Postbaccalaureate Premedical Programs

Some college graduates consider enrolling in or completing a postbaccalaureate premedical program or coursework to be a stronger, more qualified applicant. When researching these programs, make sure to consider any financial implications that may impact your present and future situation.

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 GPA’s. Other programs are specifically designed to assist persons from groups 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 that will best suit your needs, and to the length of time it will take to complete the course. While some programs may be completed in one year, others may require 18-24 months. Additionally, some programs feature linkage agreements or affiliations with medical school programs. For specific details on various programs, degree offerings, and length of time to complete, see the AAMC’s Postbacc Database.

Financial Aid and the Cost of Applying

As with any educational endeavor, there are costs associated with completing a postbacc program. These may 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, you will want to be clear about whether the program is degree-granting, certificate-granting, or neither. In some cases, this may impact your eligibility for financial aid.

Be sure to read the "Medical School Costs for Non-traditional Students" fact sheet for additional tips and facts.

Additional Resources and Information

FIRST is the AAMC’s primary resource regarding Financial Aid. The Financial Aid Fact Sheet Library includes information on a variety of financial aid, personal finance and loan repayment topics.

The AAMC also hosts a searchable database of postbacc programs that enables you to search according to program type and other characteristics.

Questions regarding applying, qualifying, or attending post- baccalaureate programs should be addressed to the specific program in which you are interested.

Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools (FIRST)

MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC)

young couple calculating budget
The MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator was developed to assist medical students and residents with managing their education debt.


Get practical information on budgeting, money management, credit, debt management, scholarship searches, and more.

Contact FIRST

655 K Street, NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20001-2399