Formal Post-Bac Program Pre-Health Professions Certificate

San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA.
Type Test Preparation, Post-baccalaureate Program, Academic Enrichment, Academic Year Program, Health Disparities


SFSU has recently created the Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program, formal post-bac program that complements its already existing informal post-bac program. The goal of the Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program is to guide participants through the entire preparation and application process so that they will be competitive applicants to graduate health profession schools. The Program is intended for students that have already earned a BA/BS/BFA degree and wish to apply to allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry physical therapy or veterinary medicine schools. Students wishing to apply to other health profession schools may also be considered. Due to its cohort structure, the Program is best suited for students who will be taking our complete set of course offerings; that is, those who have completed little or no pre-requisite course work at the time of entry. Cohorts up to 50 students take pre-requisite Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics course work, and auxiliary course work in the form of discussion sections, upper-division science electives, a Health Professions Colloquium, and clinical exposure activities. On-campus MCAT/DAT/PCAT/OAT/GRE preparation courses may be available from commercial vendors at a discount. The Program begins in the early summer and runs continuously for six semesters, a period of two years. The Program is supervised by a Director, who writes a Committee Letter of Evaluation for those completing the Program that may be submitted with the student’s health profession school application. The Program seeks a diverse population of participants. Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are available to students with documented financial need. Benefits: Participants will be able to complete pre-requisite course work efficiently and with guaranteed entrance into Program classes. Participants move through the Program as a cohort of up to 50 students. Based on experience with our present group of post-bacs (Cohorts 1, 2 and 3), they will likely form a cohesive group with similar goals and mutual support. This feature emphasizes cooperation rather than competition. Class size is reasonable. Lectures will have up to 50 formal post-bacs (the maximum size of the Cohort), while labs and discussion sections have up to 25 formal post-bacs each. Auxiliary course work in the form of discussion sections (Sci classes) will enhance learning. These Sci classes are mandatory during the first summer and optional thereafter. The Program provides a Health Professions Colloquium in which students will receive individual and group help in writing personal statements and practicing for interviews. Participants will be allowed to take additional, non-Program course work as electives. These courses have lower tuition ($239/unit), and add flexibility to the Program. The Program provides at a nominal fee optional Chemistry Boot Camp and Math Boot Camp to help participants prepare for summer chemistry and math courses. Chemistry Boot Camp is held during the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday prior to the beginning of summer classes. Math Boot Camp is held Monday-Friday, 1½ hours per day, during the first two week of summer classes (math classes begin in the third week of summer classes). The Boot Camps have received rave reviews from Cohorts 2 and 3. The Program provides stress-management tools during the first summer. These include a mandatory weekly 1½-hour support group at no cost, led by an SFSU faculty member, tailored to the needs of Program participants and possibly a weekly 1-hour yoga class at a nominal fee. The Program will help participants find productive clinical experiences in the San Francisco Bay area. Academic credit can be gotten for these through AU 693 (Cooperative Education) or Bio 699 (Special Projects). The Program strongly promotes admitting a diverse group of participants. Participants will be part of SFSU's diverse student and faculty population. Participants will have the support of the Program Director, Program Assistant and the Faculty that teach their courses. The Program fees, although substantially higher than regular fees at SFSU, are lower than those charged by most other formal post-bac programs. The Program will integrate modern teaching methods and supplementary, health related information into its curriculum. This will include integration of the following into appropriate course material: The use of MCAT/DAT/GRE-style test questions. The use of case-based learning exercises (used in many health profession schools). Information on healthcare disparities and complementary and alternative medicine. MCAT/DAT/PCAT/OAT/GRE preparatory courses may be offered on campus at a discounted rate in collaboration with commercial providers. The Formal Post-Bac Program (PHPCP) interacts synergistically with the other post-bac programs on campus: the Informal Post-Bac (2nd-Bac) Program and the Dental Post-Bac Programs. For example, pre-dental students entering the Formal Post-Bac Program have the opportunity to interact with dental post-bacs who have already completed pre-requisite course work and have gained a considerable amount of clinical experience. Such pre-dental Formal Post-Bacs can also take advantage of SFSU's close ties with the UCSF and University of Pacific Dental Schools, which partner with SFSU in running the SFSU/UCSF/Pacific Dental Reapplicant Program. We are in the process of creating a nationally recognized program with a modern curriculum, high standards and a high success rate that will train the healthcare leaders of tomorrow.


Applicants must have graduated from an accredited institution of higher learning with a baccalaureate or higher degree and a final GPA of 2.5 or above, or they must earn a GPA of 2.5 or above in their most recent 60 semester units (90 quarter units) of course work . Because of the limited number of students that can be accommodated by the Program, applicants with higher GPAs will have an advantage in being admitted. However, GPA will be only one of many factors in evaluating applicants. Out-of-state students and those with Resident Status (Green Card) are welcome to apply to the Program. At present, we are unable to enroll international students. See below for further information.

Please contact the program administrator for more details on dates and deadlines.

More Information

SFSU Health Professions Adviser
Barry S. Rothman, Ph.D.
Department of Biology, College of Science and Engineering, 1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
Phone: 415-338-2410
Fax: 415-338-2295