Pre-Professional Health Programs

Post Baccalaureate Options

Post baccalaureate status refers to students who have already completed an undergraduate degree, either at Cleveland State University or elsewhere.  Cleveland State offers a post baccalaureate program to individuals with a bachelor’s degree who are seeking to gain entry into careers in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, or veterinary medicine.  They wish to complete additional undergraduate work that prepares them for the science and math courses required by professional schools.  The program prepares students with the understanding needed to take the aptitude tests and the courses required for application to most professional schools. 

Admission is not competitive for the Individualized Post Baccalaureate options. Students with a baccaluareate degree that have the desire to take the coursework necessary to potentially qualify for a professional degree program are welcome to attend. Applications are accepted on a continual basis throughout the year.  It is recommended that you allow at least a month for your application to be processed in order to register for classes.   Refer to the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Professional Application for more information. 

With that in mind, students need to take a look at their own history and compare it with the competitive nature of the programs which they desire to gain entry. With the average cumulative GPA's for most professional schools around 3.7, it is important that students understand the inherant risk in choosing to do a post baccalaureate program. In general, there are two types of students that choose the CSU Individualized Post Baccalaureate Options:

Career Changers: Students who fall into this category most often have a degree in a non-science area. Many of our students come from social science and business backgrounds, but we've had students with degrees in Art History and Music as well. 

Grade Enhancers: Students who fall into this category generally do have degrees in the sciences and come to CSU to repeat core coursework or to take upper level undergraduate coursework to enhance their cumulative and science GPA.

The Individualized Post Baccalaureate Program does not have a fixed curriculum. The number of courses and the program duration will be determined by your career goals and by previous undergraduate coursework. Post baccalaureate students receive the same student support services such as advising and the many extracurricular opportunities available to undergraduate students. 

Academic Coursework

Many pre-professional courses are offered in the day or evening, but this program cannot be done exclusively in the evenings. Information on course offerings is available from Cleveland State’s Academics website: go to Fundamentals, then click on Schedules to explore courses planned for upcoming terms.

Here are two sample timelines for a Cleveland State post-baccalaureate pre-medical student. Pre-Dental, Pre-Veterinary and Pre-Pharmacy post-baccalaureates will have similar, but not identical plans. Refer to each link for more information, or find your program of interest and review the Advising Guide to help you plan your schedule. You may begin your coursework during any semester, the timeline shows entrance at Summer for purposes of comparison. After you apply and are accepted as a Post Bacc Pre-Professional student, you will be directed to how and when you can register for classes.

One-year Fast Track Pre-Medical Post-Baccalaureate

Summer
Session 1

General Chemistry I with lab (CHM 261/ CHM 266)** - 4credit hours

Summer
Session 2

General Chemistry II with lab (CHM 262 / CHM 267)** - 4 credit hours

Fall
Semester

-12-13 credit hours

  • Physics I with lab ( PHY 231 or PHY 221 )*
  • Biology I with lab ( BIO 200 and BIO 201 )
  • Organic Chemistry I with lab ( CHM 331 / CHM 336 )
  • Participate in volunteer/paid medically related clinical or research activities
  • Investigate information about the MCAT
  • Consider a potential date to take the MCAT (in June - July )
  • Identify appropriate MCAT preparatory course
  • Enroll in an MCAT preparatory course to begin in April
  • Start writing personal statement

Spring
Semester

-12-13 credit hours

  • Physics II with lab ( PHY 232 or PHY 222 )* 
  • Biology II with lab ( BIO 202 and BIO 203 )
  • Organic Chemistry II with lab ( CHM 332 / CHM 337 )

  • Participate in volunteer/paid medically related clinical or research activities
  • Identify professors/employers for letters of recommendation
  • Start MCAT course/Study for the MCAT
  • Start medical school application process on the AMCAS and/or AACOMAS websites. It is very important to read the application instruction booklet in its entirety. See Applying to Medical School for more information.
  • Contact letters of recommendation providers and give them information about the process
  • Complete personal statement

