Are you concerned that you’re doing not quite well enough academically to be a strong candidate for medical school or another health profession program after you graduate from UCSB? Or are you junior or even a senior who hasn’t done many or any of the pre-health courses, and are you wondering if it is still possible for you to be admitted to a health profession program? We suggest that you meet with a Letters and Science pre-health advisor and discuss your options, including a post baccalaureate (“post bac”) program.
Types of Post Baccalaureate Programs
There are two main types of post baccalaureate programs:
Academic record Enhancer Programs--for students who have completed all or almost all of the required prerequisite courses but who do not have a strong GPA, particularly in science courses.
Career Change Programs—for students late in their college careers (juniors or seniors) or even years after graduation who are consider a health profession but who have completed few if any of the prerequisite courses.
The length of post baccalaureate programs vary, however most can be completed in one-to-two years. Admissions requirements vary considerably between programs, and quite often post baccalaureate programs focus on preparing students for particular health professions and/or target students with specific backgrounds and interests. Also the comprehensiveness of the preparation and support that programs provide students ranges greatly. Thus, it is important for a prospective students to thoroughly research the programs they are considering.
Finding a Post Baccalaureate Program
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) website provides a good tool for locating and researching post baccalaureate programs: https://apps.aamc.org/postbac/#/index.
Taking course prerequisites at a community college or online courses is generally not recommended. Please contact a pre-health advisor for additional information.
University of California Post Baccalaureate Consortium
There are five University of California Schools of Medicine that offer comprehensive post baccalaureate programs designed to help students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds in gaining admission to medical school. The post baccalaureate programs at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside, and UC San Francisco are looking for students who are committed to practicing medicine in underserved communities in California: https://postbac.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/.