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An Overview of The Best Post-Bacc Pre-Med Programs

After completing an undergraduate degree, many people seeking medical careers move toward post-baccalaureate pre-medical programs. These programs can help enhance admission competitiveness in med school, offer career-path resources, and much more. It's easy to get lost in the benefits of post-bacc programs, but considering their unique requirements, students are advised to choose wisely. 

This article will provide an overview of the best post-bacc pre-med programs to help offer some guidance.

The Role of Post-Bacc Pre-med Programs in Medical Education

Post-baccalaureate programs provide opportunities for individuals to enhance their academic qualifications, prepare for career changes or advancements, gain research experience, and improve their prospects for graduate or professional school. Post-baccalaureate programs can also serve as a bridge into the medical field for people who don’t have a pre-med academic background. Regardless of what a program might offer, reviewing all of the fine print is an essential part of the process.

Criteria for Evaluating Post-Bacc Pre-med Programs

Between personal, academic, and unique career goals, each applicant has much to consider when searching for a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program. What matters to each student is bound to vary, but it's essential the program that's chosen aligns with your medical school goals.

Here are a few essential details regarding these programs:

  • Check for curriculum and prerequisite medical science courses

  • Determine whether the program includes any potential linkage agreements

  • Make sure to confirm the length of your preferred program

  • Review success stories and utilize support services and industry resources

To help summarize the search, we've compiled a few details from some of the most prominent post-bacc pre-med programs in modern education. These offer a range of benefits and services, with unique incentives like numerous linkages, flexible admission requirements, and more.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), there are 213 postbaccalaureate (commonly referred to as postbac or postbacc) premed (pre med) programs available to students in the US.

Who might be interested in a postbac premed program?

  • Anyone interested in transitioning to a medical career with a non-medical bachelor’s degree. Simply put individuals who do not have the undergraduate science prerequisites for medical school.

  • Students who meet the med school prerequisites but are hoping to enhance their existing academic record (boost an uncompetitive GPA) and increase their likeliness of being admitted.

Pre med post bacc programs vary in length, but most are completed between 8 and 24 months.

When conducting your research, it’s common to find varying opinions from other applicants about what programs offer. To help jump-start your research, we have curated several of the top-ranked post-bacc pre-med programs. The programs we've included in the list below have historically been shown to effectively guide students to medical school year after year.

1. Postbacc Pre-med Program at Columbia University

Created to enable applicants to handle their academic prerequisites for medical school, the Postbac Pre-Med Program at Columbia University is a top option. This includes students interested in dental school, veterinary schools, and even allied health graduate programs. The curriculum includes detailed chemistry, biology, physics, psychology, and more coursework.1 

Here's a look at the admissions requirements for Columbia University's Postbacc Pre-Med Program.

  • Submit an online application

  • Provide high school transcripts, secondary school records, or GED/TASC test results

  • Transcripts from all previous universities

  • Test scores from all standardized tests, including the MCAT

  • A double-spaced essay of 500 words

  • Two recommendation letters from professional or academic sources

  • Payment of the application fee of $802

Another unique benefit includes an 18-month accelerated pre-medical program.3 Columbia University's reputation speaks for itself, but don’t hesitate to contact them if you have specific questions. 

Those interested have plenty of time to apply, as Columbia University has summer, fall, and spring admission schedules. It should be noted that admission decisions happen on a rolling basis. Due to this, it can take roughly six to eight weeks for your application to be reviewed.4

2. The Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medicine Program - George Washington University

With roughly two decades of serving those working toward health professions, George Washington University offers a great program that prepares students for entry into med school or other ongoing education programs. From pre-med, pre-dental, or pre-PA track, applicants are awarded their Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in pre-med after accumulating 37 credit hours.5

The university also provides access to MCAT and GRE prep courses. During the usual coursework, test prep materials are common. These include live online training, practice questions, and tests.

The list below offers a glimpse into the university’s curriculum:

  • General Chemistry I and II

  • Physics I and II

  • Anatomy and Physiology I and II

  • Organic Chemistry I and II

  • Biochemistry

  • Biology I and II

  • Current Topics in Healthcare I and II

  • MCAT or DAT Prep

  • GRE Prep

  • Microbiology or Biostatistics

George Washington University offers a comprehensive take on a post bacc pre med program. Aside from the coursework, the university needs to see several admission prerequisites before an applicant is considered eligible.

The admissions requirements include:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0

  • Possess an undergraduate bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. or Canadian university

  • Students who have completed over 50% of the program’s courses during their undergraduate schooling aren’t eligible to apply to the program

  • An official transcript from every university attended

  • Standardized test scores are required, and if they aren’t available, then GRE scores are acceptable

  • Two letters of recommendation from academic instructors, healthcare professionals, and close family and friends6

Thankfully, George Washington University's program is relatively quick and straightforward. On its website, you can easily find immediate contacts to request more information, and it provides ample guidance on navigating its requirements and those of medical schools.

The success rates include 91% of graduates being accepted into medical schools and 100% into PA schools. The program at this school takes roughly 11 months to complete. 

