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About the Program

Q. What is the UC Berkeley Extension Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program? 
It is a program developed specifically for college graduates who want to apply to graduate-level health professional schools and need to fulfill prerequisites (career changers) and/or raise their undergraduate grade point average (academic enhancers) before applying.

Q. Who is eligible to apply to the program? 
A. College graduates who hold at least a baccalaureate degree and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 are eligible to apply. BCPM GPA is also considered for students interested in particular health fields (such as medical, dental, veterinary, physical therapy) as relevant. This program is not approved for international students who hold F-1 visas.

Q. What if my GPA is below 3.0?
A. All applications received are considered individually and holistically by the admissions committee, regardless of whether an applicant meets the minimum 3.0 GPA requirement. However, applying to our program with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 puts you at a significant disadvantage. Depending on your professional program of interest, it may not be possible to become academically competitive through our program. For this reason, our admissions committee may feel that your needs would be better served by another academic institution.

Q. What if my degree is from an international institution?
A. If you obtained your undergraduate (or graduate, if applicable) degree from an international institution, please have it professionally evaluated by a service such as WES and have your evaluated transcript sent to our office.

Q. Do I need to be a California resident to apply to this program?
A. No, there are no residency requirements to apply. Also, there are no differences in the cost of courses for in-state versus out-of-state residents.

Q. What are the requirements of the program? 
A. The curriculum to obtain an Award of Completion comprises four required Health Careers Seminar courses and a varied number of electives (depending on specific courses taken) for a total of 1.9 ceu and 24 semester units. Please see our list of electives for more information on our courses. Additional courses may be added as they are approved. 

You must take all courses for a letter grade. To receive the Award of Completion, you must maintain an overall minimum 3.0 GPA, with a grade of C or better in each course. All coursework must be completed within three years of being accepted into the program. Substitutions, waivers and transfer credit from outside institutions are not permitted. Program candidates must pay a nonrefundable program application fee and be accepted into the Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program. Please note that the Award of Completion is an optional component of the program.

Q. What is the value of a UC Berkeley Extension program? 
A. As the continuing education branch of UC Berkeley, one of the finest public research institutions in the United States, UC Berkeley Extension has an unmatched reputation for excellence. UC Berkeley Extension's campus-approved academic curricula and instructors are widely respected and contribute to the successful completion of a high-caliber course of study.

Q. Is it possible to take online courses and use them to fulfill requirements for the Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program? 
A. Only classroom courses can be taken to fulfill the 24 elective units needed for the Award of Completion. However, you are welcome to also take online courses. Some health professional schools may accept online credit, so we recommend that you check with the specific schools where you intend to apply as you develop your course plan.

Q. Am I still eligible for the program if I do not need to take 24 credits of coursework? 
A. Depending on the prerequisites you have already completed, 24 credits may not be necessary to achieve your academic or professional school goals. Although you would not be eligible for the Award of Completion, simply being accepted into the program would still grant access to program benefits, including academic advising.

Q. When are your courses typically offered? 
A. We offer all lower-division prerequisite courses and several upper-division courses in the fall and spring semesters, with a more limited selection available in the summer semester. Course offerings can vary by semester and by location. Most classes take place during the evenings, with some courses also offered during weekday afternoons and weekends. This schedule is designed to accommodate working students who may be occupied with other part-time or full-time commitments during the day.

Q. Do I have to be accepted into the program to take Extension courses?
A. No; Extension courses are open to the general public, so you do not have to be formally accepted into the program to enroll in our courses.

Q. If I have already taken classes at Extension before applying, will my credits count toward the program requirements?
A. Recent credits from applicable classroom courses will retroactively apply toward the program requirements upon acceptance into the program.

Q. What are the benefits of enrolling in the program vs. taking classes a la carte?
A. The main difference between being officially accepted into the program and taking classes independently is access to program resources and benefits. These benefits include:

  • individualized advising, allowing you to tailor a course plan, identify a health program that fits your needs and prepare your application for further study
  • priority enrollment in high-demand lecture and lab courses
  • access to a listserv containing leads to local volunteer, work, internship (paid and unpaid) and research opportunities
  • opportunity to receive a composite letter of recommendation written by our program director that combines evaluations from at least four instructors you have taken classes with at Extension. It can be used as one science letter of recommendation.

Q. Does this program have any linkages with health profession programs such as medical schools?
A. No, we do not have official linkages with other programs.

Q. Does this program offer standardized test prep?
A. No, we do not have test prep built into the program for MCAT, DAT, etc. Many of our students use outside test-prep services such as Kaplan or Princeton Review.

Q. What is the tuition for the program? 
A. We do not have traditional per-semester tuition like many other colleges and universities. There is a total of $350 in program fees ($100 application fee, $150 Health Careers Seminar I course fee and $100 registration fee). Otherwise, students pay on a per-course basis. Many working adults prefer this pay-as-you-go method, limiting the amount of debt incurred.

Q. What is the duration of the program?
A. Students typically spend 1-2 calendar years taking courses. Depending on your situation (working full-time, financial burdens, the number of prerequisite courses you need to take, etc.), this time may increase. We recommend taking advantage of the fact that the majority of our courses are offered in fall, spring and summer semesters. Once you have completed your coursework, you can continue to utilize program services such as advising, the online bulletin board and the composite letter of recommendation as long as you hold an active status in the program.

Q. How may I obtain additional information regarding this program?
A. If you have any additional questions or would like to learn more about whether this program would be a good fit for you, please email us at extension-prehealth@berkeley.edu or call (510) 643-6901. In addition, we offer online information sessions that will give you all the information and allow you to ask staff questions in real time.

