Pre-Health Professions

College of Extended Learning

College of Science and Engineering

Dean: Keith Bowman

Health Professions Advising Committee

HH 219
415-338-2410
Web Site: http://www.cel.sfsu.edu/pre-health/
E-mail: hpac@sfsu.edu
Committee Chair: Robert Ramirez
Certificate Program Coordinator: Robert Ramirez

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, or need to improve their undergraduate GPA in order to become a competitive applicant to graduate school
  3. plan to apply to allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy or veterinary medicine schools.

In this certificate program, cohorts of about 60 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. Elective course work is available for those needing preliminary and/or more advanced courses. The program has two components: A Career Changer Track (CCT) for those concentrating on prerequisite courses and an Academic Enhancer Track (AET) for those concentrating on upper-division science electives. The CCT is a 2 year, 6 semester (summer 1, fall 1, spring 1, summer 2, fall 2, spring 2) continuous program that begins in early June. CCT course work consists mainly of major’s level, introductory science lectures, labs and discussion sections; these classes are prerequisites for admission to graduate health profession schools. Most CCTs take a few major level, upper-division Biology electives as well. The AET is a continuous 1 – 6 semester program that accepts 15 – 25 students each semester (summer, fall and spring). AET course work consists mainly of major’s level, upper-division Biology lectures. 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 their Bachelor’s degree or for their last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of course work. 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), a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based version or a minimum score of 70 on the internet-based version. However, because higher TOEFL scores are needed to succeed in the program, students with low qualifying scores may be referred to San Francisco State University’s American Language Institute for preliminary course work.

Applicants must complete and submit an online application. 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. Official transcripts from all universities at which course work was taken must be submitted. A non-refundable $55 fee is charged for processing the application.

Fees are $550 per unit of course work. The entire 57 unit program costs $31,350. Optional course work taken at SF State 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.

A small number of transfer students in the CCT are accepted for entry in the first fall semester. Such transfers must have already completed General Chemistry I and 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.

Pre-Health Professions Certificate — 57 - 65 units

Plan of Study Grid
First Semester - SummerUnits
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
SCI 115 Science Concepts - Chemistry I 1
Select one of the following: 5
Pre-Calculus
and Mathematics Concepts: Pre-Calculus
 
Calculus I
and Mathematics Concepts: Calculus I
 
 Units11
Second Semester - Fall
PHYS 111 General Physics I 3
SCI 111 Science Concepts: Physics I 1
PHYS 112 General Physics I Laboratory 1
CHEM 233 Organic Chemistry I 3
SCI 333 Science Concepts: Organic Chemistry I 1
CHEM 234 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory 2
 Units11
Third Semester - Spring
PHYS 121 General Physics II 3
SCI 121 Science Concepts: 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 2
 Units11
Fourth Semester - Summer
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I 5
SCI 230 Science Concepts: Biology I 1
CHEM 215 General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts 3
SCI 215 Science Concepts - Chemistry II 1
 Units10
Fifth Semester - Fall
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II 5
SCI 240 Science Concepts: Biology II 1
CHEM 349 General Biochemistry 3
CHEM 216 General Chemistry II Laboratory: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts 2
 Units11
Sixth Semester - Spring
SCI 695 Health Professions Colloquium 2
MCAT/DAT/PCAT/GRE Preparation (optional)  
 Units2
 Total Units56

Post-Baccalaureate and 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 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, physician's assistant, nursing, and veterinary medicine schools may have somewhat different requirements.

Post-Baccalaureate and Undergraduate Study in Pre-Health Professions — 46 - 49 units

BIOL 230Introductory Biology I (with laboratory)5
BIOL 240Introductory Biology II (with laboratory)5
CHEM 115General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry (with laboratory)5
CHEM 215General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts3
CHEM 216General Chemistry II Laboratory: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts2
CHEM 233Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 234Organic Chemistry I Laboratory2
CHEM 335Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 336Organic Chemistry II Laboratory2
CHEM 340
CHEM 341
Biochemistry I
and Biochemistry II
6
or CHEM 340
CHEM 349
Biochemistry I
and General Biochemistry
MATH 226Calculus I4
PHYS 111General Physics I3
PHYS 112General Physics I Laboratory1
PHYS 121General Physics II3
PHYS 122General Physics II Laboratory1

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

Additional Science Courses for 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.

