Why Choose a Post Baccalaureate Pre-Med Program?

A post-baccalaureate premedical program, or “post-bacc” program, is a great option for students who are interested in attending medical school and have taken off a year or two in between their undergraduate programs and professional school. Post-baccalaureate programs are specifically designed to help students transition from undergrad to professional school, as well as increase their chances of admission. Many post-bacc med programs are tailored to address specific student needs, such as a career change or enhancing an academic record.

There are many post-bacc program options to consider, each one with varying structure, course curriculum, cost and time investment.

Course Curriculum – Some programs offer academic credit with no degree (typically used for those students who need to complete prerequisites to apply to med school); others have tracks for Master’s degrees (these tracks are known to be the most challenging).

Structure – Some post-bacc programs are very demanding, requiring a full-time course load and attendance. Others are more flexible, offering night classes or weekend courses to accommodate for varying schedules.

Cost – The amount of money each program costs greatly varies, starting anywhere just under $20,000 to more than $40,000. Generally, state schools will be less expensive but funding can be available through loans and financial aid.

Time – The length of a post-bacc program can vary widely, starting from several weeks all the way to two years. Depending on where you are in your professional career, a shorter (or longer) program may suit your needs.

Post-bacc programs come in all shapes and sizes. Some programs include shadowing medical professionals, preparing for the MCAT, or working abroad in underserved countries.

Besides completing prerequisites, post-bacc programs offer a whole host of benefits. Here are just a few:

  • 1. Plenty of volunteer opportunities : Many medical degree programs often require volunteer hours or have some sort of community service component included in their curriculum. It’s a great opportunity to get involved in your local organizations or support a cause you’re passionate about.
  • 2. Be surrounded by knowledgeable advisors : Having trusted advisors that you can rely on is always helpful. And once you’re in a post-bacc program, those advisors become even more important as they’re.
  • 3. Med-school affiliates : Lots of post-bacc pre med programs are often connected to medical schools in some way. Being close to one of these medical schools gives you the advantage of being familiar with the school, mission, staff and campus before you even start the application process.
  • 4. A large network : Many post-bacc med programs often ask well-known speakers or members in the field to come to campus. Being exposed to these professionals gives you the chance to learn from them first-hand, and help you plan for your future.
  • 5. Accelerated programs : Plenty of students attend post-bacc programs because they didn’t complete the courses they needed to apply to med school in undergrad. Accelerated programs give them the chance to complete these necessary courses in less time.
  • 6. Prep for the MCAT : Many post-bacc programs offer MCAT prep courses to help you study for your first exam, or improve your current one.
  • 7. Flexible schedules for all students : Post-bacc programs host all kinds of students. Some are just out of undergrad; many are working or need the flexibility of night or weekend courses to take care of their families. Many programs offer one or two-year options so that you can learn at your own pace, on your own time.

Understanding your own professional goals will help you decide which post-bacc program is right for you. Whatever medical degree program you choose, know that your program is an excellent choice that will benefit your professional career.