How to Apply
Realize Your Future in Medicine
Whether you are seeking a career in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or an allied health field, our internationally recognized faculty, dedicated academic advisors, network of clinical and research opportunities, and resource-rich campus in New York City will help you realize your future in medicine.
Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some have already begun a career and are looking for more from their professional lives, others have experienced personal situations that inspired them to go into a medical field, and some are seeking the science education they didn't take as an undergraduate. No matter your situation, we will set you on the path to medical school.
Notice of Non-Discrimination
The admissions policies of the Postbac Premed Program at the School of General Studies adhere to the Columbia University Non-Discrimination Policy.
How to Apply
The following items are required to review an application for admission to the Postbac Premedical Program. Please note that unofficial documents are accepted as part of the application process, and can be used to make an admissions decision. If offered admission, in order to enroll you will be required to submit official* documents.
- A submitted online application.
- High school transcripts, secondary school records, or GED/TASC test results. Applicants with a GED or TASC and two or more years of high school will need to submit their high school transcripts. Documents not in English must be accompanied by certified translations.*
- Transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Documents not in English must be accompanied by certified translations.*
- Test Scores - If you have taken any standardized tests such as ACT, SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT, please report them on your application in the Test Scores section. If you are admitted, we will inform you of any requirement to have the scores sent to us officially.
- A double-spaced essay of approximately 500 words.
- Two letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources. Please note that letters should be requested and submitted via the application portal.
- A nonrefundable application fee of $80, submitted using the secure online application system.
*Official documents are those that arrive directly from the institution, testing service, or recommender electronically. If electronic documents are not available from your high school, we will accept mailed copies of the transcripts sent directly to the GS Office of Admissions from the issuing agency. Paper transcripts may not be delivered or forwarded by a student. If electronic documents are not available from your college or university, please contact the GS Office of Admissions for further instruction.
Note that applicants must submit all materials directly and not through an agent or third-party vendor. In addition, the applicant will be required to attest to the accuracy and authenticity of all information and documents submitted to Columbia. If you have any questions about this requirement please contact the us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important Contact Information
Office of Admissions and Educational Financing
Columbia University School of General Studies
408 Lewisohn Hall, MC 4101
New York, NY 10027
Premedicine, Oesteopathic Medicine, and Predentistry
Students preparing for admission to allopathic, osteopathic, or dental schools have the same course curriculum. Differences typically occur in clinical or volunteer options.
Students preparing for admission to veterinary schools follow the same series of basic requirements that premedical students follow and often need additional requirements such as anatomy and physiology as well as large, small, and exotic animal experience, either paid or volunteer. Students should plan early and carefully for their exotic and large animal experiences because opportunities are limited, especially in New York City. Many students pursue exotic and large animal work in out-of-town settings.
Allied Health Track
The Postbac Premed Program supports students interested in pursuing careers as physician assistants, in occupational or physical therapy, public health, or other health care professions. Much of the coursework required for admission to these professional programs corresponds to the premedical curriculum. As with the premedical students, prehealth students receive close advice and support from the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Office.
The Postbac Premed Program affords students great flexibility, with the option to enroll full or part time, beginning study in the fall, spring, or summer. Courses are offered both during the day and in the evening. Students who must work full time should give themselves more time to complete the first phase of their studies, and may want to consider enrolling part time.
Program length is determined by a variety of factors. Please be aware that most students do not complete more than two core science courses (plus lab) in any given term. If a student has previously taken any core science courses, these must have been taken during a full-length semester and not a mini-session or abbreviated summer semester.
Traditional and Accelerated Programs
The traditional program and the accelerated program are both four semesters long, and each track covers the same classes and amount of material. However, the traditional program begins in the fall semester and takes two years to complete (a fall and spring semester followed by another fall and spring semester). The coursework in the accelerated program may be completed in less than 18 months, as it begins in the spring semester, includes a special full-length summer semester, and finishes with a typical fall-spring semester academic year.
Students interested in beginning the traditional program in the fall can expect to complete their coursework after two full academic years of study. In the third year, known as the glide year, students will focus on applying to medical school while deepening their exposure to medicine through advanced science coursework, research, or clinical work.
Students who are up for a challenge and wish to enroll in the accelerated program in the spring can expect to complete coursework within 18 months if they are prepared to begin General Chemistry I, Physics I, and Calculus I. The Accelerated Program is suitable for students who have demonstrated strong quantitative skills and have recently completed calculus or are calculus-ready. Upon completion of academic coursework, students spend the following year applying to medical school, taking advanced coursework, and engaging in research or clinical work like those who undertake the traditional program.
Note: Students may not apply to the accelerated program, but will work with their academic advisor to determine the program that is right for them—the accelerated sequence, a part-time start, or preparatory coursework are all options available to spring admits.
Students may opt to enroll for part time study, which offers greater flexibility. Many students begin by taking a single course while continuing to work a full-time job; this is especially the case for students who begin in the spring or summer terms in order to complete preparatory coursework before enrolling in the required science courses.
All preparatory coursework, including pre-calculus, pre-chemistry, and basic physics, is offered during at least one of the summer terms. These courses may also be offered during the fall and spring semesters. Information is also given on summer enrollment for students who may need to begin their studies in the summer before their first fall enrollment to prepare for mathematics, chemistry, and physics.
Prospective Student Appointments
The Office of Admissions dedicates time for prospective students to speak directly with a representative of the Admissions Team. Topics that might be discussed during these appointments include:
- Academic record
- Eligibility to apply
- Postbac Premed Program curriculum
An appointment is recommended for students who cannot attend an information session, or have attended an information session and have specific questions, to more directly discuss the Postbac Premed Program and the application process.
Appointments are 20-30 minutes in length and can be conducted in person or over the phone.
408 Lewisohn Hall
Students who seek admissions advising appointments should note that appointments are only listed if they are available. If none are listed, please check back for additional availability.
Please note: Prospective students who previously applied to the Postbac Premed Program should not electronically schedule an appointment.