Best Pre-Med Postbacc Programs for Aspiring Doctors

A pre-med postbaccalaureate can help you make a smooth transition to med school. Learn more about the best pre-med postbacc programs.

Updated September 19, 2023 · 5 Min Read

check mark Edited by
check mark Reviewed by

Our Integrity Network is committed to delivering content that is objective and actionable. To that end, we have built a network of industry professionals across higher education to review our content and ensure we are providing the most helpful information to our readers.

Drawing on their firsthand industry expertise, our Integrity Network members serve as an additional step in our editing process, helping us confirm our content is accurate and up to date. These contributors:

  • Suggest changes to inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Provide specific, corrective feedback.
  • Identify critical information that writers may have missed.

Integrity Network members typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for as a side project. All Integrity Network members are paid members of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.

Explore our full list of Integrity Network members. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

Take our quiz and we'll do the homework for you! Compare your school matches and apply to your top choice today.

Postbaccalaureate pre-medical programs — often called pre-med postbacc programs — are nondegree programs that prepare you for medical school. Students with a bachelor's in a field unrelated to medicine or healthcare can enroll in these programs.

Completing a postbacc helps you meet all of the basic prerequisites you'll need to apply for med school and eventually become a doctor. In this guide, we rank the best pre-med postbacc programs and go over their benefits, costs, and coursework.

Reasons to Enroll in a Pre-Med Postbacc Program

  • You don't meet the minimum academic requirements for med school and need to take certain classes to qualify for admission.
  • You majored in a nonmedical field, like the humanities, but now want to pursue a career in medicine.
  • You majored in a related field but didn't perform well in your core classes.
  • It's been a while since you earned your bachelor's degree, and you want to refresh your science and math skills before applying to med school.
  • You are changing careers and want to establish a career in medicine. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Explore Our Featured Programs

Our partner schools offer programs that help you advance your education while accommodating your schedule. Visit their sites to learn more about degrees, course offerings, start dates, transfer of credits, and more.

Why Accreditation Matters for Pre-Med Postbacc Programs

When considering pre-med programs, make sure to choose one that's offered at an accredited college or university.

Accreditation means an independent agency has verified that the institution or program fulfills certain academic standards. This credential also signifies that a school hires qualified faculty and that the coursework reflects a certain amount of rigor.

Some pre-med postbaccs earn programmatic accreditation from agencies like the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). Even if a particular program doesn't have programmatic accreditation, the overall school should hold institutional accreditation from a recognized accrediting agency.

Did You Know?

  • Completing a postbaccalaureate pre-medical program can be a strategic way to strengthen your med school application.
  • Some pre-med postbacc programs offer courses to help you prepare for the MCAT.
  • Even if you don't want to be a doctor, a pre-med postbacc can prepare you for a career in public health or nonclinical healthcare.
  • Some pre-med postbacc programs allow you to accumulate volunteer hours to gain field experience.

What Courses Do You Take in a Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical Program?

In a postbaccalaureate pre-medical program, you'll review and learn about the foundations of the medical field. Classes primarily cover math and science topics like chemistry, biology, and statistics.

While postbacc programs can vary in length, most require 32-40 credits and last anywhere from nine months to two years.

Before enrolling in a pre-med postbacc program, make sure the curriculum covers your biggest knowledge gaps. Some schools tailor their pre-med programs to specific medical fields, such as neurology and dentistry.

How Much Do Pre-Med Postbacc Programs Cost?

Although costs vary depending on the school, pre-med postbacc programs often cost tens of thousands of dollars.

For example, Johns Hopkins University charges over $20,000 per semester for its postbaccalaureate pre-medical program. Similarly, pre-med postbacc students at Washington University in St. Louis must pay around $16,000 per semester for tuition.

You can generally save money by attending a public in-state university.

In addition to paying tuition, you'll likely need to budget for textbooks and medical supplies like stethoscopes and scrubs.

What Can You Do After a Pre-Med Postbacc Program?

Most students enroll in medical school after completing a postbaccalaureate pre-medical program. After earning your medical degree and completing residency requirements, you can go on to become a doctor, surgeon, dentist, veterinarian, or other medical professional.

Jobs in healthcare are projected to grow by 13% between 2021 and 2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Here are some popular career paths for pre-med students and the salaries you can expect to make.

10 Popular Careers for Pre-Med Students
Job Median Annual Salary (May 2021) Job Growth Rate (2021-2031)
Cardiologists $353,970 3%
Emergency Medicine Physicians $310,640 3%
Orthopedic Surgeons, Except Pediatric $306,220 3%
Dermatologists $302,740 3%
Obstetricians and Gynecologists $296,210 2%
General Internal Medicine Physicians $242,190 2%
Family Medicine Physicians $235,930 3%
Pediatricians, General $198,420 1%
Dentists $163,220 6%
Veterinarians $100,370 19%

Source: BLS

Frequently Asked Questions About Pre-Med Postbacc Programs

How long are pre-med postbacc programs?

Most pre-med programs last 1-2 years if attending full time. You may need more time to finish your postbacc if you enroll part time. At the end of your program, you'll typically receive a postbaccalaureate or graduate certificate.

How competitive are pre-med postbacc programs?

Admission to pre-med postbacc programs can be highly competitive. Given the rigors of medical training, most postbacc programs prefer applicants who have what it takes to get into and succeed in med school.

As a result, it's common for postbacc programs to receive far more applications than they have spots to fill.

What percent of postbacc students get into medical school?

If you apply to med school at the same institution you get your postbacc, you may see an acceptance rate of around 55-85%.

While a pre-med postbacc could strengthen your application, it doesn't guarantee admission. Medical schools typically consider many aspects of an application, such as your undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, completed coursework, and other documentation.

Do medical schools look at your postbacc GPA?

Most medical schools look favorably upon high grades earned in pre-med postbacc programs. While a postbacc won't automatically guarantee you med school admission, it could give your application an edge.

A strong postbacc GPA can also benefit you if you earned your bachelor's in an unrelated major or if your undergraduate GPA is somewhat lacking.

Are postbacc programs only for pre-med students?

You don't have to be an aspiring doctor to benefit from a pre-med postbacc.

Even if you don't have your sights set on a clinical or medical degree, a postbacc can give you an edge in related fields like public health, healthcare administration, academic research, health informatics, and community health education.

All rankings and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by the ASO Rankings Team.

Next Steps

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

See All Posts is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.