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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 PostBac 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 PostBac 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. Some programs offer certificates of completion, while others are graduate-level degree-granting programs. 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 PostBac Database.

Financial Aid and the Cost of Applying

If you have been out of school for awhile, you may want to review the Financial Aid Fact Sheet Library for general information regarding the cost and the process of applying to medical school.

Mid-career applicants often face different challenges when applying to and attending medical school. Be sure to read the "Medical School Costs for Non-traditional Students" fact sheet for additional tips and facts. 

Additionally, if you think you’ll need financial assistance to help cover the cost of courses, be sure to speak with the financial aid offices of the PostBac programs you are interested in specifically about whether their program is eligible for federal student aid.

Additional Resources and Information

FIRST is the AAMC’s primary resource regarding Financial Aid. The Financial Aid Fact Sheet Library includes one page information sheets on a variety of financial aid topics.

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

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