Is your dream to attend medical, dental, nursing, veterinary, or another health professional school, but your credentials need strengthening before you can apply as a competitive candidate? Or are you a highly motivated individual who is looking to change careers, or maybe return to an earlier interest in health that got left behind? Ultimately, people travel down the pre-health path at different times and at their own pace; the timing of one’s preparation varies among applicants, and it may surprise you to know that the average age of entering medical students right now is 24.5 (not 22), even older for some of the other health professions. Over the past several decades, post-baccalaureate (post-bac) pre-health programs have emerged as a viable option for pre-health students who are not taking the “traditional” route, for one reason or another. Some pre-health students do not make the decision to enter the healthcare field until well into their undergraduate years or even beyond. Others may have been interested since they were quite young, but require an additional academic “boost” from courses taken after graduation. Still others are members of minority groups under-represented in medicine, and wish to develop leadership and clinical experience designed with a focus on diversity, or come from backgrounds where they have been economically and educationally disadvantaged. What follows are descriptions of the main post-bac options for students and alumni interested in entering the health professions, along with a selected list of specific programs.
For more detailed information about available post-bac programs, please read the complete handout, Post-Bac Options.