Post-baccalaureate pre-medical programs are designed for individuals who have already earned a bachelor’s degree, but need additional preparation before applying to medical school.
For students who have taken few, if any, science courses. These programs range from formal and selective to unstructured and open.
For students who have completed the pre-medical prerequisites, but have a low science GPA. These programs are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Post bacc programs are offered on the undergraduate and graduate levels. Completing additional undergraduate coursework is the only way to boost your undergraduate GPA and BCPM, so if your undergraduate GPA is below the minimum requirements for your program of interest, this might be a good way to go. If you did not take the pre-requisites for your program of interest during your bachelor's program and are looking for a career changer post bacc, undergraduate will be the best fit. If your undergraduate GPA is above the minimum but you are still looking for a record enhancement program, a graduate program, like a special master's program might be a better fit. Discuss this with your pre-health advisor to see what might be best for you.
Program Factors to Consider
While some of this information may be readily available on the program websites, other questions may require you to reach out to directly to an admissions representative.
Do you meet the academic requirements for the program? Many post bacc programs often have a minimum GPA requirement and prerequisite courses. Some pre-medical programs may even require you to take the MCAT before applying. Others, like career changer programs may not accept you if you have taken too many of the science prerequisites.
How much is tuition? Is financial aid available? Many post bacc programs (especially the certificates) are not eligible for Federal Student Aid since they do not lead to a degree, however, many programs offer scholarships and financial aid to students. Make sure to research this or ask the admissions department when you are inquiring about the program.
This is where you will be living for one to two years. Where would you like to be? What kind of resources are available in that area? Are there any hospitals or research facilities where you might be able to get experience?
How long would you like to commit to these programs? Many programs can last anywhere from 9 months to 2 years depending on the type of program. Think about how this will impact your timeline for applying to professional school. Will you be applying when you get into the program, or will you wait until you have completed the program?
Class Type and Size
Are the classes only for students in the post-baccalaureate program, or are they combined with other students (undergraduate or graduate) at the university? What is the format (online, in person, hybrid) and teaching style? Are classes during the day or in the evening? What subjects are covered? Are courses at the graduate or undergraduate level?
Access to Extracurricular Opportunities
Does the program incorporate clinical, volunteer and/or research experiences in some way? Are you able to join student organizations to become involved in the community and potentially gain a leadership position?
Linkage Program (if any)
What sort of agreements do they have with linked medical schools? Most often, this information can be found on the admissions site for the post bacc program but you can also reach out to the admissions department to ask.
Will you come away with a degree that can be used in an alternate career path?
Test Prep Support
Is test preparation included in the curriculum/tuition, or will you have to seek third-party support? What kind of preparation is offered and is there a cost associated?
Advising and Academic Support
Does the program provide specialized advising and/or academic tutors? What about workshops and programs for professional school preparation? Does the program offer a committee letter process like GW's HPAC?
Success Rates (if available)
How many of their post-baccalaureate students successfully matriculate to professional school?