The Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate (PPC) program at Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) in Claremont, CA, is a nine-month academic enrichment program that helps students gain a competitive edge for admission to medical school through a rigorous graduate interdisciplinary curriculum of applied life science courses. Students also have the option to complete a master’s degree during the glide year when applying to medical schools.

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Program Quick Facts

Program length
It takes 9 months to complete the PPC program.
Full or part-time program
The PPC program is a full-time program with classes during the day.
Online or in-person classes
All classes are done in-person.
Type of program
PPC combines the best of an “academic enhancer” (AE) program and a Master’s Program.
Can I earn my master’s degree?
Students are eligible to enter KGI’s MS program during the second year.

PPC Program Details

  • PPC is a one-year program that combines the best of an “academic enhancer” (AE) program and a Special Master’s Program (SMP). It’s an AE because it’s an opportunity for students to demonstrate their ability to succeed in a rigorous graduate environment and to learn unique knowledge and skills from biomedical industry to offer medical schools. It’s similar to a SMP in that our students have the option to continue towards completing a master’s degree with an additional year. Our program is best suited for students who have had some success, but are looking to further improve upon their credentials.

  • According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) searchable database, there are currently 178 different programs classified as academic record-enhancers—programs designed to give aspiring students an opportunity to build upon their credentials to become more competitive for admission into medical school.

    Here at KGI, our inaugural class of eight students matriculated in the fall of 2010. We now have approximately 55 students coming to KGI from around the world! Our PPC program has quickly become a top destination for students looking to further their preparation for a career in medicine.

    The single most relevant statistic to all post-baccalaureate premedical programs is their “success rate,” or the percentage of students, after completion of the program, who have been admitted to at least one medical school.

    The percentage of KGI PPC alumni matriculated into medical school stands at a modest 70%, but that other 30% have proven to be equally successful. Those who chose other paths have successfully matriculated into dental schools, PhD programs, physician assistant programs, podiatric medicine, and full-time employment in the biotech/life science industry. This is, by far, the greatest strength of the program: 100% of students leave KGI with options!

    These additional paths are what truly differentiate the PPC program from many other types of postbac programs and special master’s programs. With many pre-med programs offering—at best—a guaranteed interview, what will you do if you aren’t accepted even after completing a program?

    Although co-curricular activities contribute to a significant portion of our program, students this year have done a phenomenal job of bringing their talents and personalities to our community. Many friendships were forged that will extend far beyond students’ time at KGI. After all, they will all be colleagues working together in the same healthcare system.

    Last year’s cohort created many memories during our trip to eight medical schools, including a trip to Arizona to visit programs in the Grand Canyon State. Students love our program for the ALS 398 Course, which was designed exclusively to support students with their applications, the crucial MCAT prep course, and effective practice interviews. But they also gain a tremendous amount of personal and developmental value from the program’s:

    • individual financial planning
    • mentoring
    • connection to our strong KGI alumni network
    • and our overall collaborative culture

    I am delighted to work with so many future healthcare and life science professionals. Are you ready to go outside of your comfort zone?

    Joon Kim

    Director Joon Kim

  • The following is a list of some of the activities and opportunities available to PPC students:

    • On-campus MCAT Review course
    • Field trips to local and regional medical schools
    • Meet with professionals from various medical specialties
    • Simulated individual interviews, group interviews, and multi-mini interviews (MMI)
    • Guest speakers from various medical schools
    • Networking opportunities with KGI alumni
    • Research opportunities
    • Clinical and shadowing opportunities
    • Authorship of Orphan Drug Designation (FDA approved)
    • Health and wellness educator for The Claremont Colleges
    • Medical scribe at nearby clinics in underserved communities
    • Writing and editing with Frontline Medical Communications
    • Local community programs such as Coffee Talk with senior citizens, K-12 tutoring, and Diabetes Free Riverside Project
    • Medical school (MD/DO)
    • Graduate school (MBS, MS, PhD)
    • Dental school (DDS, DMD)
    • Public health (MPH)
    • Pharmacy school (PharmD)
    • Physician assistant (PA)
    • Industry-related employment
  • Students searching for various postbaccalaureate programs often look for those with linkage agreements, a formal agreement between a program and select medical school(s). While this may provide some comfort in the highly competitive and unpredictable admissions world, it is just one of many factors to consider. Upon closer scrutiny, students will often find linkages are not necessarily guarantees, but rather opportunities for guarantees. Students in such programs must still meet the admission requirements set forth by the respective programs. The required metrics are often comparable to those necessary for success in the general pool.

    If a program has a linkage to your favorite medical school, then you’ll certainly want to apply there, but know that there will be many others with the same strategy. While our program does not have a formal linkage, we work very closely with medical schools throughout the country to ensure that students have access to the most up-to-date and relevant information for success.

  • One of the greatest benefits of our program is the highly individualized support. In fact, we have our director, Dr. Joon Kim, devoted strictly to working with each of our students. His primary responsibility is to assist students navigate through the admission process and is readily available as evidenced by over 20 hours of weekly open office hours. In addition, he teaches a course in the fall specifically designed to help students produce their best application by learning about relevant concepts from educational psychology, such as theories of motivation and learning strategies.

    Our students also frequently engage in important discussions regarding current issues in medicine and healthcare, including the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act. Our students not only receive support for their application, they enjoy the benefits of a full premedical education.

  • KGI curriculum consists of graduate-level courses within the applied life sciences, which combines both science and business. PPC students must earn 24 units to complete the certificate. Learn more.

  • Students are eligible to enter KGI’s Master of Science in Applied Life Sciences program during their second year after completing their PPA certificate. Learn more.


"My two years at KGI were the most academically and personally rich in my entire academic career. I owe so much of where I stand today to the opportunities that KGI gave me when they accepted me into the PPC program and allowed me to stay the second year for the MBS program."
Brandon Scott Gordon
PPC '19, MBS '20

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