Zach Linneman

What is it like to be a Post-Baccalaureate Premedical student? How time consuming is the program? Will I be able to handle the workload as a working professional?

These are all questions that prospective students ask us. We recently sat down with current student, Zach Linneman, and here's what he had to say:

Why did you decide on University College?

University College's Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Studies program is known as being a reputable program. I also went to school at Washington University in St. Louis as an undergraduate student, so I knew that I could continue my relationships with the people on this campus and be in a great program for pre-medical studies.

What are some of your goals that you have with the program? How is University College helping you achieve those goals?

I'm on a simple path to medicine: it's a seven year process starting with two years of pre-med studies, an application year to medical school, and then 4 years of medical school. My ultimate goal is to work abroad in maternal and child health. Through college I had the opportunity to work in Africa and Asia in child malnutrition, so my dream is to continue that work after getting a medical degree.

University College has helped me immensely in that regard. The pre-medical program is a very practical way to approach the competitive process of applying to medical school. People are usually concerned about taking the MCAT, getting in, and managing the application process and University College's advising team and their resources helped me handle all of that.

How did the advisors help you navigate the process?

The director of the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical program, Elizabeth Fogt, was able to lay out, in simple terms, a path for me to apply to medical school. No one can help you apply to medical school or complete the tasks that are required to get accepted, but the program can remove some obstacles like better understanding the application process, training for interviews in medical school applications, and selecting the right medical schools to apply to. It can be a complicated process and if you've never done it, you need someone to guide you. For me, that person was Elizabeth.

What has your experience with your professors been like?

The professors are fantastic here. Sometimes people refer to the College of Arts and Sciences as the day school and the University College as the night school, but really there is a lot of overlap and we are one university together. We share the campus, we share resources, and we take classes with each other. The professors have all been challenging, respectful, kind, open, all of the things that I came to know as the "WashU Way" as an undergraduate.

My professors always had their door open. I never had a professor or faculty member refuse me a meeting. They were always available to help answer questions, to provide additional study materials, and they really inspired me to challenge myself to learn science and medicine at the highest level. 

What advice would you give someone who was considering earning their post back pre med at University College?

Make sure that it's something you want to do. Before I applied to the program, I wanted to make sure that I was serious enough to do it, so I actually took the first semester of organic chemistry before I even applied to the program. Through the course I decided I was ready to start, and I'm glad I did that because I needed to know that medicine was the main and singular thing that I wanted to pursue as a career. It can be a long process of science courses and test preparation but the program has been so enriching and rewarding.


Zach Linneman received his Bachelor’s degree in Chinese in 2011 from Arts & Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis. He recently completed the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical program at University College and plans on spending a year in India before applying to medical schools.