Degree and Certificate Programs

During the glide year, some Postbac Premed students wish to take on an additional degree or certificate program prior to enrolling in medical school. Many programs exist, but below are a few programs that have been of particular interest to Postbac Premed students.

Columbia University Master of Bioethics Program

The Combined Postbac Premed-M.S. Bioethics Program, offered in partnership with the Columbia University School of Professional Studies, allows highly-qualified students to enrich and diversify their premedical education prior to enrolling in medical school. Bioethics is an expanding discipline that brings together studies in law, philosophy, religion, economics, science, and history. It seeks to confront the challenges created by rapid changes in biotechnology and biomedicine, from end-of-life care to DNA sequencing to new reproductive technologies. For future healthcare providers, this program will provide a crucial and relevant foundation for the practice of medicine.

Students will begin taking courses in the Bioethics program during the second year of the Postbac Premed Program while completing the premedical degree requirements. Six points of coursework in Bioethics, consisting of two of the core courses in the Bioethics program, are taken during the student’s second year of Postbac study. During the Glide Year, students take an additional 30 points toward the M.S. degree, consisting of four additional core courses and five electives. Students also research and write a master’s thesis during their glide year.

Second Year (Sample Schedule)

Fall

Organic Chemistry I (3.5 points)

Ogranic Chemistry Lab (1.5 points)

Contemporary Biology I (3 points)

Contemporary Biology Lab (3 points)

Core: Philosophy of Bioethics (3 points)

Spring

Organic Chemistry II (3.5 points)

Contemporary Biology II (3 points)

Organic Chemistry Lab (1.5 points)

Core: Introduction to Clinical Ethics (3 points)

Summer

Two Bioethics Electives*

Take MCAT

Begin medical school application process

Third Year (Glide Year) (Sample Schedule)

Fall

Core: History of Bioethics (3 points)

Core: Research Ethics (3 points)

Bioethics Electives*

Spring

Core: Global Bioethics (3 points)

Core: Law and Bioethics (3 points)

Master's Thesis Workshop

Master's Thesis (3 points)

Bioethics Electives*

Summer

Complete required coursework towards M.S. in Bioethics.

*Of the required five elective courses, one must be in the fields of law or policy, one in ethics, and one in social science methods. The two remaining electives may be taken in these or related areas, however students are strongly encouraged to take a course in genetics and, depending on their interest, a course in environmental science. These electives may also be taken during the summer.

Upon admission to the program, students are assigned to a faculty advisor in Bioethics. Students should meet regularly with this advisor as well as with their Postbac Premed advisor. Depending on a student's interest in the Master's Thesis capstone project, an additional thesis advisor may be selected.

Admission to the Combined Postbac Premed-M.S. Bioethics Program is highly selective. Students in good standing and in their first year of coursework in the Postbac Program are eligible to apply for admission, but should meet with their Postbac Premed advisor to discuss their eligibility and consider whether they can manage the workload. Information sessions about the program are typically held in the fall term. For admissions and applications requirements, please visit the website.

Application Deadlines

Early Application Deadline: January 15
Final Application Deadline: May 15

Columbia University Master of Nutrition Science Program

The Combined Postbac Premed-M.S. in Human Nutrition Program, offered in partnership with the Institute for Human Nutrition at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, allows highly qualified students to enrich and diversify their premedical education prior to enrolling in medical school.

Training in human nutrition enlarges an understanding of the role of nutrition in human health and disease prevention through research in basic nutrition science, clinical nutrition, nutritional epidemiology and public health, and to provide training in nutrition to clinicians across the health care professions. The study of human nutrition provides an excellent foundation for students going on to medical school. Students in this program can complete the degree requirements during the glide year.

The Institute for Human Nutrition draws its faculty and M.S. thesis mentors from throughout Columbia University and it has affiliations and training collaborations with universities and institutions around the world. The M.S. program is committed not only to the promotion of knowledge about human nutrition, but to the professional and leadership development of its students through such resources as academic and career advising and through program components that enhance student writing and speaking.

