Curriculum

The Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medicine Certificate provides high quality, preparatory education for individuals who aspire to enter medical school. This program is a full-time, face-to-face program offered at the GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus (VSTC) in Ashburn, VA. Students benefit from being part of a cohort and are expected to complete the program of study in one year. All courses are restricted to Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medicine Certificate students. Laboratory sessions accompany all didactic coursework, except biochemistry, and are conducted in new state-of-the-art facilities on the VSTC. The Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medicine Certificate requires the successful completion of 36 credit hours, over a 12-month period:

Post Bac Curriculum Chart

*Organic Chemistry I, Organic Chemistry II, and Biochemistry are offered as a sequential, three-course series, 10-weeks each, over the fall and spring semesters.
 

General Chemistry I

Introduction to the fields of physical and inorganic chemistry. Topics to be discussed include atomic structure, chemical bonding, common types of reactions, stoichiometry, thermochemistry and the properties of gases, liquids, and solids.  Didactic lectures will be augmented by a corresponding hands-on laboratory component. (4 Credits)

General Chemistry II

This course is a continuation of General Chemistry I. Topics will include kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, precipitation reactions, coordination chemistry, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. Didactic lectures will be augmented by a corresponding hands-on laboratory component. (4 Credits)

Organic Chemistry I*

The overall objective of the course is to build knowledge of synthetic organic chemistry through the exploration of the reactivity and potential biological activity of chemicals with different functional groups. Didactic lectures will be augmented by a corresponding hands-on laboratory component. (4 Credits)

Biology I

This course will develop a strong foundation in biological chemistry, cell biology, and genetics. Didactic lectures will be augmented by a corresponding hands-on laboratory component. (4 Credits)

Physics I

Classical physics, including mechanics, Newton’s laws of motion, force, gravitation, equilibrium, work and energy, momentum, and rotational motion; periodic motion, waves, and sound; heat and thermodynamics. Didactic lectures will be augmented by a corresponding hands-on laboratory component. (4 Credits)

Organic Chemistry II*

Organic Chemistry II will build upon the concepts of Organic Chemistry I and introduce more advanced synthetic concepts and techniques. Reactions will be combined in a step-wise process, enabling the student to create complex and interesting organic molecules. Spectroscopic methods will be used for the determination of organic structures, and combine that information with chemical observations to deduce the structures of increasingly complex substances. The semester will conclude with an examination of the chemistry of biologically important macromolecules. Didactic lectures will be augmented by a corresponding hands-on laboratory component. (4 Credits)

Biology II

Topics include biological evolution, biological diversity (microbes, plants, and animals), animal physiology, and ecology. Didactic lectures will be augmented by a corresponding hands-on laboratory component. (4 Credits)

Physics II

A continuation of Physics I including electrostatics, electromagnetism, direct and alternating current circuits, and electromagnetic radiation; geometrical and physical optics; special relativity; quantum theory; atomic physics; nuclear physics; particle physics; astrophysics and cosmology. Didactic lectures will be augmented by a corresponding hands-on laboratory component. (4 Credits)

Biochemistry*

The chemical properties of low molecular weight biochemical molecules, macromolecules and supermolecular complexes essential for life are discussed in addition to basic reaction mechanisms and the integration and regulation of biochemical processes. (3 Credits)

Intro to Biochemical Pharmacology

This course will focus on the theory of drug action as well as practical issues that must be addressed when translating knowledge from molecular and cellular research into drug discovery and development. (1 Credit)

 

Previously Taken Courses

Students who have previously taken general chemistry or physics courses, under the following criteria, may substitute up to two of these courses (8 credits total) within the Post-bac Pre-med Program curriculum:

  • Taken within the past 5 years prior to matriculating into the Post-bac Pre-med Program
  • Course taken for at least 4 credits, including a laboratory component (as part of course or separate lab course)
  • A grade of at least a B or higher was received on the first attempt
  • Taken at a 4-year, regionally accredited institution

To ensure that students who meet the above criteria have the necessary foundational knowledge in chemistry and/or physics to perform well in the remaining courses in the program, and on the MCAT exam, the program has developed an online, competency-based placement examination to be completed prior to enrollment in the Post-bac Pre-med Program. The placement exam score will be reviewed by the chemistry/physics faculty and the program director, and a recommendation regarding retaking or replacing the course(s) will be discussed with the student.

Students who are considered academically prepared to not re-take up to two courses (general chemistry and/or physics) within the program curriculum may choose one or both of the following courses as substitutes:

HSCI 3106 Microbiology for Health Sciences

Principles of microbiology with emphasis on microorganisms that impact health and cause human disease. Topics include an overview of microbiology and aspects of medical microbiology, identification and control of pathogens, disease transmission, host resistance, and immunity. Restricted to students who have taken at least one course in biology, or chemistry, or anatomy and physiology, or MLS 2000, or MLS 2001. (3 Credits)

AND 

HSci 3108 Microbiology Laboratory for Health Sciences

Overview of bacteria, yeasts, molds, protozoa and viruses in relation to the Health Professions are discussed. The identification and quantification of pathologic and non-pathologic organisms encountered in human specimens are performed.  Treatment and handling of specimens, use of the microscope, culture methods and destruction of microorganisms are performed. Sterile technique is stressed (1 Credit)

OR 

MLS 4151. Molecular Diagnostics.

Introduction to the molecular techniques used to diagnose human disease; technology, theory, and methodology of specific molecular protocols that can be used within a clinical laboratory setting to aid in disease diagnostics including those of genetic, oncogenic, and infections origin. Proctor fee. (3 Credits)

AND 

MLS 4251. Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory

An introduction to the theory of and laboratory techniques in molecular biology with an emphasis on molecular and serological techniques, including DNA extraction and quantitation, restriction enzyme digestion, polymerase chain reaction, agarose gel electrophoresis, flow cytometry, and ELISA.  (1 Credit)      

 

Supplemental Activities

  • MCAT Preparatory Course by Kaplan: 123 hours of instruction offered through a hybrid of live instruction modalities meeting 3 hours per class session: biology, physics, general and organic chemistry, and verbal delivered in person at the GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus (VSTC) in Ashburn, VA and psychology/sociology delivered live online.
  • Professional Development Seminar: covers important skills such as writing personal statements, completing the American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®) application, and interviewing with medical school admissions representatives. For a well-rounded view of medicine and other health professions, students will also hear from guest speakers about current topics in the industry including health care policy, research, and interdisciplinary practice. Read more about the professional development seminars series offered during the 2017-2018 academic year
  • Individualized advising: including support with interview skills, completing the AMCAS, and writing personal statements, a program-based "committee" letter of support, as well as assistance to students in securing volunteer experiences in clinical or research settings.