ADVANCE certificate program

Albright College ADVANCE (Academic Development and Clinical Experience) Certificate Program

This certificate program is a “career-changer” or “portfolio development” program, intended for students who have completed an undergraduate degree but have not yet completed the requirements for application to medical or other health science professional programs, It is also for students or graduates who need to enhance their academic profile in order to become a more competitive candidate for health professional programs.

The emphasis of this program is completion of the premedical undergraduate course requirements, with the additional opportunity to gain clinical experience. These courses support application to medical school, dental school, physician assistant programs, physical and occupational therapy programs, and other graduate and professional programs in the health sciences. Students within this program are supported by the work of the Health Sciences Advisory Committee, which provides assistance with the preparation and submission of professional-school applications.

One unique aspect of Albright’s ADVANCE certificate program is our affiliation with the Reading Hospital / Tower Health system. This partnership provides shadowing opportunities to gain clinical experience. Albright also has a very successful Scribe and externship program in both Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine, in which students are trained to work alongside physicians in documenting the patient record and completing the record of physician/patient interactions.

Specific pre-professional course work:

To receive the ADVANCE certificate, students must complete at least 6 natural science courses at Albright College with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The courses listed below are necessary prerequisites for most health professional programs. Students who enter the ADVANCE certificate program with some of these courses already completed may choose to take other upper division biology courses (or other health-related courses) to satisfy the 6 course requirement to achieve the certificate.

  • Biology
    • BIO 151 Cellular Biology, Anatomy & Physiology
    • BIO 203 Genetics
  • General Chemistry
    • CHE 105/106 General Chemistry I and II
  • Organic Chemistry
    • CHE 207/CHE208 Organic Chemistry I and II
  • Physics*
    • PHY 201/202
    • *Math 131/132 Calculus I and II are required for Physics

Additional courses that may be helpful in preparing for the MCAT:

  • CHE 325 Biochemistry I
  • SOC 101 Principles of Sociology
  • PSY 100 Introductory Psychology

Additional courses required for entry to a Physician Assistant Program:

  • BIO 234/235 Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II
  • MAT 110 Elementary Statistics

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Pre-medical Studies (Core Curriculum)

Biology Courses

BIO 151 General Biology I: Structure & Function
An introduction to cellular biology, metabolism, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology and development. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory per week, plus optional study/discussion sessions.

BIO 203 General Biology III: Genetics
An introduction to classical genetics, molecular genetics and population genetics. Includes a major writing project designed to explore specific topics in genetics and evolution. Three hours lecture per week.

BIO 234 Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab*
This is a study of the fundamentals of human anatomy and physiology, with emphasis placed on the organization of the body, cells and tissues, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, nervous system, and special senses. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Offered spring semester of even years.

This is the first semester of a two-semester course in anatomy and physiology. It will employ an integration of morphological and physiological aspects of the human body. This course is intended to provide a strong background in human anatomy and physiology for human biology students, science majors, and students with an interest in related allied health fields.  Some basic concepts of biology and chemistry will be integrated with this course, which serve as a basis for developing specific concepts in anatomy and physiology.

BIO 235 Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab*
A study of the fundamentals of human anatomy and physiology, with emphasis placed on the organization of the endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Three hours lecture, three hours lab per week.

This is the second semester of a two-semester course in anatomy and physiology.  The second semester will again employ an integration of morphological and physiological aspects of the human body. This course is intended to provide a strong background in human anatomy and physiology for human biology students, science majors, and students with an interest in related allied health fields. All students will be required to prepare a research paper on a specific area of study. This investigation will allow an in-depth study of a small area of a large discipline.

Prerequisite: students must earn a quality grade in BIO 234 to enroll in this course.


Chemistry Courses

CHE 105 General Analytical Chemistry w/Lab
An intensive study of the main concepts of chemistry, this course covers qualitative and quantitative descriptions of matter and reactivity.  The description of matter includes the atomic and subatomic scale (atomic structure, bonding, geometry, and intermolecular forces) and the macroscopic scale (phases of matter and solutions).  Reactivity topics include basic patterns of reactivity, reaction stoichiometry, and thermochemistry.  Both conceptual learning and quantitative problem solving are emphasized. The laboratory program involves inorganic synthesis and qualitative analysis.  Designed for the student who plans to concentrate in chemistry, biochemistry, biology or a related field.  Facility with algebra is assumed.  Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory and one hour recitation per week.

