Why Enroll in a Postbaccalaureate Program?
There are many reasons to enroll in a postbaccalaureate premedical program (often called postbacc program for short). Some are designed for career changers; some are geared to students who need to complete coursework in requisite undergraduate science courses; and some programs focus on applicants who would like to improve their GPAs. Other programs are specifically designed to assist those underrepresented in medicine or from educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Length, Degree, and Linkage Agreements
Make sure to pay close attention to the focus of the postbacc program to find one that will best suit your needs. Learn about the length of time it will take to complete the program; some programs may be completed in one year, while others may require 18-24 months.
Some students look for programs that feature linkage agreements or affiliations with medical school programs. To research specific details on various programs, degree offerings, and length of time to complete a specific program, visit the AAMC Postbaccalaureate Premedical Programs database. Questions regarding applying, qualifying, or attending postbaccalaureate programs should be directed to the specific program you are interested in attending.
Financial Aid and the Cost of Applying
As with any educational endeavor, there are costs associated with completing a postbacc program. Some of these costs include application fees, security deposits, textbooks, and lab fees. If you choose to enroll in a program that requires full-time study or relocation, you should also consider the living expenses you will incur during enrollment.
If you think you’ll need financial assistance to help cover the cost of your postbacc education, be sure to speak with the school’s financial aid office. They will be able to tell you whether their program is eligible for federal student aid. When selecting a program, find out if the program is degree-granting, certificate-granting, or neither. In some cases, this may impact your eligibility for financial aid.
The AAMC FIRST program provides resources and information about financial aid, loan options, and debt management. The FIRST Fact Sheets contain information about a variety of financial aid, personal finance, and loan repayment topics.
If you are a nontraditional student, be sure to read “Medical School Costs for Nontraditional Students" where additional facts and tips are provided, and if you need help with basic money management, visit the AAMC’s Financial Wellness program.