Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Professional Program

The Post-Baccalaureate Pre-professional Program at William Paterson University is intended for college graduates of all backgrounds who wish to pursue a medical or other pre-professional education but have not taken any or all of the science courses required for admission to medical or other pre-professional schools. The program prepares students interested in pursuing careers in medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, osteopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, physician's assistant and other health care professions. Much of the course work required for admission to these professional programs is the same.

This program provides students with the flexibility to take the prerequisites required for their pre-professional goals, as well as taking additional coursework that may enhance their application. Post-Baccalaureates have early registration status, pay undergraduate tuition, and receive Post-Baccalaureate specific advising and application preparation services (listed at the bottom of the page).

Typical prerequisite courses include:

  • General Biology I & II, Anatomy & Physiology I & II
  • Physics I & II, Calculus and Statistics
  • General Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II

Additional available coursework includes, but is not limited to:

  • Genetics, Cell Biology, Microbiology, Human Physiology, Pharmacology, Evolutionary Medicine, Bioethics, Histology, Animal Physiology, Immunology, Virology, Neuroscience, Developmental Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Psychology and Sociology

A certificate will be awarded to those students who complete 28 credits in science/math with a GPA of 3.6 or above. 

Students whose first degree is not in Biology or a related field also have the option to earn a BS in Biology by completing all of the major undergraduate program requirements.

To apply, complete the Second Degree application and indicate Biology as your intended major. Once this is submitted, email Melissa Zolla in order for your application to be switched into the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Professional Program.

Any questions about the application process can be directed via email to Melissa Zolla, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions.

For further information about the program and advising services please contact:

Dr. Carey Waldburger, Post-Baccalaureate Advisor, Department of Biology, William Paterson University, Tel: 973-720-2486; email: waldburgerc@wpunj.edu 

Post-Bacc Program FAQs

If I received a bachelor’s degree in Biology, can I still participate in this program?

Yes.  You can participate in this program no matter what your BA/BS degree was in.

If I already took some of the classes required for professional school and did not do well, can I retake them? Will professional schools replace the grade or look at both grades?

Yes, this program does not transfer in any courses from prior institutions, which allows you to take or retake any courses you choose.  AMCAS (MD) and AACOMAS (DO) calculate grades from all relevant courses into a final GPA.  For example, a C in General Biology I from another school and an A in General Biology I at WPU will be input as two separate classes of 4 credit hours each with a value of 2.0 per credit hour for the C grade and a value of 4.0 per credit hour for the A.  Other professional schools may work differently in regard to GPA calculation, but all professional schools require that all prior transcripts and awarded grades be made available to them as part of the application process, so they will look at both grades for any courses that have been retaken.

What happens if I do not meet the requirements to receive the certificate once I complete the required classes?

If you do not meet the requirements for the certificate you simply apply as normal to your professional schools of choice.  You will also still receive all of the program’s support/advising services (see below).  The certificate is a recognition of high academic achievement in a substantial body of science course work at WPU.  Some students may not take the required number of course credits at WPU for the certificate but still have a very high GPA.  Others will take the required number of course credits at WPU but may not achieve the required GPA for the certificate.  In both cases, although the student will not receive the certificate the student can still apply to all of the professional schools of their choice and will still receive the full support of our program to do so successfully.

What happens if I only need a few additional classes for professional school but still would like to receive the certificate?

If taking less than 28 credits of science/math at WPU, it is not possible to receive the certificate.  However, you are still able to apply to professional schools and receive all of the advising services from our program.  See #3 above.

Advising Services

  • extensive individual advising
  • flexibility in course selection
  • application services
  • maintenance of a pre-professional file, including letters of recommendation
  • preparation of a composite letter of evaluation
  • seminars by health professionals
  • medical volunteer & shadowing information and guidance
  • MCAT and other examination advice
  • professional school selection advice
  • resume preparation assistance
  • personal statement essay-writing assistance
  • opportunities for faculty mentored research experience
  • mock admission interviews
  • pre-professional club participation and leadership opportunities