Campus & Community

The Stevens Summer Adds Pre-Med Program to Pre-College Offerings

Medicine is one of the most secure, lucrative, rewarding and highly-respected professions, and Stevens has a tremendous legacy of preparing undergraduate students with the strong foundation in science and technology to become successful medical professionals.

Beginning this summer, Stevens is offering future physicians, biomedical engineers and healthcare managers the opportunity to jumpstart their careers as just juniors in high school. The university is now accepting applications to the brand-new Pre-Med Science and Engineering offering within its renowned series of pre-college summer programs, The Stevens Summer.

The Stevens Summer is a unique residential pre-college experience that exposes talented high school students from all over the world to a range of potential majors and disciplines, gives access to Stevens’ distinguished faculty members and state-of-the-art research facilities, and provides an early taste of college life.

With programs in Engineering and Science (ECOES), Business, Computer Science and Multimedia, students learn first-hand what it is like to work within these fields by attending lectures, conducting hands-on experiments, participating in corporate site visits, and interacting with industry professionals, including many Stevens alumni.

“The Stevens Summer helps high school students make a very informed decision about a particular area they may be interested in pursuing as an undergraduate student,” said Frank Fisher, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering.

The new Pre-Med program, which will be introduced for the first time in the summer of 2013, is catered to high school students who are thinking about pursuing a career in medicine. In the small, collaborative program led by Stevens science and engineering faculty members, doctoral researchers and student counselors, high school participants will explore traditional medical disciplines through engaging lectures and a hands-on medical research project.

The Pre-Med program will include one session that focuses specifically on Pre-Med Science, another dedicated to Pre-Med Engineering, and one dual session.

The Pre-Med Science track will provide an inside look at Stevens’ science curriculum including lectures and laboratory experiences that touch on cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, immunology and analytical chemistry. Students will work on advanced and challenging projects involving DNA analysis, isolation of proteins, gene transfer, and much more.

“A scientific research background is the most popular preparation to gain access to medical school and to become a physician,” said Philip Leopold, director of the Department of Chemistry, Chemical Biology, & Biomedical Engineering at Stevens.

As more and more medical schools welcome engineering students into their classrooms, the Pre-Med Engineering track will expose students to concept of “evidence-based medicine.” The track will introduce the key elements of biomedical engineering – the discipline at the interface of human physiology and traditional engineering – and include modules on advanced topics like neural control of prosthetics, spinal mechanics and robotic surgery.

“Evidence-based medicine recognizes that the science behind medicine has advanced to the point that medical interventions should now be a matter of engineering,” said Leopold. “In increasing numbers, students are choosing training in engineering as an approach to a career in medicine.”

Like the other Stevens Summer programs, academics are only one aspect of the Pre-Med program. Students will also tour Stevens’ cutting-edge scientific laboratories. They’ll visit local biotech firms, biomedical device companies and hospitals to view recent advances in medical engineering and meet healthcare professionals who are advancing medical science. They’ll attend college preparatory workshops, which will prepare them for the admissions process. For fun, they’ll explore Stevens’ beautiful campus on the Hudson River, partake in many social activities like dodgeball tournaments and movie nights, and experience the excitement of dormitory life alongside their peers.

Past participants of the Stevens Summer include many Stevens alumni, as well as relatives of Stevens alumni, who rave about their experiences and memories of the program.

“The ECOES program allowed me to explore many different facets of engineering,” said Rachel Gianforte, whose alumnus father Greg Gianforte ‘83 recently donated $10 million to Stevens for a new academic complex. “The professors were able to communicate complex ideas in simple language and then demonstrate those same ideas using fun, hands-on activities. I also made some good friends who I have kept in touch with. Now I am confident I want to pursue engineering and am more sure of which specific areas I might study because of my experience at ECOES.”

“The ECOES summer program is what drew me to Stevens and a career in engineering, and it has helped me immensely in both my education and career,” added Sara Puleio ’09, who today – as a professional electrical and software engineer – maintains involvement in the Stevens Summer as a robotics instructor.

Many current Stevens students also attended the Stevens Summer when they were in high school, and many students who recently attended the Stevens Summer have already been accepted into Stevens’ incoming class of 2017.

“What I learned about Stevens and myself has definitely helped me, and the program was very valuable in helping me narrow down my college plans,” said Stephen Rienzi, who will be joining Stevens as a freshman Information Systems major in the fall after attending two Stevens summer programs in 2011 and 2012.

“ECOES was a tremendous experience where I made new friends, explored new fields of engineering and had great exposure to a real working environment,” added Armando Vazquez, an ECOES 2012 participant who will join as a Business major this fall.

Learn more about all of the programs of the Stevens Summer, including the new Pre-Med program, at The final application deadline is May 15, 2013.