A “gap year” is the period of time between the end of your undergraduate education and the start of medical school. Depending upon your own circumstances, this may in fact be longer than a year. Note that a gap year is not the same as applying to a professional school and deferring your entry to a program. 

There could be many reasons why a gap year is the right choice for some pre-health candidates. The gap year can allow an applicant more time to participate in medically-related volunteer and lab experiences, strengthen GPA or MCAT scores, pay down debt, work on becoming a stronger candidate, or simply take a break. Some applicants must take a gap year if they are not accepted into medical school.

Your pre-health advisor can meet with you to decide if a gap year is right for you. The options you have during this year are endless. Your pre-health advisor and staff in the Career Center can assist you in thinking through ways to maximize your gap year experiences to strengthen your overall pre-health application. Check out the Career Center website for more information and opportunities for your gap year.