Pre-Medical Program

College of the Sciences and Mathematics

117A Schmucker Science Center South
Pre-Medical Program
Teresa Donze-Reiner, Director

Committee Members

Dr. Teresa Donze-Reiner, Program Director
Dr. Mahrukh Azam, Chemistry
Dr. Melissa Betz Cichowicz, Chemistry [departmental chair]
Dr. Frank E. Fish, Biology
Dr. Jessica Sullivan-Brown, Biology
Dr. Felix E. Goodson, Chemistry
Dr. Jennifer Maresh, Biology
Dr. Susan Johnston (P.A.), Anthropology and Sociology
Dr. Anthony Nicastro, Physics [departmental chair]
Dr. Joan Woolfrey, Philosophy

The Pre-Medical Program prepares undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students for application to the health professional schools of medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and physician assistant programs. The program also prepares students for careers in optometry, podiatry, chiropractic, and biomedical research. The program consists of an individualized selection of course work, personal counseling, and academic support. Optional internships in biomedical research at medical schools or research institutes are available to qualified students.

All of the primary majors in the Pre-Medical Program offer internship opportunities; however, only the B.S. Chemistry-Biology major allows a substitution of up to 12 credits for specific courses, enabling students to replace a full semester with a research internship. Internship opportunities from other preferred majors are available over the summer or on a part-time basis for varying academic credit. In all cases, the internships must be approved by academic advisors, department chairs, and internship coordinators.

For highly select undergraduates, medical school early assurance programs are available in affiliation with Penn State University College of Medicine (undergraduate), Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (undergraduate), Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (undergraduate), Temple University School of Dentistry (undergraduate), Arcadia University's M.S. in Physician's Assistant Studies (undergraduate), and University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College (undergraduate).

The B.S. in Chemistry-Biology major was specifically designed to meet the academic need of the pre-professional student. However, if a student has a particular interest in a healthcare field, other majors to consider include the B.S. in Biology; B.S. in Biology: Cell and Molecular; B.S. in Chemistry; B.S. in Forensic and Toxicological Chemistry, B.S. in Pharmaceutical Product Development; B.S. in Physics; or B.A. in Psychology. Students in the Pre-Medical Program may have two advisors - one from their major field and one from the Pre-Medical Committee. The advisor from the major field serves as their academic advisor, while the one from the committee offers advice about professional schools and their requirements, as well as their professional development, including volunteering and shadowing opportunities.

Because of the intense competition for health professional school admission, only academically talented and highly motivated students should apply to the Pre-Medical Program. Applicants are selected on the basis of their potential for achievement in the program. Students in the program are expected to maintain a minimum 3.20 grade point average and the high standards of performance necessary for health professional school admission.

It is essential for incoming students contemplating a medical career to apply to the Pre-Medical Program immediately upon matriculation at the University. Similarly, it is essential for students who, at some later time, develop an interest in a medical career to apply to the Pre-Medical Program. Students who fail to consult with the Pre-Medical Office prior to taking the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) or who fail to report the results of any MCAT exam to the Pre-Medical Office are not eligible to receive a Pre-Medical Committee letter of evaluation when they apply to medical school.

All West Chester students who wish to apply to a health professional school should ask their professors to forward letters of evaluation to the Pre-Medical Committee and should process their applications through the committee. It is recommended that students accumulate a minimum of five letters of evaluation in their confidential file. The committee will send a composite letter of evaluation to the professional school for students who meet the academic requirements and have an acceptable interview with the committee. Further information is available in the Pre-Medical Office, 117A Schmucker Science Center South.

Majors in the Pre-Medical Program

The B.S. in Chemistry-Biology and the B.S. in Biology - Cell and Molecular Concentration are the preferred majors for the Pre-Medical Program.

All undergraduate students are held to the academic policies and procedures outlined in the undergraduate catalog.  Students are encouraged to review departmental handbooks for program tips, suggested course sequences, and explanations of procedures. When applicable, additional policies for specific department programs may be listed below.


Mahrukh Azam (2004)

B.S., Punjab University; M.S., Quaid-e-Azam University; M.S., Ph.D., Seton Hall University

Frank E. Fish (1980)

B.A., State University of New York at Oswego; M.S., Ph.D., Michigan State University

Felix E. Goodson (1998)

A.B., Princeton University; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Susan L. Johnston (2001)

B.A., University of Pennsylvania; B.S., Hahnemann University; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Anthony J. Nicastro (1990)

Chairperson, Physics and Engineering

B.S., B.S., M.S., Ph.D., University of Delaware

Joan Woolfrey (2000)

B.S., North Dakota State University; M.A., The New School for Social Research; Ph.D., University of Oregon

Associate Professors

Melissa B. Cichowicz (1986)

Chairperson, Chemistry

B.S., St. Joseph's College; Ph.D., University of Maryland

Stephen J. Zimniski (2006)

B.S., University of Maine- Orono; M.A., University of Missouri; Ph.D., Boston University

Assistant Professors

Teresa Donze-Reiner (2016)

Director, Pre-Medical Program

B.S., University of Nebraska; Ph.D., Molecular Biology and Microbiology University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Jennifer L. Maresh (2016)

B.S., West Chester University; M.S., Duke University; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz

Jessica Sullivan-Brown (2014)

B.S., James Madison University; Ph.D., Princeton University