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Applying to Med/PA School

Post Baccalaureate Programs: The Top Websites to Begin Exploring Your Options

Marissa profile

About Marissa

Marissa is a recent graduate of Clemson University where she received her B.S. in Health Sciences. During the summer of 2019, Marissa participated in the Atlantis shadowing program in Trento, Italy, and now works as an Alumni Representative with the company. She is currently applying to medical school where she hopes to become a primary care physician.

There is a common misconception that all premedical students should attend medical school immediately after college. For many students, that can be a difficult feat. Not all pre-meds feel prepared at the end of their college career and may need to take a gap year or two to find the right path. As a student participating in a gap year myself, I can tell you that you are not alone and it is okay to take a step back to work on yourself! This was a decision I made after coming back from a shadowing abroad program with Atlantis. I realized that having an additional year was a chance to try new experiences and continue to develop my passion for medicine.

What is a Post-baccalaureate?

A post baccalaureate program (more commonly known as a “post-bacc”) is a program that students can complete after graduating from college. For many students, a post-bacc is an opportunity to strengthen the competitiveness of their medical school applications. A post-bacc provides this opportunity by giving students a chance to improve GPA scores, complete required prerequisite courses for medical school admissions, and gain valuable research experience. Typically, a post-bacc program takes one to two years to complete. For students who intend on taking a gap year, a post-bacc program is a great way to continue preparing for medical school. Unlike your time in undergrad, post-bacc programs allow you to focus on medical school preparation. 

Top websites to start your search

Even if you are interested in completing a post-bacc program, it can often be overwhelming trying to explore all of the options that exist. Luckily, listed below are some of the best websites to start your search. Happy hunting!

  1. The AAMC 

The AAMC is responsible for leading and serving the academic medicine community. They oversee MCAT operations, primary applications, and many other requirements for students to prepare for medical school. For this reason, visiting the AAMC website would be very beneficial. Here, you are provided a list of resources, such as how to find post-bacc premedical programs, what to consider before choosing a post-bacc, and much more. The AAMC has also created a database of post-bacc programs that you can find here.  

BeMo is an academic consulting website that has long provided me with information and resources to be successful as a premed student. On their website, you can learn more about post-bacc programs as well as which were the best programs for medical school in 2021. Additionally, for students who prefer audio learning, BeMo allows you to listen to each blog on their website.  

Kaplan is a resource that many students use to prepare for medical school. In addition to their MCAT study materials, Kaplan also provides information on how to strengthen your applications. Here, you can learn more about what a post-bacc is, why they can be beneficial, and how to find programs. 

  • Individual medical school websites 

Many medical schools (such as Columbia, Princeton, Virginia, and others) have their own post-bacc programs. If there is a particular school you are passionate about attending, looking into their program might be beneficial. Additionally, they may have their own resources and information that can help you build an understanding on post-bacc programs.   

At the end of the day, medical schools are looking for three main things: healthcare exposure, high academic performance, and specific competencies that can be found here. A post-bacc is a wonderful way to make you a more competitive applicant. Additionally, there are other extracurricular opportunities that can also strengthen your application, such as Atlantis shadowing programs over school breaks. Ultimately, what you choose to pursue should be something that you enjoy. Taking the time to find unique experiences is a great way to embody the qualities medical schools are looking for. 

Cover of the Medical School Admissions Guide.

Two Atlantis alumni admitted to Top 5 MD programs wrote our widely read medical school admissions guidebook guidebook — download yours.

Our Alumni Enter Great Medical Schools

John Daines headshot.

John Daines

  • Atlantis '17
  • Brigham Young University '19
  • Washington U. in St. Louis MD '23
Zoey Petitt headshot.

Zoey Petitt

  • Atlantis '17
  • U. of Arizona '18
  • Duke MD '23
Yong hun Kim headshot.

Yong-hun Kim

  • Atlantis '17
  • Stanford '19
  • Mayo Clinic MD '24
Megan Branson headshot.

Megan Branson

  • Atlantis '18
  • U. of Montana '19
  • U. of Washington MD '24
Sarah Emerick headshot.

Sarah Emerick

  • Atlantis '19
  • Eckerd College '20
  • Indiana U. MD '25
Snow Nwankwo headshot.

Snow Nwankwo

  • Atlantis '19
  • Catholic U. of America '21
  • Georgetown U. MD '26
Tiffany Hu headshot.

Tiffany Hu

  • Atlantis '16
  • U. of Maryland '17
  • U. of Michigan MD '22
Lauren Cox headshot.

Lauren Cox

  • Atlantis '18
  • Louisiana Tech '20
  • U. of Arkansas MD '24
Kayla Riegler headshot.

Kayla Riegler

  • Atlantis '18
  • U. of Kentucky '20
  • U. of Kentucky MD '24

About Atlantis

Atlantis is the leader in pre-health shadowing and clinical experience, offering short-term programs (1-10 weeks) over academic breaks for U.S. pre-health undergraduates. Medical schools want 3 things: (1)healthcare exposure, (2)GPA/MCAT, and (3)certain competencies. Atlantis gives you a great version of (1), frees you to focus on (2), and cultivates/shows (3) to medical school admissions committees.

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Watch Video: The Atlantis Shadowing Experience and How it Helps In Your Med/PA Admissions Future

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Cover of the Medical School Admissions Guide.
Two Atlantis alumni admitted to Top 5 MD programs wrote our widely read medical school admissions guidebook — download yours.