College of Science and Engineering
Pre-Health

Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Professional Health Studies Certificate Program

  • prehealth fair 1

    Are you a prospective post-baccalaureate student?

    Program Overview

    Please review the information in the Overview and PowerPoint links below. It is likely that all of your questions can be answered here. Updated 01/2014.

    Specific questions are answered below under FAQ. If you would like to meet with our Pre-Health Advisor for more specific questions, please email prehealth@seattleu.edu, letting us know that you are a prospective post-baccalaureate student and would like a meeting with the Pre-Health Advisor. Please attach a current unofficial transcript and resume to your email when requesting a meeting. Thank you!

    Career Changer Program

    This program is a "career changer" program, focused on assisting individuals who have graduated with degrees that do not include many pre-requisites for medical schools, or who have not already taken the science courses required for admission to health professions schools. Applicants who are interested in retaking or enhancing their academic credentials or re-taking courses should consider one of many other post-baccalaureate programs listed in the AAMC database.

    Those interested in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, podiatry, physical therapy, optometry, and physician assisting have participated successfully in the post-baccalaureate pre-health certificate program at Seattle University. This program is best suited for people who have explored the field through shadowing, volunteering and leadership experiences and are interested in changing careers.

    Cost of the Program

    Student Financial Services administers the cost of the post-baccalaureate program. Please direct all questions regarding cost per credit and fees to the Student Financial Services office at 206.220.8020. Federal financial aid may be available. Contact Student Financial Services for further information. Prospective students who are interested in using VA educational benefits should contact the Veterans Certification Officer at va@seattleu.edu. Click here to learn more about resources for veterans.

    Length of Time to Complete the Program

    Length of time to complete the certificate varies, and depends on prior coursework, full or part-time enrollment, and health professions graduate program admissions requirements. Many students opt to take a part-time course load to accommodate their work or personal commitments, and complete the certificate in 2-3 years.

    Advising for Post-Baccalaureate Students

    Students in the program are advised by the Pre-Health Advisor, take classes along with undergraduate students, and have the option to participate in the Health Professions Evaluation process at SU. The HPE is an excellent resource and support to help students prepare for admissions to professional schools. HPE includes essay writing workshops, interview skills workshops, committee interviews and an option for committee letters of recommendation for post-baccalaureate students to be sent to the professional schools of their choice.

    Additionally, the Pre-Health Advisor provides guidance in the professional school application process through other workshops, events, and one-one one advising. Students are encouraged to attend the Health Professions Graduate School Fair held each spring, to meet with admission representatives from health professions graduate schools. Prospective post-baccalaureate students are encouraged to email prehealth@seattleu.edu to schedule a meeting with the Pre-Health advisor.

    Other Resources for Post-Baccalaureate Students

    Post-baccalaureate students are also encouraged to participate in the Pre-Health Club, a Seattle University student organization that coordinates educational, social, and professional development activities for students interested in the health professions

     Slide deck - Details program benefits, admitted student data, common questions including cost, community college and AP credit, and international applicants

    How to Apply

    To apply to the program click here.

    In addition to the Transfer Common Application and Supplemental Application, you will be asked to submit a resume and the  Pre-requisite and Academic Plan Form . Resumes should be no longer than two pages, and should include relevant volunteering, shadowing, clinical, work and personal experiences. Resumes can be submitted here. For assistance in submitting your resume, contact the Science and Engineering Advising Center at (206) 296-2500.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    I am interested in SU Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate certificate program. Where do I start?

    Thanks for your interest! Please review the following materials and resources:program overview, slide deckand this FAQ.

    After reading all of the materials, if you have additional questions about the types of Federal financial aid that might be available to you, contact Student Financial Services. If you have additional questions about the application process, contact the Office of Admissions. If you are utilizing VA educational benefits, email va@seattleu.edu. Other questions can be directed to the Science and Engineering Advising Center at prehealth@seattleu.edu or (206) 296-2500.

    Is the 3.0 GPA a firm requirement?

    Very few applicants who have less than a 3.0 GPA are accepted into the certificate program. You are welcome to apply, but admission is competitive. A strong academic record is important in considering how likely you are to be successful in the challenging science curriculum, and ultimately in your intended health professions program. Many post-baccalaureate program models exist, including those to help students improve their GPA or test scores; visit https://services.aamc.org/postbac/for a list of programs to find one that is the best fit for you.

    I took some science classes as an undergraduate but didn't do very well. Can I retake these classes in the SU pre-health post-baccalaureate certificate program?

    A GPA enhancement program would likely be a better fit for you. Our program is for "career changers" who have explored their intended field through shadowing, volunteering and clinical experiences, but have not completed the necessary pre-requisite courses. Many post-baccalaureate program models exist; visit https://services.aamc.org/postbac/for a list of programs to find one that is the best fit for you.

    Why do I need to take pre-calculus and chemistry? Other post-baccalaureate programs don't require these classes.

    The pre-calculus and chemistry admissions requirements are aligned with the pre-requisites for courses that certificate students often take: PHYS 105 (pre-requisites: MATH 120, MATH 121); CHEM 121/131 (pre-requisites: CHEM 101 or high school chemistry, MATH 120 or higher); BIOL 161/171 (pre-requisites: high school chemistry, placement into MATH 120 or higher). We know that your time and resources are important in planning your application timeline, and we want to ensure that you are able to start taking appropriate course sequences in your first quarter at SU. Foundational math courses are critical to your success in basic (and subsequent) science classes, so brushing up on these concepts will be helpful in assessing whether or not you are prepared to pursue rigorous pre-requisite coursework. Students can apply for the program while planning to complete these pre-requisites before the time of starting coursework at Seattle U. If your courses are in progress, or plan to be taken in the future, please indicate that when applying. Student may be admitted on provisional basis until they have submitted transcripts showing they have completed these pre-requisites.

