Transforming Lives for Future Healthcare Professionals
UC Davis Health Professions Post-Bac Celebrates Soaring Success Rates
"This program empowered me and helped me find the confidence I needed to continue in the healthcare field,” said Rachel Becker, a student at UC Davis School of Medicine and an alumna of the first graduating class of UC Davis’ Health Professions Post-Bac Program. “It changed my life for the better and I’m thankful to have been a part of it.”
Designed for students needing additional coursework post-graduation to boost their competitive advantage when applying to health professional schools, the program helps students improve their GPA and provides test-taking and application preparation.
Soaring Success Rates
The UC Davis Health Professions Post-Baccalaureate Program boasts a 94% acceptance rate. Becker is one of nearly two dozen students from the first graduating class who matriculated into their desired health profession.
“So far, after completing the Post-Bac Program, I have received 15 interviews and nine acceptances! I am applying for the third time and I did not expect this much success,” said Lucero Cordero, now attending Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. After enduring two failed attempts of applying to medical school, Cordero feared their dream of becoming a developmental pediatrician was out of reach, so they applied to UC Davis’ Health Professions Post-Bac Program where they earned a 3.98 GPA. "I believe that my success in this cycle is due to the confidence that the UC Davis Health Professions Post-Baccalaureate Program helped me cultivate.”
Like Cordero, many students coming out of the program have choices on where to continue their studies. The 2022-2023 cycle saw an average of five interviews and two acceptances per applicant, including UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis School of Medicine, UCSF School of Dentistry, USC School of Pharmacy, Brown School of Public Health and more.
Bryelle McRay, director of the UC Davis Health Professions Post-Bac Program, attributes this success to the dedication of its advising team. “Helping our students realize their academic capabilities and building confidence within themselves is the driving force for what we do,” said McRay. “We partner with them on their pre-health journey, helping them craft their most competitive application and showcasing the value they bring to health care.”
A Life Jacket Extended
For students like Cordero and Becker, the UC Davis Health Professions Post-Bac offers hope—and another shot at achieving their dreams.
“The UC Davis Post-Bac was really the backbone of my application,” said Gabby Rich, who entered the one-year program with a 2.9 cumulative GPA and completed it with a 3.97 GPA. The academic-enhancing program places a strong emphasis on helping students succeed in the classroom. Skill-building seminars, academic advising and one-on-one check-ins support students in developing strong study and academic habits. Today, Rich is attending A.T. Still University School of Physician Assistant Studies.
“So many of our incoming students have overcome personal and academic obstacles before starting the UC Davis Health Professions Post-Bac,” said McRay. “They sometimes begin our program lacking confidence about their ability to succeed in this path. It’s remarkable to watch them completely transform their futures with support from our advising team. Seeing students receive their white coat is the highlight of our work!”
Graduates of the program average a 3.80 GPA and a 508 MCAT score. While students may enter the program focused solely on academics and raising their GPA, many, including Victoria Odufuwa Nze, end up completing the program with more than just high marks. “I came out of it believing in myself. It boosted my confidence, not just in academics, but in anything that I apply myself to,” said Nze, who is now attending Samuel Merritt University College of Nursing. “I'm grateful for the grades that I got, but the self-development is priceless.”
Both Rich and Nze acknowledge the support system of their cohort and high-touch advising for contributing to their success. “I never felt alone or that I had to figure things out by myself. The program provided life jackets, so you never felt like you were drowning,” said Nze.
“The mentorship and guidance you receive from your advisors during this challenging process are incredible,” added Francisco Cordero, now attending University of Vermont Larner School of Medicine. “They are with you from your first day of class all the way until you enter through those medical school doors, which is very comforting.”
Students in the UC Davis Health Professions Post-Bac receive personalized advising, application prep and test preparation. “We use an individualized approach in everything we do,” said McRay. “It’s rare to find a post-bac program with an in-house test prep specialist who caters to the specific needs of each student. Each student is given a customized study plan for their respective exam (MCAT/DAT/GRE), which allows them to study efficiently throughout the year.”
The program also offers a committee letter, provides free access to virtual mental healthcare and wellness services and handles all course registration for students. “Without the stress of securing placement in post-bac classes, our students can focus on academics and becoming the best applicants for their intended health field,” said McRay.
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“The UC Davis Post-Bac had the best commitment to helping me evolve as a student and helping me fix my study habits. They gave me the tools and the support to best set me up for success as a medical student,” said Becker.
“I would absolutely recommend the UC Davis Health Professions Post-Bac. The camaraderie of the cohort, the guidance from the advising team, and the seminar and test prep classes can really help elevate the way you view yourself and how you will approach the world going forward,” said Vickie Chaimanont, who is attending UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “The post-bac program helped me become a better version of myself and thus a better healthcare professional for those I will help in the future.”