to a successful doctor-patient relationship. Through immediate and ongoing patient interaction, our students learn to engage with patients, families and other members of the health care team. Our graduates are able to establish a therapeutic relationship with patients, regardless of age or cultural background, and are able to communicate in an effective manner.

It is important for both medical students and graduates to have an acute sense of professional behavior during interactions with others in clinical, academic, and co-curricular activities. Students master the professional behaviors of respect, compassion and empathy, altruism, honesty, excellence and accountability. In addition, our students are taught the value of moral reasoning and ethical judgment and learn to identify ethical issues in medicine, evaluate ethical choices, and recommend and defend those choices. Our graduates have the ability to recognize individual patient value systems, while integrating moral reasoning and ethical judgment in the care of patients without compromising their own ethical integrity.

The medical knowledge students gain during their four years of medical training allows our graduates to apply both basic and clinical science to understand, explain and solve complex, multi-system problems. Our students receive four years of outstanding clinical education that sets them apart from other medical school graduates, allowing our students greater opportunity to evaluate problems from multiple perspectives and to identify an appropriate and rational solution to address those problems. Additionally, our graduates are able to apply the knowledge, skills and concepts from all scientific perspectives to overall patient care.

In each of our clinical clerkships and electives, students engage with health care professionals from nursing, pharmacy, social work and librarians to develop skills for interprofessional collaboration. Medical students learn the foundational skills of teaming in clinical medicine to provide high-quality care and comprehensive care to patients. Additionally, students complete Interprofessional Education workshops with students from other UMKC professional schools to explore the social determinants of health and their impact on an individual patient and a community.

By acquiring practice-based learning and improvement skills, including how to access and evaluate medical information, students learn how to provide effective up-to-date patient care. Learning how to use evidence-based medicine and skills related to patient safety and continuing quality improvement furthers students’ development into graduates competent in practice-based learning.

Through systems-based practice, our graduates are able to actively incorporate psychological, social, cultural and economic factors that influence both individual patients and communities. Our graduates have an increased awareness of the role diversity plays in the context of health care, and use this awareness to benefit patients and serve as better health advocates.

Through a variety of teaching and learning strategies, students acquire the attitudes, knowledge and skills required for patient care through time-honored data gathering methods of history-taking and the physical examination, appropriate use and interpretation of tests, identification and in some instances administration of needed procedures, formulation of diagnoses and companion management plans using clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills and provision of patient education. They learn how to care for the full range of patient problems – acute, chronic, emergent, preventative, rehabilitative – in inpatient, outpatient and continuing care settings.

Finally, medical students receive personal and professional development to prepare them for a career in medicine. Early in the program, students are assigned Educational Team Coordinators that help them develop the necessary skills to be successful in the academic program. Later, as they integrate into the Docent Units, medical students engage in intentional career and personal mentoring sessions.


During the first two years of the program, three-fourths of a student’s time is dedicated to the arts and sciences to fulfill baccalaureate degree requirements, while one-fourth is spent in medical school coursework. In the final four years of the program, the majority of the student’s time is spent in medical school coursework with a smaller percentage of time spent completing baccalaureate degree requirements.

Students will select from three baccalaureate degree options:  Liberal Arts, Chemistry and Biology.  Selection of the baccalaureate degree is dependent upon the number of transferable courses available from high school (AP, IB, dual enrollment, etc.)

Typical six-year program of study

Years 1 & 2

  • Through the docent team, clinical experience begins immediately in the first year and increases as students advance through the next six years.

  • Beginning in Year 1, information learned in the classroom is integrated in the clinical experience. Presentations on various medical symptoms and clinical findings are provided to integrate anatomy and physiology with medical history-taking and provide a format for learning about developing a differential diagnosis based on the patient’s history.

  • The Fundamentals of Medicine series (I-IV) builds on communication skills and learning to perform a patient-centered interview. This provides the students an opportunity to learn more about themselves, their profession and further develop effective interviewing skills.

  • In addition, students meet two to three hours a week with their docent teams to interact with patients, learn the basics of clinical medicine and develop fundamental skills.

Year 3

In Year 3, students join a new docent team, a group of 10 to 15 medical students who will learn together in Years 3 through 6. A docent and other health care professionals will provide supervision and support as students continue to develop medical knowledge and clinical skills.

  • Students move from classes primarily on the Volker Campus to the Health Science District for pre-clinical medial education that prepares them for the Step 1 licensing exam.

  • A Year 3 student is paired with a Year 5 senior partner who serves as a mentor, allowing advanced students to take additional responsibility for the professional development of younger students. This junior-senior partnership allows students to teach each other, as well as build knowledge, skills and camaraderie.

  • One half-day a week throughout Years 3 through 6, students assist to diagnose and treat patients in outpatient clinics.

Years 4 – 6

In Year 4, students will return to the UMKC Volker campus to complete coursework towards the baccalaureate degree. While completing the undergraduate degree, students continue to participate in clinical assignments.

During the last three years of the program, students have a number of experiences to complete the curriculum.

  • Two blocks a year, students join their full docent team for daily ward rounds called docent rotation. This docent rotation, block clinical rotations and continuing care clinic make up most of the final three years.
  • Clerkships in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Surgery are the required medical school clerkship offerings in the final two years.

* Three to 12 credit hours will come from general degree requirements and/or core major requirements.

**Students may take 6-7 electives in year 6. They must choose three clinical electives from nine designated categories. One of these electives must be a critical care elective.

Student Learning Outcomes

Please click here to review the Student Learning Outcomes

Graduation Requirements


  • Students must select an undergraduate B.A. major or emphasis area from a variety of disciplines.

  • The most common baccalaureate degrees are in liberal arts, biology and chemistry.

  • Students may earn up to 30 semester hours of college credit through the Advanced Placement program, International Baccalaureate program or specific subject-area examinations of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).

  • Students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 90 semester hours of non-medical courses on the UMKC Volker Campus in the following subject areas: English, fine arts, government, history, humanities, literature, natural science, philosophy and social/ behavioral science.

  • Thirty additional semester hours toward the baccalaureate degree are awarded from required concurrent medical coursework.

  • Students enrolled in the combined degree program at UMKC are required to complete a minimum of 38 hours of credit through the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and/or the School of Science and Engineering subsequent to matriculation into the B.A./M.D. program regardless of the amount of previous credit earned.


  • Students in the combined B.A./M.D. program must have satisfactory completion, certified by the UMKC registrar, of requirements for the baccalaureate degree and 38 blocks of medical curriculum credit.

  • Students must achieve Certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

  • Students must receive docent certification of clinical competence.

  • Student must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.8-4.0.

  • Students must earn passing scores on Step 1 and Step 2 CK of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

  • Students must complete 52 blocks of enrollment in the School of Medicine, Years 3-6.

  • At least three clinical electives are required and these must come from a minimum of three of the nine School of Medicine approved clinical elective categories. One of these electives must be a critical care elective.

  • Students are expected to evaluate the quality of their experiences through course and performance evaluations, an annual program assessment, a graduation questionnaire and a survey of their performance at the end of their first postgraduate year.

Applying for Admission

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Additional Information

Please visit the Program Website to learn more about this program: http://med.umkc.edu/bamd

UMKC School of Medicine
Office of Admissions, M1-103
2411 Holmes
Kansas City, MO  64108
Phone: 816-235-1870
Fax: 816-235-6579
Email: medicine@umkc.edu