About the Program

The Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Professional Health Studies (PBPHS) Certificate program is designed to be flexible to meet the student’s needs and background.

The time required to complete the certificate ranges from 12 to 24 months depending on the preparation of the incoming student. It also depends on if the student elects to enroll full-time or part-time. Please keep in mind graduate and professional schools in the health sciences will need evidence that students can perform well in a rigorous science intensive academic environment.

Ultimately, students enrolled in the program will successfully complete a minimum of 45 credits from (1) the core pre-health science courses and (2) program electives.

Core pre-health science courses include:

  • BIOL 1610/1611 - Biology I: Molecular and Cellular Biology & lab
  • BIOL 1620/1621 - Biology II: Evolution and Ecology & lab
  • BIOL 1630/1631 - Biology III: Physiology and Development & lab
  • CHEM 1500/1501 - General Chemistry I & lab
  • CHEM 1510/1511 - General Chemistry II & lab
  • CHEM 1520 - General Chemistry III
  • CHEM 1521 – Qualitative Inorganic Chemistry lab
  • CHEM 2500 – Organic Chemistry: Structure & Reactivity
  • CHEM 2501 – Organic Chemistry Lab: Techniques
  • CHEM 2510 – Organic Chemistry: Functional Group Interconversions
  • CHEM 2511 – Organic Chemistry Lab: Applications
  • One of the Two Physics Sequences
    • Non-calculus Based
      • PHYS 1050/1051 – Mechanics & lab
      • PHYS 1060/1061 - Waves, Sound, Electricity and Magnetism & lab
      • PHYS 1070/1071 - Thermodynamics, Optics, and Modern Physics & lab
    • Calculus Based
      • PHYS 1210/1211 – Mechanics & lab
      • PHYS 1220/1221 - Electricity and Magnetism & lab
      • PHYS 1230/1231 - Waves and Optics & lab

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 pre-requisite 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.

Program Electives include:

  • BIOL 2700 - Genetics
  • BIOL 3100 – Microbiology
  • BIOL 3150 - Virology
  • BIOL 3250 - Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates
  • BIOL 3820 – Neurobiology
  • BIOL 4150 - Immunology
  • BIOL 4750 - Cell Biology
  • BIOL 4751 - Cell Biology Laboratory
  • CHEM 2520 – Organic Chemistry: Reactions of Pi-Systems
  • CHEM 2521 – Organic Chemistry Lab: Projects
  • CHEM 3600 – Introduction to Biochemistry
  • MATH 1230 - Calculus for Life Sciences
  • MATH 1210 - Statistics for Life Sciences

Note that 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.

Program Schedule

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.

Fall Start

Year 1


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


BIOL 3100

Take Exam
CHEM 2500/2501

CHEM 2510/2511

CHEM 3600 Apply
BIOL 2700

BIOL 2200

BIOL 2210  


Winter Start

Year 1


BIOL 1610/1611

BIOL 1620/1621  

CHEM 1500/1501

CHEM 1510/1511 Clinical Experience


MATH 1210  

Year 2

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

BIOL 4750/4751 Clinical Experience
BIOL 3100 Take Exam
CHEM 3600 Apply


Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the PBHS certificate, students 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.

Upon completing study at Seattle University, students will be:

  • Prepared to encounter the world - They thoughtfully engage complex questions about human existence and the natural world by rigorously applying appropriate methods of inquiry and by drawing upon a broad foundation of relevant knowledge and experience.
  • Adept in their discipline - Through pursuing their academic and scholarly passions, they possess in-depth knowledge and skills in their major, and are able to apply them effectively.
  • Empowered to make a difference - They are competent and creative writers, speakers, and critical thinkers who are able to thrive in leadership, team and advocacy roles; who contribute to the common good; and who possess the tools to meet life's challenges.
  • Self-reflective in their pursuit of meaning and purpose - They are prepared and inspired to lead reflective lives of meaning and value, to contemplate their relationship to the transcendent, and to discern their vocational and life paths.
  • Committed to justice and ethical action - They are engaged and ethical members of their global and local communities, act with compassion and integrity, and strive for social and environmental justice.