The biology-health professions concentration curricula include Pre-Medicine coursework along with other course requirements for the respective major.
Pre-Medicine at Ship
The BS in Biology/Health Professions Pre‑medicine concentration has a curricular focus for students who plan to enter a medical school program. Most pre‑med students are science majors (most often biology or chemistry); however, a pre‑med student can major in virtually any discipline. Pre-med students are assigned a special advisor who keeps them informed of prerequisite courses required by medical schools, Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) preparation, medical school application procedures, and current trends in medical school admissions.
Science classes are small at Shippensburg University, usually having no more than 16 students per laboratory section. Seasoned professors, not graduate students, teach lectures and labs. State-of-the-art laboratory equipment is available to students, giving them hands-on experience with current techniques.
The university has a consistent record of placing qualified students into medical school programs. We make sure our pre-med students receive accurate, current and comprehensive information by keeping our pre-med advisors well informed. Pre-med advisors visit professional programs during the summer to stay current with admissions procedures and standards. They attend conferences for health professions advisors where they meet colleagues from other universities and share ideas. We give our pre‑med students “mock interviews” before they apply to medical school. This allows them to develop their interview skills and gives the Health Professions Committee information to write a committee letter of reference in support of the students’ applications.
Shippensburg University has been affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) since 1989. Most of our students pursue medical school after completing a 4‑year undergraduate degree. Several have entered PCOM as “3+4” students. Under this agreement, qualified students can apply to PCOM early in their junior year at Shippensburg. If they are accepted, they enter PCOM after completing their junior year, and credits will be transferred back from PCOM to Shippensburg after these students complete their first year of medical school. Shippensburg then awards the Bachelor of Science in biology or chemistry to the student.
We are also a participating university associated with The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine’s Primary Care Scholars Program.
Admission and Degree Requirements
Competitive pre‑meds almost always have QPAs of 3.5 or better, have performed above average on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), and have conducted internships in medical settings. Leadership, community/human service and a willingness to volunteer contribute to the personal qualities of a successful pre-med. Successful pre‑meds plan a strategy early in their college career—what courses they’ll take, when and how they’ll prepare for and take the MCAT, what internship experiences they’ll pursue, and how and when they’ll apply to medical schools. They also communicate frequently with their pre‑med advisor.
The basic course prerequisites for the 126 allopathic medical schools and 25 osteopathic medical schools in the United States are 8 credits of biology, 16 credits of chemistry, and 8 credits of physics. Most medical schools also require one course in calculus. The biology-health professions curriculum enables the pre-medicine student to schedule coursework along with other course requirements for the respective major. Pre‑med students pursuing a non‑science major can include these science requirements as electives; however, medical schools expect non‑science majors to perform extremely well in these science courses. We encourage pre-med students to choose some of the following courses among their electives:
- Human physiology
- Cell biology
- Pathogenic microbiology
Non‑science electives often selected by our pre‑med students include:
- Medical sociology
- Physiological psychology
- Medical anthropology
Students frequently ask how many of our graduates are accepted into medical school. This is a very individual event and is based on the credentials of the student. Shippensburg University students who had competitive QPAs (>3.5) and MCAT scores, performed internships, and engaged in human service activities have consistently been accepted into medical school and other health professional programs. Some of the medical schools Shippensburg University pre‑meds recently have entered are:
- Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Drexel University
- Eastern Virginia University
- Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Penn State University (Hershey)
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Temple University
- Thomas Jefferson University
- Uniformed Services University
- University of Kentucky
- University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
- Wright State University
Faculty-directed undergraduate research is highly encouraged at Shippensburg, and each year several biology students present the results of their research at regional, state or national conferences.
Pre‑med students are encouraged to participate in internship experiences, attend open houses at medical schools and attend on‑campus presentations by visiting physicians and medical school personnel. We routinely invite practicing professionals and medical school admissions personnel to speak to the Health Sciences Club.