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Pre-Med and Pre-Health Programs 
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Articulation Agreements
(Pre-Med and Pre-Health Programs)

Articulation Agreements
Joint Degree Programs
Pre-Med Frequently Asked Questions
Rena Bacon
Edward Saiff

Pre-Med Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which health career articulation programs does Ramapo College have?

A: Ramapo College has articulation programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and clinical doctoral levels.

At the bachelor’s level, we have joint degree programs with the University of Medicine and Dentistry – School of Health Related Professions (UMDNJ SHRP) in Allied Health and Clinical Lab Science.

At the master’s level we have a Physician Assistant program with UMDNJ-SHRP.

At the doctoral level we  currently have:
Physical Therapy with UMDNJ-SHRP
Chiropracty with New York Chiropractic College
Optometry with State University of New York (SUNY) State College of Optometry
Dentistry with UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School
Dentistry with New York University College of Dentistry
Podiatry with New York College of Podiatric Medicine
Medicine with UMDNJ – School of Osteopathic Medicine

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Q: How do the articulation programs work?

A: Typically, students study at Ramapo College for the first three years. At that time they fulfill all their pre-professional requirements. Then, instead of their fourth year at the college, they enter the professional school of their chosen program. At the completion of that year, they will receive their Ramapo diploma and graduate with their class. If students are in a bachelor’s program, they receive the joint degree from UMDNJ as well. If they are in master’s or doctoral level programs, they continue to complete their programs and graduate those programs with their class.

For example, a student in the Clinical Lab Science Program will spend three years at Ramapo and one year at UMDNJ-SHRP. At the end of that year, the student will get two diplomas: a Ramapo College diploma and a diploma from UMDNJ-SHRP in Clinical Lab Science, in a total of four years.

A student who is in the Physical Therapy program will also spend the first three years at Ramapo. Then, instead of completing the senior year at Ramapo, the student will begin the first year of the graduate Physical Therapy Program at UMDNJ-SHRP. At the successful completion of that year, the student will receive the Ramapo bachelor’s degree and graduate with the class. After completing another two years at UMDNJ, the student will have completed the physical therapy program. This student will now receive the clinical doctorate degree in Physical Therapy after a total of six years; three years at Ramapo and three years at UMDNJ.

For UMDNJ-SOM, admission to medical school, students must complete their bachelor’s degree before starting medical school.

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Q: How do I get admitted into the program?

A: Each program has specific requirements which are subject to change . Check the particular requirements for each program, as specified in the college catalog, for more details.

Allied Health and Clinical Lab Science
Three plus one year program
Total time: Four years
No special SAT required for entry
College minimal GPA of 2.75 required
Students formally apply in the fall of their junior year

Physician Assistant
Three plus three year program
Total time: Six years
Last year of college is first year of M.S. program at UMDNJ-SHRP
Must maintain a 3.0 GPA at Ramapo College
Applications due at end of sophomore year

Physical Therapy
Three plus three year program
Total time: Six years
Last year of college is first year of DPT program at UMDNJ-SHRP
Admission limited to excellent students
SAT score 1200 and above
High ranking and high school grades
Must maintain a 3.0 GPA at Ramapo College
Acceptance not contingent on GRE scores
Three plus four option available

Three years plus ten trimesters (three years, four months)
Total time: Six years, 4 months
Last year of college is first year of DC program at NYCC
Minimum Ramapo College GPA: 2.5

Three years plus four year program
Total time: Seven years
Last year of college is first year of OD program at SUNY-Optometry
Admission limited to excellent high school students
Minimum 1200 SAT
Top high school ranking
Must maintain minimal 3.3 GPA at Ramapo College
Satisfactory OAT exam required

Three plus and four year programs
Total time: Seven years
Last year of college is first year at either UMDNJ or NYU
Admission limited to excellent students.
DAT scores are “acceptable”

NYU Requirements
Excellent SAT scores
Ramapo College minimum GPA of 3.5
No grade of D or F in sciences

UMDNJ Requirements
Three plus four program:
Top 10% high school ranking
1250 SAT
Ramapo College minimum GPA of 3.5
Four plus four program for special admits:
Top 10% high school ranking
1000 SAT
Ramapo College minimum GPA of 3.3

Podiatric Medicine
Three years plus four year program
Total time: Seven years
Last year of college is first year of DPM program at NYCPM
Minimum Ramapo GPA of 3.0
Satisfactory MCAT’s or DAT’s required

Four years at Ramapo College (Bachelor’s Degree) and four years at UMDNJ-SOM
Total time: Eight years
Minimum Ramapo GPA of 3.5
Satisfactory MCAT’s required

Note that successful participation in these articulation programs requires planning and proper advisement. The science curriculum is sequential. The three years at Ramapo will be intense. However students admitted into these programs can save a year and enter their professional schools early. Students may also choose to defer entry and complete their four years and earn their Bachelors degree at Ramapo in the traditional fashion before entering professional school.

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Q: Am I guaranteed a seat in the professional program?

A: Yes, provided you successfully meet all the requirements in the pre-professional component at Ramapo College.

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Q: How do I decide which career path and which program is right for me?

A: The program that is best for you is to some extent dependent on your personal preference and your academic strengths and interests. You can learn more about your choices by becoming involved in the Ramapo College Pre-Health Club and attending meetings and participating in club activities.

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Q: I want to be a medical doctor. What should I major in?

