If you are interested in applying to a professional school program and need to enhance your GPA or are a “career changer” and need to start with pre-reqs, please read the following information for instructions.

Please note: you will need to be admitted to UNLV before you make an appointment with the PPAC Post-Bac Advisor.

Post-Bac Programs

  • UNLV does not offer formal post-bac certificates or programs, just a pathway for students to professional school through additional coursework. Please do your research to understand the difference between formal post-bac programs/certificates vs. pathways/DIY in which you are just taking additional courses.
  • Formal Post-Baccalaureate programs and certificates are available across the country through a variety of schools.
  • These programs can be a better option so you have a tangible certificate or Masters degree at the end of your coursework; some programs even have an incentive of a reserved seat or guaranteed interview in their professional school/program.
  • The best resource for Post-Bac programs is through AAMC

Pathway to Professional School

At UNLV, we only offer students the option of taking additional courses via a post-baccalaureate pathway. This “do-it-yourself” pathway is a route for you to become a competitive applicant for professional school. Prior to post-bac coursework, you should have graduated with your Bachelor’s degree and fall in to one of two categories below:

  1. In need of GPA repair/enhancement: you have an undergraduate GPA between 2.85-3.2 upon graduation and need to demonstrate successful completion of a full time, rigorous, science-heavy course load; or, you who have applied to professional school and were denied due to low GPA
    1. Students often inquire about starting a pathway with an undergraduate GPA below a 2.85. While we don’t say “no”, understand that extremely low GPA’s can be exceptionally hard to overcome in your application to professional school. Often, you will be required to complete a significant number of courses over several semesters/years. Also, there are times that other opportunities will need to be explored.
  2. You are a “career changer” and need to complete general prerequisites and upper division science courses

Your pathway will be tailored to your individual background, both academically and personally. This means there is no “set” curriculum for our pathway. Classes you register for are entirely dependent on your academic record, which will be reviewed and discussed at your first appointment with an advisor. Registration for your courses will also include consideration of pre-reqs and “suggested” courses for the professional schools you are interested in applying to.

Please note: if you are pursuing a post-bac pathway for GPA repair/enhancement, you should *already* have significant clinical, shadowing, community, involvement, and research experience. Those that are “career changers” we can advise on experiences to pursue.

I’m interested; What do I do?

Step 1: Admissions & Financial Aid

  • You will apply through UNLV Admissions as a "returning" or "transfer" student (please be sure to read the descriptions of both!) or *undergraduate* non-degree seeking student (DO NOT apply as a "graduate" non-degree).
    • If you are applying as "returning" or "transfer", you can choose any major (except the one in which you have your Bachelor's degree) and are possibly eligible for financial aid. Please note: official transcripts will be required for admission if your prior degree is not from UNLV. 
    • Non-degree students: you won’t need to turn in official transcripts, but are limited to 8 credits per semester and are not eligible for financial aid.
    • Please visit the financial aid office to inquire about aid availability after graduation

Step 2: Set Up an Appointment with the PPAC

  • Upon acceptance to UNLV, you can make an appointment with the PPAC by calling 702-895-2959 or emailing: ppac@unlv.edu
    • Be sure to read “Preparing for your Appointment” on the PPAC website

Step 3: Understand Necessary Post-Bac Pathway Coursework

  • If you are a career changer:
    • You will start on general science prerequisites first. See list of “Prerequisite Science Courses” below. Please note, placement tests are required for Chemistry and possibly Math (depending on previous coursework)
    • First semester schedule should consist of a general Biology, along with the Chemistry and Math course you placed in to
  • If you are a “GPA Enhancement” Student:
    • If you have taken all necessary pre-reqs (listed below under “Pre-requisite Science Courses”), you can enroll in upper division Biology and Chemistry courses
    • Aim to complete 28-30 credits of coursework during Post-Bac year, equating to 15 credits each semester (this will show you are full time)
    • Take 3-4 upper division science courses and (possibly) one upper division Psychology or Sociology course each semester
    • List of upper division courses to take is at the end of this document. It is advised that you take the “Recommended” courses first.
  • The length of time all students will need to follow this schedule is completely dependent on their academic history. The PPAC Advisor will help create a timeline for you at the
  • first appointment.

Step 4: Enroll

  • At your designated enrollment time, register for your classes! Confirm with your PPAC Advisor your course schedule so it can be noted in your file.

Pre-requisite Science Courses

All students applying to professional school, regardless of status, should have the following general pre-requisites completed:

  • General Biology: BIOL 190/191 (with labs)
  • General Chemistry: CHEM 121**/122 (with labs)
  • Organic Chemistry: CHEM 241/242 (with labs)
  • Biochemistry: CHEM 474
  • General Physics: PHYS 151/152 (with labs)
  • Calculus (possible): MATH 181

**Placement tests are possibly required for Chemistry depending on previous coursework. See: https://www.unlv.edu/chemistry/placement

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to meet with an advisor prior to applying to UNLV to see what coursework I need to take. How do I set up an appointment?

At the present time, the Pre-Professional Advising Center only sees current UNLV students for appointments. If you would like an appointment, please apply to UNLV first and then give us a call so we can assist!

Otherwise, Tuesday afternoons are available for quick phone appointments with the Director of the PPAC to answer questions about this path. Please email ppac@unlv.edu, indicate you are a prospective post-bac student requesting a Tuesday phone call, and we will be in touch with you to confirm the time.

How should I prepare for my appointment with the advisor?

Please complete the GPA calculator (found in our FAQ’s online at: www.unlv.edu/advising/ppac) so you know your true cumulative and science GPA. Additionally, see the “Preparing for your Appointment” section of the PPAC website for documentation to bring to your advisor or send ahead of time.

I fall in the “GPA repair/enhancement” category, but my GPA is lower than a 2.85. Am I eligible?

Students with GPA’s lower than a 2.85 cumulative or science will have a difficult time raising their GPA to a competitive level, even with a post-bac year. Trajectory of your grades is important, but we encourage students to use the GPA calculator to see if 28-30 additional credits will improve their GPA to a competitive average. There are additional options available to students, including Master’s degrees, to help them achieve the same type of career goals if professional school isn’t feasible.

Should I do a post-bac year or a Master’s degree to improve my competitiveness to professional school?

This depends on several factors including previous coursework, GPA, experiences, professional school test score, etc. Some professional school tracks do not calculate your Master’s degree GPA into the application and others do, so it also depends on your professional school goals. If your GPA is too low and it isn’t possible to raise it to a competitive level after a year of post-bac undergraduate coursework, it is advised students pursue an actual Master’s degree program for career purposes.

Do I need to take my professional school test (ex: MCAT, DAT, etc.) before I start a pathway?

No. You can work with your advisor to determine the best time to take your test before you apply to professional school.

Upper Division Post-Bac Classes

The following is a list of recommended upper division courses for professional school. There are other options, all of which can be discussed with your Post-Bac Advisor during your appointments!

Course Prefix & Number Course Title
Biol 445 Cell Physiology
Biol 348 Intro to Human Anatomy
Biol 349X Human Physiology Foundations
Biol 453 Immunology
Biol 351 Microbiology
Biol 405 Molecular Biology
Biol 300 Principles of Genetics
Biol 468 Histology
Stat 391 Statistics
Biol 440 Mammalian Physiology