Princeton-Rutgers ACES Program

The ACES program at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) is a six-week summer program for Princeton sophomores who are seriously considering a career in medicine. RWJMS will provide academic and clinical experiences, faculty mentoring, and interaction with medical students. Eligible students are invited to participate in a linkage to the medical school.

Sample week:

Monday attend anatomy and physiology class in the morning, cadaver lab in the afternoon
Tuesday accompany clinical mentor on rounds in the hospital, attend a lunch seminar with a physician speaker
Wednesday attend anatomy class, Patient Centered Medicine seminar, and cadaver lab
Thursday shadow clinical mentor in the OR, attend a lunch seminar
Friday anatomy exam and lab practical

Eligibility Requirements

  • Sophomore (rising junior) at Princeton
  • Realistic plan for completion of RWJMS prerequisite courses by graduation
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and combined SAT Verbal/Math of 1300 or ACT of 29.
  • Applicants must be from a group underrepresented in medicine, from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and/or first-generation college goers

Princeton Application Procedure

All applicants must submit:

  • Resume including intended concentration and significant high school and college activities
  • A personal essay
  • ACES Application
  • One letter of recommendation from a Princeton professor, preceptor or adviser who can speak to the applicant's academic abilities and readiness for a career in medicine

2019-20 ACES Brochure (.pdf)
2019-20 ACES Application (.doc) (google doc)

Application is due on Friday, January 31. Letter of recommendation must be received by Friday, February 14.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are you looking for in applicants?

We're looking for students who are intellectually curious, engaged in their community, and genuinely enthusiastic about the chance to expand their knowledge of science and medicine; students who are interested in RWJMS and ready to actively contribute to the learning community in the program. Generally, medical schools are looking for individuals who have demonstrated development of the AAMC core competencies, so thinking about how you show these competencies may help your application.

Who should I ask for a letter of recommendation?

We're interested in who you are as a person as well as a student, so we'd like a letter from someone who can speak to both. Someone who has gotten to know you through a smaller class like Writing Sem, or in a precept, or someone with whom you've discussed your academic progress like an academic adviser or mentor would be appropriate. 

Am I required to attend RWJMS if I participate in this program?

We hope that this program will provide insight into what it's like to attend this medical school, but there is no binding agreement to attend the school if you participate in this program. Students may decide to participate in the linkage to RWJMS, or may decide to apply at large to medical schools.

I don't have a resume - how do I start writing one?

The Center for Career Development has some guidelines for undergrads and Peer Career Advisers can provide personalized assistance. 

How much does the program cost?

ACES Scholars will receive a stipend that should cover all expenses for the summer. Housing is available on the Rutgers campus. 

Where does the program take place?

The courses will take place on the RWJMS medical school campus in Piscataway, NJ. Clinical experiences will depend on the location of the clinical mentor, but will most likely be on or near the New Brunswick campus. 

ACES Timeline

Soph Year
Info Session with program personnel and current ACES Scholars
Application available online
February Letter of recommendation due to HPA
Interviews with program finalists
March RWJMS announces selection of ACES Scholars
May Complete required RWJMS paperwork
June Program begins at RWJMS
Junior Year ACES Scholars meet with Princeton HPA advisers to discuss summer experience, academic progress, and potential linkage to RWJMS
Junior Year January  ACES Scholars declare intent to apply to linkage and submit additional letter of recommendation
February  Selected ACES Scholars are interviewed at RWJMS
March  RWJMS announces admissions decisions for linkage candidates
Senior Year ACES Scholars stay in touch with HPA advisers to ensure eligibility for program
Summer after graduation Linkage students matriculate at RWJMS