Cal U students in the Biology: Pre-professional Program can have a "reserved seat" for careers in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy or dental medicine under a new Early Acceptance Program with LECOM.
California University of Pennsylvania has approved Early Acceptance Program agreements with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), creating pathways to careers in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy or dental medicine for Cal U biology students.
Under the agreements, a Cal U undergraduate in the B.S. in Biology: Pre-professional program can be assured of provisional acceptance - in essence, a reserved seat - in LECOM's College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Pharmacy or School of Dental Medicine, providing the student completes a successful interview and meets all academic requirements.
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 Cal U, 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 LECOM program once they successfully complete the four-year, 120-credit pre-professional biology program at 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 California; Cal U accepts the first 30 credits in LECOM's four-year medical/pharmacy program toward completion of the B.S in Biology degree.
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.
Program director Dr. Ed Zuchelkowski, of California University'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 Cal U'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, they 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 of 3.5 or higher, 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.
Applications are being accepted now for Cal U's fall 2018 classes. Students who are interested in joining the Early Acceptance Program should notify Cal U when they apply (or as soon as possible) in order to meet program deadlines. Current Cal U biology students, as well as transfer students, will be considered for the Early Acceptance Program if they meet the requirements.