A post bacc is a formal or informal post-baccalaureate program intended to either:
- improve a student’s sGPA (gpa-enhancing post-bacc) prior to applying to med school
- give a student with a non-science degree the necessary science & math pre-req coursework so they can apply to medical school (career-changer post bacc)
Formal (structured) post-baccs are often expensive and can vary widely in quality. Formal post baccs may offer built-in volunteering & research opportunities, and MCAT prep, as well as specialized advising.
GPA repair can be done independently without a formal program by taking upper level biology coursework that demonstrates a student’s ability to perform well in challenging science coursework.
Post baccs are not eligible for federal student loans unless they are part of degree or certificate granting program.
A SMP (Special Master’s Program) is special type of post bacc. A SMP attempts to simulate the rigor and content of the first year classes of medical school.
At universities that host a medical school, SMP student often take all or many of the same classes as MS1s and are graded on the same scale.
The very best SMPs guarantee students who hit certain academic and EC benchmarks a interview or an acceptance at the associated med school. (Known as linked programs or programs with linkages.)
SMPs are high risk - high reward. Do well in the SMP and a student will have a good chance for med school admission; finished outside the top 25% or with a GPA below 3.75–and any chance for a med school admission is permanently gone.
SMPs work best for students who have minor academic deficits.
AAMC maintains a searchable database of post baccs and SMPs (link in post #2), but the post bacc forum on Student Doctor dot Net has a very comprehensive list of GPA-enhancing post baccs and SMPs, together with reviews and comments from students who have been through the programs.
Also on SDN, in the pre-med forum, https://. forums. studentdoctor. net/. threads/goros-advice-for-pre-meds-who-need-reinvention.1291333/
Goro is an med school adcomm and offers terrific advice for low GPA “reinventors”
NOTE: remove extra spaces from link to get it to work