The Pre-Health Specialized Studies Program is designed to help you build a more competitive professional school application. The Specialized Studies Program will meet your needs if you already have a significant scientific background but seek to bolster your academic credentials and update your knowledge of more advanced topics in the sciences, such as biology or neuroscience.
As a Pre-Health Specialized Studies student, we will help you design a study plan based on your personal academic background and timeline, in order to achieve optimal preparation for your chosen professional school. Any Specialized Studies student who anticipates registering for a physics or a general chemistry course as part of their Pre-Health program will be required to first complete the online Pre-Health math on-ramp diagnostic/proficiency course. The Pre-Health math on-ramp course is only available during the summer session so advance planning in consultation with an academic advisor is key.
Penn offers an incredible array of outstanding science courses, covering unique and engaging topics that will strengthen and broaden your scientific knowledge. The following list includes examples of recent upper-level science offerings taken by students in the Specialized Studies Program:
- Advanced Cell Biology
- Essentials of Molecular Biology and Genetics
- Cancer Cell Biology
- Essentials of Vertebrate Physiology
- Essentials of Biochemistry
- Infectious Diseases
- Neuroscience: All Penn LPS NRSC courses plus online NEUR 2600 Hormones, Brain and Behavior; NEUR 2800 Autonomic Pharmacology; and NEUR 4000 Psychopharmacology are allowed
- Human Anatomy*: 1 c.u. of online Human Anatomy may be applied to LPS Pre-Health Programs academic requirement
You can complete the Specialized Studies Program on a full-time or part-time basis, with most students taking two to four courses per semester.
Note that fall and spring classes are rostered in the evenings and summer courses are rostered in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
Successful candidates for the Specialized Studies Program will have previous experience working, volunteering or shadowing in a clinical setting or in another service-related capacity. You will continue building upon these experiences during your studies in the Specialized Studies Program.