Leadership in Medicine


Academic FAQs

Q. How is the LIM curriculum structured?

A. During the first four years, Leadership in Medicine (LIM) students complete both undergraduate (B.S.) and graduate (M.S. or M.B.A.) degree requirements. At the undergraduate level, students are required to take a minimum of 31 undergraduate courses; 16 or 17 in the math/sciences (depending on placement in math and chemistry) and 15 in the social sciences and humanities.

Included in the 15 social science and humanities courses are HC 630 and HC 633 (these courses count as both undergraduate and graduate credit), a WAC-R course, and a course in statistics. LIM students are not required to complete the full general education curriculum requirements unless they leave the program.

At the graduate level, students take 10 additional graduate courses (total of 12) at Clarkson University’s Capital Region Campus to earn an M.S. degree and an additional 4 graduate courses (total of 16) beyond the MS to earn the M.B.A. degree. As mentioned in the paragraph above, HC 630 and HC 633 count as both undergraduate and graduate credit.

Please refer to the LIM Curriculum Sheet for additional detail

Q. What major field of study may I choose?

A. All LIM students complete an Interdepartmental (ID) major that includes a math or science concentration (Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Math or Physics) and a non-science concentration in either the social sciences or humanities. LIM students have ID majored in Psychology, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Music, Philosophy, Religious Students, Classics, Modern Languages and more.

The academic register outlines the ID requirements by department. Established interdisciplinary science majors such as neuroscience are not options, but you can select courses from these majors as electives or toward a minor.

Q. Are there specific science courses that I must take?

A. LIM students complete a set of core science courses that would be typical in most pre-medical programs: Biology: BIO103/104/205/206/210/Biochemistry; Chemistry: CHM101 & CHM102 (or CHM110H and a math/science elective)/231/232; Physics: PHY110/111.

Math: LIM students need proficiency in Calculus. The program requires MTH 110 (Calculus I) and MTH 112 (Calculus II) unless a student places in an upper level math course. A student may be placed in MTH 113 based on AP test scores and Math department placement test results. The placement test is administered online the summer before the start of freshman year. A student who places in MTH 115 has met the calculus requirement for the LIM Program and has the option of taking a math/science elective in lieu of additional Calculus.

LIM students need a minimum of 16 math/science courses to graduate. The LIM adviser works with each student to draft an individualized schedule based on student placement and preferences. Additional math/science requirements are met by taking electives with a MTH, BIO, BCH, CHM, or PHY prefix provided they are not general education sciences. General Education science courses are numbered 050-099.

Required course work may not be taken on a pass/fail basis and must normally be taken at the home institution.

Please refer to the LIM Curriculum Sheet for additional detail.

Q. Must I do a thesis or senior writing project?

A. Many departments, but not all, require students to complete a senior thesis or other senior writing project. LIM students typically complete their thesis/senior project in their humanities/social science portion of their major. For a student to graduate with honors, they must complete a thesis; honors at graduation is only listed in one field. If a thesis is not required by the non-science ID major, there is no general education senior writing requirement for LIM students.

LIM students don’t do a thesis in their math/science major. Students complete 16 or 17 courses in the math/sciences excluding independent studies, thesis or special projects. Students who wish to do a special project, independent or research course in the math/sciences need the permission of the LIM Director in advance.

Q. What role does AP credit play in choosing courses and requirements?

A. Many of the students enrolled in the Leadership in Medicine Program bring excellent results on Advanced Placement work to Union. Students with scores of 4 or 5 on the AP examinations in biology, chemistry or physics or on either of the AP Calculus exams are encouraged to take more advanced courses at the College. Other AP courses will be considered such as Statistics or a course in your second major. Advanced Placement courses do not reduce the total number of courses required in the LIM Program.

Q. Are there class restrictions or additional course benefits for LIM students?

A. LIM students may take a 4th undergraduate course for free each term excluding summers, but these additional courses cannot count toward early graduation or time off. LIM students must be enrolled as full-time students (a minimum of three courses per trimester combined undergraduate and graduate courses ) for all 4 academic calendar years. LIM students may only elect to take one undergraduate non-science, non-practicum course Pass/Fail over four years and it cannot be a required course or one that is in one of your declared ID major departments. The course must be approved by your advisor and indicated in your course plan.

A student in good standing may audit a course if the instructor gives permission. An audit is not recorded on the student’s permanent record.

