The Scripps College Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Certificate Program provides individuals with the opportunity to change the direction of their professional lives in order to pursue a career in medicine. By offering an intensive 12-, 15-, or 24-month curriculum of prerequisite science and mathematics courses, the program enables returning students to prepare for admission to medical school. The women and men in the Post-Baccalaureate Program comprise a diverse and interesting group of people who are characterized by their intelligence, motivation, maturity, and commitment to increasing their own knowledge and life possibilities. The program is not intended for students seeking to enhance an existing premedical record, nor is it designed for students who wish to retake the prerequisite science courses to strengthen their grade point average or MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) performance.
Curriculum and Schedule
Students may begin the program in May or September, and can choose from several sequences to complete their necessary course work: the 12-month program, the 15-month program, and the two-year part-time program. Instruction for the 12-month program, the most common track, begins in late May and terminates at the end of the first academic year. Instruction for the 15-month program begins in late May, continues throughout the following academic year, and ends with an additional summer session. For students who need to work while attending the Post-Baccalaureate Program, a part-time program is available that begins in September and continues through two academic years with a normal summer break. Students in the part-time sequence are required to work at least 20 hours per week or participate in 20 hours of volunteer work or research.. For both the 12-month and two-year part-time programs, students must have completed their math requirements before entering the program. The program a student follows is determined on a case-by-case basis, and an applicant is encouraged to discuss the choice of sequence in the personal statement and/or at the time of his or her interview.
Timely completion of the core science courses is important to ensure proper preparation for the MCAT. Additional courses in calculus, statistics, upper division sciences, and humanities or social science electives will be chosen in consultation with the Faculty Director according to each student’s background and interests. All courses are taken with the undergraduate students of Scripps, Pitzer, and Claremont McKenna Colleges. Completion of the Post-Baccalaureate Program is recognized by a certificate.
The Scripps Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Certificate Program is earned by satisfactory completion of a minimum of eight courses to include eight of the nine following courses: two semesters of Basic Principles of Chemistry (CHEM 014L and CHEM 015L ), two semesters of Organic Chemistry (CHEM 116L and CHEM 117L ), one semester of Introductory Biology (BIOL 043L ), one semester of Vertebrate Physiology (BIOL 131L ), two semesters of General Physics (PHYS 030L , PHYS 031L ), and Math (usually through MATH 030 , Calculus). Satisfactory completion for the certificate will be evidenced by passing grades in all required courses and at least a 9.0 (B) program grade point average. A student may transfer the equivalent of one or two of the above courses, as approved by the appropriate academic department, prior to matriculation in the certificate program, but the student must complete all remaining courses and at least seven total courses at Scripps College to receive the certificate.
Early Admission Agreements
Post-Baccalaureate students can enter the general applicant pool for medical school following completion of the program, or they may apply for early, provisional admission to one of the following schools: The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington D.C., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Drexel University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Hofstra Northshore LIJ School of Medicene in Long Island, NY, and Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pomona, California. The early decision programs allow currently enrolled Post-Baccalaureate students to directly enter medical school in the fall following the completion of their Post-Baccalaureate curriculum.
The early decision programs are limited, and are only made available to students with superior qualifications. Selection is based upon a student’s qualifications before entering the program and a student’s academic and extracurricular record while enrolled in the Post-Baccalaureate Program. A linkage acceptance is contingent upon continued high academic achievement and performance on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
Advising and Support
The academic environment of the Keck Science Department, while rigorous and challenging is also positive and supportive. Communication and curricular cooperation among faculty members in biology, chemistry, and physics are facilitated by the interdisciplinary nature of the department. The small size of the Post-Baccalaureate Program allows for personalized guidance for students throughout the transition back to school and the selection and completion of course work. Faculty members in the Keck Science Department, as well as the program directors, work with Post-Baccalaureate students individually in advising and assessing performance and progress. Optional help sessions and tutoring are available and Post-Baccalaureate and undergraduate students are encouraged to work together in small study groups.
The Post-Baccalaureate Program Administrator’s Office provides personalized assistance to students for all administrative needs, such as registration, course changes, financial aid counseling, loan applications, and housing information. Visiting speakers and medical school admissions representatives provide additional opportunities for students. Post-Baccalaureate students receive assistance with medical school applications, including information about application procedures, advice concerning individual medical schools, and a composite faculty committee letter of recommendation. Because of the small size of the program, these letters are highly personalized and detailed. Additionally, the program offers an MCAT review course taught by a local instructor.
Eligibility and Application Process
The Scripps Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program is open to both women and men who have received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution in a field other than science. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 is required. Additional evidence of high achievement, such as appropriate standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, or GRE), is desirable. The ideal candidate will be strongly motivated and will have had sufficient experience in the medical field, either through volunteer work or previous employment, to serve as a basis for an informed, mature, and committed decision to enter the field of medicine.
Individuals interested in applying to this program should submit their applications, including supporting materials, no later than March 1 to be considered for admission to the program beginning at the end of May. Further information about the program may be obtained by contacting the Scripps College Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program located at 1030 Columbia Ave Box 1226 Claremont, CA 91711. The telephone number is (909) 607-1788, and the website is www.scrippscollege.edu/postbac/index.php.
Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program Academic Dismissal Policy
The Committee on Academic Review will monitor the academic progress of all Scripps Post-Baccalaureate students. If in any semester a post-baccalaureate student receives a cumulative semester grade point average of below a 9.0 (B), the student will be dismissed from the program. For summer courses if a student receives a grade below a B they will be placed on probation and dismissed if in the subsequent term their grade(s) fall below a (B). This is regardless of whether the student has completed all courses required for the certificate.
For the purposes of the Scripps College Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program the grades that will be used to determine the students GPA will include only math and science courses that would traditionally be included in the Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science and Math GPA used for Medical school admissions purposes. Specific courses that are included in the calculation of the GPA include:
Introductory Biology BIOL 043L and BIOL 044L
Vertebrate Physiology, BIOL 131L
Upper Division Biology, Chemistry, and or Physics courses with course numbers above 100
General Physics PHYS 030L , PHYS 031L
Principles of Physics PHYS 033L and PHYS 034L
Basic Principles of Chemistry CHEM 014L and CHEM 015L
Organic Chemistry CHEM 116L and CHEM 117L
MATH 030 , Calculus I and any higher level math
In addition, if the Committee on Academic Review (CAR) judges that the student is making slower than normal progress toward completion of the certificate courses, the student may be dismissed from the program. A student must complete the program in no more than two full calendar years and is able to take one leave of absence which is not counted toward the total time to certificate completion. It should be noted that a full-time load for a post-bac student is three to four courses and they would require permission from CAR to overload with five courses or more. Examples of situations that might trigger dismissal include, a full-time student dropping to a two-course load without taking on the required 20 hours per week of volunteer or paid work; or a part-time student dropping down to a one course load when two courses are the minimum that the program allows. During summer sessions, in the absence of CAR, the Scripps College registrar, the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Faculty Director and Administrative Director may jointly take similar action. Any request for an exception to the above policy will be handled by petition to the Committee on Academic Review. If a student is dismissed from the program a notation of the dismissal will be made to the transcript.
The Committee on Academic Review, under advisement from the Post-Baccalaureate Faculty Director, may establish specific probationary terms for any student, who in the judgment of the committee may be jeopardizing normal progress toward completion of a certificate.