Premedical & Predental Graduate Health Sciences Certificate Program

About CERT

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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Program Overview

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.

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Admissions Workshops

Information sessions throughout the program explore various topics, research/clinical opportunities and interviewing skills.

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Guaranteed Interview

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.

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Advising and Mentorship

Students meet regularly with the program director, advisers and coordinators to improve their applications for professional school.

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Tailored Program

Courses are designed to mimic the rigor of first year professional school curricula. Learn directly from Medical and Dental School professors.

Program Curriculum

  • Semester 1 (13 credits)
  • BIOC 503 - Biochemistry, Cell and
    Molecular Biology:
    5 credits
  • PHIS 501 - Physiology: 5 credits
  • ANAT 691 - Special Topics:
    Introduction to Human Anatomy:
    3 credits
  • Semester 2 (14 credits)
  • BIOC 504 - Biochemistry, Cell and
    Molecular Biology:
    5 credits
  • ANAT 611 - Histology: 5 credits
  • Additional elective courses: 4 credits

Course Descriptions

Why Choose CERT?

  • Pre-Dental
  • Boost your GPA
  • Improve your DAT
  • Dental-specific electives
  • Guaranteed early file review with School of Dentistry Admissions upon successful completion of CERT
  • Letter of recommendation provided
  • Meet VCU School of Dentistry faculty
  • Pre-Medical
  • Take classes taught by School of Medicine faculty
  • Guaranteed interview with School of Medicine admissions upon successful completion of CERT
  • Letter of recommendation provided
  • Increase your science knowledge
  • Improve your MCAT
  • Boost your GPA

Admissions Requirements

The Premedical Graduate Certificate Program at the VCU School of Medicine seeks students who:

  1. Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  2. Successfully completed the following prerequisite courses (including labs).  Must complete two semesters for each of the following courses:
  3. Present a cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.0 and a science GPA greater than or equal to 3.2
  4. Earned one the following test score results within the last five years:
    • MCAT greater than or equal to 501; or
    • DAT greater than or equal to 16; or
    • GRE greater than or equal to 153Q (quantitative) and 151V (verbal) and 4.0W (analytic writing)
  5.  We highly recommend students take the GRE for CERT admissions as the CERT program provides MCAT/DAT resources for students during the school year.
  6. International students must have achieved the following:
    • TOEFL examination scores greater than or equal to 250 (cBT), 600 (pBT), or 100 (iBT) on the TOEFL examination; or
    • GRE verbal score greater than or equal to 153 (500 on previous scale)

[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 premedcert@vcu.edu for informed feedback on your application.

Start your application today



Eric Lien, '20

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.

Dr. Alexander Philip, '09

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.

I was a poor undergrad student and had mediocre / less than average grades and numbers, but the program really gave me a second chance.

Zachary Morris, '21

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.

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Contact Us


(804) 828-9501

1101 East Marshall St., Sanger Hall 1-055E



@premedcertApply Now

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