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Penn State's Accelerated Premedical-Medical Program (B.S./M.D.)

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The Penn State-Jefferson Premedical-Medical (PMM) Program began in 1963 as an accelerated five-year program with one year (plus four summers) of undergraduate study at Penn State and four years of study at the College of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. In 1980, the program became six years, with students spending two years (including two summers) at Penn State and four years at the medical school. Currently, students have the option of selecting either the six- or seven-year program, three years (no summers) at Penn State, followed by four years at the medical school.

The Penn State B.S. degree is awarded after either the first or second year of medical school, depending on whether the student selects the six- or seven- year option, and the Jefferson M.D. degree is awarded after year four of medical school. More than 1,000 students have earned their B.S./M.D. degrees through this cooperative PMM program.  Dr. Ronald A. Markle is the PMM program director at Penn State.

(This program does not replace the Premedicine major at Penn State. Students in that program generally complete four years of study at the University and earn a bachelor’s degree before starting medical school.)

Admission Requirements

Students entering the cooperative participate in a rigorous academic curriculum. Applicants with the following credentials will be considered for the initial review process for admission to the accelerated Premedical-Medical program:

  • A total score of 2100 or higher on the SAT or a composite score of 32 or higher on the ACT* from a single test date no later than October of their senior year. *Students taking the ACT are required to submit the writing component.
  • A rank in the highest tenth of their high school class.

Secondary school units must include four units of English, two units of algebra, one unit of plane geometry, one-half unit of trigonometry, three units of science, and fi ve units from social studies, humanities, and/or the arts. Students who already have graduated from high school are not eligible for this program. On rare occasions, applicants with exceptionally distinguished high school records, but whose credentials are slightly below the criteria stated above, may be given additional consideration. Complete application information must be received by Penn State no later than November 30 of the applicant’s senior year.

Admission decisions are made by the Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Office and the Penn State–Jefferson Joint Admissions Committee. Decisions are made during a three-part review process. First, applicants must meet the criteria listed previously for inclusion in the initial application review. After the initial application review, a limited number of top candidates are selected to continue in the process. These finalists will be invited for an interview at Jefferson Medical College from January through March. Accepted applicants are given an opportunity to spend a day at Penn State in April with current students in the program. About twenty-five students enter the program each year.

All students begin their studies at University Park campus. Students in the six-year option begin during summer session and those in the seven-year option begin fall semester.

Applying to the Program

Students interested in this program should apply by completing the Penn State admission application available on the Web (admissions.psu.edu). Applications will be available starting September 1. Applications for this special program must be received online with complete credentials by the Undergraduate Admissions Office no later than November 30 of the applicant’s senior year. Applications received after this date, or applications that are incomplete after this date, cannot be considered for this special program. Complete credentials to support the application are:

  • Official secondary school record showing grades received for all courses completed since the start of ninth grade;
  • Rank in class at the end of the junior year (exact rank is preferable);
  • Schedule of senior courses;
  • Official SAT or ACT test scores;
  • A one-page résumé listing the applicant’s most meaningful accomplishments and extracurricular activities during the high school years;
  • One letter of evaluation from the applicant’s high school counselor or high school teacher (typed on the school's letterhead with the writer's signature);
  • Required application fee;
  • Required responses to questions from Jefferson Medical College. These questions are available through Penn State’s online application.

Materials outside of the Web application are to be addressed to/received by Penn State Undergraduate Admissions, 201 Shields Building, University Park, PA 16802-1294.

Academic Performance

Students in the accelerated PMM program take essentially the same courses as, and have similar schedules to, premedical students in a traditional four-year program. They also are expected to perform at an A/B level in all courses, much as four-year students are expected to do if they hope to gain admission to medical school. Satisfactory performance on MCAT exams also is required for matriculation to Jefferson Medical College. The current MCAT requirement is a minimum composite score of 30 with no less than 9 on any subsection of the exam on a single test date. If students in the accelerated program are not performing at a 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) level, particularly in the sciences, they could be asked to withdraw from the program. Typically, such a student would be eligible to remain at Penn State in another program of study.

Cost

Students in the cooperative program study at two separate institutions. While attending Penn State, students pay the regular University tuition rate (http://tuition.psu.edu/), and while attending Jefferson Medical College, they pay the regular Jefferson Medical College rate. Because students enrolled in this cooperative program complete only two or three years of undergraduate study at Penn State, they are not eligible for tuition scholarships from the Schreyer Honors College or Braddock Scholarships from the Eberly College of Science.

Six-year PMM option, Penn State component, 80-81 credits


YEAR ONE: PENN STATE

 

Year one of the six year PMM option.
Summer Credits Fall Credits Spring Credits
Gen Chemistry I (3) Gen Chemistry II (3) Chem Lab II (1)
English I (3) Chem Lab I (1) Speech (3)
AHSBS (3) Calculus I (4) Calculus II (4)


Gen Biology I (4) Gen Biology II (4)


AHSBS (3) AHSBS (3)




GHA (1.5)

----
9

----
15

----
16.5


YEAR TWO: PENN STATE

Year two of the six year PMM option.
Summer Credits Fall Credits Spring Credits
Physics I (4) Physics II (4) Physics III (4)
English II (3) Org Chem I (3) Org Chem II (3)
AHSBS (3) Org Chem Lab (2) Biol Elective (3-4)


Electives (3) AHSBS (3)


AHSBS (3) GHA (1.5)

