Application Process

Posing with "Welcome to Willmar" sign

Applications for the Rural Physician Associate Program 2025-2026 program year open on Friday, May 10, 2024! Apply to RPAP by Sunday, September 8, 2024.

The RPAP longitudinal experience gives an opportunity to understand all the aspects of social determinants of health in an individual patient as visits occur over time, as well as an opportunity for personal involvement in a community, to explore how those aspects are addressed. Check out the RPAP FAQ page and the alumni videos on this page to hear directly about the student experience.

Students apply to RPAP during the foundations phase of medical school. RPAP applicants must complete the application form and provide answers to several essay questions as well as access to their grades for all completed coursework

Interviews will take place in September, either in person or virtually. We will update this page with additional details. 

Class selection generally occurs by mid-October of each year.

Before you start your application, review this document that has information to help you fill out your application. For your CV, we have provided this CV template to use as a guide. Your CV does not have to follow this template exactly but must include all information listed. Please contact us with any questions or requests for assistance with your CV. *Note that a letter of recommendation is not required as part of this application.

RPAP and MetroPAP encourage students to apply early. For RPAP and MetroPAP, each student is carefully matched to community training sites based on the flavor of each site and the preferences and needs of individual students. The earlier students submit their application, the more time RPAP/MetroPAP staff have to develop these matches and facilitate site/preceptor availability.

Info Sessions

RPAP will host several info sessions for MS1 and MS2 students. Details will be emailed out to students.

RPAP Info Session, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, 12:15 - 1:15pm,  HSEC 2-138 (Twin Cities campus) 

Meet RPAP Alumni, Thursday, June 6, 2024, 12:15 - 1:15pm, SMed 142 (Duluth campus) 

Meet RPAP Alumni, Thursday, June 6, 2024, 12:15 - 1:15pm, HSEC 2-138 (Twin Cities campus)

RPAP Info Session, Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 12:15 - 1:15pm, SMed 142 (Duluth campus)


Each RPAP student receives a $16,000 tuition offset for participation in RPAP. $8,000 is deducted from the student's University tuition twice - once in August and once in January - for a total reduction in your tuition of $16,000. The community site also pays the student a stipend of $4,000 OR provides free housing. The stipend is paid directly to the student. These payments are made as long as students are meeting RPAP program requirements. Students who are receiving service commitment scholarships that already cover tuition/fees and living stipend (such as Health Professions Scholarship Program, Indian Health Service, or National Health Service Corps) may not be eligible to receive the RPAP funding. If you have any questions, contact the Medical School Office of Financial Aid,


  • A student should be a motivated, independent learner
  • Must pass the USMLE Step I Board Exam
  • Solid academic performance in medical school courses; passed all requirements to begin clinical experience
  • Must successfully complete Medicine I clinical clerkship prior to RPAP
  • Immunization schedule must be up-to-date

Breaks and Vacations

RPAP students will not receive breaks according to the Medical School’s academic calendar (e.g., no spring break or winter break). Instead, they receive two weeks of vacation (10 weekdays + weekends) to schedule with the permission of their site and the RPAP office; throughout the program, the occasional sick day does not count against this total.