LIM students may take science or math courses pass/fail as long as the course is not being taken for LIM Program requirements or for the major and will not prevent timely completion of science and math program requirements of the major. Students must have the approval from the LIM Director prior to registering for a pass/fail science or math course. This policy is only open to LIM seniors. Students will declare a course as pass/fail at the time of registration and may not declare pass/fail after the course has started. Courses declared pass/fail may not later be changed to a graded course.

Consistent with the college's pass/fail policy, the following also applies:

  • A student may take no more than two pass/fail science courses during the senior year.
  • Independent study courses and those taken on a Term Abroad, may not be taken Pass/Fail.
  • A grade of “pass” will be equivalent to the lowest passing grade or better.

Q. Do two or three term practicums count for course credit in the LIM Program?

A. LIM students may not use multi-term practicum experiences for elective credit within the core LIM requirements. The core LIM requirements include 16 or 17 math/science courses and 15 humanities/social science courses.

Generally, Union College counts multi-term practicums for pass/fail course credit. LIM students may participate in practicum experiences that lead to course credit keeping in mind this would be additional coursework beyond the core LIM requirements.

Q. Who will serve as my academic advisor?

  1. Joanne Fitzgerald, Director of the Leadership in Medicine Program, serves as academic advisor. fitzgerj@union.edu

Once a LIM student decides on their academic fields of interest, they complete the declaration of major form from the registrar’s office, which specifies academic advisors in each of the ID majors. The LIM Diredtor is the primary contact for any questions related to program requirements.

Students can schedule appointments directly with Ms Fitzgerald by calling (518) 388-6836, or by emailing fitzgerj@union.edu. The Heath Professions Office is located in Olin 110.

Sabrina Bruno, Program Assistant, serves as the primary contact for questions pertaining to the graduate portion of the program and can be reached at (518) 388-6300 or brunoa@union.edu.

Program GPA and Experience Requirements

Q. What GPA is required to remain in good standing in the Program?

A. Since LIM students are dually enrolled as undergraduates at Union College and graduate students at Clarkson University, they must adhere to specific standards of each participating college. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.50 grade point average overall and in their math/science courses. Graduate school grades are calculated into the overall GPA.

Students may not receive a grade of “C” in two graduate courses and would likely be dismissed if this occurred in undergraduate courses as well. A grade of “D” or “F” in any course leads to dismissal from the program (not from the college).

Required course work may not be taken on a pass/fail basis and must normally be taken at the home institution.

Grades of “I” (Incomplete) or “W” (withdrawal) will not be acceptable without justification involving illness or extenuating circumstances and prior approval by the Dean of Studies.

Q. What happens if your grades fall below the minimum requirement?

A. Each LIM student’s progress is evaluated by the Policy & Promotions (P&P) Committee, which consists of faculty and staff from Union College, Clarkson University, and Albany Medical College and meets twice per year (December/June).

If a student’s cumulative overall or math/science GPA falls below 3.50 for the first time, the committee may place the student on probation and give a particular time frame to rectify the situation; however, the committee may vote for immediate dismissal if the student’s chances for recovery by the next P & P meeting seem unlikely. If the decision is made to dismiss a student from the program, s/he may withdraw before the dismissal is final.

There is no appeal process for students dismissed from the program for failure to meet the published GPA standards. In the event that a change in standing to “probation” or “dismissed” occurs due to a clerical error in the calculation of GPA, the student should request a reconsideration of the dismissal based on erroneous grade information.

Students who leave the program are fully supported in their plans to pursue medical school via the traditional pathway should they choose to do so. Union's Health Professions office works closely with students who wish to pursue careers in clinical medicine.

Q. Are grades the only reason a student may be placed on probation?

A. Leadership in Medicine students are expected to distinguish themselves beyond the classroom through leadership, research, clinical experience, and community outreach and to keep a careful and accurate record of these experiences. Students should complete a minimum of 400 combined experience hours by December of the senior year. Two hundred of the 400 hours must be in a clinical setting. Most students complete more hours than required.

LIM students can be placed on probation or dismissed if they have not sufficiently developed themselves outside of the classroom in both clinical and community settings, or if they are unable to substantiate reported activities. All U.S. medical schools hold these same expectations for all potential candidates for admission.

See Leadership in Medicine Program Policy and Promotions PROBATION, DISMISSAL and APPEAL Guidelines for additional information.

