Post-baccalaureate health sciences program

The post-baccalaureate undergraduate Certificate in Health Sciences is designed for students who hold a baccalaureate degree but do not have the prerequisites needed to enter doctoral-level programs in physical therapy, pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, osteopathic medicine, optometry or veterinary sciences.

The certificate helps students become more competitive for admission into graduate-level programs, but it does not guarantee admission into any program. Depending on the types of courses students complete before entering the program, the certificate can take one to three years to complete with either full- or part-time study.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in any type of science major should consider applying to VCU’s Premedical Graduate Health Sciences Certificate Program.

Applying to the program

Students should apply for the program through the Office of Admissions as a post-baccalaureate certificate student.

  • Fall admission deadline: March 1
  • Spring admission deadline: Nov. 1

Applicants must submit transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Upon receipt of transcripts, courses that can be awarded as transfer credit will be determined by the College of Humanities and Sciences.

Admission requirements

Application is competitive and candidates must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. four-year institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. The program is not offered to students pursuing entry into undergraduate- or master’s-level health professions programs, nor is it open to students pursuing pre-health coursework as part of their undergraduate coursework at VCU.

Minimum competencies

Before starting on the core curriculum, students must complete or transfer equivalent courses with grades of B or greater for MATH 151, BIOL 151, BIOZ 151, BIOL 152, BIOZ 152, CHEM 101, CHEZ 101, CHEM 102 and CHEZ 102. Students must have completed all chemistry courses within five years of the time they begin the program in order to apply them toward the minimum competency requirement.

Academic requirements

The core portion of the program requires a minimum of 25 credit hours in mathematics, statistics, chemistry, biology or physics. All courses must be at the 200-level or above. At least three of the courses must have a laboratory component.

Students can transfer a maximum of 11 credit hours toward the certificate program’s core curriculum and must have earned at least a B in all courses transferred. Students should consult with a pre-professional health advisor to determine the most appropriate courses to transfer.

Courses may not be repeated after gaining admission into the certificate program. Failure to maintain the minimum GPA of 3.0 will result in formal dismissal from the program.

Volunteer service

Students accepted into the program must perform at least 50 hours of volunteer service in the VCU Health volunteer program or a private health care setting. Volunteer hours must be documented and submitted to the student’s pre-professional health advisor before graduation.

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