Pursuing 2nd Degree before Medschool


I’m new to the site. I am 32y/o with a BA in psychology. My undergrad grades were certainly not up to par 3.25/5.0 about 10years ago. I finally feel ready to return to school and feel a need to redeem myself academically by pursuing another science or allied health focused degree. I’ve had my sights set on nursing as a starting point, and applying to medical school after nursing school. However, after reading through this very informative site…Is an entirely new degree necessary? Would enrolling in a Post Bacc program be more beneficial as my ultimate goal is to become a physician?

Thanks in advance for your response,


A second degree is not required, and in fact, neither is a formal post-bacc program. Given that you already have a bachelors degree, what is required are the given pre-reqs for whichever med schools to which you’re applying (the science courses are pretty much standardized, but med schools will have different requirements regarding math, humanities, etc. credits) and that you’ve taken the MCAT.

Doing courses outside of a degree is becoming more challenging at some schools (as outlined in other posts here). Sometimes people will declare a major for the sake of getting their courses and financial aid without the intent to ever actually complete the major, while others don’t. That’s a decision for your own moral compass (please note, not making any values judgment, just a statement.) Medical schools largely (completely?) do not require you to finish this second degree/major if you’ve got your degree already. That being said, if you are in a masters or doctoral program when applying to med school, many (most?) med schools will require that you complete that degree prior to starting medical school.

I had a non-science bachelors degree when I went back to take the med school pre-reqs. I took my pre-reqs within a non-formalized post-bacc program and had them done in one year (full time), took my MCAT in the summer, applied and interviewed in fall and winter and was accepted in spring (2 years after my initial start). The application year I was able to take a lot of upper division classes and actually ended up completing a physics minor. My point with rehashing that is to demonstrate that you don’t need a second degree and don’t need a formalized post-bacc.

Best of luck with the return to classes!

The AAMC has a comprehensive list of post bac programs listed here http://services.aamc.org/postbac/

It would be worth reviewing them and calling and emailing a few before you get too far into a decision.

Can you take those pre-requs at a 2 year school, like a community college, or is a 4 year institution a must?

  • knjallred Said:
Can you take those pre-requs at a 2 year school, like a community college, or is a 4 year institution a must?

Do a quick search of the site and you will find 100's of responses to this question. Happy reading!