Post Bacc Pre-Med - FAQ

WE DON’T CARE WHERE YOU START; WE CARE WHERE YOU FINISH.
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Have questions? We’re here to help!

Answers to commonly asked questions can be found below. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please contact us.

 

About the Program

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What distinguishes the University of Virginia from other post bacc programs?
  • Weekly 1.5 credit US Healthcare seminar taught by practicing MD/MPH regarding healthcare infrastructure, bioethics, and social determinants of health
  • Small cohort (30-35 students) that move through a structured academic program in a collaborative learning environment
  • Two full-time professional advisors with over three decades of pre-health advising and medical school admissions experience combined
  • Established relationships with UVA Health System and Charlottesville Free Clinic to provide clinical volunteering opportunities throughout the post bacc program
What courses are included in the UVA post bacc program?

Our curriculum includes the basic science courses required by most medical schools in order to be eligible for admission, in addition the weekly US Healthcare seminar taught by a practicing physician. For more details on the specific courses, please see our Curriculum page.

I have taken most of the science courses included in your curriculum, but I want to improve my grades. Am I a good candidate for UVA?

Our program considers “career-changer” students who have an excellent undergraduate GPA but have not taken the pre-medical pre-requisite courses. If you have already completed a number of the classes included in our curriculum within the past five years, you may want to consider an “academic enhancer” post bacc program offered by other institutions. 

Can I customize my course schedule and/or repeat any previously taken science courses?

We occasionally make exceptions for students to repeat previously taken science courses if they were completed more than five years ago. However, the collaborative cohort experience is important to us, so we want students to follow the standard course schedule as much as possible. Any course substitutions will be limited and considered on a case-by-case basis.

Are the classes exclusively offered to post-bacc students or will there be UVA undergraduates taking these courses as well?

The general chemistry, physics, organic chemistry, and biochemistry lectures will be offered exclusively to post bacc students, while biology lectures are shared with undergraduates at UVA. All post baccs are enrolled in the same biology lecture section and have a post bacc only weekly discussion session with the biology professor during the fall semester. All labs have only 24 students per lab and most are integrated with UVA undergraduates. However, a significant percentage of each lab will be post bacc students. 

What clinical opportunities are available to UVA post bacc students?

The UVA post bacc program has established strong relationships with both the UVA Health System as well as the Charlottesville Free Clinic who both provide post bacc students the opportunity to volunteer and interact with patients and healthcare providers in various clinical settings. In addition, Dr. Powers, the medical advisor, can arrange one-on-one shadowing experiences within a variety of medical specialties either at UVA’s medical center or in the surrounding community. 

How will UVA’s post bacc students prepare for the MCAT?

A comprehensive MCAT preparatory package and corresponding syllabus is provided to each student by a commercial test prep company. Students have access to full-length practice exams, quiz banks, and content materials such as books, videos, and additional readings. In addition, based on alumni feedback, students are guided on how to wisely use academic breaks as well plan for the spring semester to be fully prepared to take the MCAT exam at the end of the program.

What is your students’ success rate in gaining entry to medical school?

Over the past fifteen years, 95% of our alumni have gained acceptance into a wide variety of medical schools across the United States. Please visit this page for an abbreviated list of medical schools that have accepted and/or matriculated UVA’s post bacc students. 

Do you consider applicants who wish to go to veterinary or dental school?

Although we have occasionally had students pursue other health professions upon completion of the post bacc program, we strongly prefer students who are committed to enrolling into medical school. 

Is it possible to have a job while enrolled in the program?

Due to the full-time course load and accelerated nature of this program, students are encouraged to commit to focusing on their academic endeavors, and therefore do not work during the post bacc program.

