Is Penn State A Good School For Pre Med

Last Updated on August 27, 2022 by Smile Ese

Is Penn State a good school for Pre Med? That’s a complicated question. It’s difficult to say without more details. Ideally, you’d want to consider location, cost of attendance and the quality of programs offered at the school. Location is important because doctors don’t just work within the United States — many end up working overseas, too. So if you’re looking to become a doctor traveling might be in your future. This article will help you find out if Penn State is a good school for pre-med.

Are you interested in going to colleges in Pennsylvania? If that’s the case, then how much do you know about them? All you have to do is read on to get the latest information on is penn state a good school for pre med in the article below.


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Penn State has been a premier college for pre-med students since the inception of its renowned Pre-Med Program. In fact, Penn State is consistently ranked as one of the top programs in the country, earning a spot in the top 15 along with several other prestigious universities.

Is Penn State a good school for pre med? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for in a school.

If you’re looking for a big-name school with lots of resources and opportunities, then yes—Penn State is a great option. Not only does it have a strong pre med program, but it also has an extensive list of other majors and degrees.

If you’re looking for small classes and personal attention from professors, however, then Penn State may not be the best fit for you. The average class size at Penn State is around 600 students, which means there will be plenty of other students to help with your studies but also that there won’t be as much one-on-one time with professors as there would be at smaller schools.

Additionally, if diversity is important to you and/or if you have an interest in rural medicine or community health care, then Penn State may not be the best fit either: the majority of its student body lives in urban areas such as State College or Pittsburgh.

pre med penn state academic plan

If you’re considering a career in medicine, Penn State’s Pre-Medical program is a great place to start.

If you have an interest in the medical field, but aren’t quite sure if it’s for you, the Pre-Medical program is a great way to get your feet wet. You’ll take courses in biology, chemistry and physics, which are all required for admission into many medical schools. In addition to these core classes, students can choose from electives like anatomy and physiology, psychology and even Spanish or Chinese language classes.

The Pre-Medical program offers two degree options: Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA). Both are designed to prepare students for admission into medical school after graduation. The BA option allows students more flexibility in course selection while still providing them with the necessary knowledge needed to be competitive at top colleges and universities.

Students who complete this program will have proven themselves ready to enter into the very competitive field of medicine.

MD Program - Penn State College of Medicine

Is Penn State A Good School For Pre Med

Is Penn State A Good School For Pre Med?

So you’re in the market for a pre-med program, and you’ve heard that Penn State is a good school. But is it really? Or is it just an expensive state school with lots of football fans?

We’ve been helping students get into medical school for over 20 years. We can tell you what it’s like to attend Penn State as a pre-med student—and whether or not it’s worth your time and money.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of what it’s like to go to medical school at Penn State, let’s take a step back: why would you want to go there? Well, if you live near campus (and even if you don’t), there are plenty of reasons:

The campus itself is beautiful, especially during fall when all the trees turn orange or red. It’s easy to find friends here because there are so many people around—you’ll find yourself running into someone who went here before every once in awhile! If you’re interested in athletics or theater, there are tons of opportunities for both on campus; plus, the football games are pretty fun too! There are also plenty of cultural events happening year

Medical and Graduate Education - Penn State College of Medicine

How does Penn State Behrend help the student succeed?

There are two major types of practicing physicians. Both are fully licensed to practice medicine in all 50 states. However, they differ in philosophy:

  • Doctor of Medicine, M.D.: Traditional physicians and surgeons who practice medicine, and are concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments including invasive treatments.
  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, D.O.: Fulfill all the roles of an M.D. within the philosophy of Andrew Taylor Still. Osteopathic physicians use all conventional diagnosis and treatment methods, but are trained to place additional emphasis on the achievement of normal body mechanics as central to maintaining good health.

Both have nearly equivalent expectations for undergraduate preparation.

