Sanford School of Medicine School of Medicine

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Alumni Student Scholars Program

Alumni Student Scholars Class of 2018 from left: Margaret O'Brien, Hanna Leschisin, Dr. Mary Nettleman, Matthew Preszler and Nicole Clemen.

Since 1992, we’ve annually identified four outstanding South Dakota high school seniors who have a well-developed interest in medicine and are dedicated to the mission of our medical school.

Selection Criteria

While selection of scholars is based in part on good high school academic qualifications the selection process also includes an assessment of those personal qualities required of a good physician. These include: integrity, compassion, fairness with colleagues and a capacity for leadership. The best candidates will embody a keen interest in primary care medicine, especially family practice, a heartfelt desire to better understand and help people, and an awareness of rural life and the unique aspects of practicing medicine in a rural setting.

  • Must be a graduating senior from a South Dakota high school
  • Have a combined score of at least 1240 on the SAT or a score of 28 or higher on the ACT
  • Submit completed Online Academic Scholarship Application, including the Alumni Student Scholars Program component, with transcripts and 3 letters of reference by January 13
Scholarship Details
  • You will be eligible for a Coyote Commitment Scholarship from the U.
  • You also will receive a $1,000 stipend, provided by the Sanford School of Medicine Alumni Relations Council, upon successful completion of one 6-week long summer clinical preceptorship. 
  • You receive a conditional acceptance to the Sanford School of Medicine with waiver of the MCAT requirement.
  • Upon entering the Sanford School of Medicine, you will receive a $1,000 annual scholarship, renewable for up to four years of medical school, from the Sanford School of Medicine Alumni Relations Council.
  • You also will be eligible for the one $5,000 annual scholarship, renewable for up to four years of medical school, provided by the Sanford School of Medicine. 
  • You will be enrolled in the USD Honors Program and are free to major in any academic discipline. We require that you complete all pre-medicine courses, your Bachelor's degree requirements and the Honors Program requirements within four years and graduate at the Spring Commencement with a minimum of a 3.50 undergraduate GPA.
  • Upon successful completion of all program requirements you are admitted to the next entering class at the Sanford School of Medicine.
Solid Foundation

We offer the opportunity to gain a solid undergraduate education grounded in the liberal arts along with numerous opportunities to interact with physicians and other health care professionals. This is accomplished through a variety of means such as: a special Honors seminar, Issues in Contemporary Medicine; the summer clinical preceptorship with practicing alumni physicians; opportunities to engage in research and other educational activities within Sanford School of Medicine and social gatherings with current and previous program scholars, medical school faculty and alumni.