The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D.: Readers Want to Know...Should I Do a Post-Bac/Masters Program?
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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Readers Want to Know...Should I Do a Post-Bac/Masters Program?

Sweet baby Nate & how I did most of my post-bac studying in 2009

What is a "post-bac" or post-baccalaureate program? 

A post-bac program is formal or informal coursework that is designed for those who have completed a baccalaureate degree. You can find them in all fields, but they are known in the pre-medical community as ways to complete basic science coursework prior to medical school. A lot of times, they are intended for those with a late change of plans in college or career switch. 

Sometimes, these programs can serve as enrichment type courses to raise your science GPA or help to prepare you for medical school - similar to the program I participated in - Masters in Science of Medical Science at Indiana University. After completion of these programs students typically can obtain a certification (i.e. Nutrition or Health Sciences) or depending on the program, a Master's level degree. 

How much is tuition? 

This will vary by location. A good rule of thumb is that it will resemble college tuition with private schools costing more than state institutions. 

How can I pay for it? 

Just like with medical school, unless you have a rich uncle, you will most likely have to take out student loans for your tuition. I had a few friends that worked during our post-bac year, but remember that your goal is to bang out your courses so that you can get into medical school. If you need all of the extra time to study and get the results you want, you probably should not work.

Where can I find one? 

Sadly, formal pre-med post-bac programs are decreasing in number, but the AAMC website has a database list here: Post Bac Link and you can filter by location. 

Is a Post-Bac for me? 

Although anyone can participate in or sign up for post-bac coursework, you have to make sure it fits your needs and you get out of it the investment you put in. I think it is a great option for people who may not be ready to jump into medical school straight from undergrad, or need an extra boost in their GPA or on their resume. It is also a great option for those who have not yet completed their pre-medical coursework and need a more structured program. Make sure you do lots of research to find the program that is the best fit for you and don't be afraid to contact the program administrator to ask questions not answered on the websites.


Hope this is helpful! You can always email me with more questions at and they may become a "Readers Want to Know Post"!

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