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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the PRIME program designed for?

The PRIME Program is designed for two types of students. The first are “career changers” or students who have not completed the course requirements for medical school admission. The second type are “academic enhancers” or students who have completed most, if not all, of the course requirements for medical school admission, but would like to take additional upper level undergraduate science coursework to raise their undergraduate and science GPA to be more competitive for medical school admission or their medical school of choice.

What are the application requirements to apply to the PRIME program?

The PRIME program application requirements are:

  • Successful completion of bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university that has been conferred prior to matriculation.
  • A personal statement.
  • Demonstrated commitment to understanding and serving the needs of others through volunteer activities and/or community service.
  • Demonstrated interest in medicine through past or current activities.
  • Official transcripts from each institution attended.
  • Three letters of recommendation (or two if one is a committee letter).
  • A standardized test: MCAT or GRE (school code 1105)

Competitive applications will have a GPA of 3.4* or higher

*Cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher and undergraduate science GPA of 3.4 or higher. Consideration will be given to students with lower GPAs in special circumstances.

Can I start the program in any semester, or only in the Fall?

Students can begin the PRIME program in any semester, Fall, Spring, or Summer. A majority of students would begin in the Fall semester, but you can also take advantage of our Summer semester reduced tuition and start in the Summer semester to accelerate your completion of the program.

When is the deadline to apply?

Applications received by April 1 will be given priority consideration for Summer or Fall start. Applications received after this date will be accepted on a rolling basis per availability in the program. There is no deadline for priority applications for Spring semester start.

How competitive is admission to the program?

The admissions process is highly selective. We are looking for applicants who have demonstrated academic success, as well as demonstrated their dedication to and motivation for the field of medicine, hard work ethic, and professionalism. We typically accept about 1/3 of the applications we receive.

How long is the program?

The length of the program may vary depending on whether you enter as a career changer or an academic enhancer. Typically, an academic enhancer would complete the program in one year, and a career changer may take up to two years to complete the program, depending on the number of courses needed for medical school. The program requires each student to complete a minimum of 24 credit hours.

What is the cost to attend the program?

The current cost to attend to program is listed on our Tuition/Financial Aid page.

*Please note tuition rates are reduced in the Summer semester, and this helps reduce the overall cost of attending the program if courses are taken over the Summer semester.

Does the PRIME Program offer any sort of financial assistance or funding to help with tuition costs?

Financial Aid for this program is limited and is in the form of federal and/or private loans. We are not able to offer any grants or scholarships at this time. View more information on Financial Aid for the PRIME Program.

Do I need to submit any application essays?

Yes, a personal statement is required. A personal statement should include why you specifically chose the PRIME program and how your background and experiences will help you be successful in the program.

Is the PRIME program offered online?

At this time, the PRIME program is not offered in an online or distance-education format.

What are the requirements for recommendation letters and official transcripts?

We require that you submit at least three letters of recommendation (or two if one is a committee letter). Official transcripts are required if you are officially offered admission to the program. Unofficial transcripts are sufficient for us to review your application and can be uploaded to your application or copies sent to

What if my GPA is not a 3.4, can I still apply?

We believe that students with a 3.4 GPA or better have the best chance to succeed in the program in improving their credentials for admission to medical school. However, we do not have specific cutoffs for MCAT or GPA – we, like most medical schools, review your application holistically. The admissions committee will look at your application to see if we feel that this program, with a combination of coursework, research/volunteer experiences, etc., can help you become a competitive applicant for medical school.

Can I apply to the PRIME program if I have already taken the science courses required for medical school?

Yes, as you would be considered an academic enhancer and would complete our required Clinical Inquiry courses as well as other electives while creating an individualized, tailored program of study in consultation with your Advisor.

Can the PRIME program prepare me for admission to health professional schools other than medical schools?

At this time, our program is aimed solely for those wishing to go to medical school, thus we do not accept applicants whose aim is to enroll in other health programs, such as veterinary or dental school.

Are there specific courses required to complete the program?

Our program requires that all students complete two required courses as part of their program of study. Those courses are Introduction to Clinical Inquiry I & II. These courses are taught in small group interactive student-directed learning mode and review and reinforce MCAT core content, as well as introduce key topics, such as public health, bioethics and clinical research. The Clinical Inquiry courses will also help develop presentation, leadership and teamwork skills.

How can I figure out what courses I would take in the PRIME program?

The courses you take will depend on what general pre-med requirements you 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, taking into account gaps in your current application.

Will I receive a degree at the end of the program?

The PRIME program is a non-degree certificate program. A certificate, not a degree, is awarded at the completion of the program.

Does the program offer more than prerequisite courses?

Yes, we offer a range of elective courses that span many diverse subject areas. Please review our list of electives located on our Electives page.

Does the PRIME Program have any linkage agreements with any medical schools?

We have a linkage agreement with our CWRU School of Medicine for students who meet certain criteria. Please contact the program director ( for more information. We are working to develop relationships with other medical schools.

What types of advising and support does the PRIME program provide?

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.

What kind of MCAT preparation does the PRIME program provide?

The PRIME Program offers a specialized Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) preparatory course designed to comprehensively review all MCAT content areas, as well as testing methods. The course is team taught by CWRU faculty and is offered in the early Summer (May) semester.

What makes the PRIME program distinctive as compared with other post-bac programs?

  • A highly flexible and individually tailored program of study providing each student the preparation that they need to have the best MD or DO application moving forward.
  • A dedicated program director who has experience advising for medical school admissions and who meets regularly with students one-on-one, and in a group advising format, for support and guidance throughout the program.
  • Small group, interactive, and student-directed Clinical Inquiry (IQ) coursework designed to give students exposure to medical terminology and clinical reasoning and develop professional growth via self-reflection.
  • A specialized Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) preparatory course taught by CWRU faculty and designed to comprehensively review all MCAT content areas, as well as testing methods.
  • The PRIME Program is offered by a top-40, tier-I research university and housed in a top-25 medical school, with a rich history of research and education.
  • Diverse opportunities for shadowing, volunteering, and research in affiliation with 4 world-class health systems (The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, VA Medical Center, & MetroHealth Medical Center).

How can I find out more information about the program?

We’d love to hear from you! You can contact us via phone at 216.368.5296, by e-mail at, fill out a Request for Information on our webpage, by setting up a videoconference or Skype call, or you can also request a time to visit us in person for a campus visit/tour if you plan to be in the Cleveland area.


The Post-baccalaureate Readiness Instruction for bioMedical Education Program is designed to bolster the candidacy of highly motivated students interested in careers in medicine.

Questions? Contact us!