Alumni Student Scholar Program

Each year we identify 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 to join the Alumni Student Scholars Program (ASSP). Specifically, the program seeks students interested in practicing primary care within South Dakota.

USD offers a solid undergraduate education grounded in the liberal arts. Plus there are many opportunities to interact with physicians and other health care professionals. ASSP Scholars take part in an Issues in Contemporary Medicine honors seminar and a summer clinical preceptorship with practicing alumni physicians. They have the chance to engage in research and attend social gatherings with current and previous program scholars, medical school faculty and alumni.

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 December 1.

Scholarship Details

  • You will be eligible for a Coyote Commitment Scholarship from the university.
  • 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.