Bradley and UICOMP Offer Early Assurance Program

Bradley University and the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria have announced a new collaboration that will enhance medical school admission options for Bradley students. The Early Assurance Program (EAP) offers qualifying Bradley students the opportunity to apply for early assurance to medical school at UICOMP. This program will allocate up to five seats to qualifying Bradley students each year.

Qualifying students must meet established admission requirements and successfully complete two courses offered by Bradley through the EAP. Additionally, strongest consideration is given to students who are Illinois residents with a permanent address in central or southern Illinois.

“The Early Assurance Program is an opportunity for UICOMP to recruit medical students who have a local tie to the community,” says Jessica Hanks, MD, associate dean for academic affairs. “History tells us that students who have a connection to central Illinois and who complete medical education and training here are more likely to remain here to practice medicine,” Hanks says. Training doctors who stay here and practice medicine in Peoria and the surrounding region was the vision of the college’s founders more than 50 years ago. Hanks herself is a graduate of both Bradley University and UICOMP.

“This program is one of our pipeline recruiting strategies in which we hope to connect early with students who are considering studying medicine and give them insight into the outstanding medical education available here in Peoria,” Hanks says.

“The Early Assurance Program reflects Bradley University's commitment to fostering academic excellence, and providing unique opportunities for our students,” says Sherri Morris, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Curriculum & Faculty Excellence in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Biology. “Together with UICOMP, we are ensuring a seamless pathway from undergraduate education to medical school with the shared goal of advancing health care, and making a lasting impact on our communities."

EAP courses are taught by both Bradley and UICOMP faculty and offer a broad introduction to medical school and the medical school admission process. The curriculum content includes basic sciences, wellbeing and professionalism. Components of the EAP also include peer mentorship, pairing Bradley students with current UICOMP medical students.

These courses are available to Bradley students enrolled in eligible majors, including biology, biomedical science, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, chemistry, kinesiology and health science, or psychology. Students interested in the EAP may apply during their sophomore or junior year by submitting an application.

Nationwide medical school admission is highly competitive, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine (UI COM) is no exception. UICOMP is one of three campuses of the University of Illinois College of Medicine which received more than 9,000 applicants in 2022-23 for admission to the Class of 2027. Approximately 300 students are accepted for admission to UI COM each year, with 65 assigned to the Peoria regional campus. Admission to the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria includes a holistic review of student qualifications, including college grade point average and MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) score. 

After graduating medical school and earning a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree, doctors must complete at least three years of residency training before being able to practice. UICOMP offers 15 residency programs in specialties such as anesthesiology, emergency medicine, family medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, surgery and more. UICOMP also offers more specialized training through its 12 fellowship programs. UICOMP’s residency and fellowship programs are offered in collaboration with its training affiliates – Carle Health Methodist Hospital and OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria (UICOMP) is one of three regional campuses of the University of Illinois College of Medicine. The Peoria regional campus educates 265 medical students and more than 300 physician residents and fellows annually. Additionally, it provides clinical care to more than 45,000 patients annually and conducts basic science, clinical and outcomes research. The College of Medicine is home to the Cancer Research Center, Center for Wellbeing, and is a collaborator in Jump Simulation. Learn more about UICOMP at

Bradley University is a top-ranked, private university in Peoria, Illinois, offering nearly 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students opportunities, choices and resources to build their futures. Innovation, action and collaboration drive Bradley students to generate ideas and create solutions that remake the world around them. Through its comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate academic programs, Bradley empowers students for immediate and sustained success in their personal and professional endeavors by combining professional preparation, liberal arts and sciences, and co-curricular experiences.

UICOMP and Bradley University leaders celebrate new Early Assurance Program

Regional Dean of UICOMP, Dr. Meenakshy Aiyer and Bradley University President Stephen Standifird sign the EAP agreement.