Pre-Health Professions

College of Extended Learning
Dean: Gail Whitaker

College of Science and Engineering
Dean: Sheldon Axler

Health Professions Advising Committee
HH 119
415-338-2410
Web Site: http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~hpac/
E-mail: hpac@sfsu.edu
Committee Chair: Barry Rothman

Certificate Program Coordinator: Barry Rothman

Programs

Certificate in Pre-Health Professions
Pre-health Professions (listing of courses)


Program Scope

The goal of the Pre-Health Professions certificate is to guide participants through the entire preparation and application process so that they will be competitive applicants to graduate health profession schools. This program is designed for students who: 1) have already earned a BA/BS/BFA degree, 2) lack most or all pre-requisite course work, and 3) plan to apply to allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy or veterinary medicine schools. Those who have completed most or all pre-requisite course work and need to enhance their academic standing should apply to our informal post-bac program (see below).

In this certificate program, cohorts of about 25 students take prerequisite biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics course work, as well as auxiliary course work in the form of discussion sections, a Health Professions Colloquium, and a year long clinical exposure activity. A limited amount of optional course work is available for those needing preliminary and/or more advanced courses, and on-campus MCAT/DAT/PCAT/GRE preparation courses are available from commercial vendors at a discount. The program begins in the early summer and runs continuously for six semesters, a period of two years. The program is supervised by a director; a faculty committee writes a letter of evaluation that may be submitted with the student's health profession school application.

PRE-HEALTH PROFESSIONS CERTIFICATE

Admission Requirements and Application Procedure

Applicants must have graduated from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning with a baccalaureate or higher degree. Applicants are required to have a GPA of at least 2.5 for the last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units. Students whose primary language is not English must earn a minimum score of 550 on the paper version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based version. However, because higher TOEFL scores are needed to succeed in the program, students with low qualifying scores will be referred to San Francisco State University’s American Language Institute for preliminary course work. International students are welcome to apply to the program; they should contact our Office of International Programs for help with visa issues.

Applicants must complete and submit two Pre-Health Professions Certificate applications: A paper application and an online application. The paper application can be downloaded from http://online.sfsu.edu/~brothman/PHPCP.htm. The application should be submitted with the supporting documents, which include unofficial transcripts, a personal statement, a current résumé or curriculum vitae, and two letters of reference. Students who consider themselves economically and/or educationally disadvantaged should indicate this in the application. The online application is available at CSU Mentor. Official transcripts from all universities at which course work was taken must be submitted after completion of the online application. A small fee is charged for processing the online application.

Fees for Cohort 2 (June, 2007 to May, 2009) are $526 per unit of course work. The entire 60-unit program costs about $31,500. Optional course work taken at SFSU during participation in the certificate program will be charged at the same rate. Tuition is due by the beginning of each semester. Financial aid can be arranged through our Financial Aid Office.

Rolling admissions for the program begin October 1 and continue until April 30 the following year. Course work begins in early June. Admission decisions are usually conveyed within a few weeks of receipt of completed paper and online applications. It is to most students’ advantage to apply early in the cycle rather than waiting until close to the deadline, when a large number of application are received. Final approval for entry into the program is contingent upon payment of a $500 non-refundable admissions fee.

A small number of transfer students are accepted for entry in the first fall semester. Such transfers must have already completed General Chemistry I and Pre-Calculus with a grade of B or above. Fall entry is particularly suitable for those graduating in mid-June from universities using the quarter system.

