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 600 and HC 630 (these courses count as both undergraduate and graduate credit), the LIM Research Seminar (LRS 150), and a course in statistics. LIM students are not required to complete the full general education curriculum, the sophomore research seminar, or Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) 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 600 and HC 630 count as both undergraduate and graduate credit.
Q. What major field of study may I choose?
A. All LIM students complete an Inter Departmental (ID) major that includes a math or science concentration (Biology, 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 biochemistry or 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 who places in MTH 113 (AP Calculus) will take MTH 113 and a math/science elective. A student who places in MTH 115 has met the calculus requirement for the LIM Program and has the option of taking two math/science electives in lieu of additional Calculus.
LIM students in the graduating class of 2021 and beyond with an available math/science elective may apply this to BIO 206 thus reducing the total number of math/science courses from 17 to 16. 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, CHM, or PHY prefix provided they are not general education sciences.
Required course work may not be taken on a pass/fail basis and must normally be taken at the home institution.
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, s/he 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. Student 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.
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 and 1 summer. LIM students may only elect to take one undergraduate 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 a science course pass/fail AFTER all math/science courses required for the LIM Program and major are complete. For example, a student completes all 16 math/science courses by December of senior year may take an upper level biology course pass/fail. Students should consider courses that serve as a foundation for the curriculum at medical school.
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?
- Joanne Fitzgerald, Director of the Leadership in Medicine Program, serves as academic advisor. firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Ms Fitzgerald 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 (winter/spring).
If a student’s cumulative 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 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 500 combined experience hours by December of the senior year. Most students complete more hours than required.
Therefore, LIM students can also 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:
- Travel abroad for an entire trimester (full term abroad)
- Complete the National Health Systems summer program
- Do a 3 week mini-term over a school break (includes the Klemm Fellowship)
- Complete an Independent Study Abroad (ISA) experience
- 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 Ms Fitzgerald 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 make 12 tuition payments to Union over the course of their 4 years on campus. One of those payments is due during a summer term. Which summer depends on if the student participates in NHS (National Health Systems summer term abroad) or not.
- Students who don’t participate in NHS make one of the 12 tuition payments the summer between junior and senior years, when all LIMs are on campus taking three courses. They also pay a room fee that summer, which was $75 a week during summer 2018. There is no summer meal plan.
- Students who participate in NHS make one of the 12 tuition payments the summer that they participate in NHS but do NOT pay tuition the summer between junior and senior years. They will pay a room fee that summer, which was $75 a week during summer 2018. There is no summer meal plan.
All LIM students make their last tuition payment to Union College in the Winter term of their senior year. Union will charge room and board to students who live on campus Spring term 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. In 2018-19, the cost per credit hour was $1174 per credit hour or $3522 per course (approximately $14,000). Please contact a Clarkson Graduate Student Service Representative at email@example.com 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 may take courses online over the summer. LIM students who opt for the MBA usually take 1-2 graduate courses the summer after sophomore year. These may be taken on-line or on campus.
Graduate courses are offered in the evening and meet once a week for 3 1/5 hours. Courses are scheduled at Clarkson University’s Capital Region campus (one block from the Union campus) or on Union’s campus. Students are not allowed to enroll in MBA courses until the end of their sophomore year provided they are in good standing.
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