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Post-baccalaureate Certificate Programs

Advance your career. Prepare for graduate school.

Post-baccalaureate Certificate Programs


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Post-baccalaureate programs offer you a unique opportunity for targeted study to advance your career or prepare for graduate or professional school. Many students use post-baccalaureate programs to strengthen their academic transcript, show recent academic success and secure current letters of recommendation from Northwestern faculty. Many post-bacc programs can be customized to accommodate a student’s individual interests and experience. A Northwestern University certificate and course credit will enable you to demonstrate your professional expertise or to stand out in your application for advanced study.

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Find out more about post-baccalaureate programs at Northwestern.


Frequently Asked Questions


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What is a post-baccalaureate program?

A post-bacc program is an academic program designed to help students who have already completed their undergraduate degree bolster their credentials for professional and academic success. A post-bacc certificate and course credit from Northwestern enables students to demonstrate their professional expertise and strengthen their applications to graduate programs. While these programs are commonly aimed at students applying to medical school, SPS also offers post-baccalaureate programs in subjects such as accounting , business, and marketing. Many post-bacc programs can be customized to accommodate a student’s individual interests and experience.


Who are post-bacc students?

Post-bacc students are lifelong learners looking to build their credentials and achieve their personal and professional goals, whether advancing or changing their career, or applying to graduate or professional school.


Why should I apply to a post-bacc program?

There are two primary reasons a student may choose to apply to a post-baccalaureate program. First, as a means of advancing their career—whether you’re looking to change professions or simply grow skills for your current role, post-bacc program courses help you build relevant credentials and accelerate your path to the position you want. The second reason a student might apply to a post-baccalaureate certificate program is to prepare for an advanced degree. Not only does strong performance in post-bacc courses make you a more competitive candidate for medical school and graduate and PhD programs, the connections forged with faculty and other students during the program provide valuable networking opportunities. No matter the reason for enrolling, Northwestern’s post-baccalaureate programs provide their graduates with a strong foundation for successful professional and academic journeys.


How long does it take to complete a post-baccalaureate program?

The amount of time that it takes to complete a post-bacc certificate or program depends on the number of courses that make up the program and the courseload taken per quarter. Many non-premed post-baccalaureate programs require just four courses, meaning that they can be completed on a part-time basis in just a year. The post-baccalaureate pre-med programs, on the other hand, require between nine and 18 courses and may take up to 21 months to complete.


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

Aside from improving students’ qualifications in important pre-requisite topics, a post-baccalaureate premedical program is also an opportunity to forge valuable connections with faculty and gain practical experience required for medical school applications . Northwestern also offers linkage programs with three elite medical schools: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. Students admitted to one of these three schools are invited to enroll directly after finishing the post-baccalaureate premedical program, allowing them to skip the traditional gap year. In addition to post-bacc pre-med programs, the School of Professional Studies also offers post-bacc professional health certificates, including Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-physician Assistant, Pre-speech Pathology, and Pre-clinical Psychology.


Where are post-bacc courses offered?

Post-baccalaureate program courses are available both in-person at Northwestern’s Chicago and Evanston campuses and online. Some post-bacc programs may only be available in one medium. Please refer to the “required courses” section of your program’s page to learn more about the classes’ location and format.

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