Student Experience

Dig deeper into the Post-Bacc Pre-Med experience at UVA

Group of post bacc pre-med students in white coats smiling at camera in medical classroom

Who Are PBPM Students?

Our student population has been distinguished by diversity in backgrounds, experience, and education. Ranging in age from 22 to 51, our students come from all over the United States as well as other parts of the world. Their academic majors span the arts, social sciences, and humanities and previous professional careers include business, finance, education, public health, social services, and other helping professions. Post Bacc Pre-Med students have a common passion for medicine and a desire to serve their communities as physicians.

See a Sample of Schools Our Students Come From
  • Air Force Academy
  • Amherst College
  • Barnard College
  • Bates College
  • Boston University
  • Brown University
  • Clemson University
  • Colby College
  • College of William & Mary
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Davidson College
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Georgetown University
  • Goucher College
  • Harvard University
  • Indiana University
  • James Madison University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Middlebury College
  • Naval Academy
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • Notre Dame University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Pepperdine University
  • Princeton University
  • Smith College
  • Stanford University
  • Tufts University
  • University of California—Los Angeles
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Maryland
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Texas
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Washington
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Vassar College
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Tech University
  • Wake Forest University
  • Washington University
  • Wellesley College
  • Wesleyan University  
  • Yale University
See a Sample of Education Backgrounds Students Bring
  • Accounting
  • Animal Behavior
  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Asian Studies
  • Business and Finance
  • Cognitive Science
  • Communications
  • Economics
  • Education
  • English
  • Environmental Science
  • Film Studies
  • Foreign Languages
  • Government
  • History
  • International Health
  • International Relations
  • Journalism
  • Math
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Religion
  • Spanish

Support You'll Receive Through Your Journey


Advisors provide individualized personal and academic support to students. They are available to meet with you to discuss your unique professional, academic and personal experiences, application materials, and your medical school list. In addition, you will participate in mock interviews to ensure you are prepared to succeed in the medical school admissions process. The tailored support continues throughout the glide year and until your professional goal is realized.

Students are encouraged to contribute to a collaborative learning environment by studying together and helping one another as they move through this intensive academic experience.

Beyond the classroom, students share the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library with UVA medical students and take advantage of volunteer and shadowing opportunities through the UVA Health System, which includes a brand new Level 1 trauma center, a National Cancer Institute designated cancer center and a nationally ranked Children's Hospital.

Additional Support Services

Academic Support

There are many resources to support your academic journey. 

  • Academic support is available both through instructors and tutors for hire within each department. 
  • The Student Disability Access Center is available year-round and exists to support a culture of access and inclusion for students with disabilities across all academic programs and University services.
  • ​The UVA Writing Center is available to provide one-on-one assistance with all stages of the writing process for any kind of writing. Consultants can work with native speakers of English and with English-language learners; several tutors have specialized training in ESL.

Emotional/Mental Health Support

UVA offers a wide array of resources to support the mental and emotional well-being of students.

  • Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is the primary student mental health clinic on Grounds, providing direct care, consultation and referral services for students year-round. CAPS supports both emergency and ongoing concerns. **If you are having a psychological emergency, call 911 or 434-243-5150 & ask to seek with the on-call counselor 24 hours/day.
  • Additional, online self-assessments and cognitive behavioral therapy resources include: 
  • The UVA Contemplative Sciences Center offers an array of activities and resources for students, from free yoga classes, mindfulness sessions, special speakers, and cultural experiences. The Contemplative Sciences Center hosts a wide variety of events both on and off Grounds. 
  • UVA offers On-Grounds multiple resiliency rooms across grounds, including 
    • Newcomb Hall Rm 466 (Meditation & Reflection Room)
    • Clemons Room 220
    • 1515 University Avenue: 2nd Floor Reflection Room
    • McLeod 2010 (Compassionate Care Classroom)
    • McLeod 2025 (Maria Tussi Kluge Resilience Room)​

Physical Support

From recreation centers to healthcare, UVA has many resources to support your physical needs:

  • UVA Student Health and Wellness Center offers excellent medical, mental health, and accessibility services, public health education and leadership, and nationally renowned research and institutional partnerships. Services are available to all registered students who are charged comprehensive fees with their tuition. 
  • ​The UVA Aquatics & Fitness Center (AFC) is dedicated to fitness on Grounds, offering an Olympic-sized pool with warm water and sauna, state-of-the-art cardiovascular training equipment, three-court gymnasium, indoor walking/jogging track, multi-purpose rooms, along with a café and team store.
Meet the Program Staff

Susan Salko, M.S., Program Director
Susan Salko brings extensive experience advising pre-medical students at premier institutions across the country as well as experience serving as a member of a medical school admissions committee. As Program Director, she provides both admissions workshops and one-on-one advising to students as they prepare for the medical school admissions process. In addition, she assists with glide year planning and continually supports students beyond graduation as they move towards their goal of becoming a physician. Susan also oversees the admissions committee for the Post Bacc Pre-Medical Program and develops resources to augment students’ academic and professional experiences within the program.

