NEW ORLEANS — A national leader in the number of Black graduates accepted by medical schools has a new early acceptance agreement with one of Louisiana’s largest medical schools.

LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine will admit up to 10 Xavier University of Louisiana students a year under the program, with a pair of four-year full scholarships open to those who don’t apply to any other medical school.

“We are dedicated to increasing the diversity of the professional health workforce,” Dr. Steve Nelson, LSU Health New Orleans interim chancellor, said in a news release. “Xavier has been enormously successful nationally in graduating pre-med students, and it seemed a natural partnership to keep these promising future physicians right here at home.”

Xavier, a small Catholic and historically Black school in New Orleans, has been getting high numbers of African American students into medical schools since the 1990s. In 1995, for example, medical schools accepted 81 of its graduates — 2.5 times the number of Black Harvard graduates accepted to medical schools that year. Statistics from the American Association of Medical Colleges show that in the 2021-2022 academic year, only three schools — all much larger than Xavier — had more Black students applying to medical schools.

Xavier’s new program with LSU is for students who, at the end of their sophomore spring semester, are on track to graduate in the spring of their senior year and to enter medical school that year. Other requirements include a recommendation from Xavier’s Pre-Medical Committee.

Students must complete at least 60 semester hours of courses at Xavier, with required subjects including eight each of biology, chemistry and organic chemistry, all with labs. Other required courses are two semesters of English and two of math, including at least one statistics course.

Xavier President Reynold Verret said the partnership will continue to “diversify the face of medicine and bring forth representation needed by the US population.”

Students will be nominated by May of their sophomore year, and the medical school will review the nominations the following fall. The students will be interviewed by members of the medical school’s admissions committee, which will decide whether to offer early admission. That admission will still depend on other requirements, including an acceptable score on the Medical College Admission Test, and students must still apply through the American Medical College Application Service.

Xavier has similar agreements with nine other medical schools including those at Dartmouth College, the universities of Southern California, Rochester and Pennsylvania, and Tulane, St. Louis and Michigan State universities.

“Together with Xavier University we will help address the need to recruit more underrepresented students into the medical profession,” said Dr. Richard DiCarlo, interim dean of the LSU medical school in New Orleans. “We will keep their best and brightest students here in Louisiana to serve the people of the community and state for years to come.”