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Premedical & Predental Graduate Health Sciences Certificate Program
The Premedical and Predental Graduate Health Sciences Certificate (CERT) program of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine is a one-year, graduate-level program for individuals seeking to enhance their qualifications for admission into professional school, including medical and dental School. The program is administered through the VCU School of Medicine, with required and elective courses based in specific departments.
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The CERT program is structured to improve overall competitiveness for admission into professional school. The CERT curriculum allows students to enhance their academic record through graduate-level, medically relevant courses. In the spring semester, students take a preparatory course to strengthen standardized test scores and have opportunities to increase clinical or research experience and volunteer in the community.
Information sessions throughout the program explore various topics, research/clinical opportunities and interviewing skills.
Students who successfully complete the CERT program may be eligible for a guaranteed interview at VCU School of Medicine or early file review at VCU School of Dentistry.
Advising and Mentorship
Students meet regularly with the program director, advisers and coordinators to improve their applications for professional school.
Courses are designed to mimic the rigor of first year professional school curricula. Learn directly from Medical and Dental School professors.
The Premedical Graduate Certificate Program at the VCU School of Medicine seeks students who:
[View Image]Students who do not meet the standardized test score requirement or GPA requirement are reviewed on an individual basis. Many factors influence an applicant's competitiveness including GPA, test scores, personal statement, letters of recommendation and resume.
Non-science majors who have not completed the prerequisite coursework for admission to CERT may wish to consider VCU's 'career-changer' Undergraduate Post-Baccalaureate Health Sciences Certificate Program.
To quickly gauge your competitiveness for the CERT program, please fill out a Quick Look form which is a self-reporting form consisted of the applicants’ GPA and MCATs, DATs or GREs. The CERT QuickLook will allow rapid feedback to the applicant but does not replace the formal application to the Graduate School at VCU. Please email the completed Quick Look Review Self Reporting Form to firstname.lastname@example.org for informed feedback on your application.
Yes it is included in the tuition, and it is an online course. We are currently using the Kaplan online course.
Every student will receive a letter of recommendation from the program advisor. The CERT program does not write committee letters on behalf of students. Please contact your undergraduate university for any committee letters.
Students who successfully finish the program in two semesters with a GPA of 3.5 or higher and an MCAT score of 508 or DAT score of 20 are guaranteed either an interview at VCU School of Medicine or early file review at VCU School of Dentistry. These are both able to be used only one time and must be used within two years following completion of the CERT program.
Typically, CERT students will apply to professional school the following June after completing the program in early May. We encourage students to submit their application early to AADSAS or AMCAS but can take the DAT or MCAT after submitting their primary application. We suggest the latest you take the admissions exam is the end of June.
It is essential that M.D. applicants apply to the VCU School of Medicine through AMCAS early so that the M.D. Admissions Office can review the application and schedule an interview for the reserved interview slots if eligible for a guaranteed interview. Applicants that apply later in the cycle will still get an interview if they meet the requirements but will be in the regular scheduling pool.
Our curriculum very closely mimics the first year of medical school or dental school regarding material and level of rigor. Many of the same professors who teach in the CERT program teach in M1 or D1 courses at VCU. Additionally, many of the professors use active learning methods in the course, which is highly recommended by the LCME (Liaison Committee on Medical Education).
Yes, the program administrator and coordinators will organize a time for all pre-medical and pre-dental students to hear the respective deans of admissions speak. Additionally, all pre-dental students will have a time where they meet with staff/faculty in the dental admissions office one-on-one for application counseling. Due to the close relationship between the CERT program and VCU Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, our students have the opportunity to contact each dean of admissions to schedule a time to meet and discuss their application.
The CERT program has allowed me to grow as a person, both academically and professionally. In addition to gaining new study skills, I was given the opportunity to meet and work with a diverse group of people from many different backgrounds. Ultimately, the CERT program allowed me to achieve my goal of matriculating into a medical school.
It was an amazing program for me and because of it, I started medical school at VCU and now am blessed to practice emergency medicine in Florida.
The CERT program pushed me to my limit and forced me to critically examine my study habits; the program demands excellence and provided me with the challenge I needed. I believe the program was highly reflective of medical school in volume and timeline, and I am confident that I will excel as a medical student having completed this program.