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FAQs about "Pre-Med" for Continuing Education Students

For more information and to meet with an advisor, contact the Continuing Education office: 401-865-2487; email sce@providence.edu.

1. Can a student with a baccalaureate degree in another major prepare for application to medical (dental, etc.) school through the School of Continuing Education (SCE)?

SCE offers all of the prerequisite science and math courses for admission to medical, dental, optometry schools, as well as those for other health professions.

Medical schools require (minimally) a full year of general Biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, general physics, calculus, and English. For the requirements of other health professions, visit Facts about the Health Professions.

2. How long does it take to complete the required courses and apply to medical school?

Depending on work schedules and course availability, the most compressed timeline is as follows:

Year 1(e.g. 2007-08):       General Biology I and II, General Chemistry I and II,                                         Calculus I and II, English

Year 2(e.g. 2008-09):       Organic Chemistry I and II, Physics I and II, English

Spring, Year 2 (2009):      MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) following                                              completion of the coursework above.

June Year 2 (2009):           AMCAS (American Medical College Application                                                   Service), AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges                                       of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service), AADSAS                               (American Association of Dental School Application                                          Services) application process begins.

Fall,Year 3(2010):             Enter professional school.

3. When are classes held?

SCE offers evening classes to allow students to continue to work while preparing for graduate study.  During the academic year, classes or labs are typically held one or two nights a week.  During the summer, SCE offers intensive sections in which you can complete one year of a science course in a couple of months.

4. If I have some science background from my baccalaureate degree program, can I complete the process more quickly?

This depends on how much and what.  Organic Chemistry requires completion of General Chemistry.  General Physics requires completion of Calculus.  If you have completed the prerequisites, then you can start with more advanced courses.  If you can complete the courses in the first year, then the process becomes a 2 year process instead of 3.

If the science courses were taken more than 5 years ago, it may be beneficial to retake them.  Some medical schools will not accept coursework that is “too” old, but this is generally school specific.

5. Can I complete the prerequisites more slowly?

These courses can be taken over a longer time period.  BUT, it is important to remember that professional schools are looking for candidates who can handle multiple challenges, a heavy course load, and who can do this well.

6. Should I take more than the minimum required science?

Biochemistry and other advanced science courses will provide evidence that you are capable of the advanced coursework required by professional schools.  These will also be useful in preparation for the MCAT.

7. What qualifications are required for admission to medical school?

Medical schools require evidence of academic excellence:  grades in the 3.5 range and MCAT scores of 30 or better.  They also require evidence of a working knowledge of the health professions (volunteer or paid), commitment to service and leadership.

8. Are the admission requirements for all the health professions schools the same?

No!  Each profession has its own admission requirements.  Most include chemistry and biology.  Physical Therapy and Advance Practice Nursing programs require Human Anatomy and Physiology, Statistics, and some social sciences for example.  It is important to investigate the specific requirements for each profession.  

9. Where can I learn more about health professions and preparation for application?

  • Review the Facts about the Professions pages for information about each of the health professions.  These include descriptions, admission requirements, and more.
  • Become a member of the PSHP (Premedical Sciences and Health Professions) group on ANGEL (Be sure you have an ANGEL account.  Then contact ccrafts@providence.edu (Providence College Advisor for the Health Professions) to request enrollment in the group.  Provide your name, email and academic status.  

10. Is Financial Aid available to help me finance these courses?

Yes.  You must be enrolled in an SCE program in order to receive, but you may be eligible for student loans.  You should meet with an SCE adviser to find out how to be enrolled in an SCE program.  Students wishing to apply for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA  www.fafsa.ed.gov)

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