About CERT

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The Pre-medical Graduate Health Sciences Certificate (CERT) program of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine is a one-year in-person, graduate-level program for individuals seeking to enhance their qualifications for admission into professional school, including medical and dental School. The program is administered through the VCU School of Medicine, with required and elective courses based in specific departments.

Get on Track with a Health Sciences Post-Bac

Come learn about the Post-Bac programs at VCU that can help you on your path to professional school.

Spring 2023 Sessions
May 15 @ 5:00 pm
June 12 @ 5:00 pm
Virtual / Zoom link provided with registration

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Program Overview

The CERT program is structured to improve overall competitiveness for admission into professional school. The CERT curriculum allows students to enhance their academic record through graduate-level, medically relevant courses. In the spring semester, students take a preparatory course to strengthen standardized test scores and have opportunities to increase clinical or research experience and volunteer in the community.

Admissions Workshops

Information sessions throughout the program explore various topics, research/clinical opportunities and interviewing skills.

Between MSB and Egyptian Building

Guaranteed Interview

Students who successfully complete the CERT program may be eligible for a guaranteed interview at VCU School of Medicine or early file review at VCU School of Dentistry.

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Advising and Mentorship

Students meet regularly with the program director, advisers and coordinators to improve their applications for professional school.

CERT classroom photo

Tailored Program

Courses are designed to mimic the rigor of first year professional school curricula. Learn directly from Medical and Dental School professors.

Program Curriculum

Students in the CERT program must complete a minimum of 27 credit hours, spread out over two semesters.

See detailed program requirements in the VCU Bulletin

Why Choose CERT?

  • Pre-Dental
  • Boost your GPA
  • Improve your DAT
  • Dental-specific electives
  • Guaranteed early file review with School of Dentistry Admissions upon successful completion of CERT
  • Letter of recommendation provided
  • Meet VCU School of Dentistry faculty
  • Pre-Medical
  • Take classes taught by School of Medicine faculty
  • Guaranteed interview with School of Medicine admissions upon successful completion of CERT
  • Letter of recommendation provided
  • Increase your science knowledge
  • Improve your MCAT
  • Boost your GPA

Admissions Requirements

Admissions requirements for the Premedical Graduate Certificate Program can be found on the VCU Bulletin:

See detailed admissions requirements in the VCU Bulletin

Students who do not meet the standardized test score requirement or GPA requirement are reviewed on an individual basis. Many factors influence an applicant's competitiveness including GPA, test scores, personal statement, letters of recommendation and resume.

Non-science majors who have not completed the prerequisite coursework for admission to CERT may wish to consider VCU's 'career-changer' Undergraduate Post-Baccalaureate Health Sciences Certificate Program.

To quickly gauge your competitiveness for the CERT program, please fill out a Quick Look form which is a self-reporting form consisted of the applicants’ GPA and MCATs, DATs or GREs. The CERT QuickLook will allow rapid feedback to the applicant but does not replace the formal application to the Graduate School at VCU. Please email the completed Quick Look Review Self Reporting Form to premedcert@vcuhealth.org for informed feedback on your application.

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Eric Lien, '20

The CERT program has allowed me to grow as a person, both academically and professionally. In addition to gaining new study skills, I was given the opportunity to meet and work with a diverse group of people from many different backgrounds. Ultimately, the CERT program allowed me to achieve my goal of matriculating into a medical school.

Dr. Alexander Philip, '09

It was an amazing program for me and because of it, I started medical school at VCU and now am blessed to practice emergency medicine in Florida.

I was a poor undergrad student and had mediocre / less than average grades and numbers, but the program really gave me a second chance.

Zachary Morris, '21

The CERT program pushed me to my limit and forced me to critically examine my study habits; the program demands excellence and provided me with the challenge I needed. I believe the program was highly reflective of medical school in volume and timeline, and I am confident that I will excel as a medical student having completed this program.

Office Staff

  • Program DirectorI. Scott Ramsey, Ph.D.
  • Program AdvisorMelissa J. McGinn, Ph.D.
  • Program AdvisorChristina Sheerin, Ph.D.
  • Program AdministratorKez Wilgus
  • Program CoordinatorRachel Fry (CERT '22)
  • Program CoordinatorJoseph Morales (CERT '22)
  • Program CoordinatorKatherine Vaughn (CERT '22)
  • Program CoordinatorMark Weil (CERT '22)

Contact Us


(804) 828-9501

1101 East Marshall St., Sanger Hall 1-055E




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