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Post-baccalaureate Resources

Post-baccalaureate programs are a great way to sharpen research skills, become more comfortable with a research topic, and become a more competitive applicant for Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. programs at leading institutions. Some programs offer a year of paid research experience, GRE test preparation, and professional development to recent college graduates.


A number of Leadership Alliance institutions host an NIH-funded Post-baccalaureate Research Experiences Program or PREP.  The goal of PREP is to “strengthen the research skills and academic competitiveness of participants for the pursuit of a Ph.D. degree in biomedical sciences”.  If you think this opportunity may be a good fit for you, please review the full list of PREP Programs.

PREP programs hosted at Leadership Alliance institutions are listed below.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a post-baccalaureate program?

Post-baccalaureate programs (commonly referred to as “post-bacs”) provide enrichment opportunities for recent college graduates interested in pursuing a Ph.D. These opportunities often help boost graduate school applicants to become highly competitive and stand out among their peers.

Will I earn an additional degree if I complete a post-baccalaureate program?

No, post-baccalaureate programs are non-degree granting programs. Some post-baccalaureate programs issue a certificate of completion, but this will vary between programs.

What are the benefits of completing a post-baccalaureate program?

Post-bac programs allow emerging scholars to cultivate skills essential for graduate school such as learning to ask scientific questions and drive a project forward. Programs may also offer students a stipend, provide networking opportunities for both scientific and professional development, and promote seminar and/or conference attendance. Many programs also provide access to standardized exam preparation.

What is the goal of post-baccalaureate programs? 

Students can enroll in a post-baccalaureate program with a variety of goals: to complete a second BA/BS degree, to attain a graduate certificate, or to complete prerequisite courses for admission into medical school or other graduate programs.

Do all post-baccalaureate programs have the same structure: coursework and research opportunities?

Post-bac programs come in several forms, but one of the most common is the NIH-funded Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program, commonly referred to as PREP. These programs provide students with a rigorous and fully immersive one- to two-year experience at research institutions all over the country. 

Where can I find a list of schools that offer Post Baccalaureate Research Programs (PREP)?

The NIH website offers a map highlighting institutions that offer PREP across the United States. If you click on each site, you will find the name of the institution as well as the contact information of the person responsible for the PREP program. If you are interested, you should reach out to the contact person directly.

Does The Leadership Alliance have additional resources for students who are looking for more information to prepare for graduate school?