Pre-podiatry is an undergraduate curricular focus for students who plan to enter a professional program leading to the degree of doctor of podiatric medicine.
What is pre-podiatry?
Most pre-podiatry students are biology majors; however, a pre‑podiatry student can major in virtually any discipline. Pre‑podiatry students are advised by the pre-podiatry advisors with regard to prerequisite courses required by podiatric programs, Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) preparation, podiatry school application procedures and current trends in podiatric medical school admissions. Students are encouraged to participate in internship experiences with practicing podiatrists, visit podiatry programs such as Temple University’s School of Podiatric Medicine and attend on-campus presentations by podiatry school admissions personnel.
What is the pre-podiatry curriculum?
The basic course prerequisites for the seven podiatry schools in the United States are:
- 8 credits of biology,
- 16 credits of chemistry,
- 8 credits of physics and
- 6 credits of English.
Other college‑level courses might be required by certain programs so students are advised to examine the specific requirements of the programs to which they plan to apply early in their undergraduate career. The biology/health sciences track and chemistry/health sciences track curriculums enable the pre‑podiatry student to schedule this course work along with other course requirements for the respective major. Pre‑podiatry students pursuing a non-science major can include these science requirements as electives; however, podiatry schools expect non‑science majors to perform very well in these science courses. A broad selection of courses is available within the biology and chemistry disciplines, and pre‑podiatry students are encouraged to include among their electives courses such as biochemistry, human physiology, cell biology, histology, pathogenic microbiology and immunology.
What are the characteristics of a successful pre-podiatry student?
Competitive pre‑podiatry students almost always have QPA’s of 3.2 or better, have performed competitively on the Medical College Admissions Test and have completed internships in podiatric settings. Leadership, community/human service and a willingness to volunteer contribute to the personal qualities of a successful pre‑podiatry student. Successful students plan a strategy early in their college career with regard to course sequences, preparing for and taking the MCAT, internship experiences and application to podiatry schools. They also communicate frequently with their pre‑podiatry advisor.
Is Shippensburg University affiliated with any podiatry school?
Shippensburg University has been affiliated with Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine (TUSPM) since 1992. Though most of our students pursue podiatry school after completing a four‑year undergraduate degree, several have entered Temple’s program as “3+4” students. Under this agreement, qualified students can apply to TUSPM early in their junior year. If accepted, they enter TUSPM after completing their junior year, and credits are transferred back from TUSPM to Shippensburg after these students complete their first year of podiatry education. Shippensburg then awards the bachelor of science in biology or chemistry to the student.
Students who have entered TUSPM via the accelerated “3+4” program usually had above-average credentials and performed very well in TUSPM’s program. Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine and Shippensburg University have developed a high level of appreciation for one another’s program over the last several years as a result of this affiliation and the success of Shippensburg University students who have entered TUSPM.
What is the placement rate for Shippensburg University pre-podiatry students?
Qualified Shippensburg University students have fared extremely well in the admissions process to podiatric programs. Perhaps because of the geographical proximity and the affiliation agreement, the majority of pre‑podiatry students have entered Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia. Several students have also matriculated at Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine.
Why attend Shippensburg University as a pre-podiatry student?
Science classes are small at Shippensburg University, usually having no more than 16 students per laboratory section. Lectures and labs are taught by seasoned professors; not by graduate students. State-of-the-art laboratory equipment is available to students, giving them hands-on experience with current techniques. 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.
These experiences contribute to the excellent quality of education available at Shippensburg. As a result, Shippensburg University has a consistent record of placing qualified students into podiatric programs. Pre‑podiatry advisors maintain close ties with Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine by visiting their program during the summer months 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 on counseling. This ensures Shippensburg University pre‑podiatry students receive accurate, current and comprehensive information. Pre-podiatry students are given “mock interviews” prior to the time they apply to podiatry programs. This experience provides the student with interview practice and gives the Health Professions Committee information on the student so a committee letter of reference can be written to support the student’s application. Practicing professionals and podiatric school admissions personnel are routinely invited to speak to the Health Sciences Club. Additionally, the diverse health professional interests of Shippensburg University students and the variety of health professionals invited to speak at the university expose pre‑podiatry students to other areas of the health care field, making the student aware of alternative programs before they commit to the podiatric profession.
Where can I get more information about pre‑podiatric medicine at Shippensburg University?
For more information regarding the pre‑podiatry curriculum, call or write:
Department of Biology
142 Franklin Science Center
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299