Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program

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Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program

The School of Biological Sciences Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program is a Career-Changer program – designed for students seeking to complete all or the majority of core courses required for admissions to Medical or other health professional programs (i.e. Dental, PA, Veterinary Medicine). 

Our 24 month, year-round career-changer program will expose our students to a rigorous science curriculum that focuses on the application of science, and fosters critical and analytical thinking skills. These learning methods are parallel to the preparations needed to be successful in standardized entrance examinations such as the MCAT and real-life application in the health professions workforce. 

At the end of the 2 year program, students at minimum will have completed the following common pre-health requirements:

Blue and white check 1 year of General Chemistry w/labs
Blue and white check 1 year of Organic Chemistry w/labs
Blue and white check 1 year of Physics w/labs
Blue and white check 1 year of general Bio w/labs, including Biochemistry

group of postbacc cohort

Is a Pre-health Career Changer Postbacc program right for you?

YES, if you are a student who has successfully completed an undergraduate degree in a non-science discipline with little to no pre-health coursework completed. Students would benefit from an enriching postbaccalaureate program that will help them complete the required basic core courses for medical and other health professions programs admission.

NO, if you are a student from a science discipline (Bio Sci, Public Health Sciences, chemistry, etc) with the majority of the pre-admission requirements complete, or who are seeking to take additional courses to boost their academic record.

You may instead benefit from an Academic Enhancer Program, such as UCI’s School of Medicine Postbaccalaureate program

Why choose UC Irvine’s School of Biological Sciences Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program?

Guaranteed enrollment in program science courses

Letter of recommendation for eligible students

Free accessible peer tutoring (for basic science courses)

Integrative Cohort program: Small cohorts of 10-15 students integrated into undergraduate courses

Accessible and personalized pre-health counseling services

24 months program

Discounted entrance exam prep (MCAT, DAT, GRE, etc)

Over 230 research opportunities under the guidance of the distinguished faculty of the School of Biological Sciences and the UCI School of Medicine

Program Details

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants are required to meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for consideration.

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution
 Applicants currently in progress of completing their undergraduate studies must have degree conferred (no later than the spring term) before the start of the program.
Permanent residence of the United States
3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average
Less than 25 % of the pre-med/health requirements completed
(e.g. no more than 1 year of General Chemistry). Please reach out to us if you are uncertain if you meet this requirement.
Within these, a cumulative science GPA (i.e grades from any Bio, Math, Physics, or Chem courses) of 3.0.
One year of English composition with minimum GPA of 3.0.
**Acceptable substitution: One year (two semester or three quarters) of English courses (lower and upper division writing) completed to satisfy bachelor’s degree requirements.
Science Prerequisite with a minimum “B” letter grade: One term of preparatory or introductory chemistry.
**Acceptable substitution: One term of general chemistry or single-variable calculus
A minimum of two letters of recommendation required.
One letter must be from a faculty member from which you have earned a letter grade and earned undergraduate credits. Maximum three letters of recommendation.


Recommendations for Competitive Candidacy

Additional Coursework
In addition to eligibility requirements, completion of any of the following courses listed below with a minimum grade of B+ or higher:

  • General Biology with or without lab
  • Two quarters or semesters of Single-variable Calculus

Note: It is important the applicant does not exceed the 25% pre-med/health maximum coursework allowance to remain eligible for the program.

  • Academic record that shows evidence of handling a rigorous curriculum.
  • Academic record shows evidence of upward or consistent positive trend
  • Demonstrate aptitude for science courses with a cumulative GPA of ≥ 3.20.
  • Committed Clinical or Volunteer Experience (three months or longer)
  • Community Service & Outreach

We are seeking highly motivated, academically consistent students that can show evidence of compassion for, and commitment to, medicine and the community. It is our goal to support empathetic pre-health students who possess a genuine passion for service in healthcare.

Application Process and Deadlines

How to Apply:

Applications open in mid-September via PostBacCAS. We encourage prospective students to apply early by our recommended deadline. We have a rolling admissions review process. Competitive applicants will be invited for interviews on an ongoing basis.

