The Elizabeth Blackwell Class of 1849 Pioneer in Science Scholarship provides a unique opportunity for qualified first-year students. Those who meet and maintain the standards of the program are awarded an annual $25,000 scholarship. Scholars interested in medical careers can also secure early admittance to SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine in Syracuse.

The program is named for Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman physician in North America. She received her medical degree from Geneva Medical College (now Hobart and William Smith Colleges) in 1849, graduating at the top of her class.

She continued her studies in Paris and later opened her own practice in New York in 1851. A few years later, with her sister’s help, she opened a clinic for poor women and children. In 1868 she founded the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary, one of the first medical schools for women.

The Geneva Medical College was moved to Syracuse and today is the SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine.

Blackwell Scholars receive a $25,000 scholarship for four years to attend Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Blackwell Scholars interested in pursuing a career in medicine are also eligible to compete for a reserved seat in medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine. Applicants interested in this combined BS/MD program should use the extra essay that is part of the scholarship application to write about their career goals and relevant experiences.

Students accepted to the combined BS/MD program must satisfy program requirements to retain their reserved spot at SUNY Upstate. Currently these requirements include maintaining a 3.50 GPA and achieving a minimum score on the MCAT.



To qualify applicants must be a U.S. citizen and must have minimum SAT scores of 1250 (reading and math) or an ACT Composite of 28, a high school grade point average of 90 or higher (or 3.7 on a 4.0 scale) and significant interest and experience in the sciences or medicine. Students must also complete an admissions interview no later than February 1, submit an additional recommendation from a teacher in the science or mathematics departments, as well as an additional personal essay. You may email (, fax (315-781-3914), or mail (629 South Main St. Geneva, NY 14456) the additional recommendation and personal essay to the Office of Admissions.

Applicants who wish to compete for a reserved seat in medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine should be a U.S. Citizen or resident. Finalists for the BS/MD program will be required to come to campus (in late winter) for an evaluative interview with the Blackwell Selection Committee. Additional information about eligibility for and requirements of the BS/MD program is available from SUNY Upstate.

Competitive international scholarship applicants will be individually contacted by a member of the Office of Admissions to set up an interview.

Students who meet the requirements are encouraged to fill out and submit the scholarship application by January 15.*

*If applying for admission as an Early Decision I candidate, you must apply for the Blackwell Scholars Program by November 15.



Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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