What types of advising and support do UVA’s post bacc students receive during the program and beyond?
  • Two full-time professional, experienced Pre-Med Advisors (MS/MA) are exclusively dedicated to the post bacc cohort.
  • Individualized counseling appointments and advising workshops regarding all aspects of the medical school admissions process including essays and mock interviews.
  • A Medical Advisor (MD/MPH) who coordinates physician shadowing and mentors students through their own medical career explorations.
  • Dedicated Academic Director (Ph.D. Biochemistry) to provide additional academic support and advice.
  • Experienced faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences who hold office hours and have teaching assistants as additional resources.
  • Math Boot Camp is incorporated into Orientation to help refresh and hone math skills prior to the program.
  • A comprehensive MCAT prep package at no additional cost to the student.
  • An alumni network of former post-baccs willing to offer advice, support, and guidance throughout the school year and admissions process.
  • Continued advising and support throughout glide year(s).
When do students start and end the program?

The program begins in early June beginning with Math Bootcamp followed by both General Chemistry lectures and labs in the summer sessions. The program continues for the fall and spring semesters with students completing the post bacc program in May. 

How many students enroll in the program each year?

Each year, 30-35 students enroll in UVA’s post bacc program.

What is the age range of the cohort?

The average age range is 22-40, but varies based on enrollment from year to year. 

What is the cost of the program and what financial aid is available?

For more details on tuition, fees, and financial aid, please click here. Please note that federal financial aid is only available for fall and spring semesters. 

What housing options are available?

Post bacc students are adult-learners with a wide variety of personal and family needs; therefore, students secure their own housing within the Charlottesville community. Many students choose to live within walking distance of Main Grounds out of convenience, however, commuter parking is available for those who opt to live further from campus.

About Admission

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How competitive is admission to the program?

Each year, roughly 300 applications are considered for a cohort of 30-35 students. As seats are limited and a rolling admissions process is used, students are encouraged to apply early in the application cycle which opens August 15th and closes February 15th.

Are there any recommended prerequisite courses that I should consider taking before applying to the program?

The post bacc program curriculum covers the basic science courses that most medical schools require for admission however, some medical schools may require additional mathematics, social sciences, and/or science courses. We encourage applicants to research the requirements at their state’s medical schools (as well as a few potential private medical schools) to determine whether additional pre-requisite courses are needed. We recommend having statistics, psychology, sociology, and/or calculus courses completed prior to entering the program however, these courses are not required for entry our program.

What standardized test scores are required for the application?

All students are required to self-report scores from one of the following standardized exams: ACT, SAT, or GRE. If you have taken more than one of these, we welcome all available scores.

Can I apply to the UVA Post Bacc Pre-Med program if I have already taken the MCAT?

As the UVA post bacc program is for “career-changers”, students should not have the science coursework needed to prepare and sit for the MCAT. If you have already taken the MCAT, you are not eligible for our program. 

What types of volunteer experience should I have before applying to the post bacc program?

Applicants need to be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the field of medicine, whether through clinical exposure, volunteering, shadowing, or other interactions with healthcare providers and patients. These types of experiences within medicine are paramount in both the post bacc and medical school admissions processes. Since the majority of post bacc students do not come from science backgrounds, their professional work or extracurricular activities may have allowed them to experience health and/or the delivery of healthcare in unique ways. Regardless of how you decide to gain clinical experience, you need to be able to convey how you have made an informed career decision.

Can I apply as a current undergraduate student?

Current undergraduate senior/fourth year students are welcome to apply if they will graduate in time to begin the program in early June.

Are in-state applicants given greater consideration for admission into the post bacc program?

Both in-state and out-of-state residents are considered equally for admission, but Virginia residents are responsible for completing the Application for Virginia In-State Educational Privileges if they wish to receive the in-state tuition rate. 

Does the program accept international students?

The program does accept international students and the International Studies Office supports these students in the visa process while at the University of Virginia. 

I completed my undergraduate degree outside of the United States or Canada. Am I still eligible to apply?

Although the post bacc program does consider students with an undergraduate degree completed outside of the United States or Canada, many medical schools require that at least 90 credits be completed at a U.S. or Canadian institution. The UVA post bacc program includes 38 credits therefore, students are responsible for completing any additional credits prior to entering or upon completing the program. 

 

* The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.

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