Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a Certificate-granting program?

This is a preparatory program. Students receive a certificate of completion.

How long is the program?

Bennington’s Postbac Premed Program is one year. It begins in June and ends in June the following year. Students are advised to take the MCAT no later than mid-July following completion of the program.

What is the size of the program?

Enrollment is generally 10–14 students.

What are the requirements to apply to your program?

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Bachelor’s degree at time of enrollment
  • Demonstrated interest in some area of medicine or healthcare
  • Few or no previous science courses
  • Online application

Do you require ACT, SAT or GRE scores?

Test scores are preferred. Photocopies of SAT, ACT, or GRE scores are acceptable as are scores reported on high school transcripts.

What do you look for in a student?

In addition to a past strong academic record in another field culminating in a Bachelor’s Degree, we look for applicants who excel in other areas (music, writing, international experience, public health) and can demonstrate a compelling interest in the medical field. Volunteer or paid work experience as an EMT, work in a clinic or ER, shadowing a doctor or other experiences that demonstrate that interest are beneficial.

We also look for the applicant who will thrive in a small and personal academic setting with a hands-on participatory approach.

We expect good interpersonal skills, a strong work ethic, independence, motivation and passion.

Do you accept international students?

We can only consider applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

What professional schools does Bennington's postbac program prepare for?

Bennington’s program offers the prerequisites for medical, osteopathic, and most dental schools.

What is the medical school acceptance rate of students who have completed Bennington’s Postbac Program?

Bennington postbac alumni achieve acceptance into medical school and other health professions programs at an average rate of 95%.

What is the application deadline?

Admissions are rolling and begin in September for the following summer but early application is encouraged. The closing deadline to apply is April 30. Online application.

Does Bennington have any linkages to medical schools?

Bennington does not have affiliations with medical schools. Our students enjoy the flexibility of choosing the school that is the best fit for each applicant.

What if I have taken some of the required courses as an undergrad?

If you have had some of the required courses to apply to medical school, please contact us to determine your eligibility for Bennington’s program.

We cannot accept students who have fulfilled certain course requirements needed for admission to medical school. Exceptions can be made if those courses were taken over five years ago. For questions, please contact postbac@bennington.edu.

Can I enroll to enhance my academic record?

No. Bennington’s program is for either recent graduates who have decided on a career path other than their major or established professionals who wish to make a career change. Candidates will have a strong academic record but will not have taken the science and math courses required to apply to medical or other health profession schools.

What kind of academic advising and support will I find at Bennington?

From the moment you enroll you will find support for every aspect of your postbac experience—as well as your glide year to come. Because of the small size of our program and the low student-teacher ratio, we can and do offer highly individualized support during and after the program, assisting you in finding work and volunteer opportunities, exploring career options, advising during the medical school application process and more. The director of the program teaches chemistry courses and will be your advisor.

What is Field Work Term and is it a mandatory part of the program?

Field Work Term (FWT) is a seven-week winter term in January and February in which students can choose to leave campus to work in jobs, internships, or volunteer positions here or abroad. There are no classes during Field Work Term. As a student, you are strongly encouraged to explore an area of medicine or research that is of particular interest to you and to which you may not have had much exposure. Bennington’s faculty, staff and alumni are available to assist you in making choices and connections. FWT is self-funded. There is no tuition fee for the Field Work Term nor are there restrictions on what a student may do or what organizations you may work with. Students have access to all the resources of the FWT Office including a jobs database during and after the postbac year.

Possibilities can be as varied as taking a Wilderness EMT course to working in a traditional Chinese Medicine clinic in China, assisting in medical research, learning medical Spanish, or volunteering at an HIV/AIDS clinic.

What financial aid options are available to me?

Federal grants are not available to students who have earned an undergraduate degree. Students typically fund the postbac year through a combination of Federal Direct Student Loans and private alternative loans. Parents of dependent students may borrow a federal PLUS loan. For more information about loans, please visit the loans pages or contact the Office of Financial Aid (802-440-4325).

Bennington also offers a limited number of merit-based institutional grants to highly qualified applicants. These awards are distributed at the discretion of the admitting committee. No separate application is necessary.

What housing is available?

College housing is offered for the summer term. Students have the option of securing private rooms in a house (on or near campus) with a shared kitchen and common areas. The College can assist you in finding other housing options in the vicinity of the campus. There are several rental options available within walking or cycling distance of campus and students often opt to share rentals for the fall and spring terms.

What opportunities exist for local volunteering or working in the medical or social service fields?

In addition to the program’s relationship with Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, where there are many opportunities for shadowing and volunteer work, we help connect students with a variety of local volunteer opportunities and community projects during the fall and spring terms. Students have done impressive work in partnership with many community organizations, including PAVE (Project Against Violent Encounters), the Bennington Free Clinic, and local chapters of Habitat for Humanity among others. There are great opportunities for students who are interested in working with at-risk children, such as the Bennington College Quantum Leap program, the Big Brother/Big Sister program and several other organizations in and around Bennington as well as several doctors who accept postbac students for shadowing or research.

Do postbac students take classes with undergraduates?

The initial summer term classes are postbac students only, giving the group the chance to get to know each other. In the fall and spring some upper level undergraduates join postbacs for classes, working side by side as lab partners and research associates.

Do you offer MCAT prep during the postbac year?

With the advent of the new MCAT, there are many resources available for preparation. Bennington does not offer a formal MCAT prep course. Each student receives extensive individual advising on the best approach to MCAT study, taking into consideration each student’s learning style. Students are encouraged to use the winter Field Work Term for preparation and study and are offered access to prep materials throughout the school year.

What can I expect to find on campus and in the Bennington area?

Bennington sits at the foot of the Green Mountains in the southwest corner of Vermont, right on the borders of New York and Massachusetts. The town of Bennington has a population of 16,000 and is known for its historic covered bridges, dairy farming and thriving maple sugar industry. Surrounded by lakes, rivers, ponds and mountain hiking trails, Bennington is famous for its spectacular scenery. There are many cultural events that take place in and around the Bennington area, and several ski resorts are less than an hour away.  Hiking and cycling are popular area activities. In addition, Bennington is an easy trip to many cultural centers: Albany, NY is a 50-minute drive, Williamstown, MA: 20 minutes, New York City: 3 ½ hours, Boston: 3 hours, Burlington, VT 3 hours.

Bennington’s campus is a rich and multi-cultural liberal arts environment. From classical concerts to jazz and alternative café performances, dance and theatre performances, art shows, lectures, workshops and readings, there is always much to choose from outside the classroom.

Betsy Sherman with Student

Because of the small size of our program and the low student-teacher ratio, we can and do offer highly individualized support during and after the program.

Postbac Partners

In addition to a past strong academic record in another field culminating in a Bachelor’s Degree, we look for applicants who excel in other areas (music, writing, international experience, public health) and can demonstrate a compelling interest in the medical field.

Postbac Partners in Animal Lab

Bennington postbac alumni achieve acceptance into medical school and other health professions programs at an average rate of 95%.