Post-Bacc programs

I applied to Goucher and Johns Hopkins for their “Pre-med boot camp for old people changing their careers” and wasn’t accepted to either. This is the first time in my life I have received rejection letters.

I’m wondering if anyone went to a Post-Bacc program for career changers…was it worth it? Should I reapply to some other programs? Or…should I just go the “get your pre-req” route and go to a local school undergrad? Any advice?

I did the one at UVA : 1 year for the basic science prerequisites + a seminar on the US Health Care System + lots of support along with the classes, some special sections for the Postbac Premeds, a prep course for MCAT’s paid for, counseling and help with applications, mock interviews --ie, all the support you can imagine. It’s quite tough as the courses are packed together which I’m sure works against some folks if they are unable to excell due to the time pressure. It’s also fairly pricey. It was worth it for me: I’m very glad I did it and thought it well worth it, especially as I simply could not get enrollment in the prereqs anywhere in Richmond, VA (where I was living at the time). Tried at 5 different colleges - always last to register due to not being an undergrad there, and could not get into Gen Chem anywhere. After 3 semesters of unsuccessful attempts, I applied to VCU and UVA’s programs, and decided to go to UVA’s.

The question is whether the value is worth the price. For me, it definately was.


I went the prereqs route. It had been a while since I had been in school so I took math at the local community college to save a few bucks and then just took what I needed at a local 4 year university. I’ll be applying to med school this summer.

Welcome and best of luck,


I did a formal post-bac program, for the same reasons as Kate429. Lots of support, and post-bacs at the school where I attended got priority registration over EVERYONE else. (At the major state university in Chicago, I would have been last in line.) Also, I went to a small liberal arts school for my post-bac, which allowed me to get to know my profs very well and get very good letters of recommendation. Having gone to a huge state school for my original undergrad, I know that can be hard in a larger-school environment (but certainly not impossible).

That said, I know a lot of people have gone the ad-hoc route and been quite happy with it. As Kate said, it all depends on what you’re looking for, and willing to pay for.

Can you get financial aid for these post bacc programs?

  • teemarania Said:
Can you get financial aid for these post bacc programs?

As far as I know post bac students can get up to $12,500 and it is only for a year.

I’d just take individual classes. You should look for why you got rejected from these programs as well as you want to address those issues before applying to medical school.

FWIW I did a post bacc program and didn’t see a difference between being in the program or taking the classes as a student at large. I didn’t apply for financial aid though so I’m not sure about that aspect. I was told the only govt financial aid available is loans.

I have thought about getting into a post bacc program for only one reason: It is extremely hard to get the classes I need at a local junior college in California without already been a student there for at least a year.


If you are certain that the medical field is where you would like to work then I believe you should definitely take a crack at applying elsewhere. Perhaps call the Johns Hopkins and Goucher programs and ask why you were not accepted? I’ve heard stories of some programs being gracious enough to let students know the reason.

However, I think you should also consider a DIY program. There are many avenues to accomplish the goal of entering the medical field and if it’s something you really want then you should try to explore as many of these avenues as possible. For example, I’m currently doing a post-bacc at Columbia University; I’m a 2nd-year student. I find the program challenging but really fulfilling! I didn’t think I would get in but here I am! I’m really enjoying the classes and I’ve learned a lot–not just about science and medicine but myself. It’s a very major commitment but I personally think it’s worth it. If you have questions about the CU program please feel free to pm me. I’m also a university tour guide!

Merry Christmas

Not sure but I think we only qualify for private loans and maybe one year of federal student aid? When I did my FAFSA for the program, I had to complete it as a “5th year undergrad” so that might play into it.