Premedical Enhancement Program

The Premedical Enhancement Program, or PEP, is a formalized three-year mentoring program co-sponsored by the UVM Honors College and College of Medicine Office of Primary Care. The intent of the program is to provide students with the opportunity to experience the complex realities of patient care and practice management while also witnessing the tremendous responsibility entrusted to physicians. Ideally, students will also begin to appreciate the important role physicians have in contributing to and advocating for the care of underserved Vermonters. Participants gain insight into the medical school process by being matching with a Larner student throughout their time in the program.

A PEP participant shadows a different physician-mentor each year (minimum of 16 hours per semester). Students are also required to attend two academic medical seminars (Grand Rounds) each semester. A required written evaluation at the end of the semester promotes student reflection. Those who successfully complete the program, including all requirements outlined below, may be eligible for an interview with the Larner College of Medicine Admissions Committee. 

A small number of students are selected for PEP at the end of their first year at UVM based on a rigorous application process. Academically eligible students can begin the application process after completing the fall semester at UVM (see “Eligibility Requirements” and “Application Materials & Deadline” . In addition to a strong academic performance, the PEP Selection Committee expects candidates to have demonstrated: an interest in pursuing a career as a physician; a passion for community service; and a genuine desire for learning more about the unique health care challenges facing vulnerable populations in Vermont and elsewhere. The success of PEP relies on the generous donation of time by community physicians. We expect that participants in PEP demonstrate the maturity, professionalism and dedication that this three-year commitment requires. Up to ten qualified applicants will gain acceptance each year. All applicants are notified of their status in June. 

We recommend that all applicants complete the AAMC’s Anatomy of an Applicant Self-Assessment Guide to reflect on the Core Competencies that represent the skills, knowledge and abilities that health care providers should possess. 


To be eligible for PEP, an applicant must:

  • Be a first-year University of Vermont student
  • Earn GPA of ≥ 3.30 for Fall semester
  • Have received a B- or better in at least ONE of the following Fall courses:
    • ◦Biology (BIOL 001, BCOR 011 OR BCOR 021) AND/OR 
    • ◦Chemistry (CHEM 31 or 047 or higher) AND/OR
    • ◦Mathematics (MATH 019 or higher) 


  1. Resume:
    • This should be up-to-date and include experiences since matriculating at UVM
    • Include relevant health/community volunteer experience since high school, including total hours spent at each
    • We recommend using drop-in services at The Hub to have a Peer Mentor review your resume and offer suggestions. Online resume reviews are also available through Handshake
  2. Current copy of your UVM Transcript that includes Fall grades (Request email receipt of an online official transcript through myUVM which you can print and include in your application packet.)

  3. Two letters of recommendation:
    • A recommendation from at least one UVM faculty member is required
    • The second letter may be from a high school teacher or guidance counselor, or another UVM faculty member. These letters should be sent directly from the letter writer. They can be emailed to if electronically signed or can be sent to the physical address above
  4. A short, well-written essay of approximately 300 - 400 words. Consider using one of more of the following prompts to help shape your essay:
    • Reflect on why you feel called to a career as a physician
    • What experiences in your life have given you insight into the field?
    • What are the defining skills or traits you have already developed and that you feel align well with your career choice?
    • In reviewing the pre-professional Core Competencies, which do you feel are your biggest areas for growth during the next four years?
    • What have you learned about yourself and/or about the healthcare system from experiences you’ve had working with underserved populations?
    • What are the ways that you have tried to learn about current issues related to health and healthcare? 


Completed applications must be submitted no later than February 10th. If this date falls on a weekend, then the application is due the next business day.

Hand Deliver (or mail to):
Premed Enhancement Program
c/o Ann Kroll Lerner
Honors College - UVM
50 University Heights - North
Burlington, VT 05405


All applications will be reviewed by a Committee consisting of faculty from: College of Medicine, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Honors College, College of Arts and Sciences; and the Health Professions Advisor from The Career Center

In April, candidates will be notified regarding the status of their applications. A select number of applicants will be offered an interview with the Committee. Interviews will occur in April or early May. In selecting PEP participants, the Committee takes into account the quality and impact of the student’s essay, the letters of recommendation, the applicant’s GPA and the interview experience.

Final decisions will be announced after Spring grades are available in order to confirm that all selectees have fulfilled the following criteria:

  • Earned a grade of B or better in all math and science courses in the Spring semester of the first year
  • Achieved a cumulative UVM GPA ≥ 3.40 by the end of Spring semester


To continue in PEP, participants must:

  • Enroll in, and successfully complete, at least one science (or mathematics) course each semester until all medical school recommended prerequisites are complete
  • Maintain an overall GPA of ≥ 3.50 as measured at the end of each academic year
  • Attain a Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and/or Physics (BCMP) GPA of > 3.50 as measured at the end of each academic year
  • Interact respectfully and professionally with the physician/mentors in all clinical and non-clinical activities
  • Engage in all required shadowing hours and attendance at Grand Rounds, and thoughtfully complete reflection assignments, evaluations and attend all PEP activities


PEP students are encouraged to carefully consider their timing for application to medical school. The average age of matriculants at Larner College of Medicine at UVM (and other medical schools) is ~25 years as many candidates decompress the application preparation process and pursue valuable experiences for one or more years prior to attending medical school. PEP students should apply to medical school when their application is strong and when they are prepared for the rigor of the training process. PEP students should complete UVM’s Committee Letter Process in the academic year leading up to formal application to medical school, as some schools-- including Larner-- require a Committee Letter for those who are eligible to receive one. 


The benefit of participating in PEP centers on the mentored exposure to medicine received over three years. These experiences are likely to enhance and strengthen an application to medical school. A PEP student, as well as any other UVM student who applies to The Larner College of Medicine at UVM, is eligible for an admissions interview if:

  • All science prerequisites are completed prior to application
  • All Larner application requirements are met and the AMCAS application is submitted BY August 15th, preferably by the end of July
  • Students cumulative GPA is ≥ 3.5
  • Student’s MCAT result is ≥ 80th percentile (~509, though subject to change annually based on input from Larner Admissions Committee)

It is ideal to determine that you’ve met the MCAT requirement prior to committing to the Committee Letter Process (CLP) in order that your Committee Letter be written when your overall application is at its strongest. If you haven’t taken the MCAT prior to beginning CLP, you proceed through the process at your own risk: If you are not granted admission to Larner or another medical school in that cycle, you will be at a disadvantage the following year having to use a Committee Letter which have been prepared over a year earlier.

For those PEP students admitted to Larner prior to their UVM graduation, the following is necessary to maintain eligibility, or admission to Larner may be revoked:

  • Receipt of ≥ B in all coursework taken subsequent to submission of AMCAS application
  • Maintenance of cumulative GPA ≥ 3.50 throughout remaining semesters

Applicants accepted by Larner may request a deferral of matriculation. The decision for deferral rests entirely with the Larner Admissions Committee.