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Post-Baccalaureate Pre Professional Health Studies Certificate

Prepare for your career in a health profession through science courses required for admission to graduate and professional schools in the health sciences.

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About this Program

Prepare for Your Career in a Health Profession

The Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Professional Health Studies Certificate (PBPHS) prepares you to apply to graduate and professional schools in the health sciences. This certificate prepares those who have finished their undergraduate degree but lack most or all of the core prerequisite science courses (Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Math). The PBPHS Certificate prepares you to succeed in careers such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, optometry and physician assisting.

The certificate is an individually designed curriculum to meet your needs and background. The time required to complete the certificate ranges from 12 to 24 months, depending on your preparation and whether you enroll full-time or part-time.

What You’ll Learn

Upon completing the PBPHS certificate, you will:

  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge and competence in biology, chemistry, and physics.
  • Communicate scientific information effectively through writing and speaking.
  • Demonstrate the ability to collect and analyze data and to prepare coherent reports of their findings.
  • Have professional attitudes, behaviors and skills to gain admissions to appropriate graduate/professional schools.


  • Students who already completed core pre-health science courses before coming to Seattle University can complete the remaining certificate requirements in program electives.
  • Students should research the prerequisite classes required for entry into the graduate and professional schools they intend to apply for. Commonly required classes include, but are not limited to, anatomy, microbiology and physiology.
  • The program is not appropriate for “record enhancing” students. This includes students who have completed the core pre-health science courses and are looking to improve their GPA by repeating these courses or to enroll in only advanced coursework.
  • Students who are currently enrolled as undergraduates may apply to the program but matriculation cannot occur without an awarded undergraduate degree.
  • Completion of the pre-requisite course work does not necessarily mean a student is ready to apply to graduate and professional schools in the health sciences. Time for study and preparation for the professional placement exam, clinical exposure in the chosen field, research, and community service outside of healthcare also need to be considered.

What You’ll Learn

Learn about the classes you’ll take as a student here.

Sample Program Schedules

The following are sample schedules for a student applying for entry in each of the two cohorts. Actual schedules will vary depending on previous coursework completed and intended professional programs.

Year 1
Fall Winter Spring Summer
BIOL 1610/1611 BIOL 1620/1621 BIOL 1630/1631 Clinical Experience
CHEM 1500/1501 CHEM 1510/1511 CHEM 1520 Begin Exam Prep
PHYS 1050/1051 PHYS 1060/1061 PHYS 1070/1071  
Year 2
Fall Winter Spring Summer
BIOL 3100 BIOL 4750/47551 BIOL ELECTIVE W/ LAB (3000-4000) Take Exam
CHEM 2500/2501 CHEM 2510/2511 CHEM 3600 Apply
BIOL 2700 BIOL 2200 BIOL 2210  
Year 1
Fall Winter Spring Summer
  BIOL 1610/1611 BIOL 1620/1621 &
  CHEM 1500/1501 CHEM 1510/1511 Clinical Experience
Year 2
Fall Winter Spring Summer
BIOL 1630/1631 BIOL 2200 BIOL 2210 Clinical Experience
CHEM 1520 CHEM 2500/2501 BIOL 2700 Begin Exam Prep
PHYS 1050/1051 PHYS 1060/1061 PHYS 1070/1071  
Year 3
Fall Winter/Spring
BIOL 4750/4751 Clinical Experience
BIOL 3100 Take Exam
CHEM 3600 Apply

Frequently Asked Questions

Most of our post-bac students come from non-science majors and/or careers. We are typically looking for students who have completed fewer than half of the undergraduate requirements for admission to graduate/professional school in the health sciences. If admitted, you must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours to receive a certificate. Post-bac students are also expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 while completing the requisite coursework.

Our program is a “career changer” program for students with less than half of the prerequisite classes completed. Students who have already taken some of these classes will take upper division coursework. However, students who have completed more than half of the required pre-requisite classes for graduate or professional school in the health sciences may be overqualified for our program and should consider an "academic record enhancer" post-bac program.

Our program does not have any linkage programs with any medical schools.

The five-year average of acceptances to medical schools for Seattle University students ranges from 80-95%.

Yes, we accept international students to our program. However, international applicants should first review the admissions requirements of potential U.S. professional schools in the health sciences because each differs in whether they require that the pre-health science courses be completed in the U.S., or whether they require an undergraduate degree from an U.S. institution. For example, some U.S. medical schools will only accept U.S. citizens or permanent residents regardless of academic performance.

Classes are only offered during the day and during the week.

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