CHE 106 General Analytical Chemistry II w/Lab
A continuation of CHE 105.  Four major topics are covered: kinetics equilibrium, spontaneity, entropy, and an introduction to inorganic chemistry.  Within these topics, acid-base (proton transfer equilibrium) chemistry, electrochemistry (electron transfer equilibrium) and solubility (solid-ion equilibrium) will be discussed.  The introduction to inorganic chemistry includes descriptive chemistry on metals and nonmetals, coordination chemistry, nuclear chemistry and environmental chemistry.  The laboratory program is concerned with quantitative analysis with an introduction to the use of chemical instrumentation.  Facility with algebra is assumed.  Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory and one hour recitation per week.  Prerequisite: CHE 105

CHE 207 Organic Chemistry I w/Lab
A study of the common classes of organic compounds, their synthesis and properties, with emphasis on bonding, reaction mechanisms, structure/property correlation, and spectroscopic identification.  Laboratory work is devoted mainly to the synthesis and characterization of organic compounds.  Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory, one hour conference per week.

CHE 208 Organic Chemistry II w/Lab
A continuation of 207, emphasizing synthesis.  Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory, one hour conference per week.

CHE 325 Biochemistry I with Lab
This course offers a fairly rigorous coverage of the organic chemistry of the major classes of biomolecules.  Its aim is to introduce the relationships between chemical structure and biological function within living organisms, which provide a foundation for the understanding of intermediary metabolism.  The course begins with a review of the structures of cells and organelles, the essentials of biomolecules, the properties of an aqueous environment, and introduces the central concepts of bioenergetics and thermodynamics.  It then continues with a description of the structures and functions of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids.  In each case the structure and composition of these molecules are related to their biological functions. The laboratory introduces a variety of basic techniques commonly used in the isolation, purification, characterization, and analysis of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids, the principle classes of biomolecules.  Three hours lecture and four hours laboratory per week.


Mathematics Courses

MAT 110 Elementary Statistics*
This course gives students a general overview of modern statistics.  Topics include: organization of data; probability and probability distributions; measures of central tendency and variability; normal distributions; sampling; hypothesis testing; correlation and regression.  A TI-89 graphing calculator is highly recommended.

MAT131 Calculus & Analytical Geometry I
Fundamental concepts of functions of one variable. Topics include: limits, continuity differentiability, derivative applications, curve stretching, related rates, and maxima-minima problems. Introduction to indefinite and definite integration including the fundamental theorems and numeric approximation techniques are also covered. This is normally the first math course taken by students entering a math or math-related curriculum.

MAT 132 Calculus & Analytical Geometry II
Continuation of Calculus I. Topics include transcendental functions, applications of integration including volumes, surface areas, arc length and work. Also covered are integration techniques, indeterminate forms, improper integrals, sequences and series, and Taylor’s theorem.


Physics Courses

PHY201 General Physics I w/Lab
Calculus-based introductory course in general physics, covering mechanics, wave motion, and sound. Six hours per week in workshop format. Prerequisite: MAT 131 (or equivalent with Physics Department permission).

PHY202 General Physics II w/Lab
Calculus-based introductory course in general physics, covering electromagnetism and heat. Six hours per week in workshop format. Prerequisite: PHY 201 and MAT 132 (or equivalents with Physics Department permission).


Psychology Courses

PSY 100 General Psychology
This course introduces students to the broad discipline of psychology, focusing on theories and research explaining behavior. Major areas include, but are not limited to, biopsychology, motivation, sensation, perception, learning, cognition, development, stress and health, personality, and psychopathology.


Sociology Courses

SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
A general study emphasizing the concepts methodologies through which the sociologist investigates the nature of the social structure and the social processes related to individual behavior.

* Courses are strongly suggested if student plans to pursue graduate studies in a Physician Assistant program. 

Welcome to the Albright College Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Certificate Program 

Program Admission

A student files her/his application with the School of Professional Studies Graduate Division during the semester immediately preceding actual enrollment in classes.  The student may be granted program admission if s/he appears to have potential for successful completion of a graduate program.  Admission to the certification program is based on the following criteria:

  • Completion of the baccalaureate degree at a regionally credited institution of higher education
  • An undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 scale (if student has below a 2.8, provisional status requirements must be met)
  • Completion of an application for admission
  • Submission of official transcripts
  • Two letters of reference

For more information, please contact Dr. Karen Campbell at kcampbell@albright.edu.