individualized post baccalaureate PROGRAM
POST BACCALAUREATE OPTIONS
Post baccalaureate status refers to students who have already completed an undergraduate degree, either
at Cleveland State University or elsewhere. Cleveland State offers the Individualized Pre-Professional Post Baccalaureate Program to individuals with a bachelor’s degree seeking to gain entry into careers in anesthesiologist assisting, audiology, dentistry, medicine, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, speech-language pathology and veterinary medicine. They wish to complete additional undergraduate work that prepares them for the science and math courses required by professional schools. The program prepares students with the understanding needed to take the entrance exams and the courses required for application to most professional schools.
Admission is not competitive for the Individualized Post Baccalaureate options. Students with a baccalaureate degree that have the desire to take the coursework necessary to potentially qualify for a professional degree program are welcome to attend. Applications are accepted on a continual basis throughout the year. It is recommended that you allow at least a month for your application to be processed in order to register for classes.
While the program is housed in the College of Sciences and Health Professions, advising/coaching is done through Career Development & Exploration. Staff assist with course sequencing, building the application outside of the classroom, timelines, exam preparation, and application assistance. All students in the pre-professional post baccalaureate program should be partnering with academic faculty for course entry and permissions and with Career Development & Exploration staff on building out that competitive application.
Our goal is to provide support and guidance along the way for all students to successfully gain entry into
their program; we also provide support should students not gain acceptance on back up planning.
Students should take a look at their own history and compare it with the competitive nature of the programs which they desire to gain entry. With the average cumulative GPA's for most professional schools around 3.7, it is important that students understand the inherent risk in choosing to do an open enrollment post baccalaureate program. In general, there are two types of students that choose the CSU Individualized Post Baccalaureate Options:
Career Changers: Students who fall into this category most often have a degree in a non-science area. Many of our students come from social science and business backgrounds, but we've had students with degrees in Art History and Music as well.
Grade Enhancers: Students who fall into this category generally do have degrees in the sciences and come to CSU to repeat core coursework or to take upper level undergraduate coursework to enhance their cumulative and science GPA.
The Individualized Post Baccalaureate Program: This program does not have a fixed curriculum. The number of courses and the program duration will be determined by your career goals and by previous undergraduate coursework. Post baccalaureate students receive the same student support services such as advising and the many extracurricular opportunities available to undergraduate students.
Many pre-professional courses are offered in the day or evening, but this program cannot be done exclusively in the evenings. Information on course offerings is available from Cleveland State’s CampusNet website. You can login as a guest to view schedules for upcoming terms.
Here are two sample timelines for a Cleveland State post-baccalaureate pre-professional students seeking dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, or veterinary medicine. If you are seeking entry into occupational therapy, physician assistant, or physical therapy, please refer to their specific pages.
Refer to each link for more information, or find your program of interest and review the Advising Guide to help you plan your schedule. You may begin your coursework during any semester, the timeline shows entrance at Summer for purposes of comparison. After you apply and are accepted as a Post Bacc Pre-Professional student, contact Career Development & Exploration for additional information.
* University Physics (240 series) can satisfy the Physics requirement. However, Calculus is required for University Physics.
** A placement exam is required in order to enroll in the General Chemistry courses. In the past, this has been waived for post-baccalaureate students with a proven track record of academic success. You will need to confirm that you can enter into CHM 261/266 without the placement exam and at your own risk as a post-baccalaureate student.
Because of the way the application and admission cycle for professional schools works, students who participate in post-baccalaureate pre-professional programs face a transitional year, often called the gap year, between completing their prerequisite courses and the time when they actually begin professional school.
The gap year can be very useful to post-baccalaureate students. There are valuable healthcare employment opportunities available during the gap year that can enhance the things you’ve just learned in class, preparing you even better for your new career and further broadening your perspective on your chosen profession.
UNDERGRADUATE VS. GRADUATE
A strictly enforced limitation is that post-baccalaureate students may NOT take graduate-level courses (courses numbered 500 or greater). Students wishing to take graduate courses should consider non-degree seeking graduate status or one of our graduate programs while still consulting with the pre-professional advisor responsible for your chosen pre-professional program. This will ensure that all professional school prerequisites are met. Taking graduate courses may affect your financial aid status. There are plenty of opportunities for networking, extracurricular activities and experiential hands-on learning.
FINANCING POST-BACCALAUREATE EDUCATION
Post-baccalaureate pre-professional students pay for their courses using the undergraduate tuition scale. See Tuition and Fees for in-state and out-of-state tuition. Post-baccalaureate students may qualify to use unused financial aid allocations from their undergraduate education. For all questions regarding financial aid, including student employment and scholarships, see CSU Financial Aid.
Post baccalaureates benefit from the same pre-professional support services as undergraduates. Another excellent support resource is the National Society for Nontraditional Premedical and Medical Students, Inc.