Program Requirements
All Rural Programs

Program Information and Requirements

The Rural Health Scholars Program, conducted by the  College of Community Health Sciences, allows 25 rising high school seniors from rural Alabama to live on the University of Alabama campus during a five-week summer program. Chosen based on academic achievement and interest in rural health care, these outstanding high school juniors from rural areas take two courses for college credit (English and chemistry), participate in lectures related to rural health careers and take field trips to rural health care facilities and a medical school.

Statistics show that rural students are more likely to live and practice in rural areas. The concept of the Rural Health Leaders Pipeline was developed as part of a strategy to recruit rural students into medical school. The Rural Health Scholars Program was founded to encourage high school students to consider careers in medicine and health professions and experience college first-hand.

Dates of the Program

May 28 – June 28, 2017

Program Requirements

To qualify for the Rural Health Scholars Program, the applicant must:

      • Be a rising high school senior
      • Be a resident of rural Alabama for at least six years
      • Have a B average or 3.0 GPA
      • Have taken the ACT (minimum score of 21) or SAT (minimum 1000 score)
      • Have an interest in health care with a desire to return to rural Alabama
      • Submit two (2) letters of recommendation: one from the student’s guidance counselor and the other from a teacher
      • Submit transcript that includes ACT and/or SAT scores
      • Submit a statement of interest
      • Meet the University of Alabama admissions criteria

Participants will be selected based on their interests, motivation and personal qualities that are most suited for becoming future physicians and other health professionals practicing in a rural community. For these reasons, applicants are asked for a statement of interest, information concerning academic experiences and achievements, and at least two recommendations with one recommendation from someone familiar with your academic record.

Academic Opportunities

Participants will enroll in special sections of two University of Alabama academic courses: Creative Writing (EN 200) and Introductory to Chemistry with laboratory (CH 104). Students will take these two courses at no risk, and if he/she earns an A, B, or C, he/she will receive college credit. If not, he/she will not be penalized. Any grade lower than a C will not be recorded on the student’s academic record.

Residential Opportunities

Participants will live in a University residence hall and eat in University dining halls. Males and females will be housed separately in a residence hall with gender specific counselors assigned to each group. For the student’s safety and security, a sign-in/sign-out system will be used. Curfew and quiet hours for study time are established and enforced.

Leisure/Social Opportunities

Daily recreation opportunities are available as well as regularly scheduled group social activities. All group activities and social events are required. Students will be allowed to use the student recreation center and other recreational facilities around campus.


Tuition, room, meal ticket and books expenses are provided by financial support from the Alabama Family Practice Rural Health Board, the University of Alabama and friends of Rural Alabama. Participants will be responsible for the application fee, transportation to and from the program and personal expenses.