Certificate Program for Pre-Health Professionals (Option 2) | Biological Sciences

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program for Pre-Health Professionals—Career-Changer (Option II)

This two-year post-baccalaureate certificate program provides an opportunity for students who do not have a background in science but are interested in pursuing a health profession to complete the prerequisite coursework for admission to medical school or health professions schools. With support from the U.S. Department of Education, this program seeks to increase the diversity in the health professions. Applicants who are traditionally underrepresented in the health professions, are academically disadvantaged and/or economically disadvantaged are encouraged to apply.

Students may begin the certificate program only during the Fall term of an academic year. Completed applications must be received by the Department no later than April 16, 2018 (this is not a postmark date).

This certificate program requires the completion of a minimum of 38 semester units taken in post-baccalaureate standing. A maximum of 6 units of previously completed post-baccalaureate coursework from another institution that has not been used for credit may be used for completion of the certificate program. Refer to the Graduate Study chapter of the University Catalog for general information governing all certificate programs.

Requirements for Admission to the Program

  • Completion of a University application and acceptance by the University to post-baccalaureate status.
  • Completion of the certificate program application form for Career Changer and acceptance by the selection committee.
  • Baccalaureate degree in a non-science major completed before the term expected to begin the post-baccalaureate program.
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average in last 90 quarter units (60 semester units).
  • Personal Statement (see prompt on certificate program application form)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Successful completion of Chemistry Summer Academy

Application Cycle

The Post-baccalaureate Certificate Program for Pre-Health Professionals accepts applications beginning January 15th through April 16 each year for the following fall term. We are not on rolling-admission and only begin reviewing applications after the April 16 deadline.

Admissions Decisions

Admissions decisions are finalized in mid-May and formally made by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Email is the university's official method of communication. All applicants will be contacted with final admission decision via email by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

Program Benefits

  • $2000 stipend per year ($4000 total) for students who qualify
  • Completion of prerequisite coursework for admission to medical school or health professions schools
  • Chemistry Summer Academy
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Preparatory Course
  • Participation in seminars and workshops, and annual healthcare symposium
  • Access to one-on-one health professions advisement

Chemistry Summer Academy

All students admitted to the program will be required to participate in a Chemistry Summer Academy during the summer prior to beginning the post-baccalaureate certificate program. This summer academy will take place in the summer term. Admitted students admitted to the program will receive detailed information regarding the Chemistry Summer Academy.

MCAT Preparatory Course

All students will have the opportunity to participate in an MCAT prep course. The MCAT prep course will prepare students for the four MCAT sections: biological and biochemical foundations of living systems; chemical and physical foundations of biological systems; psychological, social and biological foundations of behavior; and critical analysis and reasoning skills. Additionally, instruction on test-taking strategies will be incorporated into the MCAT prep course.

Workshops and Seminars

Workshops held throughout the year, beginning in the summer and continuing throughout the student's tenure, will supplement the learning experience. Some examples of workshops include; Mock Multiple Mini Interviews, Paying for Medical School, Applying to Medical School. Seminar topics include: Pediatric Cardiology, The Physician Assistant Profession, Osteopathic Medicine, and Life as Medical Student. We also bring Admissions Officers from various Medical Schools to speak to our students.

Requirements for the Certificate

A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required in all course work.

Completion of a minimum of 38 semester units from the following list of courses.

COURSE Units Quarter/Semester
General Biology with lab 15 Quarter/year 1
General Chemistry with lab 15 Quarter/year 1
Organic Chemistry with lab 9 Quarter/year 2
General Physics with lab 8 Quarter/year 2

Program Cost

Students pay Graduate/PB level fees; please refer to the Cashiers Office web site for the most current fee information.


Be aware that this program does not meet the criteria to be eligible for federal or state student aid.  As a result, Some students turn to private (non-federal) education loans to help cover their education costs. Before making a decision about a private loan, view the information from Finaid.Org so that you have as much information as possible before you begin the process.

Application Fees

There is a $55 nonrefundable and nontransferable CSU Mentor application fee.

Application Checklist:

  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate for Pre-Health Professionals Application—Career Changer (Option II)
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges attended—one set to be sent to Admissions and Recruitment (step 2) and one set to be sent to Post-baccalaureate Program (step 4). Official transcripts must be sealed.
  • Personal Statement
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (LOR). The LORs must be sealed and the back of the envelope must be signed by the letter writer.

How to Apply

Step 1
Complete and submit a Graduate Application for Admission through CSU Mentor

Under "Major/Program Objective", select Certificate - Pre-health Professionals.
Under "Degree Objective", select None.

Step 2
Request that official transcripts of all universities/colleges you attended be mailed to:

California State University, Los Angeles
Office of Admissions and Recruitment
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032

Step 3
Complete a supplemental Department application


PCPHP Career Changer Option II Application PCPHP Career Changer Option II Application


Step 4
Mail supplemental Department Application and all supporting documents: official transcripts, personal statement, two letters of recommendation in one packet to:

California State University, Los Angeles
Post-baccalaureate Program (BIOS 143)
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8201

Contact Information

To check the status of your application, contact the Department office. Please allow two weeks from the date you sent your application to check the status. If you are unable to reach us please leave a voicemail with your full name and phone number and we will return your call within one week of receiving your voicemail.

Biological Sciences Department

Phone: (323)343-2050

Email: Biomicr@calstatela.edu

Note: The information on this page was modified from what appears in the University Catalog.