Type of program: Our one-year program combines the best of an “academic enhancer” (AE) program and a Special Master’s Program (SMP). It’s an AE because it’s an opportunity for students to demonstrate their ability to succeed in a rigorous graduate environment and to learn unique knowledge and skills from biomedical industry to offer medical schools. It’s similar to a SMP in that our students have the option to continue towards completing a master’s degree with an additional year. Our program is best suited for students who have had some success, but are looking to further improve upon their credentials.
Curriculum: KGI curriculum consists of graduate-level courses within the applied life sciences, which combines both science and business. PPC students must earn 24 units to complete the certificate. Three required credits noted by (*), and 5 units of electives. Below is a typical PPC schedule for the year (courses are either 1.5 or 3 units):
- ALS 300 Molecular Biotechnology
- ALS 320 Medical Diagnostics*
- ALS 398 PPC Course (Educational Psychology)*
- ALS 427 Mammalian Cell Technology
- ALS 434 Clinical Biostatistics
- ALS 437 Clinical Pharmacology I
- ALS 301 Molecular Basis of Disease
- ALS 321 Medical Devices*
- ALS 398 PPC Course (Application Process)*
- ALS 401 Biotechnology-based Therapeutics
- ALS 408 Advanced in-vitro Diagnostics
- ALS 431 Bioprocess Engineering Principles
- ALS 438 Clinical Pharmacology II
Academic Advising and Support: One of the greatest benefits of our program is the highly individualized support. In fact, we have our director, Dr. Joon Kim, devoted strictly to working with each of our students. His primary responsibility is to assist students navigate through the admission process and is readily available as evidenced by over 20 hours of weekly open office hours. In addition, he teaches a course in the fall specifically designed to help students produce their best application by learning about relevant concepts from educational psychology, such as theories of motivation and learning strategies. Our students also frequently engage in important discussions regarding current issues in medicine and healthcare, including the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act. Our students not only receive support for their application, they enjoy the benefits of a full premedical education.
Co-curricular Learning Experiences: The following is a list of some of the activities and opportunities for our students:
- On-campus MCAT Review course
- Field trips to local and regional medical schools
- Meet with professionals from various medical specialties
- Simulated individual interviews, group interviews, and multi-mini interviews (MMI)
- Guest speakers from various medical schools
- Network opportunities with KGI alumni in medical school
- Research opportunities
- Clinical and shadowing opportunities
- Authorship of Orphan Drug Designation (FDA approved)
- Health and wellness educator for the 7 colleges in the Claremont Consortium
- Medical scribe at nearby clinics in underserved communities
- Writing and editing with Frontline Medical Communications
- Local community programs such as Coffee Talk with senior citizens, K-12 tutoring, and Diabetes Free Riverside Project.
Linkage Agreements: Students searching for various post-baccalaureate programs often look for those with linkage agreements, a formal agreement between a program and select medical school(s). While this may provide some comfort in the highly competitive and unpredictable world of admissions, it is just one of many factors to consider. Upon closer scrutiny, students will often find linkages are not necessarily guarantees, but rather opportunities for guarantees. Students in such programs must still meet the admission requirements set forth by the respective programs. The required metrics are often comparable to those necessary for success in the general pool. If a program has a linkage to your favorite medical school, then you’ll certainly want to apply there, but know that there will be many others with the same strategy. While our program does not have a formal linkage, we work very closely with medical schools throughout the country to ensure that students have access to the most up to date and relevant information for success.