The premedical studies program at Purchase College provides each student with the basic courses needed to prepare for professional schools in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and other allied health careers. The program’s focus is on the preparation for success in the appropriate entrance examinations, and the application to and acceptance by the professional school. Although premedical students need not major in the sciences, many do and have found such programs as biology and chemistry to be a successful route.
Postbaccalaureate Premedical Studies
In addition to its undergraduate program, the School of Natural and Social Sciences welcomes students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another discipline and who wish to complete their science preparation for medical or other professional schools. The postbaccalaureate premedical studies program offers these students the academic coursework needed to prepare for professional exams and applications, internship or research opportunities, and advising through the Premedical Advisory Committee.
Basic Science Courses
All premedical studies students must complete Introductory Statistics and one year each of General Biology with labs, General Chemistry with labs, Organic Chemistry with labs, and Introductory Physics with labs. Some schools or professions may require additional courses, such as Biochemistry, Calculus, or Microbiology. Students are encouraged to survey the requirements of schools where they plan to apply to ensure that all requirements and most (if not all) recommended courses are included in their academic plan. In some cases, students interested in allied health careers may substitute certain other prerequisite courses at the discretion of the Premedical Advisory Committee.
Advanced Science Courses
In consultation with a premedical advisor, students select a minimum of two advanced courses based on their interests and/or deficiencies. Many medical schools either recommend or require certain advanced science courses. It is also beneficial to demonstrate the student’s ability to successfully undertake more rigorous courses in the sciences, and the extra studies may improve the student’s chances for success once enrolled in the professional school. In some cases, credit for prior academic work may be given for one or both of these courses at the discretion of the Premedical Advisory Committee.
Clinical or Research Experiences
Commitment to a medical career should be founded upon experiences that demonstrate knowledge of the actual realities of the medical professions, and should be based upon personal experiences. This requirement may be fulfilled by a variety of off-campus internship or volunteer clinical experiences, as well as previous or current employment. Internship opportunities may be explored through discussions with a faculty advisor or a counselor in the Career Development Center.
Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all related coursework at Purchase College. Postbaccalaureate premedical students who do not meet this average upon starting coursework at Purchase may begin under provisional terms but must maintain a 3.2 GPA after their first semester at Purchase.
Professional Entrance Examinations
Most professional schools accept applications during a six-month period, beginning in June and extending through the fall of each year, with entrance anticipated for September of the following calendar year. Students are encouraged to apply early, as statistics indicate greater success for early applicants, qualifications being equal. Because the results of August and September professional examinations are usually not available early enough for the fall admission decisions, students are encouraged to complete the science requirements before the end of the spring semester and take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) during May or June.
Premedical Advisory Committee
Assistance for students is available from the Premedical Advisory Committee, which advises students on planning programs, choosing careers, and selecting and applying to schools. Students interested in health careers should seek out a member of the Premedical Advisory Committee as their academic advisor.
Premedical Student Responsibilities Before Interview
Students who want the assistance of the Premedical Advisory Committee must establish and manage their files through www.Interfolio.com, a Web-based credential service used by the Career Development Center (CDC). Students should schedule a meeting with a counselor in the CDC, who will assist the student in establishing and maintaining their Interfolio.com credential file. It is the student’s responsibility to consult with the CDC about Interfolio credential management well before the deadline and make certain that all materials, including letters and transcripts, are received on time. Before scheduling an interview with the Premedical Advisory Committee, students must have submitted the following materials to their Interfolio.com account:
Students with complete Interfolio files and acceptable GPAs are interviewed by the Premedical Advisory Committee. This interview also provides a practice experience to prepare the student for the medical school interview process: the faculty may be able to provide feedback and advice on ways to strengthen the student’s application or interview skills. Interviews often take place in early April: student files must be complete early in the spring semester, and students must request a place on the interview schedule at the Career Development Center well in advance. For additional information, please consult with a counselor in the Career Development Center or a member of the Premedical Advisory Committee.
James G. Daly, PhD, University of Guelph (Canada)
Lee Ehrman, PhD, Columbia University
Jan Robert Factor, Ph.D., Cornell University
Maryann McEnroe, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
Taina Chao, PhD, Texas A&M University (Emerita)
Stephen A. Cooke, PhD, University of Exeter (England)
Joseph Skrivanek, PhD, Pennsylvania State University
Irina Shablinsky, PhD, St. Petersburg State University (Russia)
For additional information and updates during 2013–2015, please visit www.purchase.edu/Departments/AcademicPrograms/LAS/Sciences/