Coursework

No medical school specifies an undergraduate major. “Pre-med” majors at other institutions are repackaged biology degrees. All medical school programs require a specified set of prerequisite coursework that is offered at Penn State Behrend. Due to the advanced biology requirement at many medical schools, a biology or biology-related major is often pursued. Prerequisite courses for most medical programs include:

  • General Biology: BIOL 110 and BIOL 240W
  • Molecular Biology: BIOL 230W
  • General Chemistry: CHEM 110/112
  • General Chemistry Laboratory: CHEM 111/113
  • Organic Chemistry: CHEM 210/212
  • Organic Chemistry Laboratory: CHEM 213
  • Biochemistry: CHEM 472 and B M B 402/403
  • Anatomy: BIOL 421
  • Physiology: BIOL 472/473
  • Physics: PHYS 250/251
  • Calculus: MATH 140/141
  • Statistics: STAT 250
  • Psychology: PSYCH 100
  • English (3-6 credits): ENGL 15, 202C
  • Sociology (3-6 credits): SOC 001

Students interested in the health professions are encouraged to take SC 201: Medical Professions.

The purpose of SC 201 is to:

  • Provide students with an overview of various health professions
  • Enhance students’ understanding of potential careers
  • Discuss the academic preparation for specific professions
  • Review the application process for admission to health-profession schools

The Health Professions Option of our Bachelor of Science degree in Biology covers all of these prerequisites. However, other biology, chemistry, and physics degree programs can be customized to meet these requirements. At Penn State Behrend, you will have a dedicated, personal Pre-Health Adviser who will guide you through the process!

Please note, the student needs to check the specific requirements of the individual programs for which they are applying.

Benchmarks and Standards

The more rigorous the academic preparation in the sciences, the more prepared students are for advanced coursework in a medical school program.

The student must:

  • Demonstrate a consistent and high GPA (mean GPA >3.4)
  • Perform well on the MCAT (minimum MCAT score above 50th percentile)
  • Apply to multiple schools
  • Obtain and record 100+ hours of shadowing/clinical experience in a medical setting

Shadowing and Volunteering

To answer the question of “Why do you want to be a doctor?” a student must do the following:

  • Observe a doctor at work for as many hours as you can schedule. Most medical programs are taking a holistic “whole candidate” approach to admissions. Simply having a high GPA and MCAT score is no longer sufficient for acceptance.
  • Shadow different doctors that work in the various specializations in the medical profession. Most schools are looking for at least 50-100 hours of shadowing/clinical experience.
  • Keep a record of the time you spend in each experience and the type of knowledge you gained from it.
  • Make sure at least one letter of recommendation is from a physician whom you observed/worked with.
  • Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to show your dedication to helping people! Finding volunteer opportunities will require some research on the student’s part. Here are some local options:
    • Hospitals
    • Nursing homes
    • School for children with special needs

Opportunities for Leadership and Scholarship

To determine if the candidate has a diverse set of skills necessary to be a doctor, admission committees look for evidence of leadership, involvement in professional organizations, and participation in scholarly activities like research. At Penn State Behrend:

  • Students have access to the small-class size of a liberal arts college with the research facilities of a larger university.
  • Students have opportunities to conduct research with a faculty mentor who is an active researcher in their field of expertise.
  • Many of our students who participate in undergraduate research present their work at local and national conferences.
  • Students have access to a vibrant and diverse set of student organizations that offer leadership opportunities. We have the Behrend “Scrubs” Club for students interested in health degrees.
  • Other clubs and organizations organize and participate in many philanthropic activities that you can become involved in.

penn state pre med program acceptance rate

about 60%With this in mind, the application/accept figures for the past several years show that of all students across the University who applied for medical school admission, about 60% were accepted. If you consider just the junior year undergraduate students who applied, about 65% were accepted.

Temple University Courses

General Biology: BIOL 110 and BIOL 240W
Molecular Biology: BIOL 230W
General Chemistry: CHEM 110/112
General Chemistry Laboratory: CHEM 111/113
Organic Chemistry: CHEM 210/212
Organic Chemistry Laboratory: CHEM 213
Biochemistry: CHEM 472 and B M B 402/403
Anatomy: BIOL 421
Physiology: BIOL 472/473
Physics: PHYS 250/251
Calculus: MATH 140/141
Statistics: STAT 250
Psychology: PSYCH 100
English (3-6 credits): ENGL 15, 202C
Sociology (3-6 credits): SOC 001
Students interested in the health professions are encouraged to take SC 201: Medical Professions.

