Post-Baccalaureate Program
Frequently Asked Questions

M.D. Admissions

Do I have to take the MCAT to get into this program?

No. It is not a requirement to have taken the MCAT before entering the program, though you are welcome to do so.

Does this Program have an MCAT Preparation component?

Yes. For students who have not received a satisfactory score on the MCAT before entering the Post-Bac Program, we offer a full-year course for MCAT preparation which continues through the summer following their academic year until they take the test at the end of July.

Eligibility Criteria
Do I have to be a Nevada resident to be eligible to apply to the Post-Baccalaureate Program?

No, however we do give priority to students who are Nevada residents, or the resident of one of our partnership states: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. Please note that students who are not a resident of Nevada or one of the states listed above are not eligible for admissions into our medical school unless they go through the proper steps to gain Nevada residency before the medical school application process. To learn more about how to gain Nevada residency for tuition purposes, please contact the Admissions and Records department at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR.)

Do I have to have taken all the medical school prerequisites to apply?

Yes, with the exception of biochemistry. Because this is only a one year program designed for GPA improvement, students must have completed the prerequisite coursework for admissions to our medical school: 15 credits biology, 8 credits general chemistry, 8 credits organic chemistry, 8 credits physics, and 3 credits psychology (psych 101.) The 3 credits of biochemistry can be met while enrolled in the program. Having completed this prerequisite coursework allows participants to enroll in the upper division science coursework required while in the program.

What do you mean by "significant clinical experience?"

Applicants must show a continued commitment to medicine and an understanding of the field. While there is no minimum number of clinical hours we require of applicants, we are looking for students to have good experience with patient interaction and regular interaction with physicians. We like to see that applicants have had consistent exposure to what the working life of a physician entails so they are sure that being a physician is the right career path.

Program Schedule & Courses
When does the program begin?

The program only begins in the fall semester each year (in mid-late August.) The program orientation is scheduled the week before classes start for the fall semester at your undergraduate institution. We do sometimes offer clinical or service opportunities in the summer prior to the program start, but these experiences are optional.

What classes do I take? Is there flexibility in the course schedule?

Your designated program coordinator will go through your transcripts to determine what coursework would be most beneficial for you. When creating your schedule, we consider past performance in the prerequisite courses, strength of coursework in various content areas, what will benefit you for taking the MCAT, and what will benefit you in the first two years of medical school. Your course schedule will be prescribed by the program coordinator, so there is very little flexibility. Students who enter the program with more upper-division biology and biochemistry credits often have a little more flexibility in their schedules.

Are the classes just for Post-Baccalaureate students?

With the exception of our MCAT preparation course, no, Post-Bac students take classes at UNR along with undergraduate students in the general population.

Do I have to take classes in the summer?

We do not require you to take classes before starting the Post-Baccalaureate Program in the fall semester. The summer after the academic year, however, you will need to take the MCAT preparation course unless you previously took the MCAT and received a satisfactory score. The summer MCAT preparation course starts immediately after classes end in May and continues until students take the test in late July.

Can I work while I'm in the Post-Bac Program?

We strongly recommend that students not work during the program. While we recognize that financial situations sometimes require some students to work, you will be in about 15-17 credits per semester of difficult science coursework. We have found that students who work often have trouble keeping their grades up due to the rigorous course load. If you must work, we recommend seeking a student employment position on campus.

When would I get into medical school, and what do I do in the "lag year?"

Students complete the program and their application to medical school by August 1, one year after starting the program. Students will interview in September of that year and know around October 15 if they were accepted to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. If accepted, students will begin medical school in August of the following year (2 years after beginning the Post-Baccalaureate Program.) In the "lag year," most students take the opportunity to work and save up money before starting medical school. Others choose to continue with a couple classes and complete a second degree, or gain more experience in research or the clinical environment, while some students use it as a time to relax and travel.

Tuition & Financial Aid
How much does the program cost?

The cost of the program is that of tuition at the undergraduate institution for 32-34 credits, plus a small program fee for MCAT preparation and materials. Please refer to the Tuition & Fees page at UNR's undergraduate institution to determine what your costs would be.

I'm not a resident of Nevada, would I have to pay out of state tuition?

Yes. Post-Baccalaureate students are treated the same as any other undergraduate from out-of-state. For nonresident tuition rates, please refer to the Tuition & Fees pages for your desired undergraduate institution.

Is financial aid available for this program?

Students may be eligible for federal student financial aid by filling out their FAFSA. The majority of our students do receive some amount of aid, but please note that loan limits are often lower for a Post-Baccalaureate than for a typical undergraduate student, the maximum being about $7500 for the year. Also, your loan history and credit score may affect the amount that you are able to borrow. It is recommended that you research your loan history to determine if you have, or are close to exceeding your federal student aid limits - which could affect your ability to pay for medical school as well. The School of Medicine does not have any scholarships that we can provide for Post-Baccalaureate students at this time, however, undergraduate institutions may have a small amount of funding available to eligible students.

As a student interested in participating in the Post-Baccalaureate Program, you are responsible for determining whether you will be able to financially support yourself throughout the program before you begin. Students who need to stop the program for financial reasons will not be eligible to return.

Program Support
What type of support does the program provide?

We provide support with course selection and scheduling, learning strategies, general and academic advisement, MCAT preparation, medical school application preparation, etc. Perhaps one of the most valuable contributors of support is the cohort itself; students find that having peers going through the program with them is very beneficial.

Will the program help find me research, clinical, or community service opportunities?

We expect students to come into the program with significant experience in these areas (particularly clinical and community service) however, we very much encourage students to seek additional experience during the program year if they can handle it in their schedule. We do our best to inform students of local opportunities but expect students to take the initiative to make the connections.