Students accepted into the Combined Postbac Premed-M.S. in Human Nutrition Program receive training in nutrition science and can choose to specialize in basic nutrition science or in clinical or public health nutrition through elective course work and conducting extensive hands-on research to inform the writing of a thesis based on work on a project in one of these areas.

Students may take Biostatistics in the spring of their orgo/bio year in the Postbac Premed Program; they can also take it as an elective during the fall of the glide year. Note: This class fulfills the Postbac Premed statistics requirement, if taken during the orgo/bio year.

During the glide year, students take 33 points toward the M.S., consisting of two additional nine core and two or three electives. Students also participate in a research project and write a master’s thesis during their glide year. Students who plan to matriculate in medical school in the fall after the glide year can arrange to complete their coursework and thesis requirements by mid-summer.

Second Year | Spring (Sample Schedule)

Spring

Organic Chemistry II (3.5 points)

Contemporary Biology II (3 points)

Organic Chemistry Lab (1.5 points)

Optional: Introduction to Biostatistics (3 points)

Glide Year (Sample Schedule)

Fall

Biochemical and Physiological Bases of Nutrition I (3 points)

Growth and Development (3 points)

Introduction to Epidemiology for Nutrition (3 points)

Readings in Nutrition (3 points)

Topics in Public Health Nutrition (3 points)

Special Studies (2 points)

Spring

Biochemical and Physiological Bases of Nutrition II (3 points)

Clinical Nutrition (3 points)

Special Studies (2 points)

Electives (Two to three 3-point courses; the number of electives varies, but these courses are selected in consultation with an advisor)

Summer

M.S. Thesis

Upon matriculation, students are assigned to a faculty advisor in Human Nutrition. Students should meet regularly with this advisor as well as with their Postbac Premed advisor.

Admission to the Combined Postbac Premed-M.S. in Human Nutrition Program is highly selective. Students in good standing and in the fall of the orgo/bio year are eligible to apply for admission, but should meet with their Postbac Premed advisor to discuss their eligibility. Information sessions about the program are regularly held in the fall.

To be eligible, students must have completed at least nine points of required premedical course work at the time of application. For admissions and applications requirements, students should visit the Institute of Human Nutrition website; the application fee and GRE requirement is waived for students applying to the Combined Program. The MCAT, however, must be taken by the first week in July prior to the M.S. year.

Students will receive notice of conditional acceptance in January of the orgo/bio year; their files will be reviewed again in the summer upon receipt of their MCAT score and spring grades.

Application Deadline

January 1

Columbia University Master of Public Health Program

The Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health allows highly-qualified Postbac Premed students to study for and receive a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree during the glide year by pursuing the General Public Health track within the Mailman Accelerated M.P.H. program.

The General Public Health track offers students broader participation in the field of public health as well as formal training in the methods and substantive areas of public health; moreover, it provides a superb foundation for medical education. The General Public Health track also includes a practicum experience, which provides students with opportunities to apply their academic training within a work setting.

The structure of the one-year degree program includes five components, carefully timed and integrated, so that learning in one part of the program informs activities and assignments in another.

Students begin the program by immersing themselves in the Mailman Core Curriculum, which offers grounding in the history and methods of public health, as well as foundational studies of biological and environmental determinants of health; social, behavioral, and structural determinants of health; methods for public health research and programming; and health systems.

Rather than focus on a single discipline within public health, students in the General Public Health track draw their coursework from departments and certificate programs throughout the Mailman School.

In addition, each student is expected to develop and demonstrate improved skills in a technical area, such as research design, program evaluation, health education, health program planning, or administration, as well as select from the School’s curriculum, in consultation with their academic advisor, those courses that help meet this objective.

Each student’s program is planned individually in consultation with a Mailman advisor.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for this program, Postbac Premed students must:

  • have completed at least nine points of required premedical coursework, including Calculus (grade of B+ or higher), and have received no grade in premedical science coursework below a B.

  • be in their Orgo/Bio Year

  • have received a grade of B+ or better in a writing-intensive course; this course may have been completed either as an undergraduate or as a Postbac student.

  • have a minimum of one year (two years preferred) of work experience in a health-related field.

Application Requirements

The following materials must be submitted as part of the required application: