Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions

Pursue your passion as a health professional. The CU Continuing Education Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program one-year program offers college graduates access to science prerequisite courses needed for graduate programs.

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Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions

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Designed for Professionals Interested in a Healthcare Career

The Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program at CU Boulder is a highly selective program designed for career changers. The transition from a previous career to a calling in the medical field is momentous and requires thoughtful planning and dedication. From your initial inquiry to the completion of the program, we work hard to understand your individual goals and challenges. The education and experience you receive at CU Boulder are tailored to serve as the next step in your professional journey toward your career as a healthcare professional.

There are many factors that make CU Boulder’s program unique and a great fit for highly dedicated students from a diverse array of backgrounds. Many students thrive in the small, cohort community of the program. The roughly 20 students admitted to our program each year benefit from the personalized attention they receive from the program director, pre-health advisor, and mentors. Members of the cohort are immersed in challenging curriculum while they study with the outstanding faculty at CU Boulder, an R-1 research institution, in preparation for their medical school careers.

Our One-Year Format

Every student who enters our program completes an intensive, one-year science “boot camp.” You begin your coursework in June and complete the program in May of the following year. Students in this program should only need to focus on their pre-requisites and MCAT preparation in anticipation of applying to their health profession school. This means you already have:

  • A history of consistent academic excellence at the undergraduate level, along with solid math skills in algebra and trigonometry
  • Shadowed at least three health care providers in your chosen profession and/or
  • Volunteered or worked in a clinical setting with at least 60 hours of direct patient care
  • A history of working and volunteering in roles involving service to others, and
  • A strong understanding of your professional goals and an ability speak to how your experiences informed your decision to pursue a career in health care.

This one-year program is academically and emotionally challenging, leaving little room for full or part-time employment.

Courses for Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions

As a Post-Baccalaureate student, you will gain a solid foundation in the necessary science classes required for most medical school applications and the subjects heavily featured on the MCAT.

Students in each cohort are required to take the entire core curriculum. Substituting courses is not an option. If you are preparing to apply to professional schools that require additional courses, our advisors can help you understand how best to complete those additional courses after you have completed our program or on a case-by-case basis.

Prerequisites for the program include:

  • Pre-calculus (algebra and trigonometry) taken within two years of the start of the program with a B or better.
  • All admitted students must show completion of an introductory chemistry course. We will provide an online course—at no additional cost—prior to the start of summer term for students who have not yet completed this requirement.

Required Core Curriculum:

Summer (10 Credits)
  • General Chemistry 1 with Lab
  • General Chemistry 2 with Lab
Fall (13 Credits)
  • Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry 1 with Lab
  • General Physics 1 with Lab
Spring (13 Credits)
  • Principles of Genetics
  • Biology laboratory course (equivalent to a full-year biology laboratory sequence)
  • Principles of Biochemistry
  • General Physics 2 with Lab

Students must complete the summer general chemistry sequence with grades of B or better to continue the program in the fall. Students should maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher through spring enrollment, as to be a competitive medical school applicant in most situations. Courses cannot be taken for pass/fail or no credit.

A Program with Exceptional Student Support

CU Boulder’s Post Baccalaureate Pre-Health program offers a variety of features to help support students through this unique program and beyond.

Pre-Health Advising

Students enrolled in the Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions program will meet one-on-one with their pre-health advisor during the program and throughout the entire application (or “gap”) year.

The pre-health advisor’s role is to assist you as you prepare to apply to healthcare-related professional schools. The pre-health advisor can provide you with the following services:

Provide feedback on your current areas of strength and weakness as a prospective applicant to professional school. Refer you to appropriate activities that will enhance your candidacy. Provide resources and options should you encounter a setback on the pre-health path. Help you prepare strong application materials for professional school admission.

