UCLA Extension Program (aka Postbac)

Hi All,

I posted this under the wrong forum because my computer wouldn’t allow me to scroll down to see that there was a whole other discussion forum!

I’m new here, first post, repeat lurker! I’m a single mother of 3, 36 yo, and am looking to get into medical school (so weird seeing my dreams in print - haha). Anyways, I was looking up UCLA’s Postbac Program, and this is THE only program where they don’t require a GPA minimum - is that weird? I have my doubts about this type of program, but since it is UCLA, my concerns have been diminished. I guess I have two questions: 1) Has anyone tried this program; and 2) This program to me seems like a DIY postbac and not really a formal one since their website did say that you have to basically know what courses you have to take - would anyone do this with this type of set up? I’m so confused.

A little about my undergrad. I graduated from CSUF with cGPA of 3.2 and a CSUF GPA of 3.5. I’m not sure why they do this, but is one GPA looked at more than the other? I’ve called about PA school and many say they only look at the last 2 years of undergrad. From all the posts I’ve seen, it doesn’t look like med school does the same.


Current fourth-year med student here, I lived in LA for 13 years and did UCLA Extension for some postbac classes. I took classes there in 2009-2010, so not sure what has changed since then – therefore, YMMV.

I had a great experience there. The profs were quite good, and you aren’t just thrown into the classes with the undergrads, as the Extension courses are at night. Don’t get me wrong, the classes were challenging, particularly as I was working ~ 70-80 hours a week at the same time - but definitely doable. I only needed to take 5 more courses, so mine was a DIY setup.

However, there was(/is?) a pre-med certificate program that encompasses all of the required courses. It ain’t cheap (I think it was 10–12 Gs a few years ago), but it exists.

PM me if you’d like to discuss more.


Thank you for your response. I visited SDN and there were sooo many mixed reviews - some were good and some were meh. What I got from SDN was that the professors were not truly professors since it was an “extension” program and so these teachers were not really UCLA faculty. With that said, then there was the issue of “first come, first serve” issue since it is an extension program and so all the upper division courses were really reserved to the UCLA students. Is that true?

I just found it kinda weird that even though this is a certificate program/postbac, there is no application process. Other formal postbac/certificated programs have an application/screening process and appears really, really competitive.

I have to literally take all the prereqs, so a certificate program/formal postbac might be better for me.

The cost for either program is what’s really making me think twice! Working 50+ hours a week and family is a lot :roll:


I think it’s true that more information is always better than less. That being said, I would be wary of things you see on SDN. There is a ton of “advice” given out on the forums there, and it is free, which should tell you something about its value. Was any data or evidence provided that indicates that somehow the program is of lesser value because the professors are adjunct faculty? If not, then you should disregard it (something you will find to be useful if you end up going to medical school as well). Also, if these are people who are going through the process right now, then they have absolutely zero idea how their applications are being evaluated; weight their advice accordingly. Personally, and in retrospect, I found almost none of the advice on SDN (that is not “general” advice that you can get from more reputable sources and/or just plain old common sense) when I was applying to be of value; again, YMMV.

Essentially the value of these courses is to prove that you are able to hack it in class after being out of school for a long time. The material itself, aside from being useful for prepare for the MCAT, is of virtually zero value in medical school itself. The only factor I know which can take away from where you do the prereqs is if it is in a community college environment. Since that’s not true at Extension, it’s not an issue.

What you may be thinking of is a linkage/postbac program à la Goucher, Bryn Mawr, Columbia, Harvard etc. These indeed are very competitive, very expensive, and you are basically just thrown into the same classes as the undergrads (which is why these universities run the programs as they are, in effect, a cash cow). They also offer the possibility of linkage, which UCLA Extension does not. Finally, these programs require you to be a full time student, whereas you can continue to work while you do Extension (difficult, as I mentioned above, but doable).

Also, you won’t be taking any upper division courses for your prereqs, so if I were you, I wouldn’t be concerned about that.

Again, let me know if you have any other questions. Just my $0.02 worth, if that.


Hello SM3,

I am new to this forum and just came across your post. I too, am in a similar situ. as you and have been looking to do a DIY/cert. at UCLA extension. I have read through quite a few posts on SDN regarding the UCLA extension. I don’t know what I should do as there is no place to verify if these extension courses are good.

I would like to know if you started classes with them and if so is it worth the time and money. I recently graduated from a California University with a BS in BIOPSYCH, but due to some bad decisions on my part I ended up with a 2.86 GPA. I desperately need to bring up this GPA so that I can apply to med. school. I am 21 and this may not be the correct forum for me but it seems to be more encouraging than the SDN forums.

Thank you in advance.

HI there

So sorry for the belated response to your post. I opted for CSUF’s postbac (my alma mater) :slight_smile:

The reason I chose this route is due to 2 reasons: 1) It’s a formal postbac with lots of support and guidance; and 2) There is a linkage to 2 medical schools (one MD and one DO). The cost was the same as UCLA’s extension with the bonus that I am guaranteed a seat every semester unlike UCLA.

There is a GPA requirement of at least 3.0 in your last 60 units. Mine is at least a 3.5, so I made the cut off. What’s your last 60 units GPA? I saw you said yours was 2.98, but was that for the last 60 units? Also, you have to have taken precalculus with a B as well as intro chem with at least a B as well before they will consider your application.

I have no doubt that you can bump up your GPA to at least meet the GPA requirement. The fact that you are on this site looking for a way to get into medical school shows you’re being proactive :slight_smile:

Just take that gusto and run with it! I wish you all the luck in your endeavors.

Hi there! I know this was posted a long time ago - but wondering how you found the CSUF post-bacc, having gone through it? I am considering applying for next year and would love to hear how others did in it/found the program.