School of Health Sciences

Urban Health Certificate

The Cleveland State University Partnerships for Urban Health provides opportunities for students who are underrepresented in medicine and who are interested in careers in urban primary care to gain acceptance to, and ultimately excel in, medical school. Students who are admitted to the program complete an undergraduate Urban Health Certificate (minimum of 19 credits including 8 credits of urban health, 8 credits of clinical science, and 3 credits of professional development courses) while also completing the science prerequisites needed for medical school.

Admission to Program

  • Undergraduate work: Students seeking admission to the program as undergraduates should have completed at least 60 credits prior to entering the program and will ordinarily need to maintain full-time enrollment throughout the program so as to complete a bachelor's degree at the same time as program completion, including a program, major, and university requirements. Students seeking admission to the program as postbaccalaureate students must, by definition, have completed a baccalaureate degree in any discipline.
  • Prerequisite course work: Completion of at least one semester of general biology (CSU BIO 200/201 or equivalent) and two semesters of general chemistry (CSU CHM 261/266 and CHM 262/267 or equivalent) prior to beginning the program and ordinarily no more than five years before beginning the program, with minimum individual grades of C and a GPA across these courses of at least 3.0.
    • Students who do not meet these prerequisite requirements at the time of application to the program can still be considered, so long as they document how they will meet the requirements by the time the program begins (for example, by taking or retaking courses in spring or summer semesters). If admitted with these courses pending, admission will be contingent on successful completion of the planned coursework.
    • Students with older courses with satisfactory grades may be considered if they can validate their knowledge with contemporary work or educational experiences.
    • In determining eligibility, only the most recent course attempt will be considered.
  • Cumulative GPA: To meet the program mission of preparing diverse students with interests in urban primary care for entry into medical school, applicants will be evaluated holistically to determine potential for success in the program and potential for admission to medical school after completion of program requirements. While a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 is recommended, candidates with lower cumulative GPAs who demonstrate pattern of improvement over time can be considered in our holistic admissions process.
  • Students who are seeking early assurance status from NEOMED will need to meet additional admissions requirements specified by NEOMED.

Medical School Prerequisites

  • Unless already completed with grades that are competitive for medical school admission, students must complete the following medical school prerequisites concurrent with Urban Health Certificate courses.
  • Prerequisite Science Courses: Completion of medical school prerequisites (including transfer of satisfactory coursework from up to five years prior to beginning the program) during the first year of the program (including summer between 1st and 2nd year if necessary):
    • Second semester of general biology (BIO 202/203)
    • Two semesters of organic chemistry with lab (CHM 331/336 and CHM 332/337)
    • Two semesters of physics with lab (PHY 231/232 preferred or PHY 221/222)
    • One semester of biochemistry (BIO 306/307 or CHM 402/502)

Urban Health Certificate Curriculum

  • Professional Development: Participation in a series of 1-credit Professional Development courses that focus on critical analysis and reasoning skills and standardized testing exam preparedness. The first three courses are required of all students; the final course is only required for students who have not met MCAT guidelines for entry into medical school (typically 500, but may vary based on the medical schools to which the student is applying).
    • HSC 427 - Professional Development I (1 credit) (1st year Fall)
    • HSC 429 - Professional Development II (1 credit) (1st year Spring)
    • HSC 431 - Professional Development III (1 credit) (1st year Summer)
    • HSC 433 - Professional Development IV (1 credit, only required if MCAT score is not satisfactory, may be repeated)
  • Urban Health Curriculum: Completion of an 8-credit, 4-course urban health sequence, which includes a capstone community-based participatory research project developed and implemented in Urban Health III and IV
    • HSC 434/534 Urban Health I (1 credit) (1st year Fall)
    • HSC 461/561 Urban Health II (1 credit) (1st year Spring)
    • HSC 463/563 Urban Health III (3 credits) (2nd year Fall)
    • HSC 465/565 Urban Health IV (3 credits) (2nd year Spring)
  • Clinical Science Courses:
    • HSC 422 or 520 Physiology for the Clinical Sciences (4 credits) (2nd year)
    • HSC 450/550 Physiology Lab (1 credit, optional) (2nd year)
    • HSC 475/575 Human Gross Anatomy (3 credits) (2nd year) AND
    • HSC 457/557 Human Gross Anatomy Lab (3 credit dissection lab) or HSC 485/585 (1 credit observational lab) (2nd year) (decision about taking the 3-credit vs 1-credit lab will be made in consultation with program advisors based on student schedules and balanced with the demands of other needed courses)
  • BCPM every semester: Students must take at least one biology, chemistry, physics, or math course each semester during the program. For most students this will be fulfilled by prerequisite science courses in the first year and the clinical science courses in the second year.
  • Undergraduate students: Completion of bachelor's degree.
  • Postbaccalaureate students: Completion of program requirements at the undergraduate level, with or without completion of a second bachelor's degree. Selected students with almost all of their undergraduate prerequisites complete may request the opportunity to complete the program as a graduate student by completing the Urban Health Certificate at the graduate level and pursuing the Urban Health track of the Master of Science in Health Science or the Master of Public Health. Once admitted as a postbaccalaureate student, a student who wishes to consider the graduate option will need to gain approval from program advisors and then will need to formally apply to the desired graduate program.
  • Students will ordinarily need to maintain a program GPA of 3.0 or better in certificate and prerequisite courses to remain enrolled in the program. In addition, they need to exhibit the professional behaviors expected of future physicians. However, because competitive GPAs for medical school are considerably higher than this 3.0 minimum, program advisors may counsel students out of the program if academic performance isn't consistent with eventual admission to medical school.

Recommended courses (outside of the Urban Health Certificate) to enhance preparation for medical school include, but are not limited to:

  • Statistics and Research Methods: STA 147 or 347; PSY 217 and 317; PSY 312
  • Upper Division Biology courses: Immunology BIO 412/413 or 512/513; Histology BIO 418/419 or 518/519; Genetics BIO 310/311, Cell Biology BIO 308/309
  • Upper Division Chemistry courses: Medicinal Chemistry I and II CHM 351/352
  • Additional clinical science courses: Pathology HSC 381/581; Neuroscience HSC 476/478 or 576/578
  • Psychology courses: PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology, PSY 345 - Abnormal Psychology, PSY 372 - Memory and Cognition, PSY 481 - Psychopharmacology, PSY 482 - Biological Basis of Behavior
  • Sociology courses: SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology, SOC 312 - Sociology of Mental Illness, SOC 343 - Medical Sociology
  • Philosophy courses in health care ethics or bioethics: PHL 240, 440, 441, 442, 443

Certificate Requirements
Required Courses (19-22 Credits)

  • HSC 427 - Professional Development I
  • HSC 429 - Professional Development II
  • HSC 431 - Professional Development III
  • HSC 433 - Professional Development IV (Required for students who have not yet met MCAT requirements by the fall semester of their second year in the program)
  • HSC 434 - Urban Health I
  • HSC 461 - Urban Health II
  • HSC 463 - Urban Health III
  • HSC 465 - Urban Health IV
  • HSC 422 - Physiology for the Clinical Sciences
  • HSC 475 - Human Gross Anatomy (Must be accompanied by either HSC 457 or HSC 485)
  • HSC 457 - Human Gross Anatomy Lab or HSC 485 - Human Gross Anatomy Observation Lab 

Optional Course (1 Credit)

  • HSC 450 - Physiology Lab