A “gap year” (or “growth year”) is the period of time between the end of your undergraduate education and the start of health professional school and often exists because a student needs more time after graduation to strengthen their metrics (GPA, admission test score) or experiences (volunteerism, shadowing, leadership, research, etc.) in order to become a more competitive applicant. A gap year might be a year or more, depending on each person’s particular circumstances.
Here are some resources about planning for a Gap/Growth Year(s):
- Making the Most of Your Gap Year
- Planning a Growth Year – by UF Pre-Health Advising
- 4 Reasons to Consider Taking a Year Off
- Aspiring Docs Diaries: Gap Year
Academic Enhancement Options for Gap/Growth Year(s)
- Academic Enhancement Handout & Decision-Making Selection Chart – by UCF’s PHPL Advising
- Consider a Post-Baccalaureate Program
- Post-Baccalaureate Programs Database – over 200+ post-baccalaureate programs from around the U.S.
- Post-Baccalaureate Program Articles
UCF Graduate Programs that Pre-Health students have used for Academic Enhancement
Each of these programs has a lot of science coursework in the curriculum, and additional, strong academic performance in the sciences is often the goal of Pre-Health students seeking post-baccalaureate academic enhancement.
- Biomedical Sciences M.S.
- Kinesiology M.S.
- Nanotechnology M.S.
- Anatomical Sciences Graduate Certificate
Extracurricular Enhancement Options for Gap/Growth Year(s)
The following are examples of positions or programs to consider for a gap/growth year. We highly recommend to get advisement from a PHPL Advisor to help you decide which experiential area of your portfolio could be in need of enhancement before selecting a position or program.
- Gap Year Resources (from University of Michigan) – includes service programs, fellowships, jobs/internships, and international opportunities
- Gap Year Resources (from University of Southern California) – includes general resources, service corps – domestic and international, internships, and international volunteering or internships
- Gap Year Resources (from Haverford College) – lengthy list of programs
- Scribe jobs
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award – The NIH Postbac IRTA program (CRTA, Cancer Research Training Award, in the National Cancer Institute) provides recent college graduates who are planning to apply to graduate or professional (medical/dental/pharmacy/nursing/veterinary, etc.) school an opportunity to spend one or two years performing full-time research at the NIH.