Committee Letter

Students also work with their pre-health advisor in the Committee Letter process. Many healthcare professional schools—including medical schools, podiatry schools, and optometry schools—require a letter of evaluation from CU Boulder’s pre-health committee. The Committee Letter process introduces you to admissions committees and reviews your preparation and accomplishments. The process of obtaining a Committee Letter is important because it encourages you to work on your application materials early; it assesses your readiness to apply; and it provides an opportunity for committee feedback on your weaknesses so you can either address them before you apply or change your application timetable.


In addition to one-on-one sessions, the pre-health advisor hosts workshops for Post-Baccalaureate students throughout the year that focus on different aspects of the healthcare field and the application process. Topics may include:

  • Tips for preparing strong application materials
  • Research strategies
  • Bioethics
  • Choosing a strategic list of schools
  • Preparing for interviews

Program Mentoring & Tutoring

A distinguishing feature of our program are our mentors and tutors. Program mentors—selected from the previous year’s cohort—are an invaluable resource to Post-Baccalaureate students because they have been through the program and can provide insights and advice to you as you progress through the program and application process. Likewise, dedicated tutors are available for chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics and other subjects as needed.

MCAT Preparation Seminar

For students who are preparing to apply to medical school, we offer a year-long MCAT preparation seminar that meets for one to two hours per week. The seminar is taught in conjunction with the courses you are already taking in the program. The instructor covers material from General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry and Biology to help you make connections among the subjects and can apply your understanding to the MCAT. This prep seminar deepens your understanding of the test material and teaches you how to deconstruct MCAT questions so you can formulate answers on the test.

Is the Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program Right for You?

The first step for every prospective student is to decide whether to enroll in the formal post-baccalaureate program or to complete the prerequisite science courses informally, on your own. Continuing Education advisors are available to help you review your options and make the best decision for you.

If you are interested in exploring enrollment at CU Boulder, you have access to our academic advisors who can discuss the myriad options for completing pre-health prerequisites at CU Boulder. Academic advisors can provide assistance with enrollment, course permissions, and CU Boulder resources. Please schedule an appointment or email with your questions.

If you are interested in the Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions program and have questions not answered on the program page, please email

Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Application Process

Applications must be submitted through PostBacCAS, a common application service, between August 15, 2019 and February 1, 2020. The PostBacCAS deadline is a firm deadline; we will not receive any additional applications after that date.

Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Application Requirements

You must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission to the University of Colorado Boulder’s Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions program:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. permanent resident, or have DACA/undocumented status.
  • An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • A complete PostBacCAS application (submitted by February 1, 2020, 11:59 pm, Eastern Standard Time). A complete application includes:
    • All required transcripts
    • Two required letters of recommendation
    • The CU Boulder Program Materials section and $35 supplemental application fee.
  • Completion of our prerequisites by May 28, 2020.


Prerequisites must be completed with a grade of B (not B-) or higher by May 28, 2020.

We are happy to accept community college coursework, online coursework, and AP/IB credit to fulfill prerequisites. AP/IB credit must be documented in an itemized list on a college transcript. Online courses are acceptable if completed at a regionally accredited institution.

  • Mathematics
    • Option A: Complete ONE of the following within two years of the start of the program:
      • One semester of College Precalculus, OR
      • One semester each of College Algebra and College Trigonometry
    • Option B: Complete College Calculus or above, with a grade of B or above, and pass an online assessment of your algebra and trigonometry skills with a score of 80% or higher. There is no “expiration date” on Calculus-or-above coursework. We will provide the math assessment at no additional charge. Statistics is not an acceptable substitute.
  • Chemistry
    • We require ONE of the following, with grade(s) of B (not B-) or higher:
      • Full year of high school chemistry, OR
      • One semester of college Introductory Chemistry
    • In addition, all incoming students must complete an online chemistry review course that we provide—at no additional cost—prior to the start of the summer term.

Letters of Recommendation

We require two letters of recommendation, uploaded by your letter authors to PostBacCAS.

