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6 Common Ways A Pre-Med Post-Bacc Can Help Me Get Into Medical School


“Is a pre-med post-bacc worth it?”

“Will this actually help me get into medical school?”

These are questions you may be asking yourself as you prepare to apply to post-bacc programs. And it’s understandable, as only 15% of medical school matriculants indicated that they had completed a post-bacc program in 2019.i Completing a post-bacc is not the usual path to medical school. But it is a viable one. Post-bacc programs offer students specialist academic preparation and career support systems that are totally focused on medical school admission as the goal. While no two post-bacc programs are exactly alike, here are six of the most common ways they can help you get into medical school.

GPA/MCAT Improvement

Many post-bacc programs offer aspiring medical students the opportunity to strengthen their academic records and prepare for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT®). Not every undergraduate career runs smoothly—maybe you struggled to adjust your study habits during your freshman year and had a low GPA as a result, or had to take a semester off due to a personal issue and couldn’t focus on MCAT prep. Maybe you just really, really struggled with O-chem (it happens).

Whatever the issue, “record-enhancer” post-bacc programs can help you boost those numbers. And it’s not just about re-taking classes you took before—it’s about learning smarter study and test-preparation strategies that will better equip you to handle what’s waiting for you in a medical school program.

Prerequisite Completion

One of our featured student stories is from Leo, a medical student at the University of Iowa who earned an undergrad degree in history before entering the Georgetown University post-bacc program. He entered his post-bacc because he didn’t have the science classes necessary to apply to medical school.

If you’re coming out of a humanities-focused undergrad program or have been working in another career for a while, a post-bacc program for prerequisite completion can help you get into medical school by offering you the opportunity to take the science courses you missed (yes, even O-chem).

Access to Advising

Academic advising at universities can be hit-or-miss—even in pre-health programs. Many post-bacc programs offer dedicated advising services to students that is solely focused on helping you put your best foot forward as you pursue your medical career.

Usually, these are specialist advisors who really understand medical school admissions. If the post-bacc program you enroll in has linkages, your advisors may also have insider understanding of what you need to do to look your best when you apply to the linked program.

Additionally, if you decide not to pursue medical school after your post-bacc, the advisors in your program may be able to help you identify other career opportunities.

Resume-Strengthening Extracurriculars

Post-bacc programs don’t just focus on test prep and GPAs. They also offer you opportunities to become a more well-rounded medical school applicant. Some post-bacc programs, particularly post-baccs dedicated to serving at under-represented minority students, will connect you to clinical, volunteering, and research experiences.

As you’re most likely aware, completing these types of extracurriculars can enhance your application and help you get into medical school. More importantly, they can also help you better understand where your strengths and professional interests are—maybe you’ll discover that you actually love public health education, maternity care, or another specialty, and that will offer you renewed motivation as you pursue your career.

Linkage Programs

Finally, many pre-med post-bacc programs offer “linkages” with medical schools. These are agreements between the post-bacc and the medical school that offer students who succeed in the post-bacc preferential consideration for admission into the linked medical school. Linkages are not guarantees (we really can’t say that enough), but they are one more way a pre-med post-bacc can help you get into medical school.

Find Your Post-Bacc Program

Whether you’re looking for a certificate or a special master’s, you can find one in our pre-med post-bacc program database. Check it out today!


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