UMass Dartmouth offers those who already hold a bachelor’s degree the opportunity to meet new career or work demands or satisfy personal goals through an Individualized Post-Baccalaureate Program (IPBC). In Special Student status, these students pursue non-degree study leading to a certificate without receiving formal admission to a master’s degree program. The IPBC candidate receives the advantages of program planning with an advisor, a departmental commitment, and favorable timing for class registration. Depending on one’s qualifications, courses in an individual’s IPBC may be at the graduate or undergraduate levels or combine the two.
After forming general plans about the program of studies desired, the student applies to the academic department in which the principal studies are to be pursued, where her/his needs are discussed and qualifications reviewed and a program of specific courses is selected. An IPBC may be pursued in any academic department of the university that chooses to participate, and interdepartmental programs may also be proposed. Some departments will prepare “packages” of courses designed to meet known needs; others will rely on separate course selections to meet each candidate’s needs individually. In the process of formulating a student’s IPBC, the advisor must consider the availability of course offerings, in terms of both anticipated scheduling and the likelihood of space being available; when more than one department is involved, the chairperson of the other department will be consulted.
The number of courses in an IPBC is generally more than three but fewer than in a regular undergraduate minor. Students working toward IPBC certification must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the listed courses, and the department is free to establish a higher minimum level of performance. The listing of courses for the IPBC will be maintained in the student’s registrar’s office file. The department will indicate official completion of the IPBC, which will be recorded on the transcript, and then issue a letter of verification.
The IPBC is not a means of pursuing a formal graduate degree, a second undergraduate major or an undergraduate minor, which are available through the regular admission/readmission programs of the university.
Those interested may request an IPBC packet at the office of Graduate Admissions, the Registrar, or an academic department. The packet describes the program and enrollment processes, indicates the documentation required from the applicant, and includes all necessary forms. Officers in Graduate Admissions can provide advice and assistance to those making initial inquiries.
Prospective IPBC students will bring the completed form to the department involved, along with their college/university transcripts showing courses and grades and completion of a baccalaureate degree (departments might require other forms of documentation, at their discretion). If agreement is reached to establish an IPBC for an applicant, its specific courses and requirements will be recorded on a second form and the department chairperson’s approval will be obtained (and Dean’s if so stipulated for that College). The IPBC thus serves like a contract between the student and department, establishing courses to be completed and other terms for the completion of the program and awarding of the post-baccalaureate certificate.
If an IPBC is not agreed upon, the prospective student can return to the Graduate Studies Office for additional guidance.
IPBC students may register during the previous semester, along with current juniors. As a condition, IPBC students must receive timely departmental approval prior to each registration, to insure that advising and progress-monitoring occur. Without this approval, they must register along with other Special Students just before the beginning of the semester and will receive no priority of access to registration.
IPBC students will pay the fees appropriate for Non Degree status. Those who register the semester before must pay their fees at the time of registration.
Acceptance to an Individualized Post-Baccalaureate Program
Applicants apply for acceptance to an Individualized post-baccalaureate certificate program through the Office of Graduate Studies. Applicants submit a personal statement of intentions and all college/university transcripts showing courses, grades, and completion of a baccalaureate degree. Applicants are not required to submit letters of recommendation or test scores. Graduate Studies staff will assist applicants in contacting appropriate faculty representatives to arrange the details of an IPBC as a part of the application process.
A special version of the Individualized Post-Baccalaureate Program is designed for students who wish to pursue entrance to medical school but lack some or all of the prerequisite pre-medical courses. UMass Dartmouth utilizes an interdepartmental committee (Pre-Medical Committee) consisting of faculty members from the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Medical Laboratory Science, Physics, and Psychology, who oversee the advising and preparation of undergraduate and graduate students for medical school admission independent of their major or previous academic degrees. By enrolling for the Pre-Medical Individualized Post-Baccalau- reate Certificate, students avail themselves not only of courses they need but of appropriate academic advising and other UMass Dartmouth pre-medical activities.
For additional information, contact Eileen
Carreiro, Department of Medical Laboratory
Science, 508 999-8213 or by email
Note: Regulations indicate that most forms of financial aid are not available for this program, because of its individualized, variable curriculum.