Feb 18, 2010
I'm a Canadian and ive never heard of the post-bac system before. How does this work exactly? I believe its a program (year long?) by the university where if you do well are you GUARANTEED an acceptance by the medical school? Isnt this too good to be true, how many people from such a program can they ultimately take afterall, does this mean its difficult or only the toppers get in - basically whats the catch? What happens if you dont get in after a post-bac, what are your options can I apply again? When I searched I read they counted as a 5th year and towards your undergrad gpa?? Can I do masters after etc? If I want to do it after my 4th year, when do I need to apply? Summer of 4th year? Am i competitive enough? For background info when graduating I should have about 3.2, do I need the MCAT? I have a low gpa only because of one really screwed up year because of personal reasons. Where can I apply and what are my chances for this as a Canadian?

Phew I know thats a lot of questions but im really confused thanks for your help.

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
7+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2009
Medical Student
Post ( meaning after) (bacc)alaureate, its not a system really. It's more like you not having done the prerequisites for medical school and then instead of going to undergrad again you go to a post-bacc.
I don't mean to be a horrible bitch here. But with a 3.2 and being a Canadian citizen makes you extremely tough. I'd say that if bannie was here he'd tell you to apply only to Carib.
However I'm not familiar with Canadians being allowed into SMP's. But you'd need one majorly if you want to get into a American medical school. Ugh.. where's bannie when you need him.

Anyway's this site is primarily for US residents. I'd go to premed101.com < Canadian version of SDN, it'll provide better information then I or most people here can for you on international application.
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7+ Year Member
May 6, 2009
Medical Student
Post-bacc just means Post-baccalaureate, meaning undergrad classes you take after you've already received your Bachelors. There are unstructured post-baccs, which means that you choose what classes you want to take on your own. There are also structured post-baccs offered by some universities and are intended to help people get into medical school. Very few actually guarantee acceptance to the med school, however there are some and I'm sure someone will post a link.


7+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2009
Medical Student
There are also SMP's (Special Masters Programs), structured post bac programs which are specifically aimed to get you into med school [and sometimes have you taking classes with med students]. These DO require you to have taken the MCAT and have a score above a certain number.

SMP's are usually for the people with High MCATs and low GPA's


the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
Academic Administration
I think that you are labeling "post-bac" that which is really a Special Masters Program (SMP). These programs are very selective to begin with and then weed out without mercy so that they can say that they all but guaranteed admission to those who successfully complete the program. (Very rare for those folks to apply to top tier med schools -- they tend to shoot further down the list so I have very limited first hand experience with them.)

It is generally seen as an expensive but efficient way to remediate a bad gpa if you have a good MCAT. The downside is that the degree is not marketable if you don't succeed in gaining admission to med school. On the other hand, there is a little more marketability of a MS in chem, bio or biochem although those programs do suffer from the reputation (deserved or not) of having grade inflation more severe than in undergrad.