What is a graduate pathway?

Graduate pathways are pathways into medicine or dentistry specifically for applicants who have recently completed (usually within the last 10 years) or are in their final year of an undergraduate degree. For example, if a student enters university and graduates with a bachelor’s degree, and then later decides that they want to become a doctor, they would apply for medicine via a graduate pathway. Generally speaking, graduate pathways tend to be shorter, since students don’t need to do an undergraduate degree and the postgraduate component is only 4 years long.

(Please note that some universities, such as the University of Auckland, don’t have graduate pathways. At those universities, you’ll need to go through the same length of study as undergraduate students, even if you have a bachelor’s degree.)

Graduate entry is very competitive, and the entry requirements are different from the requirements for high-school applicants. For example, instead of the UCAT, many graduate-entry medical and dental programs require the GAMSAT, which is a completely different assessment—it’s a 4.75-hour exam that evaluates whether or not you’re capable of advanced academic study by assessing your grasp of scientific knowledge (including your knowledge of biology, chemistry, and physics), your critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, and your ability to effectively express ideas through writing.

The exact requirements for graduate entry differ for each university. Generally speaking, to be eligible applicants usually need to achieve a minimum GAMSAT score as well as a minimum GPA during their undergraduate degree. (At some universities, only certain undergraduate degrees are recognised, like Biomedical Science or Science.) After that, the process is usually similar to high-school entry: the highest scoring applicants are chosen for interviews, and final course offers after interviews are made based on their performance at the interview and/or other criteria. At most universities, final offers are based on GPA, GAMSAT, and other criteria (e.g. portfolio).

Some examples of graduate-entry programs in Australia are listed below. This is not an exhaustive list, but it can serve as a useful starting point if you’re looking into graduate entry (although bear in mind that the number of postgraduate medical programs you can apply for in Australia is limited to around six):

  • Doctor of Medicine and Surgery (Australian National University)
  • Doctor of Medicine (Deakin University)
  • Doctor of Medicine (Griffith University)
  • Macquarie MD (Macquarie University)
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (University of Melbourne)
  • Doctor of Medicine (University of Melbourne)
  • Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine – graduate entry (Monash University)
  • Doctor of Medicine (University of Notre Dame Australia) (Fremantle, Sydney)
  • Doctor of Medicine (University of Queensland)
  • Doctor of Dental Medicine (University of Sydney)
  • Doctor of Dental Medicine (University of Western Australia)
  • Doctor of Medicine (University of Western Australia)
  • Doctor of Medicine (University of Wollongong)
NB: if you are considering graduate entry, make sure to check out this article to get an understanding of the types of challenges involved.

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