The University’s Medical School has launched a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program — Postbac MEDPREP— designed to help students without a strong background in science become competitive medical school applicants.

MEDPREP will provide science coursework, health care learning opportunities, preparation for the MCAT exam and support in the medical school application process. The program is open to any college graduate who is planning on attending medical school, but does not award a master’s degree at the end of the program. Tuition begins at $30,000 for Michigan residents.

The program lasts 14 months, beginning in May and ending the next summer. Matthew Wishart, program director for Postbac MEDPREP, said the program can help non-science majors gain the experience they need to apply to and attend medical school. He added that the program could be beneficial for students who did not realize they wanted to be doctors until they were nearing the end of college.

“I think it can be a daunting decision for someone that thought they were headed in a certain direction and has changed their path,” Wishart said.

The Medical School recently changed its admissions requirements to make them more flexible for non-science majors.

According to the program’s website, Postbac MEDPREP is highly selective and strives to put together a motivated and diverse group of students. The group is also meant to be small in number, allowing students to gain individualized assistance.

Jim Musgrave, student services assistant for Postbac MEDPREP, said MCAT preparation has been integrated into the coursework, and this will help students as they work through the program.

“All courses in the curriculum have been folded in with MCAT prep,” Musgrave said.

Wishart said though the courses they will offer are often fundamental science courses, Postbac MEDPREP administrators have worked closely with LSA to ensure that undergraduates can still access other classes as well.

Kinesiology junior Nishi Kadakia, who had considered applying to medical school, said people she knows often struggle with the transition between undergraduate and medical school.

“I can see how this program would give you a bit more science background than the typical science major,” Kadakia said.

However, Kadakia said she believes a student can get accepted to medical school, even as a non-science major, without doing such a program.

“I don’t think it’s necessary in order to look more appealing as an applicant,” she said. “I think that anyone can go straight into med school from undergrad, no matter what they majored in.”

To summarize the intent of the program, Wishart noted comments that University President Mark Schlissel has made about the role of education in transforming lives. He said the goals of the Postbac MEDPREP program are similar to this idea.

“This program can transform lives through education, and then these students can go on to transform peoples’ lives,” Wishart said.

Applications for Postbac MEDPREP are currently being accepted. The application opened in late February, and will close April 6.

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