George Washington University has a good reputation for its competitive entry through course work, and further demonstrated in its applicants' ongoing successful entry into med school or PA school.7

3. Johns Hopkins Post-Baccalaureate Pre-medical Program - Johns Hopkins University

A world-class academic brand known for graduating some of the world's most talented people in health professions, the Johns Hopkins post-bacc program is stellar. With a primary focus on recent college graduates and career changers, this program is excellent for applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Preparation for the MCAT exam goes without saying, with full-time study being a requirement for at least one academic year. Most accepted applicants complete the post-bacc pre-medical program anywhere from nine to 14 months.

Day classes at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences encourage a mix of personal and academic attention. Expert faculty teach these classes. 

Some of the coursework students can expect include:

  • Biology 1 & 2

  • General Chemistry 1 & 2

  • Organic Chemistry 1

  • Biochemistry

  • Physics 1 & 2

  • Intro to Clinical Medicine

  • MCAT Prep

  • Medical Tutorials8

Those accepted to the program can start in either Summer Term 1, Summer Term 2, or the Fall Term. Johns Hopkins University even lets accepted applicants pick the most comfortable start date based on personal goals and needs.

The admission process is a tad more involved than some other programs. The list below highlights the most important details regarding the application process.

Students should consider the following points before applying:

  • The review deadline for Summer and Fall 2024 applications was March 1st, 2024

  • Applications are reviewed in the order they’re completed

  • The entire review process takes two to four weeks

  • Transcripts required from all high schools, colleges, and graduate schools attended

  • SAT or ACT score report

  • An application fee of $60

  • Provide a resume and two letters of recommendation9

The program at Johns Hopkins has quite a few other nuances, so make sure to read it in detail before you start filling out forms. Johns Hopkins also includes a career advising course if you're looking for assistance. 

This comes with 25-30 class sessions that delve into the deeper motivations behind a pursuit in medical school. Look into their one-on-one advising, free academic support resources, and the surrounding community of faculty and applicants.10

4. Postbaccalaureate Program - UC Davis

The UC Davis post-bacc program is concise and effective. It focuses on students who are socioeconomically or educationally disadvantaged. The program lasts a year, including angles such as MCAT prep and upper-division biological science. It also provides support for the medical school application process.

Some of the eligibility requirements include:

  • Be a resident of California

  • Be considered socio-economically or educationally disadvantaged

  • Have completed an undergraduate degree

  • Have completed prerequisite coursework for medical school

  • Carry an undergraduate and science GPA of at least 2.7

Moreover, the post-bacc program at UV Davis has impressive stats: 85% of students matriculate into medical school, and 95% end up in the physician workforce. Since 1998, UC Davis post-bacc students have been accepted into 320 medical schools throughout the U.S.11

5. Postbaccalaureate Prehealth Studies - New York University

Specifically built for students seeking a career change, the post-bacc program at NYU delivers comprehensive prehealth studies. It’s important to highlight that this isn’t a record enhancement program and isn’t created to guide students toward a better GPA.

The postbaccalaureate prehealth studies program at NYU includes prerequisite coursework for programs focusing on health professions. Requirements for completing the program include finishing a minimum of five of the following courses:

  • Algebra and Calculus I

  • General Chemistry I & II

  • Organic Chemistry I & II

  • Biochemistry I

  • Principles of Biology I & II

  • Physics I & II

Optional: Other introductory, interdisciplinary courses are offered in psychology, sociology, and behavioral sciences.

Students are encouraged to explore the admission criteria as it’s relatively thorough. However, in summary, students will need at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and a bachelor’s degree to be eligible.12

6. Post-Bacc Pre-Medicine Certificate Program - Northwestern University

Offering something unique among others, Northwestern University offers a comprehensive and flexible post-bacc pre med program. The education in this program focuses on core scientific foundation principles, and the curriculum is diverse.

Students can expect to encounter the following courses:

  • Molecular Biology

  • Cell Biology

  • Genetics and Evolution

  • Cellular and Molecular Processes

  • Biochemistry

  • Human Physiology

  • Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry

  • Fundamentals of Chemistry I and II

  • Organic Chemistry I and II

  • Foundations of Human Movement

  • Physics I, II, and III

  • Interprofessional Health Practice

  • Professional Health Careers Seminar I and II

Overall, this covers the essentials for students searching for careers in medical, dental, and even veterinary school applications. Northwestern gives students the option of completing the program within a 15 or 21-month timeframe.13

The whole curriculum is structured to support those looking for a career change in the medical field. Students will not only have what they need to prepare for medical school applications, but alternative programs are available for more customized solutions. Depending on their specific needs, these can range from more advanced studies to partial coursework.

7. Post Baccalaureate Program - UCSF School of Medicine

This post-bacc program can help students enhance their academic records or prepare for medical school applications. The University of California, San Francisco, offers an 11-month program that begins every June.

