University of Wisconsin Madison Crest University of Wisconsin Madison Funded by the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates



"Post-bac" (meaning after the bachelor’s degree) programs provide extra coursework that may help candidates increase their chances of being accepted by medical (or other health professional) schools.

UW-Madison does not have a post-bac program.  Students who need to complete prerequisite coursework can do so as a "special student."  To learn more about this classification, click here.

Things to consider when applying for Post-Baccalaureate Programs:

  • Timing of program: How long is the program; how will it fit into your long-range plan?
  • Academic environment: Is it an academic environment that will or should minimize your stress? Are there classes with undergrads and what are the implications of this? What is the reputation of the school? How do students from the school do when applying to medical school?
  • Diversity of the post-bac population.
  • Support systems available.
  • Level of competition.
  • Does the program have collaborative relationships with medical schools?

Owing to the broad nature of students that apply for post-baccalaureate programs, there are significant variations in post-baccalaureate program options.

+ Enhancement Programs

    These programs are generally for students who need to enhance their weak academic record or complete scientific coursework that they did not complete as undergraduates. There are 3 types of enhancement programs:
  • Formal, structured programs with rigorous admissions policies. Completing this type of program greatly increases your chances of getting into medical school.
  • Formal programs that are less structured and less selective, and their success rate is not as high.
  • Extremely "loose" programs that often look more like continuing education classes or classes offered to "special students" that rarely offer pre-med advising.

+ "Special Master's" Programs

These programs target students who intend to pursue medicine, rather than academics. Outstanding work in these programs can be very appealing to the admissions committee and may improve your success in medical school. See UC Davis’ list of Special Master’s Programs.

+ Special Programs for
Minority/Disadvantaged Students

Some schools offer post-bac programs specifically for minority and economically disadvantaged students. For example, Southern Illinois University offers a post-bac program for disadvantaged students.

+ Post-Baccalaureate Programs for Dentistry

University of California-San Francisco
Southern Illinois University

+ Post-Baccalaureate Research Opportunities

NIH’s training website

For a more comprehensive list of post-baccalaureate programs, see Syracuse University’s list or the AAMC’s list.