FAQs for the premed post bacc program

FAQs for the Premed Postbaccalaureate

What is the Premed Postbaccalaureate program?

It is a program specifically for college graduates who want to apply to medical school and need to fulfill prerequisites and/or raise their undergraduate GPA before applying.

What is the value of a program at UCSC Silicon Valley Extension?

UC Santa Cruz Extension has an unmatched reputation for excellence. We are the continuing education branch of the University of California, Santa Cruz, one of the finest public research institutions in the U.S. Our campus-approved academic curricula and industry-savvy instructors are widely respected and contribute to your successful completion of a high-caliber course of study.

Do I have to be accepted into the program to take other Extension courses that are not related to the Premed Postbaccalaureate program?

No. Extension courses are open to the general public, so you do not have to be formally accepted into the program to enroll in courses. However, in the Premed Postbaccalaureate program, priority enrollment is given to the students who have enrolled in the Premed Postbaccalaureate program.


Program Features

Who is this program perfect for?

  • Students who want to improve their GPA and make their application stand out in the medical school admissions process
  • Students interested in Primary Care careers
  • Students preparing for the MCAT or retaking the MCAT
  • Students wanting to study with a flexible schedule (part-time, full-time, evenings)
  • Students interested in taking individual courses. Also students interested in acquiring the Premed Specialization.

Can I receive career counseling?

Career guidance will be offered in A Life in Medicine: Health Care Seminar Series. We also provide one-on-one extended career counseling for an additional fee.

Does this program offer standardized test prep?

Yes, we offer MCAT prep via our partnership with Kaplan.

What is the difference between enrolling in the program vs. taking classes à la carte?

The main difference between being officially accepted into the premed postbaccalaureate program and taking classes independently is access to program resources and benefits. Premed postbaccalaureate program benefits include:

  • Individualized advising
  • A tailored course plan
  • Support in identifying a health program that fits your needs and prepares your application for further study
  • Priority enrollment in high-demand lecture courses
  • Eligibility to receive a composite letter of recommendation written by our program director that combines evaluations from your instructors in the program. This letter can be used as one science letter of recommendation.

Am I able to work while enrolled in this program?

Yes. Our program is unique in that it provides flexible timing of courses so that participants can work while attending the program.


How to Apply

For acceptance into our postbacc program, the following items are required:

  1. Current C.V. or résumé
  2. Any standardized test scores (GRE, MCAT, DAT, PCAT, etc.) if already taken
  3. Three professional letters of recommendation. At least one must be an academic reference, such as one from a faculty member who provided you with a letter grade. All letters should be submitted on official letterhead.
  4. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. International transcripts must be professionally translated. Your baccalaureate degree must be listed on your transcript.
  5. Response to all questions on the application form. We will alert students once the application is available. Please fill out the postbacc interest form to receive program updates.

Program Admissions Requirements

What are the admission requirements?

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 AND a minimum science GPA of 3.0
  • SAT, ACT, or GRE scores
  • Strong motivation and interest in primary care careers
  • Experience in the medical field through volunteer work or previous employment. This is highly preferred but not required.

Timing & Deadlines

When are courses typically offered?

Most classes take place during the evenings. We currently offer a limited number of lower-division prerequisite courses. Please see the course section for scheduling and curriculum details. Course offerings vary by term.

How long is the program?

We estimate that you can complete the program in a year. How long you take will depend on your work schedule, financial burdens, and the number of prerequisites you need to take.


Financials & Funding

What is the estimated cost of the program?

It depends on how many courses you need to take. The total for the Premed Specialization is $3,150. Other offerings such as the academic courses, MCAT prep, and Extended 1:1 career advising are optional and will have an impact on your total cost.

Where can I find information about financial aid options?

While Extension students are not eligible for federal financial aid, there are several options spelled out on our Financial Assistance page such as private student loans.

How long after acceptance do I have to submit my deposit?

You must submit your deposit no more than two weeks after receiving acceptance into the program. Full payment for courses is required prior to the course start date.

When applying for a loan, what do I choose as my major or specialty?

Select the option closest to Health Sciences or Premed Postbaccalaureate. This selection is simply for information purposes and will not influence the lender's provision for a loan.

When applying for a loan, which type should I choose?

Students may choose any loan lender to fund the program. We recommend our students choose the Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan for Undergraduates or the College Ave Career Loan. We encourage students to talk with loan lenders about the program and have them help select the best option.

When applying for a loan, what school code do I use?

The UC Santa Cruz School Code is 001321.


Have Questions?

How do I get additional information about this program?

If you would like to learn more about whether this program would be a good fit for you, please email us at postbacc@ucsc.edu. We offer online information sessions so you can ask staff questions in real time.

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