Designed for Career Changers
For over two decades, the University of Southern California’s Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program has been preparing compassionate, intelligent and dedicated students for the pursuit of medical doctoral degrees. Designed for students that have successfully completed an undergraduate degree in a non-science field, this career changer program enables students to excel in a competitive academic environment, collaborate with peers and encourage each others’ development through each stage of the premedical preparation process.
Program at a Glance
USC’s program emphasizes well-rounded preparation, so in addition to coursework, our program also takes into consideration time that should be devoted to extracurricular activities and exploring professional interests. USC’s unique locale supports several major teaching hospitals and a variety of non-profit organizations, and our students are consistently involved with cutting-edge research, volunteer rotations in state-of-the-art medical departments, busy community clinics and university-sponsored community outreach.
SelectiveDirected towards accomplished students with little or no college-level science work. Minimum undergraduate GPA is 3.2. Average GPA of admitted students is 3.5.
StructuredStructured, academic preparation in biology, chemistry, and physics courses, as well as molecular biology and biochemistry.
SupportFaculty, staff and advisors dedicated to helping students grow academically, personally and professionally. Personal coaching for every student on their pathway to med school.
CommunityCommunity is one of our greatest assets. Our students study, work, socialize together. Each student is paired with a student mentor during the program.
Clinical experienceUSC-affiliated hospitals and diverse healthcare networks in the Los Angeles area provide rich clinical experience.
Research opportunitiesRich and diverse research opportunities on campus across many areas of clinical, laboratory and social science research.
Relationship with USC Keck School of MedicineIn addition to all the rich clinical experiences available at Keck, the Keck School of Medicine of USC will interview every USC postbacc student who meets specific GPA and MCAT goals.
MCAT prepUSC coursework provides exceptional preparation for the MCAT. We also recommend a MCAT prep course and will reimburse the cost for every student.
Our students …
Casey M., Postbacc Alum 2023
My past two years in the program has been extremely challenging as I’ve tried to balance school, research, volunteering and working while still adjusting to a new lifestyle and career change. However, they have also been filled with immense growth in knowledge and pedagogical skills, not only relating to the field of medicine but also internal reflection on what kind of physician I want to be. I strongly believe that USC’s program has been, and will be, the best preparedness tool I could have hoped for during my journey to medical school.
Shabaz K., Postbacc Alum 2022
Completing the Post-Baccalaureate program at USC allowed me to develop valuable skills in the pursuit for medical school….Dr. Chi Mak, now the director of the program, was my professor in Biochemistry during the wildfires and was very accommodating and supportive. Additionally, his class challenged me to reassess my study methods and advance my critical thinking skills, which was paramount towards my success on the MCAT…I am grateful to have attended this program and extremely happy with my overall experience. I have gained the knowledge, confidence, and skills necessary to prepare for medical school while also building lifelong friendships along the way.
Carolyn M., Postbacc Alum 2023
Take advantage of the relatively smaller size of the program and keep in touch with your classmates and administrators. The resources that are allotted allow you to tailor your experience in the program and receive one-on-one advisement that will benefit you beyond the coursework.
Marcus A., Postbacc Alum 2022
I chose USC for several reasons. The first reason was the organized nature of the program. I am someone who needs an organized and structured learning environment. The USC Postbaccalaureate Premed Program formulates a plan for each student to complete all the sciences based on their needs, preferences, and individual timelines. The second reason was their focus on students who had little to no experience with the sciences or, in other words, career changers. This gave me the confidence knowing that they understand the unique needs of career changers. The third reason was the opportunity to receive a world-class education. USC is a top-tier university where I knew I would be challenged academically and have access to some of the leaders in their respective fields. I knew USC would prepare me for a future in medicine from the MCAT and beyond. The fourth reason is the location. Having played [in the NBA] in Los Angeles for the past two years, I knew how special Los Angeles is. The weather is unparalleled, and there is an endless number of things to do no matter your interests.
Our students come to USC with varied backgrounds from universities across the country. Some join us immediately after finishing their undergraduate degrees, while many have held successful careers in different fields.
The majority of our students are premed. Others are pursuing health and science fields such as dental, veterinary or pharmacy schools.
What all our students have in common is that they have all excelled academically at their undergraduate institutions and have started a career or have pursued a disparate course of study, before deciding unequivocally that becoming a physician, dentist or veterinarian is right for them.
Our program offers admission for Fall, Spring and Summer terms.
We are currently accepting and reviewing applications for our Spring 2024 (January start) and Summer 2024 (May start) cohorts.
1. Preliminary Application
2. Interview Invitation
3. Graduate Application
To be eligible for the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program, an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited American college or university with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. Typically, applicants accepted into the program have a 3.25 minimum undergraduate GPA, achieved in a competitive academic setting.
The first step of the application process is to complete a Preliminary Application.
Preliminary Application requirements:
- Personal Statement (1-2 pages, double-spaced)
- Resume / CV
- Transcripts from all colleges and universities the student attended sent from school(s) directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Unofficial transcripts or academic reports are sufficient at the preliminary application stage.)
- Two letters of recommendation from professors familiar with the applicant’s academic work and motivation for entering the premedical sciences. Individuals who have been out of school for several years may instead request letters from recent or current employers.
After submission of a complete Preliminary Application, our review will be conducted within 1 – 2 weeks.
*There is no fee to complete the Preliminary Application.
Upon completion of Preliminary Application review, our admissions committee will decide if we want to extend an interview to the applicant. Applicants that meet our minimum eligibility, and whom we believe may be successful in their postbacc journey, will receive an interview invitation. The interview is an opportunity for us to learn more about the applicant and their interest in the program at USC. We will also answer any questions and provide more information on our program after the interview.
*We offer candidates the option to interview on campus (in-person) or via Zoom (virtual).
Applicants that are accepted by the program must complete the USC Graduate Application. The Graduate Application is required to be formally admitted to the University of Southern California. The Graduate Application comes with a non-refundable $90 application fee.
Interested applicants are advised to complete their Preliminary Applications early. The application process, from submitting a complete Preliminary Application to receiving an admission decision, is usually 4 – 6 weeks.
A Preliminary Application is not complete until all supporting documents, including recommendation letters, have been received. Unofficial transcripts or academic reports are sufficient at the preliminary application stage.
Preliminary Applications submitted after the deadline (see below) will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
Spring 2024 Friday, October 20, 2023 Summer 2024 Friday, March 15, 2024
Explore further >>>
The nine core courses in USC’s Postbacc program fulfill the science prerequisites for all medical schools in the US. Some medical schools also have an English requirement, plus other recommended coursework.
Learn more about the program and academic support available for students.
Find out how the typical course schedule of our Postbacc program fits into the timeline leading into the standard medical school application cycle.
Interested in pre-vet or pre-dent? Find out how the pre-dent or pre-vet tracks in our Postbacc program can prepare you for dental or veterinarian school.
See how our Postbacc students can connect with USC’s Keck School of Medicine.
Our Postbacc Program newsletters are published every quarter and distributed electronically to everyone who is on our mailing list. Find out how to sign up.
The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is the academic core of the University of Southern California. Our diverse community works across the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, exploring fundamental questions about who we are, how the world works, and what we can do to improve and enrich society.
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