 

Curriculum Units

First Semester (Summer)

CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
SCI 115 Science Concepts: General Chemistry I 1
MATH 109
   and
SCI 109
Pre- Calculus
 
Mathematics Concepts: College Algebra and Trigonometry
4
 
1
    or  
MATH 226
   and
SCI 226
Calculus I
 
Mathematics Concepts: Calculus I
4
 
1
Total 10-11
Second Semester (Fall)
PHYS 111 General Physics I 3
SCI 111 Science Concepts: General Physics I 1
PHYS 112 General Physics I Laboratory 1
CHEM 333 Organic Chemistry I 3
SCI 333 Science Concepts: Organic Chemistry I 2
CHEM 334 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory 1
Total 11
Third Semester (Spring)
PHYS 121 General Physics II 3
SCI 121 Science Concepts: General Physics II 1
PHYS 122 General Physics II Laboratory 1
CHEM 335 Organic Chemistry II 3
SCI 335 Science Concepts: Organic Chemistry II 1
CHEM 336 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory 3
Total 12

 

Fourth Semester (Summer)

BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I 5
SCI 230 Science Concepts: Introductory Biology I 1
SCI 693 Cooperative Education Program 1
MATH 124 Elementary Statistics (Optional) 3
   or  
MATH 226
   and
SCI 226
Calculus I (Required if MATH 109 taken in first semester)
 
Mathematics Concepts: Calculus I (Required if SCI 109 taken in first semester)
4
 
1
    or  
MATH 227
   and
SCI 227
Calculus II (Optional)
 
Mathematics Concepts: Calculus II (Optional)
4
 
1
Total 7-12
Fifth Semester (Fall)
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II 5
SCI 240 Science Concepts: Introductory Biology II 1
CHEM 215 General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts 3
SCI 215 Science Concepts: General Chemistry II 1
CHEM 216 General Chemistry II Laboratory: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts 2
SCI 693 Cooperative Education Program 1
Total 13
Sixth Semester (Spring)
CHEM 349 General Biochemistry 3
SCI 695 Health Professions Colloquium 2
SCI 693 Cooperative Education Program (Clinical Exposure) 1
MCAT/DAT/PCAT/GRE Preparation (Optional)
Total 6
Total Required for Certificate 59-65

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Students must demonstrate an appropriate level of writing competency. This is accomplished by the student receiving a grade of B or higher in the Health Professions Colloquium (SCI 695), which focuses on writing personal statements and interview skills. Students who do not pass this requirement may have alternative course work specified by the program director.

Post-Baccalaureate Study in Pre-Health Professions

Our informal post-baccalaureate program offers course work for admission to allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy or veterinary medicine schools. This program is suitable for those fulfilling pre-requisites (career changers), as well as those who have completed pre-requisites and are improving their academic profiles (academic enhancers). Those fulfilling pre-requisites should also consider our Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program (see above), which has the advantages of more quickly completing the course work (classes are guaranteed), and doing so with greater overall support (as a member of a cohort of students who take all classes together). Because enrollment into classes is not guaranteed in the informal program, about three years of course work is required to fulfill the typical pre-requisites. Additional time is needed for clinical exposure, preparation for national standardized tests such as the MCAT and DAT, completion of applications and conduction of interviews. Almost all of our pre-requisites are offered during weekdays; some advanced course work, usually in the form of graduate biology courses, is offered on weekday evenings. Some pre-requisite courses, but few advanced courses, are offered during our shortened summer semester.

Informal post-baccalaureates who will be taking many courses typically apply to SFSU as second baccalaureates through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. This process requires a BA/BS/BFA degree from a regionally accredited university, a GPA of at least 2.5 for the last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of course work taken, and completion of an online application at http://www.csumentor.edu/admissionapp/undergrad_apply.asp. Those taking only a few courses and those not meeting the minimum GPA requirement can take classes through SFSU’s Open University, conducted by the College of Extended Learning.

See further below for recommended course work.

Undergraduate Study in Pre-Health Professions

The undergraduate pre-health professional programs are not academic majors, and they do not by themselves lead to a certificate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree. However, these programs may be included as part of a recognized academic major. Official requirements of all majors and programs are published in this Bulletin.

