Villanova University has partnered with area universities to offer combined bachelors and graduate degree in the health sciences.

For prospective students who feel an early certainty about their professional direction, Villanova offers the opportunity to simultaneously apply for Villanova admission and a graduate degree program at University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University or Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Students in these programs spend three years at Villanova and four years at the affiliate graduate program—earning a Bachelor’s degree from Villanova and a professional degree from the affiliate institution.


Villanova offers students the opportunity to complete both a bachelor’s degree and the Doctor of Dental Medicine degree with the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine or the Doctor of Optometry degree with the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University—both are seven-year programs.

Students spend their first three years on Villanova's campus where they will major in either Biology, Biochemistry or Comprehensive Science. Students will complete all the liberal arts and most (or all) of the science requirements in their major at Villanova. Courses taken during their first year at the University of Pennsylvania or Salus University, will be transferred to Villanova to meet graduation requirements for the bachelor's degree.

Application Criteria

  • Both Health Affiliation Programs remain test-optional for the 2023-2024 application cycle.

Dental Program

  • Career exposure in dentistry. Candidates should have spent some time shadowing or volunteering with a dentist. Number of hours is less critical than the ability to articulate learning from the experience, and how it has informed the candidate’s career decision.

Students in the program must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences core requirements, the major requirements and the prerequisites for the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. The Health Professions Advising staff will work closely with students to ensure all requirements are met.

Dental Program

Students are expected to maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA during their time at Villanova must be prepared to take the Dental Admission Test at the end of their sophomore year at Villanova—achieving scores of 20 or higher on each section.

Optometry Program

Students are expected to maintain a 3.2 cumulative GPA during their time at Villanova must be prepared to take the Optometry Admission Test at the end of their sophomore year at Villanova—achieving scores of 300 or higher on each section.

Failure to meet these minimum requirements may result in release from the program.

• This program is ONLY open to first-year applications to Villanova. 

• Applicants must apply Early Action by November 1 as this specialty program requires a multi-step admission process. On the Common Application, the applicant will indicate “Health Affiliation Program – Dental/Optometry” and then one of the following academic programs: Biology, Biochemistry, or Comprehensive Sciences.

• The application would first be reviewed for the Villanova academic program of choice. Once Early Action admission decisions are posted in mid-January, the Villanova University Office of Undergraduate Admission will contact those applicants who have been admitted inviting them to complete the Health Affiliation supplemental application.

• Any applicant whose application has been deferred to Regular Decision or denied will not move along in the Health Affiliation admission process. Deferred applicants will be considered for Villanova admission within their academic program of choice but will no longer be considered for the Health Affiliation Program.

• The Villanova University Office of Undergraduate Admission will then forward the supplemental applications to our University of Pennsylvania/Salus University colleagues for final review.

• Villanova will then issue the final Health Affiliation Program decision notification in late March.

When completing the Common Application, the Health Affiliation Programs can be found under the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Please choose an alternate major in the event you are not selected as a final candidate for the Health Affiliation Program.

Applicants who meet the criteria will be asked to submit a supplementary application to the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine or Salus University—requested after receipt of the Villanova application.

Dental Program

The University of Pennsylvania Admissions Committee will review all applications and make a decision around March 20. No interview is required. Strong preference will be given to those candidates who demonstrate proficiency in the following areas: community service, extracurricular activities, pre-dental experience and superior academic preparation.

Optometry Program

The Salus University Admissions Committee will evaluate all applications and make a decision by approximately March 1. No interview is required. Applicants will be notified shortly thereafter.

Students who are not selected for one of these programs will be notified by Villanova in mid-January and will be evaluated for admission to the major listed on their application through the regular admission process.


For questions about the application process, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission, at 610-519-4000, or email For questions about the undergraduate experience in the program, contact the Health Professions Advising Office at 610-519-4833, or email



The joint affiliation agreement between institutions permits Villanova to identify up to three candidates that the Villanova HPA Office can recommend to The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) for admission to the entering medical school class and who PCOM will pre-determine as acceptable based upon defined qualifications and metrics which Villanova has deemed the candidates have met. To qualify for consideration the following criteria must be met (and verified by the Villanova HPA Office: 

  • Must successfully complete all pre-requisite coursework for admission to PCOM (majority of the required coursework should be completed at Villanova); 

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (Green card holder); 

  • Must earn a minimum 3.25 overall and technical (BCP) GPA by the time of application (no grade in pre-requisite courses lower than a “C”; a “C-” is lower than a “C”); 

  • Must earn a composite score of 504 on the MCAT exam with subsection scores of 126 or better and have taken the MCAT exam no later than fall of senior year (September at the latest); 

NOTE that candidates put forward by Villanova to PCOM must be applicants to PCOM through AACOMAS. They must designate PCOM as a program to which they are applying. PCOM will invite selected candidates for an interview. Those who have a successful interview have then met the affiliation agreement standards and will be admitted to the medical school


Applications for this program are limited to Villanova sophomores. Transfer students are not eligible because all prerequisite coursework must be done at Villanova. However, students can still apply to PCOM during the regular application process—after completing premedical coursework and the MCAT. The HPA Office can provide support to students navigating this process, and PCOM hosts information sessions on their campus. Watch for announcements through HPA Blackboard and through the pre-health student clubs!

Office for Undergraduate Students, SAC 107