Premedical/Medical (BS/MD) | Eberly College of Science

The purpose of SC 201 is to:

Provide students with an overview of various health professions
Enhance students’ understanding of potential careers
Discuss the academic preparation for specific professions
Review the application process for admission to health profession schools
The Health Professions Option of our Bachelor of Science degree in Biology covers all of these prerequisites. However, other biology, chemistry, and physics degree programs can easily be customized to meet these requirements. At Penn State Behrend, you will have a dedicated, personal Pre-Health Adviser who will guide you through the process!

Please note, the student needs to check the specific requirements of the individual programs for which they are applying.

Benchmarks and Standards
The more rigorous the academic preparation in the sciences, the more prepared students are for advanced coursework in a medical school program.

The student must:

Demonstrate a consistent and high GPA (mean GPA >3.4)
Perform well on the MCAT (minimum MCAT score above 50th percentile)
Apply to multiple schools
Obtain and record 100+ hours of shadowing/clinical experience in a medical setting
Shadowing and Volunteering
To answer the question of “Why do you want to be a doctor?” it is necessary for a student to do the following:

Observe a doctor at work for as many hours as you can schedule. Most medical programs are taking a holistic “whole candidate” approach to admissions. Simply having a high GPA and MCAT score is no longer sufficient for acceptance.
Shadow different doctors that work in the various specializations in the medical profession. Most schools are looking for at least 50-100 hours of shadowing/clinical experience.
Keep a record of the time you spend in each experience and the type of knowledge you gained from it.
Make sure at least one letter of recommendation is from a physician whom you observed/worked with.
Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to show your dedication to helping people! Finding volunteer opportunities will require some research on the student’s part. Here are some local options:
Hospitals
Nursing homes
School for children with special needs
Opportunities for Leadership and Scholarship
To determine if the candidate has a diverse set of skills necessary to be a doctor, admission committees look for evidence of leadership, involvement in professional organizations, and participation in scholarly activities like research. At Penn State Behrend:

Students have access to the small-class size of a liberal arts college with the research facilities of a larger university.
Students have opportunities to conduct research with a faculty mentor who is an active researcher in his or her field of expertise.
Many of our students who participate in undergraduate research present their work at local and national conferences.
Students have access to a vibrant and diverse set of student organizations that offer leadership opportunities. We have the Behrend “Scrubs” Club for students interested in health degrees.
Other clubs and organizations organize and participate in many philanthropic activities that you can become involved in.

Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine is Unranked in Best Medical Schools: Research and Unranked in Best Medical Schools: Primary Care. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

MD Program - University Park Curriculum - Penn State College of Medicine

penn state pre med requirements

What do Medical School Admissions Committees look for in an applicant?
Can the student handle the academic rigors of medical school?
Why does the student want to be a doctor? Do they want to be in the profession for the “right” reasons and know the dedication the career entails?


Do they have a diverse set of skills necessary to be a doctor?
How does Penn State Behrend help the student succeed?
There are two major types of practicing physicians. Both are fully licensed to practice medicine in all 50 states. However, they differ in philosophy:

Doctor of Medicine, M.D.: Traditional physicians and surgeons who practice medicine, and are concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments including invasive treatments.
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, D.O.: Fulfill all the roles of an M.D. within the philosophy of Andrew Taylor Still. Osteopathic physicians use all conventional methods of diagnosis and treatment, but are trained to place additional emphasis on the achievement of normal body mechanics as central to maintaining good health.
Both have nearly equivalent expectations for undergraduate preparation.

Coursework
No medical school specifies an undergraduate major. “Pre-med” majors at other institutions are repackaged biology degrees. All medical school programs require a specified set of prerequisite coursework that is offered at Penn State Behrend. Due to the advanced biology requirement at many medical schools, a biology or biology-related major is often pursued. Prerequisite courses for most medical programs include:

We have a lot of information to share with you.

At this point, you may be wondering what’s next. We’re going to take you through the next steps of your journey and help you get into the school of your dreams!

The first step is that you need to reach out to us so we can get started on our application process for Penn State University. We’ll work together to make sure all of your bases are covered, so that when it comes time for you to submit your application, it will be as strong as possible.

We also want to work with you on a timeline that works best for you so that we can make sure we’re meeting all of your needs in order for things to go smoothly and easily. You don’t need a ton of time or money—all we really need is for us both to be on the same page about what’s going on in your life right now and what comes next so we can plan accordingly!

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