Minimum preparation for health professional school includes course work in biology, chemistry, and physics. Although most undergraduates who intend to apply to a health professional school major in Biology or Chemistry, majors in the social sciences, behavioral sciences, and humanities have also been successful in gaining admission provided that these applicants have completed the prescribed course requirements (see below). It is recommended that the final choice of the undergraduate major reflect the true academic interests of the student. Academic majors with significant overlap with pre-health professional requirements include: Biology (concentrations in Cell and Molecular Biology physiology or Microbiology and Biochemistry and Chemistry (concentration in Biochemistry). The Biochemistry major is particularly well suited for those intending to apply to pharmacy schools.

Minimal Science Requirements for Informal Post-Baccalaureate Study and Undergraduates

The program listed below is recommended for admission to allopathic and osteopathic medical schools and dental schools. Pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy and veterinary medicine schools may have somewhat different requirements.

Program Units
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I (with laboratory) 5
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II (with laboratory) 5
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry (with laboratory) 5
CHEM 215 General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts 3
CHEM 216 General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts Laboratory 2
CHEM 333 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 334 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory 2
CHEM 335 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 336 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory 3
CHEM 340/341
   or
CHEM 349
Biochemistry I/Biochemistry II
 
General Biochemistry
6
 
3
MATH 226 Calculus I 4
PHYS 111 General Physics I 3
PHYS 112 General Physics I Laboratory 1
PHYS 121 General Physics II 3
PHYS 122 General Physics II Laboratory 1
Total units 46-49

NOTE: Biochemistry has become a required course for application to many medical schools.

Additional Science Courses for Informal Post-Baccalaureate Study and Undergraduates

Beyond the above minimal requirements it is recommended that the student select other science courses in consultation with an adviser. Many health profession schools prefer more extensive preparation in biology, chemistry, and/or mathematics.

Recommended Courses Units
BIOL 327 AIDS: Biology of the Modern Epidemic 3
BIOL 330 Human Sexuality 3
BIOL 328/329 Human Anatomy 4/5
BIOL 349 Bioethics 3
BIOL 350 Cell Biology 3
BIOL 355/356 Genetics/Honors Genetics 3/2
BIOL 357 Molecular Genetics 3
BIOL 361 Human Genetics 3
BIOL 380 Comparative Embryology 3
BIOL 382 Developmental Biology 3
BIOL 401/402 General Microbiology/Laboratory 3/2
BIOL 420/421 General Virology/Laboratory 2/2
BIOL 430 Medical Microbiology 5
BIOL 435/436 Immunology/Laboratory 2
BIOL 439 Medical Mycology 4
BIOL 464 Medical Entomology 3
BIOL 453/454 General Parasitology/Laboratory 3/1
BIOL 612/613 Human Physiology/Laboratory 3/2
BIOL 614 Vertebrate Histology 4
BIOL 615 Molecular Pathophysiology 3
BIOL 616 Cardiorespiratory Physiology 3
BIOL 620 Endocrinology 3
BIOL 621 Reproductive Physiology 3
BIOL 622 Hormones and Behavior 3
BIOL 640 Cellular Neurosciences 3
BIOL 642 Neural Systems Physiology 3
BIOL 699 Special Study in Biology 1
CHEM 699 Special Study in Chemistry 1-3
BIOL 861-884 Graduate Biology Seminars 1-2
CHEM 340/341
   or
CHEM 349
Biochemistry I/Biochemistry II
 
General Biochemistry
6
 
3
CHEM 343 Biochemistry I Laboratory 3
CHEM 347/348 Clinical Biochemistry/Laboratory 2/2
CHEM 338 Organic Chemistry II: Special Projects Laboratory 3
MATH 124 Elementary Statistics 3
BIOL 458 Biometry 4
MATH 227-228 Calculus II-III 4-8

Health profession schools prefer that students take advanced courses because they are in areas of interest rather than as an attempt to duplicate material that will be covered in their curricula. There are other advanced science courses that might be considered in consultation with an adviser.



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Last modified July 06, 2012 by bulletin@sfsu.edu