Additional Science Courses for Undergraduates

BIOL 327AIDS: Biology of the Modern Epidemic3
BIOL 330Human Sexuality3
BIOL 328Human Anatomy4
BIOL 349Bioethics3
BIOL 350Cell Biology3
BIOL 355Genetics3
BIOL 356Honors Genetics2
BIOL 357Molecular Genetics3
BIOL 380Evolutionary Developmental Biology3
BIOL 382Developmental Biology3
BIOL 401
BIOL 402GW
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Laboratory - GWAR
6
BIOL 420General Virology3
BIOL 430Medical Microbiology3
BIOL 435Immunology3
BIOL 436Immunology Laboratory2
BIOL 464Medical Entomology3
BIOL 453General Parasitology3
BIOL 454Parasitology Laboratory1
BIOL 612Human Physiology3
BIOL 613GWHuman Physiology Laboratory - GWAR3
BIOL 614Vertebrate Histology4
BIOL 615Molecular Pathophysiology3
BIOL 616Cardiorespiratory Physiology3
BIOL 620Endocrinology3
BIOL 621Reproductive Physiology3
BIOL 622Hormones and Behavior3
BIOL 640Cellular Neurosciences3
BIOL 642Neural Systems Physiology3
BIOL 699Independent Study in Biology1-3
CHEM 699Independent Study1-3
BIOL 861-BIOL 8841-2
CHEM 340
CHEM 341
Biochemistry I
and Biochemistry II
6
or CHEM 340
CHEM 349
Biochemistry I
and General Biochemistry
CHEM 343Biochemistry I Laboratory3
CHEM 338Organic Chemistry II: Laboratory Honors3
MATH 124Elementary Statistics3
BIOL 458Biometry4
MATH 227Calculus II4
MATH 228Calculus III4

Health profession schools prefer that students take advanced courses. Advanced science courses beyond those listed above may be considered in consultation with an advisor.

Pre-Nursing Certificate

General Information

The goal of the Pre-Nursing Certificate Program is to guide participants through the entire preparation and application process as competitive applicants to graduate nursing schools. The Program is suited for students who need to take nursing school prerequisites for the first time or retake such courses in order to be competitive in the admission process for nursing school. Yearly cohorts of approximately 30 students will take nursing school prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, communication, as well as auxiliary course work in the form of discussion sections, and a Health Professions Colloquium. Optional preliminary and/or more advanced course work in biology, chemistry, mathematics, public health, nutrition and /or psychology will be available as needed. The program begins in the early summer and runs continuously for four semesters, a period of 15 months, and is supervised by a Leadership Team that includes the Program’s Director and Co-Director. The Leadership Team writes a comprehensive Committee Letter that may be submitted with the student’s nursing school application. Federal and/or private loans may be available to students with documented financial need.

Admissions Requirements, Application Process and Tuition

  • Applicants must have graduated from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning with a baccalaureate or higher degree and a GPA of 2.0 or above for their most recent 60 semester units (90 quarter units) of course work. However, because of the limited number of students that can be accommodated by the Program, applicants with higher GPAs will have an advantage in being admitted.
  • Applicants must apply and be admitted to SF State through its Division of Graduate Studies. In so doing, they must complete the online Pre-Nursing Certificate
    These include a personal statement, official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, a list of relevant course work and grades, a list of relevant experiences and dates and two letters of reference, at least one from a college instructor. A third letter is optional. Students who consider themselves economically and/or educationally disadvantaged must fill out a special section of the application.
  • Deadline for receipt of a complete set of application materials is February 15 for admission that summer (early June). Interview invitations are announced in mid-spring and admissions decisions are announced in late spring.
  • 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.
  • Out-of-state and international students are welcome to apply to the Program. All students pay the same tuition.

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, 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.

Pre-Nursing Certificate Program — 27 units

Plan of Study Grid
First Semester - SummerUnits
MATH 124 Elementary Statistics 1 3
SCI 124 Math Concepts - Elementary Statistics 1
SCI 239 Introduction to Health Professions 2
 Units6
Second Semester - Fall
CHEM 101 Survey of Chemistry 3
CHEM 102 Survey of Chemistry Laboratory 1
BIOL 328 Human Anatomy 4
 Units8
Third Semester - Spring
BIOL 212 Principles of Human Physiology 3
BIOL 213 Principles of Human Physiology Laboratory 1
BIOL 210 General Microbiology and Public Health 3
BIOL 211 General Microbiology and Public Health Laboratory 1
COMM 150 Fundamentals of Oral Communication 3
 Units11
Fourth Semester - Summer
SCI 695 Health Professions Colloquium 2
 Units2
 Total Units27
1

MATH 124 and SCI 230 are 10 week courses.

Supplemental Courses

The following courses are not required, but are offered as optional/supplemental courses to be taken at the students’ discretion. In some cases, students may take supplemental courses in place of required courses as appropriate and in consultation with an advisor.

BIOL 100Human Biology3
BIOL 101Human Biology Laboratory1
DFM 253Nutrition in Health and Disease3
H ED 825Epidemiology3
PSY 431Developmental Psychology3
SCI 103Science Concepts - Survey of Chemistry1
SCI 110Science Concepts - Human Biology1
SCI 210Science Concepts - General Microbiology and Public Health1
SCI 235Science Concepts2
SCI 328Science Concepts: Human Anatomy1
SCI 610Science Concepts - Principles of Human Physiology1