Program Deadlines for the 2023-2024 Application Cycle

  • Application open: September 19th, 2023
  • Recommended deadline: January 26th, 2024
  • Final deadline to submit application in PostBacCAS: March 12th, 2024 at 8:59 PM PST/11:59 EST
  • All supplemental documents must be received by March 15, 2024. Incomplete applications post-deadline will be ineligible for consideration due to incomplete status.
  • Interviews: February – April 2024
  • Instruction begins: June 2024

PostBacCAS Applications Here!

 

Supplemental Documents Required:

Transcripts from all institutions attended where undergraduate or graduate credit was earned: How to Send Transcripts to PostBacCAS

Letters of Recommendation (2-3). Minimum two letters of recommendation.

All letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically through PostBacCAS. Request for your letters of recommendation through the PostBacCAS application. Your letter writers will receive instructions on how to submit their letter online. Letters statuses are updated real time.Required Academic Letter: One letter must come from a faculty from which you have earned a letter grade and received undergraduate credits.  The academic letter can come from any academic discipline, science or non-science.A maximum of three letters of recommendation are accepted. Letters from family and friends are strongly discouraged.

Progress Expectancy Contract  – To remain in the program, students must meet the Progress Expectancy Contract requirements. Upload completed document to PostBacCAS application.

Supplemental Application Processing Form (non-refundable fee) – $60. Email this form to UCI Division of Continuing Education: dce-services@uci.edu

APPLICANTS CAN SUBMIT THEIR APPLICATION BEFORE THEIR TRANSCRIPTS AND LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION ARE RECEIVED. All documents must be received by March 15, 2024. Remaining incomplete applications by March 15, 2024 are denied without a refund. 

 

Application Questions?

PostBacCAS Help Center

Email: PostBacCASinfo@liasioncas.com
Phone: 857-304-2047

Program Questions?

Email: premedpb@uci.edu
Phone: 949-824-0326

Curriculum

The UCI School of Bio Sci Postbacc Premedical Program curriculum is a rigorous 2-year program, equivalent to eight quarters, which includes enrollment in two summer sessions. Modeled after our undergraduate curriculum, it goes beyond the basic admissions requirements for pre-health admissions. We have included highly sought after upper division lectures and labs to help students demonstrate competency in core human science courses and to help them transition to year one of their desired health profession’s curriculum.

Students entering the program are required to complete all of the following course at the UC Irvine:

One year of general chemistry with lab (Chem 1A,1B, 1C, 1LC, 1LD)
One year of organic chemistry with lab (Chem 51A, 51B, 51C, 51LB, 51LC)
One year of calculus based physics with lab (Physics 3A, 3B, 3C, 3LB, 3LC
Genetics, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology (Bio Sci 97, 98, 99, respectively)
Scientific Writing (Bio Sci 100)
Upper division Bio courses (variable)

  • Human Physiology lecture and lab (Bio Sci E109 & Bio Sci E112L)
  • Microbiology lecture and lab (Bio Sci M122 & Bio Sci M118L)
  • Anatomy combined lecture and lab or upper division lab or elective applicable to progress

Exceptions may apply if courses are satisfied prior to entrance into the program. All entering course equivalencies are subject to review by department teaching faculty. Course equivalencies listed on assist.org for UC Irvine Biological Sciences major are automatically accepted.

 

Sample Curriculum

1st SummerFallWinterSpring
Chem 1A

Chem 1B

*optional Bio Sci 93

Chem 1C

Chem 1LC

Genetics

Chem 1LD

Biochemistry

Human Physiology

Physics 3A

Molecular Biology

Scientific Writing

2nd SummerFallWinterSpring
Physics 3B

Physics 3C

Physics 3LB

—–

Suggested: 

Bio Elective

Biostatistics or Calculus (if applicable)

Research (optional)

Physiology Lab

Physics 3LC

Chem 51A

Research (optional)

Upper div. Biology lecture or lab

Chem 51B

Chem 51LB

Bio Elective

Research (optional)

MCAT Prep*

Microbio Lab

Chem 51C

Chem 51LC

Bio Elective

Research (optional)

MCAT Prep*

*Entrance Exam Prep for Health Professions (MCAT, DAT, etc) can be taken at any time. We recommend completion of some OChem before starting prep. Generally, our participants will take at least 1 or 2 gap years before matriculating into their desired health professions. MCAT prep can occur during or after program completion.