Jillian Golaszewski, M.A., Academic Advisor
Jillian Golaszewski’s previous experience working in graduate and medical school admissions allows her to use her admissions perspective to work individually with post bacc pre-medical students to prepare their best application to medical school. Jillian acts as the point person for prospective students, serves on the admissions committee for the Post Bacc Pre-Medical Program, facilitates course registration for current students, and offers any other academic and professional support that students might need to be successful in the program and the medical school admissions process.

Robert D. Powers, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Advisor
A professor in the University of Virginia School of Medicine Departments of Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Dr. Powers has spent more than 30 years in academic practice.  He sees patients and teaches in the inpatient internal medicine wards, palliative care, and outpatient adult clinics. As part of the Post Bacc Pre-Med Program, Dr. Powers serves on the admissions committee and contributes to program administration and student advising.  In addition, Dr. Powers teaches a Post Bacc seminar on the structure, function, financing, and challenges of the American health care system.  He also supervises and coordinates clinical orientation and shadowing experiences for students, enabling them to get direct exposure to patient care and medical practice.

Charles M. Grisham, Ph.D, Academic Director
Charlie Grisham is a Professor and Associate Chair in the University of Virginia Department of Chemistry where he has taught biochemistry, introductory chemistry, and physical chemistry for more than 40 years. In addition to teaching a post bacc only section of biochemistry each spring semester, Professor Grisham is taking on the Academic Director role where he will host regular office hours throughout the academic year in order to support each student’s academic success. He is the author of several university-level textbooks and a developer of computer software devoted to teaching and learning biochemistry. 


If you have questions or would like to learn more, please reach out to us by phone (434-982-5394) or email ( We're happy to speak with you.

Requirements for Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Students

Health Insurance

All students in the Post Bacc Pre-Med Program are required to have health insurance before arriving on Grounds. If you do not have health insurance or are not covered by another person’s policy, UVA offers a student health insurance plan. Coverage under the plan begins in late August and continues for 12 months. To initiate coverage, you will need to complete the application and pay the premium. Complete information and registration forms are available online.


All students in the Post Bacc Pre-Med Program must have all necessary immunizations updated. You will need to complete the Pre-Entrance Health Form and have it signed by your family physician, indicating that you have received the following shots. 

  • Tetanus/diphtheria booster
  • Mumps
  • Measles (Rubella) vaccination
  • German Measles (Rubella) vaccination
  • Polio (Poliomyelitis)
  • Tuberculosis screening

If you need any of these immunizations updated once you arrive in Charlottesville, you can do so at the Albemarle County Health Department, 1138 Rose Hill Drive,  434.972.6269. If you have additional questions or concerns, contact the Department of Student Health at 434.982.3915.

Note: You must complete the University immunization form required of all entering students and return it to Student Health by May 15 of the entering year.


A variety of housing options are available throughout the Charlottesville area. We recommend avoiding areas that predominantly cater to undergraduate students, especially around the Corner. See the Off-Grounds Housing website to peruse potential rental properties.

The Glide Year

Adding to Your Experience

The glide year is the period following the program’s completion and prior to entering medical school. During this time, students submit applications to medical schools and engage in activities that will further enhance their medical preparation. The Post Bacc Pre-Med faculty and staff help students develop a plan of action for the glide year and support students throughout this period.

Sample Glide Year Activities
  • Eye Clinic Technician at Boston Medical Center 
  • ESL Teacher in Boston, MA
  • Cardiac Psychiatry Clinical Research Coordinator at Mass General
  • Medical Scribe, Various Locations
  • Clinical Research Coordinator, Pediatric Research of Charlottesville
  • Care Team Assistant at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Dermatology Research Assistant at Northwestern University
  • Neurosurgery Clinical Research Coordinator at Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Thoracic Oncology Research Assistant at Medical University of South Carolina
  • Surgery Program Manager at University of Colorado 
  • Clinical Research Assistant, UVA Center for Behavioral Medicine
  • Community HealthCorps (Americorps), Brooklyn, NY
  • Editorial Assistant, Diabetes and Diabetes Care
  • Integration Coordinator, International Rescue Committee 
  • Medical/Office Assistant, Planned Parenthood
  • Nursing Staff, INOVA Hospital, Fairfax, VA
  • Patient Care Assistant, UVA Medical Intensive Care Unit
  • Phlebotomist at Winchester Hospital, VA
  • Research Assistant at UVA Center for Global Health
PBPM class outside under a cherry tree
Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program

Student Testimonials

Hear what former students have to say about their experience in the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program at UVA.

* 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.