Academic Policies

Acceptance to medical school and to other health professional schools is extremely competitive. 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. For this reason, Postbac Premed students are expected to maintain a competitive GPA and make steady progress in fulfilling the premedical sciences curriculum in the sequence prescribed by the Program.

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 GPA. 

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

All current students undergo formal academic review each semester after having attempted 15 points 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 falls below 2.75 at any point after having attempted 15 points may be dismissed from the Program. A student may also be dismissed from the Program for academic failure or academic dishonesty. Ties with GS are permanently severed with 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.