Rural and Urban Scholars in Community Health

The Rural and Urban Scholars in Community Health (RUSCH) premed program is a partnership with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. The invaluable initiative, which began in 2009, is designed to reach underserved communities within Wisconsin.

Underrepresented or disadvantaged students from partner schools, including University of Wisconsin-Platteville, are encouraged to apply, as well as Native American applicants from schools in Wisconsin and surrounding states. 

Students who successfully complete the RUSCH premed program receive special consideration for admission to two University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health specialized training programs: Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM) and Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health (TRIUMPH).

Program Structure

The RUSCH program affords selected undergraduate students the opportunity to learn more about careers in medicine, participate in community health improvement projects, and develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that will prepare them for admission to, and success in medical school.

The Rural and Urban Scholars in Community Health program spans two years and includes:

  • Eight-week summer research and enrichment internship on the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health campus in Madison with stipend, housing and meals provided.
  • Eight-week summer internship at sites around the state.
  • Health equity seminars and field trips to underserved rural and urban areas.
  • MD admissions workshops and advising.
  • Home campus career development and enrichment experiences.

Admission criteria

Criteria for selection include demonstrated community service commitment, student academic performance and interest in urban or rural underserved medical practice. Qualifications for consideration for RUSCH include:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Enrolled undergraduate student at UW-Milwaukee, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, or Spelman College, as well as Native American college students with at least sophomore standing and two years remaining before graduation
  • Desire to become a physician addressing health care needs in a medically underserved area
  • Demonstrated commitment to community service
  • Completion of introductory courses in English, math, and science specific to each campus, with a minimum grade of “B” in each course at the time of application
  • Minimum science and overall GPA of 3.0
  • First summer: available to participate in the summer research program in Madison (eight-week residential program, full-time 40 hours/week, during June and July)
  • Second summer: available to participate in the summer community health internship in local communities (eight-week program, full-time 40 hours/week, on-site in rural and urban communities across Wisconsin, during June and July)

Students should contact their home campuses or the RUSCH office for application deadlines and materials. To preview the application please see the online application portal.