---
10

---
15

---
14.5-15.5


Seven-Year PMM option, Penn State component, 90 credits

YEAR ONE

Year one of the seven year PMM option.
Fall Credits Spring Credits
Calculus I (4) Calculus II (4)
Gen Biol (4) Biol Elective (3)
Gen Chem I (3) Gen Chem II (3)
Chem Lab I (1) Chem Lab II (1)
AHSBS (3) English I (3)


FYS (1)

----
15

----
15

YEAR TWO

Year two of the seven year PMM option.
Fall Credits Spring Credits
Org Chem (3) Org Chem II (3)
Gen Biol II (4) Org Chem Lab (2)
Speech (3) Physics I (4)
AHSBS (3) AHSBS (3)
Elective (2) Elective (3)

----
15

----
15

YEAR THREE

Year three of the seven year PMM option.
Fall Credits Spring Credits
Physics II (4) Physics III (4)
English II (3) AHSBS (3)
Nutrition (3) AHSBS (3)
AHSBS (3) Elective (5)
Elective (2)


----
15

----
15
Years one and two of the Jefferson plan.
YEAR ONE: JEFFERSON YEAR TWO: JEFFERSON
Anatomy and Histology Microbiology/Immunology
Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Pathology
Physiology and Neuroscience Pharmacology
Biostatistics and Informatics Physical Diagnosis
Medical Genetics Health of the Public
Health Policy and Ethics Intro to Clinical Medicine
First Aid and Medical Emergencies Law and Medicine
Doctors in Health and Illness
Physiologic Approach to Patient Care

 

YEARS THREE AND FOUR AT JEFFERSON

Clerkships and Specialty Tracks

 


AHSBS: Arts, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences: credits should be distributed with 6 in each area for a total of 18.

GHA: Health and Physical Activity

FYS: First-Year Seminar

Biology elective and free electives must be approved by program director; these credits can be used for Independent Study/Research Work.

University Park campus has two six-week Summer Sessions. Spring and fall semesters are fifteen weeks.

With advanced-placement credits or credit overloads, it may be possible to schedule undergraduate courses so the second Summer Session is not necessary, but students must be in residence for all other sessions.


The Pennsylvania State University

Penn State, founded in 1855, is today one of the nation’s leading public universities. With twenty four campuses, it is also one of the world’s largest universities, enrolling more than 90,000 students and employing more than 5,000 full-time faculty. The Penn State Alumni Association is the largest in the world with more than 164,000 members.

Penn State is a comprehensive university with a mission of teaching, public service, and research. The University Park campus, located near the center of Pennsylvania in State College, is the largest Penn State campus, with more than 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students studying here each spring and fall. The undergraduate colleges of the University offer more than 160 baccalaureate degree programs, and the Graduate School has more than 150 approved fields of study. With more than $650 million spent per year on research activities, Penn State is now recognized as one of the top research universities in the country.

PMM students at the University enroll in the Eberly College of Science. In addition to strong departments in mathematical, physical, and life sciences, the college works with other Penn State colleges in research centers and consortia, including the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics and the Fuel Cell Dynamics and Diagnostics Laboratory. Within the college are centers and institutes such as the Center for Biomolecular Structure and Function, the Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics, and the Center for Multivariate Analysis as well as highly advanced computing facilities. Undergraduate students in the college have some of the strongest academic records at the University.

Besides academics, Penn State’s successful intercollegiate athletics teams compete in the Big Ten Conference, and the University has one of the largest intramural sports programs in the country. Also, the Bryce Jordan Center, the Artist Series, and on-campus museums ensure that the University community has an abundance of top entertainment in the form of theatre, dance, music, and art.

Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University

Jefferson Medical College, founded in 1824, has conferred more M.D. degrees than any other medical college in the United States. The school is one of the most diverse in the country, with students accepted each year from more than 100 different colleges and universities. About half of each entering class is female, and student ages range from 18 to mid-30s. Jefferson has many famous graduates, including Samuel D. Gross (1805–84), pioneer in surgical research; and John H. Gibbon (1903–73), virologist who isolated interleukin-2 and associated the HIV virus with AIDS.

The medical college is situated on a thirteen-acre urban campus in Center City Philadelphia. Buildings in the six-square-block area include faculty and administrative offices, research laboratories, lecture rooms, the Scott Memorial Library, residence halls, one outpatient short procedure building, and three hospital buildings. The Gibbon Building is an innovative, nine story hospital, housing four 100-bed mini-hospitals, each with its own diagnostic and therapeutic facilities. Included in the hospital is the Bodine Center for Radiation Therapy, one of the most modern radiation therapy facilities in the world. The Bluemle Life Sciences Building, doubled the space available for research. The Dorrance H. Hamilton Building for medical education, opened in October 2007, is eco-friendly.

The goals of the curriculum at Jefferson Medical College are to provide learning experiences to students that will help enable them to acquire basic knowledge and skills in the biomedical sciences, as well as to develop appropriate professional behaviors. The curriculum also allows students to pursue some of their special interests early in their medical training. The first two years of the program include basic science course work and introduction to clinical medicine, as well as practice-related topics such as medical informatics, health policy, and ethics.

Thomas Jefferson University offers a combined MD/PhD program for students who wish to prepare for a career in academic medicine and/or biomedical research. A joint five-year MD/MBA (health administration) program with Widener University is for medical students interested in preparing for leadership roles in the changing medical environment. The medical college also has a special program designed to recruit and educate medical students who intend to enter family medicine and practice in physician shortage areas.

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