    Why do the Pre-Calculus and Chemistry requirements need to be completed within the last 5 years?

    The Pre-Calculus and Chemistry requirements are aligned with the pre-requisites for PHYS 105, CHEM 121/131 and BIOL 161/171. Pre-Calculus and Chemistry courses were added as admissions requirements so you are prepared to start the rigorous science courses during your first term at SU (see previous question for more information). Timing of the pre-requisites is important because your mastery of these concepts will largely impact your ability to be successful in foundation and upper division science courses, as well as standardized entrance exams (MCAT, DAT, etc.). If you completed the coursework over 5 years ago, you may not have retained the knowledge critical to be successful in subsequent coursework or exams. Students can apply for the program while planning to complete these pre-requisites before the time of starting coursework at Seattle U. If your courses are in progress, or plan to be taken in the future, please indicate that when applying. Student may be admitted on provisional basis until they have submitted transcripts showing they have completed these pre-requisites.

    Additionally, when considering the timing of coursework, keep in mind that some health professions graduate schools state that pre-requisite coursework "expires" after a period of time. Check with a few schools you are interested in to see if they have a time limitation on pre-requisite coursework.

    I already took Calculus as part of my undergraduate degree. Do I really need to take Pre-Calculus Algebra or Trigonometry?

    It depends how long ago you completed the Calculus course and the grade you earned. If you completed Calculus within 5 years prior to the term you are applying for admission at SU and earned at least a B, you will not need to take Pre-Calculus Algebra or Trigonometry to be considered for admission to the certificate program at SU. To research appropriate course options (or look up previously completed coursework) use the Transfer Course Equivalency Guide or Transfer Guideto see how classes will transfer to SU from other institutions.

    Can I complete a higher level math course to fulfill the admissions requirement?

    Yes, Calculus (completed within 5 years prior to matriculation, with a grade of B or higher) will fulfill the admissions requirement for the certificate program. To research appropriate course options (or look up previously completed coursework) use the Transfer Course Equivalency Guideor Transfer Guideto see how classes will transfer to SU from other institutions.

    Statistics is a good course, and recommended for many health professions graduate programs, but it will not fulfill the admissions requirement for the certificate program. Be sure to check with the graduate schools you are interested in to see what level of math they recommend or require for admission.

    What is an appropriate college level Chemistry course?

    Almost any introductory, general education, or basic Chemistry course from an accredited institution is sufficient to fulfill the certificate admissions requirement. Use the Transfer Course Equivalency Guide or Transfer Guide to see how classes will transfer to SU from other institutions.

    If you choose to take the first course in a year-long General Chemistry (or Inorganic Chemistry) sequence, consider completing the entire sequence at the same institution. Course content within a sequence varies by institution, and you may miss some content if you transfer mid-sequence.

    If I have completed prior math or science coursework, do I have to follow the "Common Post-Bac Schedule" outlined in the slide deck?

    No. The schedule included in the slide deck is an example, and common for many students, but is not required for all. Many certificate students follow the "common" schedule as part-time students, some students are full-time at SU, and others take classes from a few different institutions. Your academic plan should factor in your previously completed coursework, standardized exam, desired application timeline, personal commitments (family, work, volunteer, etc.), and pre-requisite courses for the health professions programs to which you are applying.

    Your admissions application will ask you to indicate the classes you intend to take if enrolled in the program. This is a good opportunity for you to research and understand the application requirements for health professions graduate schools, and to give the Pre-Health Advisor some insight into your timeline and expectations.

    How important is shadowing, volunteering, leadership, and clinical experience?

    VERY important! Health professions graduate schools want to see that you have explored your intended profession and have a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities you will encounter as a health care provider. Additionally, taking pre-requisite classes, submitting application materials, and interviewing take a lot of time and resources. Exploring the field through shadowing, volunteering, and clinical experiences will help you to articulate your motivations and keep you focused on your goal.

    Also keep in mind that you will be very busy as a post-baccalaureate student, balancing a challenging course load with a variety of work, family and personal commitments. It may be extremely difficult to add a significant number of meaningful shadowing, volunteering, leadership or clinical experiences in your schedule while enrolled in classes. Plan ahead and start these experiences early!

    What is the process to apply for the certificate program?

    Complete the Transfer Common Application and Supplemental Application. Additional details on the application process will be posted here in mid-January.

    I would like to use my VA educational benefit. Who can I talk to about my eligibility?

    Prospective applicants who would like to use military education benefits should email the Veterans Certification Officer via email at va@seattleu.edu.

    What is the timeline for decisions?

    Applications must be received by March 1 for Fall quarter 2013 admission (application deadline will move to February for fall quarter 2014 admission) and November 10 for winter quarter admission. Applications received after these dates will be considered as space allows. When the program is closed for admission for the upcoming term, a notification will be posted at http://www.seattleu.edu/scieng/advising/pre-health/. Admissions decisions will be sent as early as April 1 for fall quarter and December 1 for winter quarter. Applicants will be notified by letter from the Office of Admissions.

    Gainful Employment Disclosure

    For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please click here.