The PRIME program is highly flexible and can be completed in one to two years depending on your individual needs. Most students complete the program in one year. A certificate is awarded at the completion of the program. Compared with Master's level post-bac programs, a non-degree program like PRIME is ideal for two types of students: a student who has not completed pre-requisite courses or a student who needs to raise their undergraduate GPA to be more competitive. These can only be done outside of a graduate degree program.
Customized Course Plans, Med-School Prep
The PRIME program has a dedicated program director who has experience advising for medical school admissions and who meets regularly with students one-on-one and in group-advising sessions. A specialized Medical College Admissions Test prep course designed to comprehensively review all MCAT content areas, as well as testing methods, is team-taught by CWRU faculty and is offered in the early Summer (May) semester.
Students must complete at least 24 credit hours to earn the PRIME certificate. All students must complete Introduction to Clinical Inquiry I and II as part of the PRIME program. These courses are taught in small-group interactive, student-directed learning style. The courses review and reinforce MCAT core content and introduce key topics, such as public health, bioethics and clinical research. The Clinical Inquiry courses will also help students develop presentation, leadership and teamwork skills.
The other courses taken in this program will depend on what general pre-med requirements were completed during your undergraduate career. An individual course of study will be jointly developed with you and your advisor in detail once you are admitted to the program. Based on previous coursework taken, some students may need to take more than 24 credit hours to complete the prerequisite course for medical school and earn the PRIME certificate.
Our Students are Successful
We accept students who have demonstrated academic success, as well as demonstrated their dedication to and motivation for the field of medicine, a strong work ethic, and professionalism. As a result, our program graduates are very successful. For career changers, the average first-time MCAT score is 513. For academic enhancers, students, on average, raise their GPA by 0.2 points and raise their MCAT score by 5 points. Graduates are accepted into medical school at a rate of 87% to 91%—well above the national average of 50%—and go on to study at some of the most respected medical schools in the United States.
Two Program Tracks
This track is designed for students who have not taken all the prerequisite courses for medical school, typically due to a career change or change in post-graduate plans. In general, all students must take the sixteen specific natural science, social science and mathematics courses (55 credits) as a baseline requirement for medical school admissions. As part of the PRIME program, students must complete all of the courses required for medical school admission not previously taken (or taken more than 5 years ago), in addition to the two Clinical Inquiry (IQ) courses (MGRD 310 and 311), before the certificate will be awarded. As such, depending on student needs, programs of study could range from 24 credits to 60 credits. Beyond the required courses, students may also elect to take upper-level undergraduate courses or graduate courses to demonstrate additional academic rigor.
This track is designed for students who have taken all or most of the prerequisite courses for medical school consideration but did not get a strong enough GPA to make them competitive for medical school admission. Students in this track are still required to complete at least 24 graded credits in order to earn the certificate, including the Clinical Inquiry (IQ) classes (MGRD 310 and 311). Beyond the courses required for medical school admission, students may also elect to take upper-level undergraduate courses or graduate courses to demonstrate academic rigor.
Linkage Agreement with CWRU School of Medicine
The PRIME program, housed within the top-ranked School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, has a Linkage Agreement for students who meet certain criteria, which is approximately 1/3 of our students. We are working to develop relationships with other medical schools to potentially add new agreements for select students.
Shadowing, Research and Volunteer Opportunities
Diverse opportunities abound for PRIME students: Shadowing, research and community service roles are available through our affiliation with four health systems nearby (Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, VA Medical Center and MetroHealth Medical Center). Our students can choose to be partnered with one of our PRIME clinical mentors for shadowing and/or career advice.