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Preprofessional Programs

Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate

American University’s Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program is designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree and either lack the prerequisites required by health professional schools, or wish to strengthen their credentials.

In addition to classes and advice, we offer guidance and assistance in preparing for health professional school, helping students polish essay-writing and interviewing skills and prepare for entrance exams (MCAT, DAT or GRE). Each student emerges with a composite letter of evaluation, which can be sent to health professional schools along with individual letters of recommendation.

The program prepares students to apply to health professional schools or advanced degree programs in:

  • medicine (MD or DO)
  • dentistry
  • veterinary medicine
  • podiatry
  • pharmacy
  • optometry
  • physician assistant
  • physical therapy
  • nursing
  • and others

Students in the program range from new college graduates to individuals finishing a first career and looking for a second.


Curriculum & Class Schedules

Students may begin their classwork in the fall, spring or summer semesters.

Depending on which courses you have already completed, the prerequisites for application to medical school may be completed within one calendar year if classes are begun in the first summer session.

Courses range from the basic requirements (General Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physics) to upper level and graduate level classes (Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Vertebrate Anatomy, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Immunology, etc.). Lecture sections usually have fewer than 45 students and laboratory sections are limited to 16 students.


Application Information

Students may apply before receiving a bachelor's degree. Apply online or visit the graduate admissions Web page for additional information. Note that letters of recommendation and GRE or MCAT scores are NOT required for admission.

Application Deadlines:

  • July 1st for fall start
  • December 1st for spring start
  • March 1st for summer start

Please be sure to select the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate program on the application form. After paying your fee and submitting your application, please return to the main page of your online profile. You will have the option of uploading unofficial transcripts, statement of purpose, and resume with the application. Official transcripts can be submitted at a later date to the Office of Enrollment. The official transcript from each college or university attended will be required if you enroll. The mailing address is:

CAS Graduate Admissions
Office of Enrollment
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-8081

Foreign nationals should contact Dr. Lynne Arneson at premed@american.edu or 202-885-2186 to ascertain their eligibility to apply to the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate Program. American University does not issue I-20 immigration documents for students applying to the postbaccalaureate program, nor does it qualify for F-1 or J-1 immigration documents because it is a non-degree program.


Admission to the Program

Open to students with a bachelor’s degree and a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) overall and in science and mathematic courses, if taken.


Course Requirements

Basic Requirements
The following courses are required for admission to medical school and to many other health professional schools. Once enrolled in the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate program, any of these courses not already completed must be taken at American University.

• BIO-110 General Biology I (4)
• BIO-210 General Biology II (4)
• CHEM-110 General Chemistry I (4)
• CHEM-210 General Chemistry II (4)
• CHEM-310 Organic Chemistry I (3)
• CHEM-312 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory (1)
• CHEM-320 Organic Chemistry II (3)
• CHEM-322 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory (1)
• MATH-221 Calculus I (4)
• PHYS-110 Principles of Physics I (4)
• PHYS-210 Principles of Physics II (4)

Certificate Requirements
A minimum of 24 hours of course work taken in residence at American University, including:

  • BIO-300 Cell Biology with Laboratory (4)
  • BIO-356 Genetics with Laboratory (5)
  • One of the following sets of two courses:
  • BIO-435 Vertebrate Physiology (5) and BIO-440 Microbiology (4) or CHEM-560 Biochemistry I (3) and CHEM-561 Biochemistry II (3)
  • 6–9 credit hours from the Basic Requirements list above or the following:
  • BIO-200 Structure and Function of the Human Body (3)
  • BIO-541 Cellular Immunology (3)
  • BIO-550 Developmental Biology (3)
  • BIO-583 Molecular Biology (3)
  • MATH-222 Calculus II (4)
  • STAT-202 Basic Statistics (4)