Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine with cal u

LECOM is the nation's largest medical college, with campuses in Erie, Pa.; Greensburg, Pa.; and Bradenton, Fla. U.S. News & World Report ranks LECOM among the top five medical colleges for graduating primary care physicians, and its College of Osteopathic Medicine receives more applications than any other medical school in the country.

PennWest California offers an Early Acceptance Program with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), enabling PennWest California biology students to pursue new pathways to careers in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy or dental medicine. 

Under the Early Acceptance Program, a qualified PennWest California undergraduate in the B.S. in Biology: Pre-professional program can be assured of provisional acceptance or a reservedseat in LECOM's College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Pharmacy or School of Dental Medicine.The student must complete a successful interview and meet all academic requirements.  

Learn more about the agreement PennWest California has with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine


Decades ago, physicians and administrators at the Millcreek Community Hospital saw the growing demand for more physicians and opened LECOM in 1992.

The mission of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is to prepare students to become osteopathic physicians, pharmacy practitioners and dentists through programs of excellence in education, research, clinical care and community service to enhance the quality of life through improved health for all humanity. The professional programs are dedicated to serving all students through an innovative curriculum and the development of postdoctoral education and interprofessional experiences.

  • LECOM offers a quality medical education at an affordable price with one of the lowest tuitions for a private medical college.
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is recognized as a leader in innovative, student-centered medical education, with five learning pathways leading to a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree: lecture discussion, problem-based learning, directed study and two three-year pathways: Primary Care Scholars and the Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway.
  • The majority of LECOM graduates become primary care physicians (family physicians, internal medicine, pediatrics or OB-GYN).
  • The College of Osteopathic Medicine is accredited by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) of the American Osteopathic Association. 


School of Pharmacy

LECOM’s School of Pharmacy prepares pharmacists to be members of a changing healthcare environment dedicated to patient-centered care. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Erie offers a year-round, three-year curriculum, while LECOM Bradenton has a four-year program. LECOM School of Pharmacy alumni are working in a variety of positions at retail and community pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and physician offices. LECOM’s Doctor of Pharmacy degree program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

School of Dental Medicine

The School of Dental Medicine at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine offers a patient-centered curriculum to train dentists to improve the health of their patients through preventive care. LECOM’s dental medicine curriculum is modeled on problem-based learning through small-group, case-based study for basic sciences. Students receive early simulation and clinical learning experiences in basic patient care and progress to community-based, primary-care clinic experience in urban areas with the greatest need for dental care. The dental education program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements.”

Each LECOM campus building in Erie and Bradenton provides expansive teaching and learning areas and includes the latest teaching technology. The LECOM Bayfront Campus, Coffee Culture Café and Student Center, and the John M. and Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness and Wellness Center in Erie provide additional space for education and student activities. In Greensburg, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine uses classroom space at Seton Hill University.

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is a member of LECOM Health, an academic health center that includes Millcreek Community Hospital and the clinical practices managed by Medical Associates of Erie. Other members of LECOM Health include Corry Memorial Hospital, LECOM Senior Living Center, LECOM Senior Living Communities, LECOM Medical Fitness and Wellness Center, LECOM Health Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Lifeworks Erie, and Visiting Nurses Association of Erie County. LECOM students learn and work in all of these facilities.

Choosing an Early Acceptance Program

Students can apply for the Early Acceptance Program as soon as their senior year of high school, or until the start of their third year in the biology program at PennWest California, depending on their desired program track:

  • Eligible osteopathic, pharmacy or dental students may choose a "4+4" program that assures them a seat in a four-year Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine program once they successfully complete the four-year, 120-credit pre-professional biology program at PennWest California.
  • Highly motivated osteopathic or pharmacy students may select an accelerated "3+4" program. This option allows qualified students to enter LECOM's medical or pharmacy school after completing just three years (90 credits) at PennWest California. PennWest California accepts the first 30 credits in LECOM's four-year medical or pharmacy program toward completion of the B.S in Biology degree.


Dr. Ed Zuchelkowski, program director in PennWest California’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, says there are tangible benefits to having a reserved seat in medical, pharmacy or dental school. "Medical schools are highly competitive," Zuchelkowski says. "Through the Early Acceptance Program, students in PennWest California's pre-professional biology program take rigorous courses that prepare them to do well in their graduate-level studies. And they largely bypass the intense competition for (medical school) seats.”

LECOM's tuition is lower than many other medical, pharmacy or dental schools, and students enjoy a considerable savings because they don't have to apply to multiple schools or travel for multiple interviews. With early acceptance, students can focus totally on their studies during their senior year in college. 

To qualify for admission to the programs, students should have a high school grade-point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher (unweighted), with an SAT score of at least 1240 or an ACT score of at least 26. The entrance exam for medical school (known as MCAT) or pharmacy school (PCAT) is not required, but the entrance exam for dentistry school (DAT) is required.

Students who are interested in joining the Early Acceptance Program should notify PennWest California when they apply (or as soon as possible) in order to meet program deadlines. Current PennWest California biology students, as well as transfer students, will be considered for the Early Acceptance Program if they meet the requirements.

Start on your career pathway into healthcare with a bachelor’s degree in the Biology: Preprofessional program at PennWest California. Apply now!   

An accepted PennWest California student sits in a classroom.

Early Acceptance Programs

Vital Head Start

Academically qualified biology majors can be assured of provisional acceptance in LECOM's College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Pharmacy or School of Dental Medicine.

Learn More

An osteopathic doctor works with a patient.

Pursue Osteopathic Medicine

Premier Preparation

Earn your undergraduate biology degree at PennWest California – and take advantage of an exceptional opportunity to pave the way to your future in osteopathic medicine.

Learn More

A dentistry student works with a professor.

Study Dentistry

Go Farther

The biology pre-professional program at PennWest California and the Early Acceptance Program with LECOM can put you on the path to a successful career in dentistry. 

Learn More

A pharmacy student works in a lab.

Pharmacy Education

Expanded Roles

Start your future as a pharmacist with an undergraduate degree in biology from PennWest California and access to our Early Acceptance Program with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Learn More