Summer

  • Take the MCAT sometime between April-May
  • Verify completion of letters of recommendation
  • Complete medical school application
  • Wait for secondary applications and complete them when received
  • Prepare for potential interviews

Two-year Track Pre-Medical Post-Baccalaureate

Fall
Semester 1

  • General Chemistry I with lab ( CHM 261/ CHM 266 )** - 4 credit hours
  • Biology I with lab ( BIO 200 and BIO 201 ) - 4 credit hours
  • Psychology (PSY 100) - 3 credit hours

Spring
Semester 1

  • General Chemistry II with lab ( CHM 262 / CHM 267 )** - 4 credit hours
  • Biology II with lab ( BIO 202 and BIO 203 ) - 4 credit hours
  • Sociology (SOC 101) - 3 credit hours

Fall
Semester 2

  • Organic Chemistry I with lab ( CHM 331 / CHM 336 ) - 4 credit hours
  • Physics I with lab ( PHY 231 or PHY 221 )* - 4-5 credit hours
  • Recommended Additional Course 1
  • Participate in volunteer/paid medically related clinical or research activities
  • Join CSU affiliate of AMSA
  • Investigate information about the MCAT
  • Consider a potential date to take the MCAT (April)
  • Identify appropriate MCAT preparatory course
  • Enroll in an MCAT preparatory course to begin  in January
  • Start writing personal statement

Spring
Semester 2

  • Organic Chemistry II with lab ( CHM 332 / CHM 337 ) - 6 credit hours
  • Physics II with lab ( PHY 232 or PHY 222 )* - 4-5 credit hours
  • Biochemistry (BIO 306 or CHM 402 if OCHEM II already complete) - 3 credit hours
  • Participate in volunteer/paid medically related clinical or research activities
  • Identify professors/employers for letters of recommendation
  • Start MCAT course
  • Start medical school application process on the AMCAS and/or AACOMAS websites. It is very important to read the application instruction booklet in its entirety. See Applying to Medical School for more information.
  • Contact letters of recommendation providers and give them information about the process
  • Complete personal statement
  • Study for the MCAT
  • Take the MCAT (April or May)

Summer

  • Verify completion of letters of recommendation
  • Complete medical school application
  • Wait for secondary applications and complete them when received
  • Prepare for potential interviews

Note:
* University Physics (240 series) can satisfy the Physics requirement. However, Calculus is required for University Physics.
** A placement exam is required in order to enroll in the General Chemistry courses.

Gap Year
Because of the way the application and admission cycle for professional schools works, students who participate in post-baccalaureate pre-professional programs face a transitional year, often called the gap year, between completing their prerequisite courses and the time when they actually begin medical school.

The gap year can be very useful to post baccalaureate students. There are valuable medical employment opportunities available during the gap year that can enhance the things you’ve just learned in class, preparing you even better for your new career and further broadening your perspective on your chosen profession. 

Undergraduate vs. Graduate
A strictly enforced limitation is that post-baccalaureate students may NOT take graduate level courses (courses numbered 500 or greater). Students wishing to take graduate courses should consider non-degree seeking graduate status or one of our graduate programs while still consulting with the pre-professional advisor responsible for your chosen pre-professional program. This will ensure that all professional school prerequisites are met. Taking graduate courses may affect your financial aid status.

There are plenty of opportunities for networking, extracurricular activities and experiential hands-on learning. 

Financing Post-Baccalaureate Education
Post baccalaureate pre-professional students pay for their courses using the undergraduate tuition scale. See Tuition and Fees for in-state and out-of-state tuition. Post baccalaureate students may qualify to use unused financial aid allocations from their undergraduate education.  For all questions regarding financial aid, including student employment and scholarships, see CSU Financial Aid. For information about professional school financial considerations, see Financial Considerations, and Medical School Costs for the Non-Traditional Students.

Support
Post baccalaureates benefit from the same pre-professional support services as undergraduates. Another excellent support resource is the National Society for Nontraditional Premedical and Medical Students, Inc.