Pre-Professional Pathway

Pre-Health Care Professions

Prepare for a wide variety of careers in medicine through the pre-health care professions program. Major in any field while receiving comprehensive support and participating in extracurricular activities to prepare you for medical school.

Pre-health care pathway student in lab

Program Overview

Widener’s College of Arts and Sciences offers a comprehensive pre-professional program that provides supportive activities throughout the academic year as you pursue a career in medicine.

To prepare for admission to a professional school, you may major in any discipline offered by the university, although you must include courses in biology, chemistry, physics, English, and mathematics. A health professions advisor will help you plan your coursework from day one to best suit your career goals.

All programs of study are taught by outstanding faculty and enhanced by modern research facilities. You'll also participate in volunteer and shadowing placements at nearby medical facilities.

Mock interviews and support with medical school applications in your junior and senior years ensures you're ready to embark on a rewarding career in the medical field.

Program Options

The Widener Medical Scholars Program is designed to attract broadly-educated candidates who are interested in entering the practice of medicine in the primary care areas of family practice, general internal medicine, or general pediatrics.

Selected students participate in an immersive, hospital-affiliated, medical school-like experience that involves shadowing physicians at Crozer-Chester Medical Center (CCMC), located a few blocks from Widener University. The CCMC affords you the opportunity to explore the clinical areas of pediatrics, internal medicine, and family medicine in-depth while you are at Widener during the summer.

Following the shadowing rotations, Widener Medical Scholars remain on campus and complete a research project with a Widener faculty member and present their results at the Summer Research Symposium. The Widener Medical Scholars Program prepares students to be competitive applicants to medical schools in the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Requirements

No more than 8 Widener Medical Scholars are admitted each year. To qualify for the program as a high school senior, you must satisfy Widener University admissions criteria, select an academic major in which to pursue your pre-medical preparation, and submit a Supplemental Widener Medical Scholars Application by December 15 of your senior year. The Supplemental Widener Medical Scholars Application includes a 750-word essay that summarizes the experiences, events, and thoughts that have led you to your interest in primary care medicine and to your decision to seek admission to the Widener Medical Scholars Program. Selected applicants will be notified on or by February 1.

Widener Medical Scholars accepted as high school seniors will enroll in SCI 190: Introduction to Research during their first semester at Widener to prepare for research with a faculty member as early as their freshman year.

Preference is given to students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in medicine, including members of underrepresented racial and ethnic populations, socioeconomically disadvantaged or first-generation college students, or students from a medically-underserved area. Residents of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, or Maryland with an interest in practicing medicine in an under-resourced area like Chester are also encouraged to apply.

Ideal high school candidates will have a combined critical reading and mathematics SAT score of 1350 or greater with at least a 600 in each of the three sub-tests. Applicants should also have community service and medically-related volunteer experience.

Widener University offers five 3+4 dual-degree programs in cooperation with:

  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Salus University (Pennsylvania College of Optometry)
  • Temple University School of Dentistry
  • Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine
  • St. George’s University in Grenada

In each case, a three-year biology curriculum is followed, and, upon acceptance, professional study begins in the fourth year. Upon successful completion of the first year of professional study, the bachelor’s degree is awarded by Widener.

Students apply to these programs after their second year at Widener and find out if they are accepted in their third year at Widener. These are not guaranteed acceptance programs, and students are encouraged to maintain at least a 3.5 GPA to be competitive.

Interested students should meet with their pre-health professions advisor as soon as arriving on campus to ensure that prerequisite courses and standardized exams are completed in time for the application to the professional school.

Program Highlights

Volunteer and shadowing experiences

You'll develop exceptional communication skills, participate in civic engagement projects, and conduct research with faculty as early as your freshman year. Your pre-health care advisor will help you obtain volunteer experiences at the nearby Crozer-Chester Medical Center (CCMC) and beyond, plus you'll have the opportunity to shadow alumni attending health professions schools.

Professional School Preparation

In the spring of your junior or senior year, you'll interview with members of the health professions advisory committee to help prepare your materials for professional school application and articulate your desire to enter your chosen field. Mock interviews specific to individual schools are conducted by your advisor and Career Design and Development.

Faculty Who Invest In You

You'll gain mentors in your professors through small classes, collaborative research projects, and extracurricular activities including short-term study abroad trips and excursions to local museums. A distinguished health-professions advisor will counsel you through your years at Widener and provide personal and informative letters of recommendation for applications to professional programs.

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

Widener graduates of the pre-health care program are competitive applicants to diverse professional schools. Get on the inside track to a career in medicine.

Recent Graduate Programs and Medical Schools

  • Temple University
  • Drexel University
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Rowan College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • University of Connecticut
  • St. George's University

Outlook & Outcomes

Industry Growth

Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs from 2016-2026 than any other occupational group due to an aging population, leading to greater demand for medical and wellness services.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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