James L. Sweatt Scholarship

The James L. Sweatt Scholarship, named for the first African American graduate of the Washington University School of Medicine, is designed to encourage and support high-achieving premedical students who meet the criteria set forth below.

The James L. Sweatt Scholarship for Post-Baccalaureate Premedical studies at Washington University is intended to foster a diverse educational atmosphere in the post-baccalaureate premedical program. A diverse student body will increase the cultural competencies of all students in the program, thus enhancing the overall quality of their education. 

The American Association of Medical Colleges’ MCAT test reflects a new emphasis on putting scientific knowledge into socio-cultural context, with direct testing of psychological and sociological principles. Sharing a classroom with students from a variety of backgrounds is an important first step in fostering the cross-cultural understanding necessary for success in medical school and beyond.  

The James L. Sweatt Scholarship provides $5,000 toward tuition in the Washington University Post-baccalaureate Premedical Program for one academic year, and may be renewed for one additional academic year as long as the recipient remains in good academic standing and maintains a 3.5 or better GPA. This is a competitive scholarship with a maximum of three awarded each year. Applicants must apply by July 1st for fall. The James L. Sweatt Scholarship is open to all qualified applicants, regardless of race or ethnic background.

Criteria for the James L. Sweatt Scholarship include: 

  • high academic achievement
  • demonstrated experience with or commitment to serving or working with historically underserved or underprivileged populations
  • demonstrated experience or commitment to bringing diverse people together or bridging divides among them
  • experience overcoming substantial educational or economic obstacles
  • being the first generation in the family to graduate from college
  • being from an inner-city or rural area which has historically lacked adequate medical facilities.  

Any or all of these criteria may be considered in deciding whether to award the scholarship. 

To be considered for the James L. Sweatt Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program Scholarship, applicants must:

  • Be admitted into the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program in University College.
  • Complete the Sweatt Scholarship Application.
  • Have earned a minimum 3.5 cumulative undergraduate GPA.
  • Provide two letters of recommendation.
  • Submit an essay (addressing why diversity in the healthcare workforce matters).
  • Personal interview with members of the University College staff.  

Applicants will be considered for interview after review of the essay and letters of recommendation.