Enrollment

Students accepted into the program have guaranteed enrollment in the basic science core courses and several upper division level courses applicable to admissions requirements such as Human Physiology, Microbiology, Developmental Biology, and Cellular Biology. Upon completion of their basic science courses students will have the option to enroll in other upper division biology electives that can be beneficial to their career goals.  The curriculum is both structured and personalized to meet each student’s pre-health admission requirements.

In a cohort integration model, students will progress forward in the curriculum together and enroll in the same classes.  Students in the program will be immersed in the same classrooms with UCI undergraduate science majors, which will attest to the strength and competency of the students who complete the post baccalaureate program.  Our students will be able to engage in the same competitive learning experience at UC Irvine as other science majors in similar four-year institutions, clearly demonstrating to future medical programs their readiness.

Students can anticipate class instruction on campus from 8:00AM – 5:00PM, Monday through Friday. Occasionally labs may be required in the evening.

Supportive Resources

Advising

Students that are seeking live one-on-one advisor to advisee interactions and a strong peer support environment will positively enjoy our small cohort. The navigation process in the pre-health environment can appear as daunting and overwhelming. Our students will receive comprehensive personalized guidance and time-lined information applicable to their individual progress from their post bacc advisor. These counselors are experts in the core curriculum and they have a solid foundation to provide advice for competitive candidacy for health professions programs. In addition to receiving the necessary academic preparation to excel in a health professional curriculum, our students are guided through the application process of their desired health professional program.


Free Accessible Weekly Tutoring

Free peer tutoring is available for basic science course, biological sciences core classes, variable upper division biological sciences electives, as well as general and organic chemistry. All tutors are academically strong students that have taken and excelled in these courses. Tutoring sessions include practice worksheets, and midterm and final review sessions, literature that references the exact same lectures the students are enrolled in. Peer tutors attend all the same sessions as their students and create study material based on their prior experience in the course and current professors’ lectures.


Entrance Exams

The postbaccalaureate curriculum is designed to help students meet admission requirements while simultaneously preparing them for entrance exams such as the MCAT, which is required for admission into allopathic or osteopathic medical programs. Currently, our program is partnered with Kaplan Test Prep to provide institutionally discounted preparatory courses for the MCAT, DAT, GRE, etc.


Research

UC Irvine is a proud innovative research leading institution. Students have access to over 230 research opportunities with faculty from the School of Biological Sciences and UCI School of Medicine. Every quarter, we have about 1,000 students engaged in research. Our students work with distinguished faculty on cutting-edge scientific projects in state of the art facilities. Though research is not part of the program’s curriculum structure, high achieving postbaccalaureate students are encouraged to take advantage of the unique research opportunities on campus during their second year or post completion of the program.

Certificate Requirements

While not a degree granting program, the UCI Biological Sciences Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program is a certificate program. Students in the program can request a digital certificate of program completion through the Division of Continuing Education if they meet the following:

1. Cumulative grade point average of 3.30
2. Completion of at least 55 units taken from the following list of UCI courses:

  • General Chemistry 1A-B-C-LC-LD
  • Organic Chemistry 51A-B-C-LB-LC
  • Physics 3A-B-C-LB-LC
  • Biological Sciences:
    • 97 – Genetics
    • 98 – Biochemistry
    • 99 – Molecular Biology
    • 100 – Scientific Writing
    • E109 – Human Physiology
    • E112L – Human Physiology Lab
    • D111L – Cell Biology Lab
    • M116L – Molecular Biology Lab
    • Additional upper-division Bio Sci courses, as approved
  • Statistics 7 or 8

Program Fees and Tuition

Application Fees (non-refundable)

PostBacCAS application service fee:

*direct payment to PostBacCAS

$139 first application

$54 each additional application

UCI Supplemental Application fee

*direct payment to Division of Continuing Education

$60
Commitment Deposit feeReturned to student by tuition deduction the first quarter of enrollment$300

 

Tuition

Average Cost Per Unit$388
Program Fee (one-time only)$6,500
24-month Program Tuition * Course fees and units are variable and dependent on individual needs.
** Fees do not include textbooks, parking, etc.
$29,734 – $34,063
MCAT Test PrepVariable

* Cost per unit is based on Fall 2023 UCI Concurrent Enrollment fee. Rates are subject to change.

