Curriculum

The Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medicine Certificate provides high quality, preparatory education for individuals who aspire to enter medical school or a physician assistant (PA) program. The Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medicine Certificate 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 37 credit hours over a 12-month period:

Pre-MD/DO Course Schedule

Pre-PA Course Schedule 

*GRE Prep is optional for Pre-PA students who have already taken the GRE.

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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)

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)

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)

Current Topics In Health Care I

This course is the first part of a two-course sequence for students who plan to become health care professionals.  Students will learn about core tenets of the US healthcare system, roles and scope of practice of healthcare professions and current issues in healthcare.  The course will also help students identify their career goals within healthcare. (1 Credit)

Current Topics In Health Care II

Students will learn about current topics in healthcare and how these apply to the needs of a diverse population and the delivery of healthcare.  The course will also help prepare students identify their career goals as they related to current issues in healthcare.  (1 Credit)

Human Anatomy and Phsiology I

The study of the structure and function of the human body including cells, tissues and organs of the following systems: skin, musculoskeletal, and nervous. Emphasis is on interrelationships among systems and regulation of physiological functions involved in maintaining homeostasis. Didactic lectures will be augmented by a corresponding hands-on laboratory component. (4 Credits)

Human Anatomy and Phsiology II

The second course in this series examines the cells, tissues and organs of the following systems: endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive. Emphasis is on interrelationships among systems and regulation of physiological functions involved in maintaining homeostasis. Didactic lectures will be augmented by a corresponding hands-on laboratory component. (4 Credits)

Biostatistics

Basic statistical concepts and methods are evaluated, including: confidence intervals, ANOVA, multiple and logistic regression, and non-parametric analyses. The course also explores scientific literature, providing a comprehensive context in which analytical evidence is employed to support practices in the health sciences. (3 credits)

Medical Terminology

Introductory medical terminology course for pre-medical and other pre-health professions students introducing medical vocabulary and terms related to the anatomy, physiology, pathology, and treatment of select systems; the gastrointestinal, respiratory, cardiovascular, blood & lymphatic, integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, urinary, reproductive, endocrine, ophthalmic, and otolaryngology systems. (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 in either of these courses may discuss course substitution options with the Program Director. 

Supplemental Activities

  • MCAT and GRE preparatory courses: instruction offered through a hybrid of live instruction modalities delivered in person at the GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus (VSTC) in Ashburn, VA and additional topics delivered live online
  • Individualized advising: including support with interview skills, 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