- Pre-Health Core Studies
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How do I decide which Pre-Health program is right for me?
The appropriate program is dependent on your academic background. If you have taken few or no science courses, you should apply to the Post-Baccalaureate Core Studies Program. If you have taken all or most of the Premedical sciences courses, or have applied to medical school, you should apply to the Post-Baccalaureate Specialized Studies Program.
What kinds of advising and support services are available to me?
Academic and career advising is provided by the program advisors, who will also write a pre-health committee letter of evaluation if you meet the qualifications when you apply to the health professional school of your choice. Academic support services are available through the Weingarten Learning Resources Center and Academic Support Programs where subsidized tutoring is available in the basic sciences.
How long do the programs last?
It depends on how many courses you take each semester, whether you are working, and how many hours you work. All students are encouraged to carry a challenging academic course load. Full-time Post-Bacc Core Studies students generally complete their programs in an academic year plus a summer. Part-time students generally complete their programs in two years. Post-Bacc Specialized Studies students complete the program after one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.
I am interested in a health career other than medicine. Will your programs help me?
Yes. We also work with students seeking careers in osteopathic medicine, dental medicine, veterinary medicine, nursing, and other health professions.
How long does the admissions process take?
Once your application is complete, it is reviewed by our Admission Committee. Admission decisions are generally made within two weeks of the interview.
How can I find out if my application is complete?
Call the LPS office at 215.898.7326.
Is an interview required for admissions?
Yes. An interview is required of all applicants under serious consideration for admission. If it is inconvenient for you to come to campus, we can arrange to have a telephone interview.
Do I need to send standardized test scores with my application?
Yes. Your performance on standardized tests is an important component of your credentials, and you are required to submit a score report of the SAT, ACT, or GRE to the LPS office. If you have taken the MCAT or the DAT, you must submit a photocopy of these scores as well.
Applicants with MCAT or DAT scores do not need to provide a score report for the SAT, ACT, or GRE.
The SAT may be sent from the College Board using the institutional code 2986. Official SAT scores printed on an official high school transcript are also acceptable.
The ACT may be photocopied and mailed or faxed to the LPS office. ACT scores printed on an official high school transcript are also acceptable.
The GRE must be sent from ETS using the institutional code 2986.
If the medium of instruction for your undergraduate degree was not English, you must submit an official TOEFL score. The TOEFL must be sent from ETS using the institutional code 2986.
Are recommendation letters needed for my Post-Bacc Pre-Health program application?
Yes, a minimum of two recommendation letters from a professional and/or academic associate need to be submitted with your application. Please visit the Application website for more information on the requirements for the recommendation letters at http://www.sas.upenn.edu/lps/postbac/pre-health/application.
If I am an international student, do I need my foreign transcript converted?
Yes. If you are applying to our program with a degree from an international school, you must have your transcript converted by the World Education Service (WES): http://www.wes.org.
This is a lengthy process so start early!
Can admission be deferred?
Yes. Contact Sally Cardy, Program Coordinator for the Pre-Health Programs at 215.898.7326 to discuss possible changes in your plans.
What are the requirements for international students to be eligible to apply to medical school?
If you do not have an undergraduate degree from an American Institution, you must research which medical schools you are interested in and ask them if they accept students with an undergraduate degree from an international school. A lot of them do not, however, some of them accept students who have completed a year of studying in an American Post Baccalaureate program. This is the applicant’s responsibility to find out.
How much will the Post-Bacc Pre-Health Programs cost?
Again, it depends on how many courses you take. All courses are offered at the undergraduate level. You will be billed for the number of courses taken each semester, and costs will vary depending on whether you take these courses in the evening or in the day. Multiply the number of course units to be taken by the tuitions noted, bearing in mind that our laboratory courses carry one and a half (1.5) c.u.
Summer courses have a different tuition scale (see Tuition Page for details http://www.sas.upenn.edu/lps/postbac/pre-health/tuition ). Keep in mind that living expenses are an additional cost of attending our program.
What financial aid am I eligible for, and how long?
Students in the Post-Baccalaureate Core Studies and Specialized Studies Programs are eligible for Federal Stafford Loans. Students must be registered at least half-time (two course units) for each semester of attendance. In summer, one course unit is considered half-time. The loan amounts for dependent and independent students are available on the Student Financial Services website at http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/ (click on Penn Plan then Post-Baccalaureate).
The parents of dependent students may apply for a PLUS loan. Optional loans such as the Penn Citi-Assist Program may also be available. Students are eligible for one year only.
Am I eligible for financial assistance if I am a part-time student?
Yes, but you must be enrolled at least half time, i.e. a minimum of two course units per semester or one course unit for the summer sessions. Please visit the Student Financial Services website at http://www.sfs.upenn.edu for more information on paying for your LPS education.
The Financial Aid forms I’m filling out ask for my degree status; what is that?
Your status is “non-degree candidate”.
What is meant by the term “Glide Year”?
“Glide Year” is the year between students applying to medical, dental or veterinary medicine school and matriculation. This year is also known as “application year”. During the glide year, students have already completed the required prerequisite courses for medical, dental or veterinary medicine school and are completing various activities. Students can enroll in advanced-level science or elective courses, volunteer in a healthcare setting related to their field of interest, volunteer abroad, complete research either clinical-based or laboratory-based, pursue employment in a healthcare related field either full-time or part-time.
The following positions are a sampling of what our Post-Bacc Pre-Health students have completed during their Glide Year:
- Clinical Research Assistant at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
- Research Assistant at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania completing breast cancer research
- Research Assistant at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania working on vascular surgery research
- Research Assistant at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania working in the cardiac surgery lab studying the implantation of stem cells in the heart
- Research Assistant at Penn’s School of Medicine in the Anesthesiology department working on clinical research on disparities in hip fracture care and perceptions of surgery
- Research Assistant at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital completing orthopedic surgery research
- Family Health Advocate at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice
- A few students are completing upper-level biology courses such as Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics
What is a Course Unit (CU)?
Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (CU). Generally, a one-cu course at Penn is equivalent to a 3 or 4 semester hour course elsewhere. Credit earned through LPS is full University of Pennsylvania academic credit. In general, the average course offered at Penn is listed as being worth 1 CU; courses that include a lecture and a lab are often worth 1.5 CUs.