Post-baccalaureate Readiness Instruction for bioMedical Education (PRIME) Certificate Program
Phone: 216.368.5296
Anthony Saar, MEd, Program Director

PRIME is a post-baccalaureate certificate (non-degree) program for students who need additional preparation to have a competitive application for MD or DO programs. 

This program is designed for two types of students:

  • Career changers – students who have not yet completed all their pre-med requirements
  • Academic enhancers – students who need to improve their undergraduate GPA and their foundation in key pre-med content

Key features of this program include:

  • A highly flexible and individually tailored program of study providing each student the preparation that they need to be competitive applicants
  • A dedicated program director who has experience advising for medical school admissions and who meets regularly with students one-on-one
  • Problem-based Clinical Inquiry (IQ) coursework designed to give students exposure to medical terminology and clinical reasoning and develop professional growth via self-reflection
  • Specialized Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) preparatory course designed to comprehensively review all MCAT content areas, as well as testing methods.
  • Diverse opportunities for shadowing, volunteering, and research in affiliation with four world-class health systems (Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, and MetroHealth Medical Center)
  • Opportunity to interview with the CWRU School of Medicine for select students

The PRIME program is highly flexible. To earn the certificate, students must complete at least 24 credit hours. A program of study must be approved by the program director. Each student will work closely with the program director to tailor the program to their needs. Based on their previous coursework, some students may need to take more than 24 credit hours to complete the prerequisite courses for medical school and earn the PRIME certificate. This program can be completed in 1-2 years, depending on a student's individual needs.

Required Program Coursework
MGRD 310Introduction to Clinical Inquiry (IQ)3
MGRD 311Introduction to Clinical Inquiry (IQ) II3
Required Medical School Coursework
BIOC 307Introduction to Biochemistry: From Molecules To Medical Science4
BIOL 214Genes, Evolution and Ecology3
BIOL 214LGenes, Evolution and Ecology Lab1
BIOL 215Cells and Proteins3
BIOL 215LCells and Proteins Laboratory1
or BIOL 216 Development and Physiology
BIOL 216LDevelopment and Physiology Lab1
CHEM 105Principles of Chemistry I3
CHEM 106Principles of Chemistry II3
CHEM 113Principles of Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 223Introductory Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 224Introductory Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 233Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory I2
CHEM 234Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory II2
MATH 125Math and Calculus Applications for Life, Managerial, and Social Sci I4
MATH 126Math and Calculus Applications for Life, Managerial, and Social Sci II4
or STAT 201 Basic Statistics for Social and Life Sciences
PHYS 115Introductory Physics I4
PHYS 116Introductory Physics II4
PSCL 101General Psychology I3
SOCI 101Introduction to Sociology3

Students who have completed some of the required courses prior to the start of the program would be eligible for exemption from taking them for the certificate. Depending on their grades, they may waive the required courses with the program director's approval. Students may also elect to retake these courses for reference and/or to improve their undergraduate GPA.

Elective Coursework

In consultation with the program director, students will develop the best program of study for their needs. Typically, if a student has already taken the medical school prerequisites but needs to improve their overall undergraduate GPA, taking upper-level undergraduate courses would show more rigor than retaking lower-level courses. With successful grades, a student’s undergraduate GPA will also improve.

Students may take additional elective coursework across the university with program director and instructor approval. Although science and math classes will be the primary focus for most students, some students may also seek to take graduate coursework to demonstrate academic rigor. Further, some students may also elect to take other courses based on interests or a desire to improve technical skills (such as writing or language skills).