What’s a post-baccalaureate (post-bac.) program and is it right for me?
Post-baccalaureate programs are designed for students wishing to enroll in medical or dental school. Two general types of programs exist: those for students who are changing careers and need preparatory science classes, and those for students who need to enhance their GPA and gain extra science expertise. Some students may choose to not apply to a specific post-baccalaureate program, but instead continue to take science coursework as a non-degree seeking student after their degree, for the same purposes as a post-bac. program.
It is a huge decision for a student to apply to a post-bac program, thus it is important to carefully gather information and consider many factors before making a decision. Be sure to carefully research programs and discuss your options with your pre-medical or pre-dental advisor before making a decision.
Factors to closely examine when considering a post-baccalaureate program:
- Qualifications and Requirements
- Financial Implications
- Length of program/timeline towards ultimate goal
- Overall gain from the program
- Overall risk involved
What’s It Like to…Do a Post Baccalaureate Program: https://students-residents.aamc.org/content/article/what-like-postbaccalaureate-program/
How Do I…Decide if a Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program is Right for Me?: https://students-residents.aamc.org/content/article/considering-postbaccalaureate-premedical-program/
Post Baccalaureate Premedical Programs: https://apps.aamc.org/postbac/#/index
Dental Post Baccalaureate Programs: http://www.adea.org/GoDental/Application_Prep/Preparing_for_Dental_School/Postbaccalaureate_Programs.aspx
Boston College Post-Baccalaureate Information: http://www.bc.edu/schools/cas/premed/academic/postbac.html
University of Michigan, Career Center Post Baccalaureate resource: http://careercenter.umich.edu/article/med/postbacc-programs
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine MEDPREP: http://www.siumed.edu/medprep/
Other Graduate Programs
Some students consider earning a master’s degree in a related field or interest prior to reapplying to their goal of a professional program. Some examples of this may be master level programs in Public Health or within their major academic discipline such as Human Physiology or Biology.
It is important for students to research any graduate program closely. Many of the factors listed above when considering a post-baccalaureate program may be applicable when students are learning about other graduate programs. While earning a master’s degree prior to applying to professional school may make sense for a student’s interests and progression towards their ultimate goal, it may not be wise if only used as a stepping stone to professional school.
careerBUZZ: Is Graduate School For You?, Pomerantz Career Center: http://careers.uiowa.edu/careerbuzz/201410/careerbuzz-graduate-school-you
Graduate and Professional School Information, University of Iowa: https://careers.uiowa.edu/students/plan-graduate-and-professional-school