Q. What is the prerequisite coursework?
A: Candidates applying for admission to the biomedical sciences program need to have completed the standard pre-medical coursework in order to enroll (8 credits in General Biology, 8 credits in Inorganic Chemistry, 8 credits in Organic Chemistry, 8 credits in General Physics, biochemistry recommended). All courses must have a lab component. It is acceptable to have any of those courses "in progress" so long as an acceptable grade is earned prior to the start of classes in August.
Q. Do all prerequisites classes have to be taken at a 4-year institution?
A: No, as long as the courses are taken at a regionally accredited institution then we will accept the credit. However, in order to stay competitive it is best to take the course at a 4-year institution.
Q. Who does the letter of recommendation have to come from?
A: Preferably, we require a letter from your pre-medical advisor or committee letter. However, if that is not possible, a letter from a science faculty member may substitute.
Q. Are there GPA and/or test score minimum requirements?
A: No. Every candidate for admission is reviewed on an individual basis and test scores and GPAs of admitted candidates vary. However, the averages for those admitted in 2012 were:
Undergraduate GPA - 3.21
MCAT: Physical = 7.32 Verbal = 7.36 Biological = 8.09
Q. What standardized test scores are required for admission?
A: Official valid test scores from any of the following exams are acceptable for the biomedical sciences program: MCAT, GRE, OAT or DAT. Waivers of any exam are not permitted in the admissions process.
Q. Where can I find the curriculum for the program?
A: Click here for the Adobe pdf version of the College Catalog for easy review and printing.
Q. What is the total number of credits for each year of the program?
A: The first year of the program is 29 credits over three terms while the second year (leading to the masters degree) is an additional 21 to 24 credits depending on the concentration (research, non-thesis, forensic biology, or organizational leadership).
Q. What is the cost of tuition?
A: For the 2012-2013 academic year, candidates are paying $777 per credit.
Q. Is this program only applicable to DO schools or can I still apply to other medical schools?
A: You can apply to any professional school in which you are interested. Every year we have students applying to dental school, podiatry school, optometry school, allopathic medical school and of course, osteopathic medical school.
Q. What is the percentage of students who enter professional school after completion of the certificate? How many attend PCOM?
A: Approximately 1/2 of the biomedical sciences students enter professional schools each year. A large percentage of that enrolls at PCOM in the DO program but the number varies from year to year. The Biomedical Science program does not have any connection to the PCOM DO program admissions process and seats are not saved in the DO program for biomed students. If a certificate or degree candidate applies for admission to our DO program, he/she is guaranteed an interview only if students have complete application files, are in good academic standing, and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 with no F's or W's at the conclusion of the second term of the certificate year or in the second year.
Q. What types of jobs do our master's graduates receive if they ultimately do not enter professional school?
A: Students have found the preparation a good base for additional graduate work in a PhD program, employment in biomedical research/development lab work, biotechnology, or in the pharmaceutical industry. It also can serve as a base for life science teaching at high school or community college level.
Q. Is the program is designed to help a student increase one's MCAT scores?
A: Graduate work in anatomy, infectious process and biochemistry are not directly designed for MCAT review but helps with content knowledge. There is no MCAT prep component to the curriculum.
Q. Can this program be taken on a full or part time basis? When are classes held?
A: The curriculum is designed to be completed on a full time basis but students may drop to part time if necessary. Courses are taught three weekday nights in 14 week terms so it is possible for a candidate to have a full time job while completing the program full time.
Q. What is the length of the program?
A: The first three consecutive terms (Fall, Winter, Spring) can be completed for a certificate. The masters curriculum begins in either the summer or fall of the same year and candidates graduate the following July. Candidates have five years to complete the degree program.
Q. What is the deadline to apply for admission?
A: PCOM operates on rolling admissions basis, and therefore it is strongly encouraged that candidates for admission submit their completed applications EARLY. For fall enrollment, we typically fill our entering class to capacity by the month of June.
Q. What term can I apply for?
A: Most candidates will begin their studies in the fall term (mid-August start).
Q. Is an interview required?
A: Interviews are not a part of the admissions process for the certificate portion of biomedical sciences program. Once enrolled, however, if one wishes to advance into the MS program, an interview with a faculty member from the corresponding concentration is required.
Q. Does the program offer a Committee letter of recommendation for professional students?
A: Yes, students may request a committee letter of recommendation from the faculty.