Marshall University announces newest class for accelerated B.S./M.D. program

Monday, March 18, 2019
Contact: Sheanna M. Spence, Director of External Affairs, School of Medicine, 304-691-1639

Marshall University announces newest class for accelerated B.S./M.D. program

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – High school seniors usually don’t know exactly what they want to do for the next seven years, but 10 West Virginia students have already committed to becoming doctors. 

Marshall University and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine announced today the newest class members of its accelerated B.S./M.D. program, established in 2015 to create an accelerated pathway for high-performing West Virginia students to finish both their Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine degrees in seven years. 

The following students have been accepted into the program and will begin undergraduate classes this fall: 

  • Ashalia Aggarwul, Morgantown High School, Monongalia County
  • Grace Cornelius, Greenbrier East High School, Greenbrier County
  • Payton Fitchpatrick, Tug Valley High School, Mingo County
  • Mattie Hanna, George Washington High School, Kanawha County
  • Olivia Hart, Hurricane High School, Putnam County
  • Sophia Oliashirazi, Huntington High School, Cabell County
  • Tristan Patton, Huntington High School, Cabell County
  • Marvin Simpkins, Wayne High School, Wayne County
  • Kala Sizemore, Spring Mills High School, Berkeley County
  • Colton Smith, Westside High School, Wyoming County

“This is an exceptional group of students from the northern panhandle, eastern panhandle and across southern West Virginia,” said Jennifer T. Plymale, associate dean of admissions for the School of Medicine. “They are student-athletes, leaders in their high schools, community volunteers and first-generation college students.”

Plymale said the program is just one of the ways Marshall University is working to keep talented, bright students in West Virginia.

“I have wanted to be a physician for as long as I can remember. I knew this would present many challenges coming from such a rural area,” incoming student Smith said. “The B.S./M.D. program will give me the ability to not only fulfill these dreams but to also give back to my small, underserved community.”

Students begin the application process their junior year of high school. The program is open to West Virginia high school students who achieve a minimum ACT composite score of 30 (or equivalent SAT) and an ACT math score of 27 (or equivalent SAT), as well as a cumulative GPA of 3.75 on a 4.0 scale.  Other admission criteria include three letters of recommendation and an on-campus interview. 

Students who successfully complete the undergraduate program requirements will matriculate directly into medical school.  They are not required to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).  Additionally, they will receive a tuition waiver for the medical school portion of the program.

For more information on the program, visit


Date Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019