Q. What is the Sophomore Portfolio?

A. The Policy and Promotions Committee assesses a student’s leadership and their personal and professional development through a portfolio that students begin working on when they enter the program their first year. The portfolio documents all extracurricular activities in an on-line format and it is submitted for initial review at the end of spring term of the sophomore year. If a student’s portfolio is considered inadequate and lacking in a particular area (i.e., community service, leadership, clinical experience), the student will be informed of any deficiencies. The student may be asked to submit an addendum to the portfolio for committee review. A student whose professional or ethical preparation is substantially behind may be dismissed from the program.

Students submit a senior portfolio for final promotion to the medical college by completing the AMCAS, the centralized application required by most medical schools.

Q. How do LIM students satisfy the term abroad/international experience requirement?

A. LIM students can fulfill this requirement in several ways:

  1. Travel abroad for an entire trimester (full term abroad)
  2. Do a 3 week mini-term over a school break
  3. Participate in a Klemm Fellowship (non-credit but meets the LIM international experience requirement)
  4. Complete an Independent Study Abroad (ISA) experience
  5. Complete a foreign experience that does not fit into these three categories.

Students interested in completing an ISA or non-Union experience must have the plans pre-approved first by the LIM Director then by the International Programs Office at least 1 year in advance of departure. Mini-terms carry additional tuition costs in addition to airfare. Visit Union’s International Programs Office for additional information.


Q. How are LIM tuition payments scheduled?

A. LIM students pursuing the B.S./M.S. degree must complete a minimum of 31 undergraduate courses and 10 additional graduate courses at Clarkson University’s Capital Region Campus, for a total of 41 courses. Because LIM students will complete these courses at their own pace over the four years, the college has instituted standardized billing for this cohort.

Students will be billed thirteen times by Union College, totaling twelve Comprehensive Fees. During the first three years, students are billed the Comprehensive Fee for Fall, Winter and Spring. In the final year, the Comprehensive Fee is billed as usual for Fall and Winter, but the third Comprehensive Fee for that year is split between Summer (Tuition only) and Spring (Room and Board only). This eases fee payment concerns for students who may be pursuing the MBA degree and will be billed directly by Clarkson for those courses in the Spring Term of the fourth year.

LIM students who pursue the MBA take four additional Clarkson classes beyond the required M.S. courses. While the costs of the M.S. courses are included in the twelve Comprehensive Fees charged by Union, tuition for the additional four MBA courses are charged to the student directly by Clarkson in the Spring term of senior year.

Click to Download the Schedule of LIM Tuition Payments

Q. What is tuition for the graduate degree?

A. There is no tuition due for the MS degree as Union College LIM undergraduate tuition includes the cost of 12 MS courses. That means the MS in Healthcare Management students pay no extra tuition for their master’s degree.

For the 16-course MBA in Healthcare Management program, LIM students pay Clarkson directly for four additional classes in Spring term of senior year. LIM MBA students are charged a flat rate equaling the cost of four courses. Please contact a Clarkson Graduate Student Service Representative at sasgrad@clarkson.edu for the current tuition or additional information.

The Graduate Degree

Q. How do I decide between the MS and the MBA?

A. All LIM students enroll in the MS program as freshman. Students who wish to change their program to the MBA need to take the following steps:

  • Complete a “change of program” form to Clarkson University by the end of sophomore year, and
  • Submit a “Declaration of Major” form to the Union College Registrar

The decision between MS and MBA is a matter of personal choice. Both degrees form a solid foundation in healthcare management covering topics such as healthcare leadership, healthcare law, organization structure, finance and accounting, group practice management and health economics. The MBA requires four courses beyond the MS including statistics, marketing, informatics and policy. Students pay Clarkson University tuition for the additional four courses.

Q. What is the difference between the MS and the MBA schedules in terms of classes and time?

A. The MBA degree requires four more courses beyond the MS in Healthcare Leadership. MBA students complete 16 graduate courses including all 12 courses required for the MS in Healthcare Leadership. There is no tuition charged for the 12 MS courses however, students pursuing the MBA pay for the additional four courses.

LIM-MBA students fit the additional four courses into their four-year course plans. To complete all requirements, students will take additional “4 course terms” and will likely take courses online over the summer.

Begining with the 2024-25 academic year, most graduate courses will only be offered in an online format. Four graduate courses will continue to be delivered in person; HC 630, HC 633, HC 637 and HC 681.

Sabrina Bruno is the LIM student contact for graduate course registration and other questions related to the graduate program.

Sabrina Bruno, Program Assistant

110A Olin Building, Union College

(518) 388-6300