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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 Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC) 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 must complete the seven-year program, three years (no required summers) at Penn State, followed by four years at the medical school. Due to changes in the 2015 MCAT exam, the PMM program became a seven-year only program.

The Penn State B.S. degree is awarded after the first year of medical school 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 PMM program 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 1470 or higher on the new SAT (Math plus Evidence Based Reading and Writing), 1420 or higher on the old SAT (prior to March 2016 - Critical Reading and Math sections), or a composite score of 32 or higher on the ACT. All qualifying scores must be earned from a single test date no later than October of your senior year. Penn State will no longer require the writing score from the SAT or ACT.
  • 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 three units from social studies, humanities, and/or the arts. Students who already have graduated from high school are not eligible for this program. Complete application information must be received by Penn State no later than November 1st 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 SKMC at Thomas Jefferson University in February with admission offers extended in early 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.  There is no waiting list for this program nor can students transfer into the program.

All students begin their studies at University Park campus during the fall semester.

Applying to the Program

Students interested in this program should apply by completing the Penn State admission application available through any of the three application methods used by Penn State:  through the Common App (commonapp.org); through the Coalition application (coalitionforcollegeacess.org); or through MyPennState (admissons.psu.edu).  Applications will be available starting August 1. Applications for this special program must be received online with complete credentials by the Undergraduate Admissions Office no later than November 1 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:

  • 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 SKMC at Thomas Jefferson University. 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 SKMC at Thomas Jefferson University. The current MCAT requirement is a minimum composite score of 504 with no less than a 126 on any subsection of the exam. 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.


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 SKMC at Thomas Jefferson University, they pay the regular SKMC rate. Because students enrolled in this cooperative program complete only three years of undergraduate study at Penn State, they are not eligible for tuition scholarships from the Schreyer Honors College or Braddock scholarships.

Seven-year PMM option, Penn State component, 96 credits

Sample Schedule


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)
Gen Ed (3) English I (3)
FYS (1)




Fall Credits Spring Credits
Org Chem (3) Org Chem II (3)
Gen Biol II (4) Org Chem Lab (2)
Speech (3) Physics I (4)
Gen Ed
(3) Gen Ed
Elective (3) Elective (3)




Fall Credits Spring Credits
Physics II (4) Physics III (4)
English II (3) Gen Ed
Nutrition (3) Gen Ed
Gen Ed
(3) Elective (6)
Elective (3)



Years one and two of the Jefferson plan.
Human Form and Development:
Anatomy, Embryology, Physical Diagnosis General Pathology and General Pharmacology
Molecular & Cellular Basis of Medicine:
Infection, Immunity and Disease:
Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Genetics Virology, Immunology, Bacteriology, Mycology, Parasitology, Infectious Disease
Systems I/ Physiology, Histology Foundations of Clinical Medicine:
Systems II/ Neuroscience Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, Physical Diagnosis
Introduction to Clinical Medicine I Introduction to Clinical Medicine II



Clerkships and Specialty Tracks


General Education (Gen Ed): 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; with approval, these credits may include Independent Study/Research Work.

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.

Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Jefferson Medical College, founded in 1824, now known as the Sidney Kimmel Medical College 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. The college 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 Sidney Kimmel 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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