This is part of our Postbac Admissions Series where we explore the ins and outs of applying to postbaccalaureate programs, including tips for finding the best programs, writing the best essays, finding the best recommenders, and more. Click here to get the complete guide.
These tips can help you formulate the best strategy in applying to a postbac program. For over five years, I managed the postbac program application process for UC Davis School of Medicine. In this position, I reviewed thousands of applications. I have created the following tips to help you avoid the most common mistakes that applicants make in their application.
1. Do Your Homework
Before applying to a program, be sure that you fit all the basic requirements for the program. These are often listed on the program website. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours on an application, only to find out later that you are not eligible for the program based on a technicality.
2. Attend Informational Workshops
At these events, the program faculty or staff will provide presentations on their program. They can provide inside information that is not available on the website. Sometimes, students in the program host a panel – answering any questions that prospective applicants might have. This is a valuable source of information and an opportunity to network.
3. Request Letters of Recommendation Early
It can take a while for your letter writers to submit their recommendations. Be sure that you give them enough time to write you a great letter! Request your letters early. The most common reason that students applications are not given serious consideration is because they are missing letters of recommendation to support their application.
4. Submit Required Materials by the Deadlines
To be successful in any type of application process, it’s critical that you meet all deadlines for required materials. If there is any confusion about a deadline, contact the program staff and double-check the dates. Give yourself enough time. Meet those deadlines.
5. Complete All Sections of the Application
If there is any confusion whether a section of the application may be optional, be sure to ask for clarification. Additionally, check the word or character limits on all essay sections and use the maximum amount of space available. This demonstrates your interest in the program.
The above advice can ensure that you are successful in matriculating into a postbac program. If you have any questions, you can always contact the program staff. Often, this is a great opportunity to get to know the people who will be working with you during the program.
Check out our Postbac Application Package to learn more about working with an admissions expert to create a winning postbac application.
Alicia McNease Nimonkar worked for 5 years as the Student Advisor & Director at the UC Davis School of Medicine's postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and other health professional programs. She has served Accepted's clients since 2012 with roughly a 90% success rate. She has a Master of Arts in Composition and Rhetoric as well as Literature. Want Alicia to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!