Today, according to the AAMC, the average age of matriculants currently is in the mid-twenties (24 for medical school). In fact, 60.6% of the 2016 incoming medical students reported to take at least one year between undergrad and medical school.

There are many different ways to complete the required HP courses.

MODEL I—Applying during the summer prior to the senior year

Students complete HP coursework prior to graduation and take the relevant admissions test before the fall of their senior year. Under this model, the successful applicant will matriculate to a health professions school the autumn following graduation from Lafayette.

MODEL II — Applying after graduation

Students complete their required HP coursework prior to graduation and take their relevant admissions test during or after their senior year.

Alternatively, students complete or improve upon their required HP coursework after graduating from Lafayette by enrolling in a post-bac program and taking the admissions test after their senior year.

Under this model, the successful applicant will matriculate to a health professions school a year or more after graduating from Lafayette.

It must be emphasized that there is no single “best way” to prepare for a career in the health professions. 

For some students, taking all the required HP courses in a relatively concentrated timeframe is appropriate. For others, spreading them out over a longer period of time works best even if it means taking some of those courses over the summer or after graduation.

In the long run, it is important to select the pathway and timeline that best fits student’s interests and abilities. For guidance on “what to do” during their four years of study at Lafayette and a gap year, students can reference our recommended application timeline. Prof. Haug, the Health Professions Faculty Advisor, and Ms. Glaus, the Health Professions Program Coordinator, are here to assist them with any questions they may have.