Q: I’m at the end of sophomore year and I just decided I want to be a doctor, or maybe a physician assistant. I haven’t taken any of the prerequisite science courses. Are there options available to me this late in undergrad?
A: Absolutely! There is no one path to a career in the health professions and no finite timeline for achieving this goal. For some students, as soon as they discover their interest in a health profession they want to dive right into the courses. This, of course, is perfectly fine. But for those who want to continue with the academic path they’ve started, or who want the flexibility to explore courses that they might never have an opportunity to do outside of Princeton, a career changer postbac program might be a great option.
Career changer postbac programs are, as the name implies, for students who started in one discipline and are now changing careers to pursue a health profession. These one- to two-year programs will allow you to take the basic science prerequisite courses you need, and will also assist you with gaining invaluable clinical and/or research experience that will further enhance your application to health professional school. Most programs are open only to students who have taken few, if any, science courses. Additionally, programs aren't limited to premeds: many will accept students who are interested in dentistry, podiatric medicine, and veterinary medicine. Some programs will accept students who are interested in other health professions such as physical therapy and physician assistant.
If you think a postbac program might be right for you, sign in with your Princeton credentials to view our “Postbac Possibilities” recording on our info sessions webpage (under "Prehealth After Princeton") and schedule a meeting to speak with us about your goals. We are happy to help you plan a course of action that fits you!