The Application Process

Q. How do I apply to the program? 
A. Submit an online application and complete your student account profile (if you are a new student) to begin applying to the program. Please note that you must pay the nonrefundable application fee through your shopping cart for your application to be officially processed. You must also submit the following materials:

  • Online Application Form: uploaded with your online application. (Note: Please adhere to the form provided and do not upload an actual personal statement/essay.) Enter your information directly into the document, including any test scores (MCAT, PCAT, DAT, GRE, etc.) taken within the past three years.
  • Current C.V. or résumé uploaded with your online application.
  • An official, sealed transcript from all undergraduate institutions attended with verification that you earned a baccalaureate degree and maintained a grade point average (GPA) equal to or above 3.0.
  • Any additional transcripts (official and sealed) from all other undergraduate and graduate institutions attended, including junior/community colleges. International transcripts must be evaluated by WES or an equivalent organization.
  • Three letters of recommendation, which must include a minimum of one from an academic reference (from a college instructor who has granted you an academic letter grade) and additional letters from academic or professional references. Letters are expected to be confidential and should be sent directly from the references.

Official transcripts and letters of recommendation may be sent via mail to the address listed below or via email to extension-prehealth@berkeley.edu. If sent electronically, materials must be sent directly from the institution, official e-Transcript service and/or recommendation letter writer(s). Mailed recommendation letters should be submitted in sealed envelopes with the reference’s signature across the seal; opened letters will not be accepted.

Attn: Tiffani K. Quan, Ph.D.
Program Director, Health Sciences
UC Berkeley Extension
1995 University Ave, Suite 200
Berkeley, CA 94704-7000

Q. I graduated years ago and haven't kept in touch with my instructors. Can I have the academic letter of recommendation requirement waived? 
A. If you have not taken an academic course in over five years, you may submit a third professional letter of recommendation in place of an academic letter. If you have taken a course in the last five years and would like to request that the academic letter of recommendation requirement be waived for another reason, please send an email explaining your circumstances to extension-prehealth@berkeley.edu.

Q. Who should we not use as a non-academic reference? 
A. These references should be professional in nature, as they are not meant to serve as character references. Family members, family friends, personal physicians and religious leaders should be avoided. Work or volunteer supervisors and colleagues are more appropriate choices.

Q. How will I know if the Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program has received the components of my application? 
A. If you have officially submitted your application with the nonrefundable $100 fee, you can log in to your student account and track the receipt of your application materials as they are processed. This allows you to stay on top of items that were not sent directly by you. If you have not yet submitted an online application or paid the application fee but have had application materials sent to our office, please email extension-prehealth@berkeley.edu to inquire about the status of your materials.

Q. How soon following submission of my credentials will I know the decision on my application? 
A. Once all application materials have been received, it can take up to three to four weeks to receive an admission decision. Recent graduates should contact their institution’s Registrar's Office to ensure that the completion of degree notation has been added to the transcript before it is sent.

Q. What are the deadlines for submitting an application? 
A. We have a rolling admissions policy, which means that we consider applications every month of the year and that there is no application deadline. However, it is advisable for applicants to submit their application at least two months prior to their intended date of matriculation.

Q. May I apply to the Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program before I complete my undergraduate degree?
A. Yes, completed applications received before an applicant has completed their undergraduate degree may still be reviewed for provisional acceptance. If you are granted provisional acceptance, you will not be fully accepted into the program or have full access to program resources until proof of your degree has been received. This can be sent either as an updated official transcript or an official letter from your institution’s Registrar bearing the notation that you were awarded your degree. Full acceptance to the program is contingent on satisfactory completion of your remaining coursework.

Current Students

Q. Where can I find information about how to enroll in classes?
A. Please visit our Student Services page for more information about how to enroll in classes, order transcripts, and other helpful Extension policies and guidelines.

Q. Where can I find information about financial aid options?
A. Please visit our Financial Assistance page for more information on private student loans and other financial discounts available to Extension students. Please note that Extension is not eligible for federal financial aid.

Q. How do I apply for / obtain a composite letter?
A. The composite letter process begins in January of each year. If you plan on applying to your intended health profession schools during that year’s cycle and would like to request a composite letter, you must submit an Intent to Apply form. You may request evaluations from at least four different instructors whom you have taken classes with at Extension. Students have until the end of August to have all composite letter materials submitted. More details are provided to currently accepted students via the Canvas page.

Q. Can I take a break from coursework and remain an active member of the program?
A. Students often take a semester break in order to study and take their entrance exam (MCAT, DAT, GRE, etc.) as studying for these exams can be quite time intensive. If you would like to take a break from coursework, we request that you communicate that with the program staff beforehand. If you do not enroll in classes for more than two consecutive semesters, you risk being reclassified as inactive and removed from the program.

Q. How do I request an Award of Completion?
A. Once you have completed the program requirements (Health Careers Seminar I and II and 24 elective units), please email extension-prehealth@berkeley.edu to check on your award status. Your Award of Completion will be issued via mail.

Q. Does requesting my Award mean I have to exit the program? Will I still have access to program resources?
A. Obtaining your Award of Completion does not mean you must exit the program. You will continue to have access to program resources (such as advising and the opportunity to receive a composite letter) as long as you have an active status in the program. You are also welcome to continue taking classes beyond the 24-unit elective minimum.

Q. I’ve been accepted to a health profession school! How do I matriculate from the program?
A. If you have applied for and been accepted to a health profession program you intend to pursue, congratulations! Please email us at extension-prehealth@berkeley.edu and let us know what school(s) you were accepted to and when/where you intend to matriculate. You will be asked to complete a brief exit survey upon matriculation from the program.