The Pre-Medicine program at Saint Francis University is designed for students who seek admission into medical school, dental school, optometry school, veterinary school, or similar programs after completing their bachelor’s degree.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Pre-Medicine is a concentration that is added to an academic major. Our programs are built around the following principles:
In addition to our traditional undergraduate pre-medicine opportunities (see below), SFU also participates in early-acceptance programs with a variety of medical, dental, and optometry schools.
BiologyDr. Justin W. Merryjmerry@francis.edu814-472-3089
BiochemistryDr. Michele Hargittaimhargittai@francis.edu814-472-2775
ChemistryDr. Edward P. Zovinkaezovinka@francis.edu814-472-3373
Exercise PhysiologyDr. Stephen M. LoRussoslorusso@francis.edu814-472-3853
Public HealthDr. Theresa Hornerthorner@francis.edu814-471-1314
Pre-Medicine at Saint Francis University is a concentration, not a degree. That concentration, a common set of courses in science and mathematics, is added to an academic major, commonly in biology, chemistry, exercise physiology, or public health.
Biology, B.S., Pre-Medicine Concentration: Students specialize in the fundamental biological processes of the human body, gaining a solid foundation in the function of cells and tissues. Biology pre-medicine courses emphasize molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, anatomy, and physiology. Students develop advanced skills in molecular biology that can be used to diagnose and research disease, such as vertebrate cell culture, advanced microscopy, polymerase chain reaction, genomics, and protein assays. Undergraduate research experiences and internships are strongly encouraged.
Biology, B.S., Pre-Medicine Plan of Study [PDF]
Biochemistry, B.S., Biochemists
study the chemical processes that occur in living cells as well as the
structure and function of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids.
Biochemistry gives students a solid background in the fundamental principles of
chemistry and biology. Students learn cutting edge science and how to apply
their knowledge to solve problems through critical thinking. Undergraduate research and/or internships
are greatly encouraged.
Biochemistry, B.S., Pre-Medicine Plan of Study (PDF)
Chemistry, B.S., Pre-Medicine Plan of Study [PDF]
Exercise Physiology, B.S., Pre-Medicine Concentration: Exercise Physiology Students specialize in understanding the physiological processes that are fundamental to the operation of the human body. Pre-medicine courses include molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, anatomy, and physiology. Courses with hands on experiences in physiological assessment develop clinical skills including blood pressure, EKG, and stress testing. Internship experiences allow students to use these skills working directly with clients in a variety of medically-oriented areas.
Public Health, B.S., Pre-Medicine Concentration: Public health students specialize in the study of health and disease, at levels ranging from individual patient care to national-scale efforts to administer healthcare programs or track/contain disease.
Students may also add a Pre-Medicine Concentration to any major, but most students select one of the above options. Other past choices include psychology and philosophy. Which should you choose? It really depends on your interests; students learn best in a major they enjoy.
Our students benefit from small class sizes and direct mentoring by faculty. Average classes in introductory biology and chemistry programs rarely exceed 30 students, and upper-division courses typically have enrollments of 8-20 students. Courses are built to not just emphasize critical facts, but to challenge students to think critically and learn important laboratory skills. The result is that students learn science at a deeper, more sophisticated level, than is typically possible in large lecture hall-style courses.In addition to a rigorous science curriculum, Saint Francis University provides a liberal arts-style education. Students gain broad perspectives and superior communication skills through courses in philosophy, history, and the arts. Students are also encouraged to take advanced coursework in psychology and sociology, which fulfill general education requirements and are included on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).
Each student in a pre-medicine concentration is closely advised by a handful of advisors that specialize in advising students bound to medical schools. Advisors are available at any time to assist students with questions, and meet with students at least once per semester prior to the class registration to discuss courses, shadowing, entrance exam studying strategies, and internships. SFU students also have access to the Pre-Medicine Committee. This committee is chaired by Dr. Marian Langer, who is a member of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, and has more than three decades of experience advising pre-medicine majors. She and the rest of the Pre-Medicine committee are available to all pre-medicine students as an advising resource. Furthermore, the committee meets every spring with third-year students, and authors a committee recommendation for qualified candidates that can be included as part of their medical school applications. These committee recommendations are held in high regard by professional schools because they reflect a consensus view of a student by University faculty.
Pre-Medicine students are strongly encouraged to get involved in undergraduate research. Students work in small groups with our faculty to design, execute, and communicate novel research projects. You can earn course credit for research, and can apply for internal grants to fund research in the summer. Our students regularly present their work at regional and national conferences, and have co-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals. Research provides the opportunity to get involved in the process of scientific discovery, grapple with challenges, and provide a practical perspective to complement what one learns in the classroom. Furthermore, research provides a way to separate your application to professional school from those of your peers. Our students repeatedly report that a major focus of their medical school interviews has been a nuanced discussion of their undergraduate research projects.
Our departments feature tight-knit groups of students that have developed into communities of learners. In the Science Center, biology and chemistry majors have dedicated student zones, where students are provided space for studying, group-learning, and socializing. In these interactions, upperclassmen are available for informal mentoring and tutoring of lower-classmen. Formal peer tutoring and other academic support services are also available through our Center for Academic Success.
Each year, our students form study groups to prepare for professional school entrance exams, including the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), OAT (Optometry Admission Test), DAT (Dental Admission Test), and GRE. Our faculty are available to meet with students outside of class time to work through practice entrance exams and provide advice on preparation.
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