You can take time off between Oxy and medical or professional schools and intentionally pursue enriching experiences, transforming those gap years to growth years. During your growth year(s), you might choose to attend a master’s program, work, travel abroad on a fellowship, teach, research, or undertake humanitarian work.
The average age of incoming medical students is about 25. Use the time between college and professional school to learn more about yourself and the world, clarify your short- and long-term goals and strengthen your candidacy for medical or professional programs.
Postbacc Premedical Program
There are three types of postbacc programs designed to help you strengthen your medical school application: 1) Career Changer, which allows you to finish the prerequisites; 2) Record Enhancer, which aims at boosting your GPA and preparing for the MCAT; 3) A Special Master’s Program, which are master’s degree-granting programs related to public health, narrative medicine, global health, bioethics or biomedical science. Look up the AAMC Post-bac Premed Program Directory for more information. Here is a list of California postbacc/Special Master's Program. Also, check out the post-bacc guide published by the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions.
If you are not sure about the premedical-focused postbacc programs, a master’s program in public health or in biomedical science offers alternative career paths in healthcare or the healthcare industry after Oxy.
- Public Health Degrees
- Specialities within Public Health
- MPH Program Guide
- Professional Science Master’s Directory
You may choose to work full-time or become a research associate during a growth year. Visit Handshake and the Hameetman Career Center for job openings, and access the OPHA Research Database for research fellowship opportunities. Remember to reflect on your experiences and establish a theme connecting all the dots relevant to healthcare.
Growth Year Fellowship
Many pre-health students decided to pursue a Fulbright Fellowship, Project Horseshoe Farm Fellowship, Teach for America, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or others during a growth year. Visit the National & International Fellowship Advising Office for more information.