Financial Assistance

California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education

Our program is approved by the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education (CSAAVE). Veterans can apply Post 9/11 GI Bill funding towards tuition.

Student Loans

Our program is not FAFSA eligible. Majority postbaccalaureate program do not qualify for FAFSA because they are not degree-conferring program. Students cannot use federal loans for this program.

Students looking for options to finance their studies can apply for private alternative student loans. UC has made arrangements with lenders to offer competitive loans to students in continuing education programs. To assist students in reviewing student loan options the UC Preferred Private Lender List provides additional information about each lender. Students should consider all educational funding options prior to securing a private alternative loan.

For more information please visit: http://ce.uci.edu/resources/financial/loans/

Testimonials

Hear from our Alumni!

Here what some of our alumni have to say about this program! Watch the video to learn about Elizabeth Ochoa’s experience.

Tell us your story! Are you an alumni of the program, reach out for a chance to be featured. > Fill out Alumni Form

Speech Bubbles

Frequently Asked Questions

My cumulative GPA is below a 3.0, will my application be considered?

The minimum GPA requirements are observed, as we feel students who achieve these requirements are prepared to be academically successful in our intense science curriculum. Students are encouraged to address academic challenges on their application for admissions review.

What is the turnaround time for application decisions?

Our application cycle opens annually in September and closes in March of the following year. Students are encouraged to apply by our recommended deadline, as we have a rolling admissions review process. Complete applicants are reviewed in the order they are received. An application submitted on PostBacCAS is considered complete when it has “Verified” status and all application components have been submitted. Competitive applicants will receive an interview invitation beginning in February of the current application cycle if their applications are complete. 

Prerequisite requirements are currently in-progress, am I eligible to apply?

Students are encouraged to wait until letter grades for any program prerequisites are issued before submitting their application. The application will not be reviewed until the letter grades are reported. Applicants with prerequisites listed as in-progress on their application have until March 15th to report their final letter grades. If letter grades are not reported by this time, the applicant will be considered ineligible due to incomplete status.

Supporting Documents: Can I submit my application before letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc. are received by PostbacCAS?

Yes, please do not wait for all transcript(s) and letters to be received to submit your application. After letters of recommendations have been submitted and  transcript(s) have been received, PostBacCAS will begin the verification process. All supporting documents must be submitted to PostBacCAS, with the exception of the Supplemental Application Processing Fee. The Supplemental Application Processing Fee is to be sent to the UCI Division of Continuing Education.

I have a science degree (in Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, etc.), am I still eligible to apply?

This depends on the number of basic premed/health courses you have completed. Applicants that have completed more than 25% of their basic premed/health courses are not eligible for the program. Typically 25% is equivalent to 3-5 classes, such as one year of general chemistry or physics, and a general biology course. Our program does not consider math (calculus and statistics) in the 25% maximum allowance.

Is an interview part of the application process?

Interviews are required for competitive applicants and will be offered by invitation. Applicants will be contacted to schedule a virtual interview.

Why is there a primary fee and a supplemental application fee?

UCI School of Biological Sciences Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program has elected to use the CAS system. This is our only application submission option. The primary application fee is directly required by PostBacCAS for utilizing their online application service; which allows applicants to apply to multiple programs using a single application platform. A supplemental application fee is a common service fee paid directly to your prospective institution for administrative processing purposes.

How do I enroll in classes?

Our enrollment procedures for admitted students is uniquely simplified. Students meet with their program advisor and discuss quarterly enrollment and a long-term plan based on their academic progress and needs. Each quarter (fall, winter, and spring), a program advisor will submit course requests for each postbacc student to the Division of Continuing Education, for enrollment. The student will then be responsible for submitting course fees to the UCI Division of Continuing Education. Postbaccalaureate premedical students have guaranteed enrollment in all basic science courses.

UCI Summer Session enrollment for the entering term will be managed by the postbacc program advisors. Future Summer Session enrollment instructions will be provided by advisors later in the program.

