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 competitive grade point average. For example, 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 3.7 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 the requirements, policies, and 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, the Premedical Committee will average together both courses to determine the grade point average. 

At the end of the fall, spring and summer terms, the Premedical Committee reviews the academic performance of all students and will reach out to any student in academic difficulty to discuss strategies for greater academic success. 

All current students undergo formal academic review each semester after having completed 15 credits of required premedical coursework in the program. Because students with GPAs below 2.75 in premedical coursework are highly unlikely to gain admission to medical school, students whose cumulative GPA in the program is below 2.75 and who have completed 15 credits of required coursework may be dismissed from the program. A student can also be 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.