Summer Academic Enrichment Program

Summer Academic Enrichment Program

2016 program dates: May 23-Jul 1, 2016
Application available: Oct 15-Feb 1, 2016
Download the program flier.


SAEP is an intensive, six-week inter-professional academic enrichment program located on the VCU Health Campus in Richmond, Va. The program is designed to prepare undergraduate, junior and senior and post-baccalaureate students interested in health sciences, for admission into health professional programs. The primary focus of SAEP is to provide students with an academically rigorous experience that simulates the first year of health professional school. 

Students may choose a concentration from among four disciplines: dentistry, medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy.

The curriculum is designed around an interprofessional framework that provides:

  • Three core courses
  • Discipline-specific instruction time
  • Learning skills and test-taking workshops
  • Seminars featuring topics on health disparities
  • Professionalism
  • Group and individual counseling
  • Social and networking events

Participants are provided housing and a stipend to cover program expenses. Those traveling from distances greater than 200 miles are eligible for travel reimbursement for up to $250.

Program highlights

Biological science development
All participants will attend three science courses taught at a professional level.  The 2016 program will offer virtual anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology.  Students will gain a perspective of the rigor with which these courses are taught. Students will be evaluated through tests and will submit self-evaluations.

Discipline-specific instruction
Participants will have focused time in one of the discipline-specific concentrations: dentistry, medicine, pharmacy or physical therapy. Each respective school will provide additional course work, discipline-specific seminars or clinical exposure during this time.

Learning skills and test-taking strategies
This component will assist participants in understanding how to take standardized tests and help them develop methods for self-study in preparing for the examination.

Mock interviews
Individuals will participate in group-based mock interview sessions. During these sessions, faculty from VCU health professions admissions offices will review successful interviewing strategies and pitfalls to avoid. Participants will also have the opportunity to schedule individual mock interviews with faculty and staff members of the respective schools.

Saturday education and learning time (SEAL-TIME)
Mandatory Saturday sessions are designed for participants to solidify and exhibit understanding of the core course topics, as well as practice peer-to-peer learning skills.

Application details and eligibility

Students will apply to one of four tracks — dentistry, medicine, pharmacy or physical therapy — that will determine their discipline-specific concentration if they are selected for the program. Upon completion of the program, participants will have the tools that will help them to assess their strengths and weaknesses in regards to successful application and matriculation into a health professions school.

Requirements for admission to the program include:

  • Three complete years of college course work, including organic chemistry I and II (Note: organic chemistry not required for physical therapy track)
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Two letters of reference
  • Personal statement
  • Transcript
  • Strong interest in attending health professions school at VCU

Preference will be given to highly-qualified, underrepresented minority, first generation college, or students interested in serving in under-served communities, but is open to all applicants.

Students must select one program track on the online application, and fill in all fields in order for the form to be considered complete. 

For more information, please contact program administrators at or call (804) 827-0982.

Virginia Commonwealth University
Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences
Division for Health Sciences Diversity
Contact us
Updated:  Edit