Best Stuctured Postbacc Premed Programs

Other than the top schools (Bryn Mawr, Goucher, Mills, Scripps, Tufts, Johns Hopkins) what are some programs anyone would recommend? Finances and geographical location are a non-issue. Willing to relocate wherever. I am looking for programs with very strong advising and small class sizes. It would be great if anyone has had experience and could give me some feedback. I posted on SDN, but did not give much of a response.

To be a little more specific, I am looking for programs that are for “career changers”. I have only taken 2 science courses.

Currently I am in the UC Berkeley extension post-bac program and am very satisfied so far with the class sizes and advising. Keep in mind I’ve completed only orientation part 1 and first year of inorganic chemistry plus lab.

Here’s the link for more info:…

I’d say roughly half of the people I’ve met in the program are changing careers. There’s another link on that page breaking down where past students have been accepted.

As the former director of both the Johns Hopkins and Goucher Post-Bac Programs I can provide some guidance. When you compare programs be sure to investigate the student:advisor ratio (as an indicator of how available the advisors might be), class size (as an indicator of how available professors might be and the ease of getting letters of evaluation), and whether classes are only with post-bac students or mixed with undergraduates (and whether students are graded on a curve or not). You will also want to do some research comparing programs’ success rates (the percent of graduates who get into medical school and what those schools are). Good luck in your search for the right program. Send me a private message or an email if you have further questions.



Here is what I found Vanessa, now that I am finally accepted to a Post Bacc. In the beginning, I thought it was like college, and I could “choose”. Not in the end. Admission to Post Baccalaureate programs is almost as competitive as admission to medical schools. I began with focus on in state schools thinking of tuition, and was summarily rejected from all of them. I then “applied broadly” to some out of state programs. Again, with not a lot of success (and the application fees, and travel costs, began to really add up). I am a psychiatric Social Worker - nothing in the way of sciences, and graduated from Syracuse University with a 3.83. I have worked in the field diagnosing and treating for many years. I also had volunteer hours, and letters of recommendation from the psychiatrists I have worked with. I thought I had a LOT to bring to the table. Even with the school I got accepted to, I had to be “re-interviewed” - which they generally don’t do.

I went from “which school do I want” to “which school will take me” over the course of a 3 year road to get accepted.

My experience tells me this: Have an open mind, and “apply broadly”. Don’t be discouraged. If not accepted, then that school just doesn’t appreciate what you have to offer!!!

My diary is “What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been…”

Carry on!!!

A couple of other schools I’ve heard good things about: Bennington, UVA, Temple and NEOMED (although you’ll have to want to stay at Temple/NEOMED for med school for the last two).

From my experience, it’s a little tough to judge how competitive you are (especially if you’re comparing yourself to whatever you see on SDN). I had a significantly lower GPA than Vicki, and not much clinical experience, but somehow got into several of the top postbac programs. I hate to say it, but I’m afraid that there may have been some unfortunate agism going on in the admissions offices (I’m about 2 decades younger than her) – she shouldn’t have had such a tough time of it, IMHO. But as she says, she’s better off in a program that appreciates what she has to offer!

Applying broadly is great advice, and you can also take advantage of the rolling admissions cycle that most postbac programs have. Apply to a couple of the top programs very early in the cycle (early fall) – if you get quickly rejected, you can apply more broadly with plenty of time. But if you get interview invites, even if you don’t get accepted, you know that you’re a relatively competitive applicant and can be much more selective in the programs you apply to – and hopefully save some cash. Also, if you haven’t done this already, do take Liza up on her offer – she knows way more about postbacs than anyone on this forum. Good luck!