Academic Policies

Postbac students are expected to make steady progress in their fulfillment of the premedical sciences curriculum, taking courses in the sequence prescribed by the program. Acceptance to medical school and to other health professional schools is extremely competitive; students in the Postbac Program are expected to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0. According to national statistics compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges, students admitted to medical school in recent years have a mean grade point average of 3.6 in science courses.

Policies concerning registration, class attendance, academic progress, adding or dropping courses, grades, incompletes, academic integrity, academic grievances, leaves of absence, withdrawals, and medical leaves are found in the Academic Policies section of the Postbac Premed website. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with these policies and procedures and to adhere to deadlines published therein. The Postbaccalaureate Premedical Committee on Academic Standing ("the Premedical Committee") considers appeals and reviews petitions from students for incompletes, re-enrollment, and exceptions to Postbac Premed Program policies.

Academic Review

The Premedical Committee conducts an academic review of all students in the program at the end of each term, including the summer session, and takes appropriate academic action as required. For the purpose of its review, the Premedical Committee generally does not factor in non-science courses, but does include science elective courses. When a course is taken and repeated at Columbia, only the grade earned for the first attempt is factored into the Columbia grade point average except where grades of F or W were earned.

The following actions are taken by the committee when there are concerns about a student’s academic performance or progress in the program:

Academic Warning

Academic warnings are issued at the discretion of the Premedical Committee and may have cumulative consequences.

Academic Dismissal

Students may be dismissed from the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program for any of the following reasons:

  • Earning less than a 2.0 GPA in any given semester.
  • Having two consecutive semesters of a cumulative GPA below 3.0.
  • Having two consecutive semesters of a term GPA below 3.0.

A student can also be summarily dismissed from the Program for academic failure or academic dishonesty. Ties with GS are permanently severed for students who are dismissed from the Program. Students may appeal their dismissal to the Dean of the School of General Studies within two weeks of the official notification of dismissal. Students dismissed from the program lose their eligibility for a premedical committee letter; students reinstated to the program after a dismissal appeal must submit an additional appeal to the Premedical Committee if they wish to be considered for a committee letter.

Loss of Committee Support

All students receive committee support unless explicitly disqualified. Students can lose eligibility for a premedical committee letter for any of the following reasons:

  • Having two consecutive semesters of a term GPA below 3.0.
  • Having two consecutive semesters of a cumulative GPA below 3.0.
  • Earning a grade below C in any given semester.
  • Completing the program with a cumulative GPA below 3.0.
  • Satisfying requirements with courses not approved by the Premedical Committee.
  • Satisfying individual course requirements without satisfying other eligibility requirements (e.g., concurrent enrollment in organic chemistry and biology at Columbia).

Students are notified of their loss of committee support and are given the opportunity to appeal this decision to the Premedical Committee within two weeks of notification.