We recently received a question regarding Post-Baccalaureate Programs:
What are your thoughts about applying to post-bacc programs? Is it worth while and do medical schools accept marks from post-bacc programs? I have completed my undergraduate degree 2 years ago, and I still need to take one year of physics. I also, do not have references from professors. So, I was thinking of applying to a post-bacc program so that I could apply to medical school.
First off, I wanted to say that this question really hit the spot regarding every pre-med who is wondering about post-bacc programs, so thank you for the question.
For those who don’t know what post-bacc program is, it is basically additional schooling after your undergraduate degree to enhance your GPA. There is also the career changer option if you graduated with a non-science degree and haven’t taken any of the medical school prerequisites.
Once you finish your post-bacc program, your undergraduate GPA and post-bacc GPA will be sent to your medical schools of choice and they will look at your overall GPA. For many, the highest GPA boost in post-bacc programs is a 0.2 point boost. (For ex: if your GPA was a 3.2 pre postbacc, then your usual highest GPA coming out is a 3.4. Please correct me if I’m wrong in the comment box below!) The reason for that is because you have accumulated so many units during your undergraduate years that additional units will not affect your GPA as much as you hope. However, many see post-bacc programs in a different light where it is an opportunity to show medical schools that you can pull off good grades in upper division biology courses. However, post bacc students do not receive grants through the institution so many take out loans to cover the tuition cost.
For those, like the person who asked the question, who have been out of school for a while will have difficulty finding letters of recommendations. In post-bacc programs, not only will you be able to prove to medical schools that you are able to pull off good grades, but also build a relationship with your professors. Post-bacc programs usually have a small student to professor ratio so there is definitely room to connect with professors.
Also, there are not only post-bacc programs out there, many premeds choose the SMP (Science of Master’s Program) or pathway programs.
Many people have never heard of pathway programs. They are post-bacc programs that some schools offer that guarantees matriculation into their medical school if you pass the program and perform at the required level. It’s a one year program where you will take one or two first year medical student courses and other supplementary courses in the biological field (course schedule varies depending on the institution). They will also provide intensive MCAT preparatory courses. It’s a very great alternative for those who have a low 3.0 GPA (most schools require a 3.0 cumulative and science GPA).
There are many great benefits in applying to post-bacc programs. However, the only down side is that the tuition is quite hefty. I’ll link some web pages where you guys can find more information about post-bacc programs. Also, I will link up a pathway program as an example.
Post-Bacc Search: https://services.aamc.org/postbac/
Pathway Program: https://www.drexel.edu/catalog/certificates/dpms.htm
I hope I answered many of your questions; however, if I didn’t answer your question regarding Post-Bacc programs, please feel free to send me an Ask at http://www.mcatforme.com/ask/