FAQs

AdmissionsFAQs

Students do not pay tuition during their glide year, however, students who are receiving a committee letter in support of their applications will automatically be registered for Maintenance of Status (fee associated) for both terms of their glide year, unless they are enrolled in Columbia courses which will also satisfy this requirement.

Yes, students may enroll in any undergraduate-level course outside of their premedical studies. It is recommended, however, that students discuss this decision with an academic advisor prior to registration.

Yes; you do not need to wait until you complete the undergraduate degree before applying for admission. In many cases, the admissions office can make an admission decision pending the receipt of your final transcript verifying the complete of your undergraduate degree. You will, however, need to provide an updated transcript that verifies the completion of your bachelor's.

Yes. Columbia University is a private school, which means New York state residency is not a factor in either admissions or financial aid criteria.

The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of college graduates who have decided to pursue a medical education, but have taken none or only some of the basic science courses required for admission to medical school. It is not designed to help improve the records of people who have already completed the requirements. For more information, visit the Eligibility section of the Applying page.

If your degree is the equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree from a college or university in the U.S., then yes, you are eligible to apply. There are, however, some issues that you should consider. As an international student, medical school admission is extremely competitive. Less than 10% of applicants gain acceptance to medical school, and most admitted international students have attended a U.S. college or university. For more information, visit the International Students page.

To verify accreditation, you must contact the school from which you received your bachelor's.

Prospective students are not eligible for admission if they have completed most or all of the required premedical courses, if they have applied to medical school within the past two years, or if they have taken the MCAT. For more information, visit the Eligibility section on the Applying page.

All academic transcripts are required to verify educational background.

Yes. Please note: rush scores are sent two business days after your request is received by the Educational Testing Service.

Because the School of General Studies is an undergraduate college, the educational test administrators will not send scores to our office. Please request scores be sent to your home mailing address, and then forward them to the School of General Studies.

The Admissions Committee looks at undergraduate coursework more closely than graduate coursework. A strong record in graduate school cannot compensate for a weak undergraduate record.

The accelerated program is suitable for students who have demonstrated strong quantitative skills and have recently completed calculus or are calculus-ready.

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.

When applying, an applicant may submit an addition petition the admissions committee to make an exception to the 3.0 rule. It is, however, very rare for such petitions to be successful.

Postbac Premed students take the same classes with the same professors as students in Columbia undergraduates. Undergraduate courses are taught by members of the Columbia University Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University consists of twenty-nine departments in the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences also includes six schools: Columbia College, the School of General Studies, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts, and the School of Continuing Education, as well as numerous institutes and centers.

It is true that the Postbac Premed Program at Columbia University is a highly competitive program and that the challenges of a premedical curriculum at Columbia are significant. That's why the admissions process to the Postbac Premed Program is comprehensive and highly selective. All students admitted to our program possess the academic strength to be successful applicants to medical school. The average GPA for an entering class to our program is, historically, approximately 3.65; the mean SAT score is 1390. This means that the students enrolled in our Postbac Premed Program are some of the best and brightest students in the country. Nonetheless, there is a modest amount of attrition from our program. The number of students who begin our program and choose to leave to pursue other ventures in life is minimal—fewer than 15 students a semester of the 480 currently enrolled, which translates to less than five percent in any given semester. In most cases, students who choose to leave our program have made this decision because of unrelated factors affecting their lives: family considerations, health issues, job choices, or a decision to pursue a path other than medicine are all examples. To be eligible for committee support, students must consistently maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Occasionally, we dismiss students for failure to meet this expectation or to otherwise make academic progress, generally after having communicated our concerns, advised them how to improve their records, and given them an opportunity to do so; such actions are never taken lightly, but it is an important part of our counseling and advising on the extremely competitive medical school admissions process. On average, fewer than five students per term are dismissed for academic reasons. This relatively low number is a testament to the strength of our students, faculty, and advisors.

Program length is determined by a variety of factors. Please see the Accelerated Sequence page for more information.

While students vary considerably in their ability to juggle studies and work, very few students can excel in two lecture courses (e.g., General Chemistry and General Physics) taken while working full time. Students who must work full time should give themselves more time to complete the first phase of their studies.

Details about the requirements for a Committee Letter can be found here.

After accepting the offer of admission and attending a Postbac Planning Session (PPS), students will have an appointment with their advisor where individual academic plans will be discussed. A part of this discussion will include the issue of repeating courses taken prior to enrolling in the Postbac Premed Program.

All preparatory coursework, including pre-calculus, pre-chemistry and basic physics, is offered during at least one of the summer terms. Though we put strict requirements on what science coursework can be taken during the summer terms, in light of how some medical schools see 6-week summer courses, the prep courses are allowed.

No.

No. To be eligible for linkage nomination, students must be currently enrolled, have completed of a minimum of 15 credits of science coursework in the program, and have completed at least two semesters of enrollment at GS by the time of application. For more information, please visit the Linkage Program page.