Barry S. Rothman, Ph.D. { Health Professions Home Page}

Image: Health Professions at San Francisco State University

Informal Post-Bac Programs


Informal post-bac programs offer an inexpensive but flexible way to take health profession school pre-requisites and electives. The trade-off for the low fees is a program that is less structured and offers fewer services.


Informal Post-Bac Programs at SFSU

In the past, the California State University (CSU) system, of which SFSU is a member, offered informal post-bac programs at most campuses. SFSU offered two such informal post-bac programs: the 2nd-Bac and Open U.


The 2nd-Bac Program, as its name implies, admitted students that ostensibly sought to earn an additional baccalaureate degreee, but in reality rarely finished their degree. Instead, they used their 2nd-Bac status as a means by which to prepare for application to health professions graduate schools. The 2nd-Bac program was used by "career-changers" concentrating on pre-requisite course work and by "academic enhancers" concentrating on upper-division science electives. 2nd-Bac students were required to have earned a minimal 2.5 GPA for their first degree, matriculated as regular students, paid tuition that was just a bit higher than that paid by undergraduates, qualified for loans through SFSU's Financial Aid Office and had good priority in registering for classes. In-state residents, out-of-state residents and International students were allowed to enroll in the 2nd-Bac Program, with each of these groups paying a different level of tuition.


The Open University Program provides access to SFSU courses without requiring a formal admissions process. Thus, anyone, regardless of academic history,state of residence or citizenship can register for courses through Open U. However, Open U students pay higher tuition than undergraduates and 2nd-Bacs, have the lowest registration priority and do not qualify for loans through SFSU's Financial Aid Office.


Due to California's severe budget crisis, SFSU is not accepting 2nd-Bacs for the foreseeable future. Thus, at present, the only options for post-bacs at SFSU are:

Click here for a table that comparess these two programs.



Post-Bac Programs Elsewhere

Other options for post-bacs in the San Francisco Bay Area include:

  • Other nearby CSUs - San Jose State, Sonoma State, Chico State - may be offering enrollment opportunities for post-bacs.
  • Community colleges are a last resort, as health profession schools often consider courses taken at such schools to be less rigorous.


SF Bay Area Programs for Disadvantaged Post-Bacs


The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) maintains a web site that lists many of the post-bac programs in the US. Click here to access their searchable web page.








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