Your letter authors should be written by college faculty members and/or supervisors who know you well and can provide supporting examples when describing your personal strengths. We recommend one of each of the following types of letters:

  • One academic letter from a college-level faculty member who can attest to your intellectual curiosity and academic readiness for a rigorous, accelerated post-baccalaureate program.
  • One supervisor letter from a job or long-term volunteer position you have held (or a long-time coach), who can attest to the personal strengths that will allow you to succeed in a cohort-based post-baccalaureate program, in professional school, and in your future clinical career.

We do NOT accept letters of recommendation written by friends or family members.

Please provide your letter authors with our Guidelines for Writing Compelling Letters of Recommendation. You may also find it helpful to read the advice on the Continuing Education Pre-Health Advising website on the topic of asking for letters of recommendation. All letters must be signed, dated, and submitted on official letterhead. We will let you know if any of your letters does not meet these formatting guidelines.

Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Calendar

You will find important dates for the 2020-2021 cohort listed below. Contact us at 303-492-5148 or email with questions about the calendar.

Application Opens August 15, 2019
Application Deadline February 1, 2020
Cohort Orientation End of May 2020
Summer Term June 1-August 7, 2020
Fall Term August 24-December 16, 2020
Spring Term January 11-May 5, 2020

The program follows the CU Boulder main campus withdrawal policies and applicable dates for nondegree students.

Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Tuition Rates

All students in the Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions program take the same schedule of courses each semester. Your tuition rate is determined by your residency.

Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020

In-state Tuition Rates

In-state students pay $595 per credit hour enrolled.

Semester Credit Hours Enrolled Tuition*
Summer 2019 10 $5,950
Fall 2019 13 $7,735
Spring 2020 13 $7,735

*In-state students may be eligible for a tuition discount through the College Opportunity Fund.

  • The COF rate for Summer 2019 is $85 per credit hour.
  • The COF rate for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 is $94 per credit hour.

Out-of-State Tuition Rates

Out-of-State students pay $995 per credit hour enrolled.

Semester Credit Hours Enrolled Tuition
Summer 2019 10 $9,950
Fall 2019 13 $12,935
Spring 2020 13 $12,935

Contact us at 303-492-5148 or email with questions.

The listed tuition is an estimated cost. The Board of Regents reserves the right to change the tuition rates at any time.

Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Student Fees

Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions program students are assessed fees per the campus fee schedule. Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions program students may waive some student fees. Please contact the Continuing Education Bursar’s Office at 303-492-2212 with questions.

The university student fees package for both in-state and out-of-state Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions students for the 2018-2019 cohort is $661 for the summer term and $903 each semester in the fall and spring terms. These fees give you access to the RTD bus system, the Student Recreation Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, and other campus services.

Please note that the Board of Regents reserves the right to change the fee rate at any time.

Fees Waiver

Nondegree students may be able to waive all student fees except for the computing fee and A&S technology fee by completing the online fee waiver form.

Instructions for Fees Waiver

  1. Pay your bill by the published due date excluding the student activity fee.
  2. Complete and submit the online fee waiver form by the deadline for the appropriate term.
    • Summer 2019 deadline: July 26, 2019
    • Fall 2019 deadline: Sept 27, 2019
  3. Within one week of submitting your petition, login to MyCUInfo to verify your account balance.

You will receive an email confirmation when your form has been successfully submitted, and another when your waiver has been processed.

Contact Continuing Education with questions by calling 303-492-2212.

Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Scholarships and Financial Aid

Federal loans, not grants, are available to qualifying students for three semesters. Financial aid awards typically cover the cost of tuition, but not living expenses. We encourage prospective students to learn more about their nondegree student financial aid options through the Office of Financial Aid at

Military-affiliated students interested in utilizing VA benefits should connect with a Continuing Education academic advisor for information on how to use benefits with this program.

Now that you’ve selected your favorite Continuing Education courses, email or print the information, including class number, to more easily search MyCUInfo and enroll. Still have questions? Contact an advisor.


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