Post-Baccalaureate Programs

Becoming a Competitive Applicant: Post-Baccalaureate Programs

If you feel that in many respects you are competitive for medical, PA or PT school, but are being held back by a lack of preparation or poor performance in the sciences, one possible route to take is to complete a post-baccalaureate program. About 15% of the students entering medical school have completed a postbac program. There are over 100 such programs in the US, some at very prestigious institutions. 

If you are considering a postbac program as a precursor to application to  medical school, consider one that is linked to one or more medical schools, guaranteeing an interview based on achieving a specific level of performance in the program. The most important consideration in choosing a program is the school’s acceptance rate of its students to medical school.

There are two types of postbac programs. The first is remedial; to establish a new academic record that demonstrates that a student can successfully work on a graduate level. The second is the “career changer.” This type of postbac program is for students who came late to the idea of a health professions career, and need to take the necessary  prerequisite courses.

The disadvantage of a postbac program is that tuition is comparable to that of college, but if you need to correct deficiencies in preparation or performance, this is an efficient way to do it.  And folded into the cost of a professional education, it is worth the investment. 

A list of postbac programs can be found at and Please see your health professions advisor for more information on postbac programs.

Some good articles to look at that might help you decide if a postbac program is the best option for you: 

The Graduate School of Wake Forest University on the School of Medicine campus offers several master’s programs for students interested in enhancing their applications for a range of professional degrees, including MD, DO, MMS (PA), MSW, PsyD, PhD in clinical psychology. These programs are designed to increase experience and help make the student more competitive for the program of their choice.  These are:

  • Biomedical Science for Pre-Health Professions Master of Science (MS) – this program offers 12, 18, or 24 month curricula, depending on student’s choice; most of these students go on to successfully enter medical school
  •  Addiction Research and Clinical Health Master of Science (MS) – this program prepares graduate to become Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist in 12 or 18 month curricula; graduates are more competitive for clinical psychology PhD programs or MD programs
  • Health Disparities in Neuroscience-related Disorders Master of Science (MS) – this program offers a 24 months curriculum, includes a thesis for students seeking to significantly increase their research experience; graduates have gone onto MD or DO programs

For information on any of these programs, contact the Graduate Office on the School of Medicine campus at