A Deep Dive into the Post-baccalaureate Program
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A Deep Dive into the Post-baccalaureate Program

In this podcast, we talk with Candida Mulligan, an admissions officer in Salus University's Office of Admissions. She talks to us about the Post-baccalaureate program and how it is unique to Salus.

Q: What is the Post-bacc program and what should applicants expect from it?

A: The Post-bacc program is actually a certificate program, and the main purpose of the certificate program is to help those applicants and students who are looking to increase their GPA and have intentions on either applying to one of the Salus programs or another health profession program.

post-bacc-pod-pic1Q: What is the academic timeline of the Post-bacc program at Salus?

A: The Post-bacc program starts in the fall semester, and it's two semesters.

Q: What kind of on-campus facilities can the Post-bacc students utilize?

A: The Learning Resource Center, the classrooms and any labs that may be required for their courses. It is a 30-week program so students are starting in the fall semester around the same time as all of the other programs. Then in the springtime, they're usually doing some shadowing within our clinics.

Q: What is the application process, and what are some tips for applying to this program?

A: The program is great for anyone who's looking to boost their GPA and have intentions of going into a health science profession. If someone has a GPA of less than 2.70, we usually like for them to contact us at Admissions so that we can go over their file and their unofficial transcript in detail and see if this program is a good fit. Many of the applicants usually have a 2.70, 2.60, all the way up to a 3.10 GPA.

One of the things that is not required is any standardized exam for the Post-bacc program. Students just have to complete an application in GradCAS and have completed a bachelor's degree. So, you do need to have your degree completed, then you would just go through GradCAS through our application portal and submit your undergraduate transcripts (through GradCAS, not Salus). Then you need to answer two short essays, 250 words maximum, submit your CV or resume, and one letter of recommendation. Once GradCAS verifies all of the information and everything is received, then we can move forward if this applicant qualifies for an interview.

Q: How is this program unique? How do you think the students benefit from it?
One of the unique things about the Post-bacc program at Salus is that it's science-specific. A lot of students when they're in their undergrad, there's numerous reasons why someone's undergrad GPA may be on the low end. They could have been first generation student, it could be just acclimating to college life or the changes that come from leaving home for the first time. So, there's a lot of things involved. One of the good things about our Post-bacc program is that a lot of the other programs out there are either general programs or business administration, but they're not really science-specific. If you're looking to go into the health profession, what most schools are looking at is your overall science GPA. They want to know how well are you doing in your science courses.

English and math, those courses are important as well, but if you're going into the science profession, we really want to know how well can you handle science courses, and can you handle graduate level science courses? There's a lot of programs out there that are still really undergraduate courses. They're not graduate courses.

​The main thing that really makes us stand out is that it's a graduate program, so you're proving that you can handle graduate-level courses specifically in the sciences, as well as the opportunity to shadow in our clinics. Sometimes you can have a vision and you think you want to go into one profession and that's probably because you weren't aware of some of the other professions. We find that a lot at Salus, that a lot of people probably weren't aware of what an optometrist does or what an occupational therapist does or speech-language pathology or even physician assistant.

Students are exposed to a lot of the other professions and programs at our university, and that allows them to really open up the vision for where they want to go in the future. So, that's something that's a little unique as well, depending on what you plan on pursuing, you are paired up with a mentor, someone who's already in the profession who can kind of give you that guidance and advice about the profession and the field. Then you have us giving you the guidance and the advice for applying to programs, the application process, testing assistance, test prep for the Graduate Record Evaluation (GRE) or the Optometry Admission Test (OAT). Those are the little things that make our Post-bacc program stand out compared to other programs.

post-bacc-pod-pic3Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
I don't think people realize that a lot of the faculty members who are teaching in our Post-bacc program are currently teaching some of our other programs at the University. Some of them may be optometry faculty members, physician assistant faculty members, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology. Sometimes people assume that if someone has a low GPA in their undergrad, they just cannot handle the sciences or they cannot handle a Post-bacc program, or they assume that these programs are watered down and they're not. It's really a rigorous program, it's very heavy and it's a lot of work, and at the end of the certificate, these students have really worked really hard to prove that they can handle a graduate-level program and that they're ready to go to graduate school and pursue whichever field they want to pursue. Hopefully it's one of the Salus programs, but if not, then they're prepared and a little bit more competitive when they go to apply to another medical or health profession.

For more information about the Post-bacc program, visit salus.edu/post-bacc.