Do you have a preference for California residents?

Our admissions committee seeks to admit the most qualified and competitive applicants. We do not have residence-based priority for any applicants.

Can I work while I am in this program?

Due to the academic rigor of the program and scheduling of classes, we encourage students to avoid taking on too many extracurricular activities and large work loads. The more time students are able to invest in their studies, the more likely they are to thrive in the program. Students that must work are encouraged to take on no more than 10-20 hours per week.

Will I have the opportunity to engage in research?

Research is not a required component of the program curriculum, but the opportunity is available to our students. Due to the intensity of the program, only students that have shown consistently strong academic achievement in the first year of the program are encouraged to take part in research. 

Does this program offer a linkage of acceptance to UC Irvine School of Medicine?

Our program is not affiliated with the UCI School of Medicine and does not have a linkage agreement with this, or any other medical schools. The School of Biological Sciences maintains a positive working relationship with the School of Medicine and their admissions staff, and include our postbacc students in UCI School of Medicine events, when possible

UCI has two postbaccalaureate premedical programs. What is the difference between the two?

The UCI School of Medicine Postbaccalaureate Consortium program is an “academic record enhancer” program designed to assist disadvantaged and  underserved applicants, whom have completed a majority or all their prerequisites needed for medical school admissions, gain acceptance into medical school. The goal of the program is to increase diversity and number of physicians in underserved communities.

  • Questions for the UCI School of Medicine Post Baccalaureate Program please direct your inquiries to pbsom@uci.edu or visit their website.

The UCI Biological Sciences School Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program is designed for students who come from non-science backgrounds and who seek to complete basic sciences core classes needed to gain admissions into medical school or other desired health professions.

What housing options are available to postbacc students in the program?

We do not offer residential placement for postbacc students. There are many off-campus housing options (not affiliated with UC Irvine) in close proximity to the campus and neighboring cities. Many undergraduate and graduate UCI students select off-campus housing options with private rental companies that cater to student housing. To learn more about these options visit housing.uci.edu/och and search for off-campus housing options. Students admitted into the program have free access to the off-campus housing listings offered by UCI Housing.

When do I apply for a health professional program?

Students can expect to apply at the end of the two-year program, although individual timelines are determined by students’ progress and achievements while in the program. Students that apply at the end of the program should anticipate a 1 or 2 year gap. During this year students should continue to work on their applications and/or study for entrance exams, and are encouraged to continue to enhance their profile with experiences such as beginning or continuing research at UCI, clinical and community volunteer services, etc.

When is the first day of instruction?

Visit the UCI Registrar Calendars for the first day of instruction information for classes in Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters.

Visit the Summer Session Calendar link for the first day of instruction information for Summer Session I and Summer Session II.

Is financial aid available in this program?

Our program (like many other postbacc programs) are not eligible for federal aid because we are not a degree conferring program. Do not submit a FAFSA application for this program. Applicants in need of financial assistance are encouraged to research the competitive student loan options offered by UC Preferred Private Loans Lender List. Please keep in mind the loan process requires multiple steps; application submission, application review, loan approval, loan distribution, final enrollment in classes, and access to course material. Early applications are strongly encouraged, allowing admitted students sufficient time to make preparations to finance the program and begin classes on time.

Advisory Committee

Raju Metherate, PhD
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior
UCI School of Biological Sciences

David van Vranken, PhD
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
Professor of Chemistry
School of Physical Sciences

Jenna Bague-Sampson
Program Administrator
Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program
School of Biological Sciences

Jayro Ramos
Program Administrator
Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program
School of Biological Sciences

Don Williams
Director 
Student Affairs Office
School of Physical Sciences

Contact Us

Mailing Address:

UCI Biological Sciences School Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program
Attn: Jenna Bague-Sampson and Jayro Ramos
1011 Biological Sciences III
Irvine, CA 92697-1460

Email: premedpb@uci.edu| Phone: 949-824-0326, 949-824-5873

Online Information Sessions

Do you have more questions about our program? Want to learn more about how our postbaccalaureate program can help you meet your career goals as a health professional? Our information sessions are the best way to learn more about the program!