A: If you are planning on going to any allopathic or most osteopathic medical school, you are free to choose any major that interests you. Medical schools are happy to accept accomplished students in any fields, provided that they have done well academically in both their science and non-science courses. However, because most of the required courses for medical school are also required in the biology, biochemistry and integrated science majors, many pre-med students opt to choose these majors.

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Q: What are the Ramapo courses that fulfill the medical school requirement?

A: Most American schools require the following:

BIOL 110/112 Fundamentals of Biology 1and 2 (with lab)
CHEM 110-113 Fundamentals of Chemistry 1 and 2 (with lab)
PHYS 110/112 Fundamentals of Physics 1 and 2 (with lab)
CHEM 210-213 Organic Chemistry 1 and 2 (with lab)
MATH 111/112 Calculus 1 and 2
ENGL 180 College English
LITR A course in Literature

Some schools may also require Biochemistry or other upper level courses. Check the admission requirements of the schools you are hoping to attend to make sure you know their specific requirements.

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Q: I have AP credits for some of the courses. Am I exempt from taking the prerequisite courses?

A: Most medical schools will require that you have actual college courses in the disciplines that they require. For example, even if you scored a 5 in AP Biology and received Ramapo College credits for that class, you would still need to take one year of biology courses with labs to fulfill the medical school requirement. However, if you are a biology or biochemistry major, you will certainly be taking one year of biology courses with labs during your college career. In this way the AP credits you earned exempt you from the Fundamentals of Biology course and give you the time you might need for other activities, such as volunteering at a hospital.

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Q: Do I need to volunteer at a hospital if I want to go to medical school?

A: No, volunteering is not a requirement. However, it is strongly recommended. The admissions committees at the medical schools are much happier accepting students who have demonstrated by their choice of actions that they are seriously committed to a career in medicine. Spending significant time in a medical setting, e.g., working with a volunteer ambulance crew, volunteering in a nursing home, or transporting patients in an emergency room, allows you to gain the experience of being in a medical setting and helps you decide if this is really the right career choice for you.

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Q: Do I have to do scientific research to get into medical school?

A: No. However, please realize that the competition for those coveted spots in medical school is fierce. The better your academic record, the more competitive your application package will be. Being involved in research and being included in the publication of the results testifies to your academic accomplishment and gives you something interesting to talk about at your interview as well.

If you are interested in applying to an M.D./Ph.D. program, however, research is essential. You need to demonstrate that you have the academic and technical skills that will make you an attractive candidate for these very selective programs.

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Q: What else do I need to do in order to apply to medical school?

A: Almost all American medical schools, both allopathic and osteopathic, require the MCAT exam, administered by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). Traditionally it is recommended that you take the MCAT in the spring  of your junior year, after completing your prerequisite courses, so that you can submit your medical school applications during the summer. Many schools accept students on “rolling” admissions. This means if you wait until December to apply, even though the deadline is not past, there may not be any seats left for you. The earlier your application is submitted, the better your chances overall.

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Q: How do I apply to medical school?

A: The medical school application process is a multi-step process and begins in the summer of your junior year (about fourteen months before you plan to start medical school). Almost all allopathic medical schools subscribe to the centralized application service, the American Medical College Application Service, AMCAS, run by AAMC.

To apply to osteopathic medical school, you need to use the centralized application service of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, [ return to top ]

Q: What is the personal statement?

A: On your AMCAS application, you have space to submit a one-page personal statement. This is your opportunity to “sell” yourself to the admissions committee and let them know who you are and why they should consider your application. You should emphasize your strengths and what particular abilities you can contribute. You can include your achievements, work experiences, volunteer experiences and research. Try to make your essay interesting and a good representation of who you are.

If you are also applying to osteopathic medical schools, in your AACOMAS application you will need to demonstrate that you understand what osteopathic medicine is all about and why you are interested in that type of medical school. (You should arrange to meet with an osteopathic physician to learn about the profession before you apply.) Your personal statement for osteopathic schools must reflect why you are considering osteopathic medicine as well.

Be prepared to rewrite your essay many times as you strive to write the best possible essay. Show it to friends and family and to your English professor, and then consult Dr. Bacon before you submit your final version.

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Q: How do I get recommendation letters?

A: Stop by Dr. Bacon’s office to pick up medical recommendation forms to submit to your references. We strongly suggest that you waive your right to examine your references so that the medical school feels that you are being honestly evaluated. Keeping this in mind, select your references carefully. Asking a professor for a reference if you were chronically late for class or late with assignments is not a smart choice. However, asking a professor of a class where you received a “B”, but the professor knows how you improved and what your strengths are, can be a very positive recommendation.

It is a good idea to start asking professors as soon as each semester  is over. Dr. Bacon will keep a growing file for you, and then by the end of junior year there will be a substantial number of references in your file.
You should seek references from the following.

At least:
1 biology professor
1 chemistry professor
1 physics professor
1 math professor
1 general studies professor
1 volunteer supervisor
1 medical setting reference
2 professors in your major

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Q: What are medical schools looking for?

A: Admissions committees are composed of doctors who have graduated, school administrators, professors and medical students. They are looking for the qualities that you would want in a doctor who was treating your own family: Candidates who are smart (evidenced by strong GPA and MCAT scores), compassionate (evidenced by their experiences in college, volunteering, and giving back to the community), hard working, interesting and show maturity (assessed in your interviews).

The time to prepare for your medical school interview is when you walk into your first class at Ramapo College. Prepare for all your classes, get to know your professors, read extensively, get involved in college and community, and spend your leisure time wisely.

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Image: Ramapo Arch