Here are a few of their most notable benefits:

  • Extensive review of MCAT

  • Science courses through the UC Berkley Extension

  • Assistance with medical school applications

  • Workshops centered around numerous academic skills

  • Mentorship opportunities

93% of the program’s alumni have matriculated into various medical schools across the U.S.14The deadline for first-time applicants is March 27th, 2024, and the university will send out notifications to applicants by email on June 1st of this year.

8. Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Pre-Medical Studies - Boston University

A joint effort between Boston University’s MET College and College of Arts & Sciences, this post-bacc program caters to career changers. It’s also ideal for students with minimal science coursework and requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.3 to be eligible.15

A few important details about the program include:

  • It usually takes a little more than 24 months to complete

  • Course selection can be tailored to the student's individual needs

  • On-campus advisors

  • Day and night courses are available

Students will dive into plenty of educational material surrounding health science on top of the career guidance they need to move forward. The application deadlines for this post-bacc program are June 1st for September admissions and October 1st for January admissions.

9. Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program - Scripps College

Scripps College, which includes a comprehensive 12-month program, focuses on delivering prerequisite basic science courses. Students will follow coursework that will help prepare them for medical school admission while working within small, collaborative environments.

The college also has six linkage agreements that students can pursue for a smoother transition. Post-bacc students from Scripps College boast a 98% acceptance rate, stemming from months of advisory support and extensive coursework.16

Here’s a glance at what the material will look like:

  • Chemistry

  • Introductory biology

  • Vertebrate physiology

  • Physics

  • MCAT prep

Scripps College aims to effectively and efficiently prepare students for med school. Better yet, students can access one-on-one tutoring support and direct faculty support regarding their education and career trajectory.

Other Premedical Post Baccalaureate Programs

Program Name

Type of Institution


UC Davis School of Medicine
Postbaccalaureate Program

Public Institution


UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine



UC Irvine School of Medicine
Postbaccalaureate Program



Chapman University
Post Baccalaurate Program



UC San Diego
Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program



University of Colorado Boulder
Post Baccalaureate Health Professions Program for Career Changers



University of Florida
Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate Program (PHPB)



Agnes Scott College
Post-Bacc Pre-Medical Program



Dominican University BMS
Post Bacc Pre Medical Studies



University of Kansas School of Medicine
Post Baccalaurate Program



University of Louisville
Postbaccalaureate Pre-medical Program



Harvard University Division of Continuing Education
Premedical Program



MGH Institute of Health Professions
Prerequisites for the Health Care Professions



University of Maryland
Science in the Evening



University of Michigan Medical School



Northwestern Health Sciences University
Postbaccalaureate Prehealth



Avila University
Postbaccalaureate Program



Guilford College
Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health Program



University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Premedical Program



Drew University
Pre-Medical Preparation Program



Rutgers University New Brunswick
Postbaccalaureate Prehealth Program



Rider University
Post-baccalaureate premedical studies



William Paterson University of NJ
Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program



Fordham University
Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Program



Purchase College SUNY
Premedical Studies



Stony Brook University
Post-baccalaureate Pre-Health Program



The City College of New York
Premedical Studies



Manhattanville College
Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health Professions (PBPH)



The Ohio State University
MEDPATH Post Baccalareate Program



Cleveland State University
Post-Baccalaureate Program - Individualized Option



University of Oregon
Postbac Premed Program



Penn State University
Postbaccalaureate Undergraduate Program



West Chester University
Pre-Medical Program



Temple University School of Medicine
Post Baccalaureate PreMedical Program



Online and In-Person Options

Another factor in this topic is the rise in online education. While in-person coursework is still very much needed in medical education, some people prefer to pursue their education online.

Most people agree that a blended approach is best here. This flexibility can be seen in institutions like Drexel University College, which uses a hybrid program approach.

Financial Considerations

Most people need some kind of financial aid to pay for medical school. Thankfully, finding financial aid resources for post-bac programs is pretty easy. Although each school's financial aid details will differ, scholarships are common, and loans and grants may also be options. 

Preparing to Apply

Once you're ready to start filling out applications, it's important not to rush any of the details and focus on what's most important. Rushing can cause students a lot of anxiety, which is why we've put together a brief list of the most important factors.

Applications should include the following points:

  • A personal statement that lays out catalysts for pursuing medicine

  • You should have two recommendation letters, each one coming from a blend of professional, academic, and personal sources

  • Keep a close eye on your GPA and ensure all GPA scores remain above the minimum requirements

  • Consider exploring academic support to support your application with a healthier track record

Even if you spend hours doing your own research, taking advantage of academic advising and pre-health program resources can help expedite things. Moreover, these resources can help to strengthen your application.

Final thoughts

It's clear that there are numerous post-bacc pre-medical programs to choose from. Choosing what's best for you is vital for the sake of your preparation for medical school down the road. Above all else, students should feel compelled to select a program that aligns with their personal and professional school interests.

If you are interested in a degree-granting alternative to a post-bachelor pre-med program, students with a background in science may want to consider a Master of Science in a Biology-related field, such as a Master’s in Biology or a Master’s in Biomedical Science.