If you’re entering a medical, dental or veterinary program, you’ll know that the application process is getting more competitive every year—especially among the more prominent universities. Pre-medical advisors often recommend a post-baccalaureate (post-bac) program to improve your academic record. While there are several other ways to strengthen your portfolio, post-bac degrees have been shown to be effective and can often be earned through a one-year program. An Academic Record Enhancement Program (AREP) is designed to add an additional credential to your portfolio and improve your overall GPA to give you a step-up when you apply to med school.
Do I need an academic record enhancer?
Preparing for medical school is hard work. It’s not uncommon to underperform in one or more courses in your pre-med bachelor’s program. Fortunately, a few bad grades won’t necessarily disqualify your medical school aspirations. An academic record enhancement program may allow you to re-take these courses. Many pre-med students earn a master’s degree to enhance their academic portfolio—advanced-level coursework can help offset a lackluster undergrad performance.
Do academic record enhancement programs really help?
Yes! A post-bac pre-med program can give your GPA a boost, help you prepare for your MCAT exam, and add an additional certificate or master’s degree to your portfolio. Even if medical school isn’t in your future, an advanced certificate or degree will qualify you for higher-paying jobs.
Bellarmine’s Master of Health Science in Biomedical Sciences
Our MHS in Biomedical Sciences is an accelerated master’s program designed to help you meet your career goals. The one-year program will include MCAT preparation and career advisement in a combination of face-to-face clinical immersion sessions and online instruction.
The program is built to meet your career goals with dedicated faculty providing instruction, professional preparation, and career advisement. Over the course of one calendar year, you will receive face-to-face instruction at Bellarmine for a 9-credit intensive summer session, and two 13-credit semesters of online instruction with clinical immersion. Among the elective course offerings is a 3-credit course on medical school preparation.
This program is ideal for students who have completed a pre-medical bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. While GRE and MCAT tests are not required for admission, you may choose to submit your scores. A list of pre-med prerequisites, the schedule and curriculum, and tuition information can be found on the MHS-BS program page.
What if I enroll in an AREP, earn the MHS degree, and still can’t get into med school?
If your dream is to become a medical doctor, a low GPA is big obstacle. Another way an AREP will help you is by qualifying you for broad work experiences in the medical field. A master’s degree in biomedical sciences can help you land a career in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, health education, health care administration, and many other fields. Not only might this advanced work experience strengthen your med school application, but it may also help you find a new passion.
Meera Patel earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. When her plan to attend medical school was sidelined, she returned to Bellarmine and earned an MHS in Medical Laboratory Science. While she has not yet realized her original goal, she has found a fulfilling career in a blood bank lab.
Read more about the Master of Health Science in Biomedical Sciences