Rowan University Enters Med School Agreements


Rowan University students interested in entering the medical field now have two more options to explore. The Glassboro-based University recently signed an articulation agreement with the University of

Rowan University students interested in entering the medical field now have two more options to explore. The Glassboro-based University recently signed an articulation agreement with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey ? School of Osteopathic Medicine (UMDNJ-SOM), Stratford, that establishes a combined educational program that culminates in a bachelor?s degree from Rowan and a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from UMDNJ-SOM. Rowan also signed an articulation agreement with Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM), Kirksville, Missouri, that will enable select students to participate in the PreOsteopathic Medicine Scholars Program.

The Rowan/UMDNJ-SOM agreement allows qualified students to attend Rowan full time for three years in an approved accelerated major program before entering the four-year Osteopathic Medicine Education Program at UMDNJ-SOM. Qualified high school seniors and Rowan freshmen may apply for entry into the program. The program will accept students who meet specific high school and SAT standards and interview with both Rowan and UMDNJ-SOM admissions personnel. Once accepted into the program, in general students must maintain a 3.5 GPA in all coursework and a minimum B in all science courses, among other requirements.

?We?re very honored that we have this opportunity to enhance our relationship with Rowan University and Rowan students,? said Dr. Warren Wallace, associate dean for academic and student affairs/chief academic and student affairs officer for the medical school. ?We believe this is going to be a win-win situation, that we will be taking some of the best and brightest students from South Jersey who have an interest in medicine, especially osteopathic medicine, and be giving them an early opportunity to begin their medial school studies.?

The KCOM PreOsteopathic Medicine Scholars Program will provide admission opportunities to outstanding Rowan students who want to become osteopathic physicians. Under this program, Rowan students can apply to KCOM, a college of A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, at the end of their sophomore year. Kirksville will award reserved admissions at the beginning of their junior year at Rowan to up to two Rowan students who meet the program?s requirements. Those students will complete their junior and seniors years at Rowan, earning a bachelor?s degree, prior to entering Kirksville.

?The advantage for those students accepted at the end of their sophomore year is to have a guaranteed seat in KCOM?s entering class upon graduation from Rowan University,? said Dr. Jay Harper, dean of Rowan?s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

That?s not to say gaining entry into KCOM will be easy. In general, while Rowan students may be enrolled in any major, they still must meet KCOM?s entrance requirements, have an ACT score of at least 28 or an SAT score of 1270 or higher, maintain a GPA of at least 3.4 overall and in the sciences and complete select courses at the University that include calculus and organic chemistry.

The collaborations with KCOM and UMDNJ-SOM are not the first Rowan has had with a medical program. The University has similar agreements with medical and pre-professional schools, including Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Cooper University Hospital and Drexel University School of Medicine, Department of Physical Therapy.

?I think we?re getting a reputation as a pre-eminent pre-professional school,? said Dr. Richard Meagher, chairperson of Rowan?s Pre-Professional Committee.

?We?re earning that reputation as more and more people recognize Rowan students are receiving solid preparation for quality medical education,? Harper said.

Dr. David Mellish, an optometric physician in Williamstown, is one of the professionals who received solid preparation at Rowan. Mellish, who earned a bachelor?s degree in biological sciences in 1976, was accepted at his top three choices of optometry schools, including Pennsylvania College of Optometry, from which he graduated. ?I thought I had an excellent undergraduate education,? Mellish said. ?They prepared me very well for professional school.? Indeed, Mellish was so pleased with his education, one of his sons now attends Rowan and another is investigating the University as an option.

Meagher estimated 15 to 20 Rowan students a year enter professional programs, including medical school, optometry school, podiatry school, dental school, and physical therapy programs. He said 97 percent of the students the Rowan Pre-Professional Committee recommends for professional study are accepted into programs.

Rowan began its pre-professional program in the 1980s and continues to work to expand options for Rowan students. ?We?re gathering more seats for our students and more options for them to go to professional school,? Meagher said.

Harper said he is pleased with the KCOM and UMDNJ-SOM affiliations, noting KCOM was the first osteopathic school in the country and both are very highly regarded. ?We want opportunities for our students, and not just in our area,? Harper noted. ?We?re trying to get a diverse offering of affiliates for our graduates.?