A post-baccalaureate (postbac/post-bacc) program is for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree, and are interested in a health professions career. They need either to finish prerequisite courses and/or need to improve their academic standing for a more competitive professional school application.
Please note that CSULB does NOT have any formal post-bacc Master's or certificate programs. A list of post-bacc programs in the U.S. is available from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
Two types of postbac programs are offered: "career changer" and "enhancement." Generally the target population of these two programs differs. A career changer program is geared to students who have completed little or no premed/health career science requirements. The programs are typically two year certificate programs. An enhancement program targets students who have done those science requirements but need to redo some or do additional science courses to strengthen their science GPAs. These are typically one year certificate or Master's programs.
Typically, programs require applicants to submit a formal application (including essays), application fees, two letters of evaluation, official transcripts, and possibly standardized test scores. Some programs with more open admissions policies may only require an application, an application fee, and official college transcripts. Some special Master's programs may require that students submit MCAT scores as part of the application process.
Postbac programs differ in services provided to students. In some self-contained programs where everything is done within the confines of the program, tutoring may be offered. In other programs where students rely on services outside the program, students may have to use college or university tutoring services. Postbac students need to have a realistic self-appraisal of their strengths and weaknesses and seek postbac programs that will address their weaknesses and enhance their strengths. As such, those students who need tutoring should seek programs that make it a point to provide tutoring within the program.
Assistance with Application to Health Profession Programs
Typically, a structured program, whether a career changer or enhancement, will work closely with each student as she or he embarks on the application process to a health profession program. This likely will include a letter of recommendation, advice about the timing of the application, writing the personal statement, and selection of schools. Unstructured programs may also offer these services.
Is Postbac for You?
Unsure if a postbac is the right fit? Watch Is Post-BACC for You [VIDEO], presented by the University of Texas Health Professions Office, to help you decide.