The success of the University’s Pre-Medical Program has been outstanding. Since 1980, the University has placed an average of more than 45 students per year into American schools of medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry and veterinary medicine, often in the most prestigious schools in the country. Since 1999, the acceptance rate of University of Scranton applicants to medical, dental and other health professions schools has averaged 79%, with acceptance rates for individual years ranging from 65% to 100%.
The University of Scranton offers its pre-medical students unique opportunities in anticipation of changes in healthcare delivery for the 21st century. They include a special exposure to primary-care medicine (the practice of family physicians, general internists, and general pediatricians), predicted to be the area of greatest growth in medicine. Students have an opportunity to participate in an undergraduate primary-care externship through the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. In this program, students accompany physicians at Regional Hospital of Scranton and Moses Taylor Hospital to gain exposure to clinical settings in primary-care medicine. Students gain transcript recognition for participation in this externship, as well as a clear view of the profession they seek to enter.
The University of Scranton is one of only six undergraduate institutions participating in the Jefferson Medical College Physician Shortage Area Program (PSAP). This program is designed to recruit and educate medical students who intend to enter family medicine and practice in physician-shortage areas in Pennsylvania. Finally, University of Scranton students are encouraged to participate in programs at the Center for Primary Care at the Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey.
The Pre-Med Program is supported by a network of hundreds of medical alumni and by an active Medical Alumni Council. The Medical Alumni Council sponsors on-campus programs to which undergraduate students are invited.
Pre-Medical Undergraduate Curricula
Many undergraduate students who intend to apply to health-professions schools choose one of Scranton’s six life-sciences majors. However, students may choose any major, provided that they meet the prerequisite requirements for entrance to medical, dental, or other health-professions schools. For students at The University of Scranton, the minimum requirements are listed below. All first-year biology and first- and second-year chemistry courses must be taken with their corresponding labs.
BIOL 141 - (E) General Biology – BIOL 142 - (E) General Biology
CHEM 112-113 - (E) General and Analytical Chemistry
CHEM 232 - (E) Organic Chemistry – CHEM 233 - (E) Organic Chemistry
PHYS 120/120L - (E) General Physics I – PHYS 121/121L - (E) General Physics II
One semester of Biochemistry, either CHEM 350 - General Biochemistry I or CHEM 450 - Biochemistry I (lab not required)
Virtually all medical schools require a year of English literature, and many require a semester or a year of mathematics, including calculus. Anyone who will take the “new” MCAT, to be offered for the first time in 2015, should take courses in psychology and/or sociology; students taking MCAT 2015 will also need to show competence in statistics.
Many medical schools recommend that students demonstrate a wide range of interests in their choice both of courses and of extra-curricular activities. Volunteer work is strongly recommended by the admissions committees of most health-professions schools, as is course work in ethics, particularly in PHIL 212 - (P) Medical Ethics , PHIL 316 - (P,W) American Perspectives on Health-Care Ethics , and/or T/RS 227Z - (P) Biomedical Ethics . Some medical and dental schools also have specific prerequisites for English, mathematics, or other courses, as listed in Medical School Admission Requirements, or Admission Requirements of U.S. and Canadian Dental Schools.
The Association of American Medical Colleges recommends that undergraduate students planning to apply to medical school acquire a strong background in the natural sciences, so students should consider courses in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics beyond the minimum requirements. Students should develop strong oral and written communication skills, and they should complete rigorous courses in the humanities and social sciences. Honors courses and programs, independent study, and/or undergraduate research are also encouraged.
The University offers all applicants to health-professions schools the option of a formal evaluation by the Health Professions Evaluation Committee (HPEC), consisting of 23 faculty and administrators representing a wide range of academic disciplines. All applicants who seek to apply to doctoral-level health professions schools are evaluated on academic record, volunteer and community service activities, extracurricular activities, and demonstrated motivation toward their chosen careers. Through the HPEC interview, students have an opportunity to develop their interviewing skills and receive feedback on their application materials and interviewing performance. The HPEC evaluation package sent to health professions schools provides a comprehensive narrative which describes in depth an applicant’s qualifications for advanced study and a career in the health professions.
The University also makes available to students a wide variety of resources in the Health Professions Lending Library.
Information and copies of publications are also available from the Director of Medical School Placement. In addition, the student-supported Health Professions Organization Web site at www.scranton.edu/premed provides extensive helpful information for interested students.