Pre-Medical Program

117A Schmucker Science Center South
Stephen J. Zimniski, Director

Mahrukh Azam, Chemistry
Melissa Betz Cichowicz, Chemistry
Frank Fish, Biology
Blaise Frost, Chemistry
Felix Goodson, Chemistry
Judith Greenamyer, Biology
Susan Johnston, Anthropology and Sociology
Anthony Nicastro, Physics
Leslie Slusher, Biology
Joan Woolfrey, Philosophy
Stephen J. Ziminski, Pre-Medical Program

The pre-medical program prepares undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students for application to the health professional schools of medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and physician assistant programs. The program also prepares students for careers in optometry, podiatry, chiropractic, and biomedical research. The program consists of an individualized selection of course work, personal counseling, and academic support. Optional internships in biomedical research at medical schools or research institutes are available to qualified students.

All of the primary majors in the pre-medical program offer internship opportunities; however, only the B.S. chemistry-biology major allows a substitution of up to 12 credit hours for specific courses, enabling students to replace a full semester with a research internship. Internship opportunities from other preferred majors are available over the summer or on a part-time basis for varying academic credit. In all cases, the internships must be approved by academic advisers, department chairs, and internship coordinators.

For highly select undergraduates and postbaccalaureates, medical school early assurance programs are available in affiliation with Drexel University School of Medicine (undergraduate and postbaccalaureate), Penn State University College of Medicine (undergraduate), Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (undergraduate), Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (undergraduate),Temple University School of Dentistry (undergraduate), Arcadia University's M.S. in physician's assistant studies (undergraduate), and University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College (undergraduate).

The B.S. in chemistry-biology major was specifically designed to meet the academic need of the preprofessional student. However, if a student has a particular interest in a healthcare field, other majors to consider include the B.S. in biology; B.S. in biology: cell and molecular; B.S. in chemistry; B.S. in forensic and toxicological chemistry, B.S. in pharmaceutical product development; B.S. in physics; or B.A. in psychology. Students in the pre-medical program may have two advisers - one from their major field and one from the Pre-Medical Committee. The adviser from the major field serves as their academic adviser, while the one from the committee offers advice about professional schools and their requirements, as well as their professional development, including volunteering and shadowing opportunities.

Because of the intense competition for health professional school admission, only academically talented and highly motivated students should apply to the pre-medical program. Applicants are selected on the basis of their potential for achievement in the program. Students in the program are expected to maintain a minimum 3.20 grade point average and the high standards of performance necessary for health professional school admission.

It is essential for incoming students contemplating a medical career to apply to the pre-medical program immediately upon matriculation at the University. Similarly, it is essential for students who, at some later time, develop an interest in a medical career to apply to the pre-medical program. Students who fail to consult with the Pre-Medical Office prior to taking the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) or who fail to report the results of any MCAT exam to the Pre-Medical Office are not eligible to receive a Pre-Medical Committee letter of evaluation when they apply to medical school.

All West Chester students who wish to apply to a health professional school should ask their professors to forward letters of evaluation to the Pre-Medical Committee and should process their applications through the committee. It is recommended that students accumulate a minimum of five letters of evaluation in their confidential file. The committee will send a composite letter of evaluation to the professional school for students who meet the academic requirements and have an acceptable interview with the committee. Further information is available in the Pre-Medical Office, 117A Schmucker Science Center South.


120 semester hours

  1. General ed. requirements, see pages 38-44 (48 semester hours)
    Note: Students in the chemistry-biology
    curriculum must take PHI 371 as a humanities or
    interdisciplinary general education requirement.
  2.  Required chemistry courses (32 semester hours)
    CHE 103, 104, 231, 232, 321, 341, 418*, 476, 491
    CRL 103, 104, 231, 321*, and 476
  3. Required biology courses (24 semester hours)
    BIO 110, 217, 220, 230, 357, 448, and 468
    or 469
  4. Required physics courses (8 semester hours)
    PHY 130-140 or 170-180
  5. Required mathematics courses (7 semester hours)
    MAT 121 and 161
  6. Concentration electives* (9–10 semester hours)
    Selected from upper-division chemistry and biology courses

    * Students may, with the permission of the department chair and the coordinator of the pre-medical program, substitute an approved 6–12 credit internship for selected requirements and concentration electives. The courses with asterisks would be replaced by the internship (12 credits).

See also Chemistry.