Certificate in Pre-Health Professions

The goal of the Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program (PHPCP) is to guide participants through the entire preparation and application process so that they will be competitive applicants to graduate health profession schools. The program is intended for students who have already earned a B.A./B.S. degree and wish to apply to allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, veterinary or optometry schools. Students wishing to apply to graduate schools or nursing schools may also be considered. The program is suited for students who need to take introductory science prerequisites, upper-division science electives, or a combination of both to be competitive in the admission process for health profession schools. Taking auxiliary coursework in the form of discussion sections and Health Professions Colloquia is strongly encouraged. In addition to providing comprehensive academic and application guidance, the Director and Co-Directors jointly write a committee letter that may be submitted with the student's health profession school application. Federal and/or private loans may be available to program participants.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific vocabularies and concepts necessary for their being competent health care providers.
  2. Gain the necessary tools to perform well on standardized national exams.
  3. Communicate effectively in speech and writing.
  4. Understand the application process for health professions schools.

Admission Requirements and Application Process

Applicants must have graduated from an accredited institution of higher learning with a baccalaureate or higher degree and a GPA of 2.5 or above for their most recent 60 semester units (90 quarter units) of coursework. 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 through Cal State Apply; instructions can be found at https://cpage.sfsu.edu/prehealth/how-to-apply. Official transcripts from all colleges and two letters of recommendation are also required. Admissions decisions are made by the PHPCP and admission offers are issued by the SF State Division of Graduate Studies.

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.

Admission Dates

Start Semester Cal State Apply Application Open Application Deadline
Summer October 1 – March 1 March 1
Fall October 1 – April 15 April 15
Spring August 1 – October 1 October 1

Pre-Health Professions Certificate — 40 units

Required Courses (40 units)

SCI 695Health Professions Colloquium2

An additional 38 units of courses from the list below. Note: A maximum of 20 units may be transferred in from courses taken at accredited undergraduate institutions prior to entering the PHPCP.

BIOL 210General Microbiology and Public Health3
BIOL 211General Microbiology and Public Health Laboratory1
BIOL 212Principles of Human Physiology3
BIOL 213Principles of Human Physiology Laboratory1
BIOL 230Introductory Biology I (with laboratory)5
BIOL 240Introductory Biology II (with laboratory)5
BIOL 328Human Anatomy4
BIOL 350Cell Biology3
BIOL 355Genetics3
BIOL 382Developmental Biology3
BIOL 401General Microbiology3
BIOL 420General Virology3
BIOL 430Medical Microbiology3
BIOL 435Immunology3
BIOL 442Microbial Physiology3
BIOL 453General Parasitology3
BIOL 609Physics in Medicine3
BIOL 612Human Physiology3
BIOL 615Molecular Pathophysiology3
BIOL 616Cardiorespiratory Physiology3
BIOL 618Biology of Aging3
BIOL 619Pathophysiology3
BIOL 620Endocrinology3
BIOL 621Reproductive Physiology3
BIOL 623Pharmacology3
BIOL 627Biophysics3
BIOL 640Cellular Neurosciences3
BIOL 642Neural Systems Physiology3
BIOL 760Cancer Biology3
BIOL 782Developmental Biology3
CHEM 101Survey of Chemistry3
CHEM 102Survey of Chemistry Laboratory1
CHEM 115General Chemistry I (with laboratory)4
CHEM 215General Chemistry II4
CHEM 233Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 234Organic Chemistry I Laboratory2
CHEM 335Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 336Organic Chemistry II Laboratory2
CHEM 349General Biochemistry3
MATH 124Elementary Statistics3
MATH 199Pre-Calculus4
MATH 226Calculus I4
NUTR 253Nutrition, Health, and Disease3
PH 221Health and Social Justice - Burning Issues, Taking Action3
PH 414Women's Health3
PH 810Public Health and Principles of Community Organizing3
PHYS 111General Physics I3
PHYS 112General Physics I Laboratory1
PHYS 121General Physics II3
PHYS 122General Physics II Laboratory1
PSY 431Developmental Psychology3
SCI 111Science Concepts: Physics I1
SCI 115Science Concepts: Chemistry I1
SCI 121Science Concepts: Physics II1
SCI 124Mathematics Concepts: Elementary Statistics1
SCI 215Science Concepts: Chemistry II1
SCI 230Science Concepts: Biology I1
SCI 235Science Concepts2
SCI 240Science Concepts: Biology II1
SCI 333Science Concepts: Organic Chemistry I1
SCI 335Science Concepts: Organic Chemistry II1