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Advising & Curriculum

SIE advising supports students to begin preparation for a new career, helping students find their way. SIE advising assists with course load and course selection, preparation for MCAT, DAT, and other professional and graduate school entrance exams, the application process for professional and graduate schools, and other academic issues.

  • Dr. Joelle C. Presson serves as the SIE Academic Director. Dr. Presson oversees academics, advising, select and review instructors, and ensures the program’s overall quality.
  • Elaine Shaw-Taylor, SIE Coordinator, assists Dr. Presson with all program aspects. If you need to be in touch with the SIE office, make sure that you also include Ms. Shaw-Taylor on any email using

SIE is a non-degree, post-baccalaureate program that provides an excellent science education in preparation for medical school, dental school, veterinary school, biotechnology/biosciences graduate programs, or professional advancement. Offering a well-rounded curriculum in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, and physics, SIE is structured to meet individual students’ needs. As a non-degree program, students enroll for courses that fulfill their intended career path and are not obligated to take every recommended course. The program not only offers individual advising but also access to the services of UMD’s Reed-Yorke Health Professional Advising Office which presents workshops and other services in support of the application cycle to medical and professional schools.

  • Please note: Information on how to apply, tuition and fees, and more may be found in the grey box at the top of this page.


  • Offered in the evening, SIE course sections are smaller than daytime sections with lecture sessions generally having 20-40 enrolled students.
  • Small discussion and state-of-the-art lab sections ensure interactive instruction.
  • SIE offers courses for a broad audience and registration is not restricted to a particular course sequence. Students must, however, meet all course pre- and co-requisites.
  • Credits and grades earned post to the University of Maryland transcript.


  • Courses are scheduled for weekday evenings, Mondays through Thursdays, within the following time frames:
    • Biochemistry: 6:30-9:30 p.m.
    • Biological Sciences: 6:00-9:00 p.m.
    • Chemistry: 6:30-10:30 p.m.
    • Physics: 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
  • Course sections follow the same curriculum, have the same academic rigor, and follow the same academic policies as the University’s degree-seeking undergraduate program. The content for these UMD-approved courses—lectures, discussions, and labs—are identical to those sections offered to degree-seeking UMD students.
  • SIE Course sections are restricted to admitted SIE students.

The program features traditional seminar-style, in-person learning. Instruction is provided by UMD faculty and professionals in the field.

  • Classes are held in UMD College Park campus classrooms, offering a focused, distraction-free learning environment.
  • The program uses the semester academic calendar with classes held in the fall and spring semester (16 weeks each).
  • Instructors present dynamic and interactive instruction. 
  • Instructors are carefully screened and regularly evaluated to maintain quality. All course lecturers have an earned doctoral degree in the discipline they teach, have a history with the Biology, Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, and the Chemistry and Biochemistry Departments, and are approved by those departments to teach. The laboratory teaching assistants are predominantly UMD graduate students, with experience teaching these same courses in the traditional day program.
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