FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Advising and Pre-Med Organizations
- Can you send me a catalog?
- I’m just getting started on preparing for medical school, where do I start?
- I am an undergraduate student and haven’t applied to medical school yet, can I talk to someone in your office?
- I graduated with a degree in .…/I am ….(career)/I had terrible grades as an undergraduate – Now I want to be a doctor, what do I do?
- Aren’t the health-care and community service activities I did in my pre-med organization enough?
- Does it look good that I’m a member of a pre-med organization?
- What major does UF COM look for?
Application Forms and Recommendations
- I am applying this year, can I send in my letters of recommendation before I apply?
- I wasn’t accepted by UF COM. Can I find out how to strengthen my application?
- What should my essay be about?
- I applied last year, can I use my essays from the last application?
- What is the UF Application, with all those residency questions?
- How will I receive notification of my application status with UF COM?
- What is the status of my application?
- I got an email saying my file was ‘provisionally complete’. What does this mean, and is it holding up my application?
- I know I turned all my formal materials in. Why do I keep getting e-mails from you stating that my file is incomplete?
- Why haven’t I heard a decision regarding my application from UF COM, I’ve already heard from all of the other programs I’ve applied to this year?
- If I am accepted can I defer matriculation?
- Is there a fee for applying to UF COM?
- What does tuition usually cost?
- Do you accept international students?
- I have a medical degree from a country outside of the United States, can I enter your medical school?
- What is the minimum GPA/MCAT score I need to apply?
- I am really smart. I have perfect grades and a great MCAT. How important is getting health-care experience really?
- What is the latest MCAT exam administration that you will accept?
Prerequisites / Course Questions
- My school’s biochemistry class is only three credit and doesn’t offer a lab. Do I need to take another biochemistry class?
- Can I take the prerequisite courses at my local community/junior college?
- My institution does not offer biochemistry. How can I fulfill this prerequisite?
- Do the prerequisite courses have to be taken before I apply?
- Can my AP/CLEP/dual enrollment credits fulfill prerequisites?
- Can my online coursework fulfill the prerequisites?
- I took Organic I and Organic II. You have a Biochemistry requirement. Can’t I substitute Organic II for the Biochemistry?
Advising and Pre-Med Organizations
A: We no longer print our catalog. The most up-to-date information about our program can be found at http://osa.med.ufl.edu/catalogue/.
A: An excellent resource for prospective medical school applicants is the Aspiring Docs section of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ website. There are many general tools and resources available to applicants that can help provide general preparation for applying to medical school.
Q: I am an undergraduate student and haven’t applied to medical school yet, can I talk to someone in your office?
A: Before you speak to the Office of Admissions you must speak to the pre-medical or pre-health advisor on your campus. If you are a current University of Florida student, that website can be found here or you may call them at (352) 392-1521. If you are not a UF student, please contact the advisement office at the institution you attended. If you still have questions beyond what your pre-health adviser or our Web site can answer, then please contact the Office of Admissions for assistance.
Q: I graduated with a degree in .…/I am ….(career)/I had terrible grades as an undergraduate, etc. Now I want to be a doctor, what do I do?
A: The most effective path must be discussed with an admissions counselor and/or your pre-health advisor from your undergraduate institution because it varies on an individual basis. UF COM prefers that you take two-to-three full-time semesters of core science (prerequisites if needed, or upper level courses in prerequisite areas) at the most competitive four-year institution to which you can gain acceptance. Most likely you will be classified as a post-baccalaureate. Graduate school is not preferable if you struggled consistently in science as an undergraduate, but can be an option for some. Some institutions have pre-med post-baccalaureate programs, which can be helpful in creating a more academically competitive application. Online coursework would not be a competitive option for this purpose. Note: UF now offers a pre-med postbacc program! See if this program would be a good fit for you here: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/prehealthpostbac/.
A: Usually not. Remember, consistency over a long period of time is important. Incorporate these experiences into your life so that no matter where you are (in school, at home over the summer, etc.) you are motivated to learn as much as you can about the profession you are entering.
A: Yes, but anyone can join these organizations. Leading the group, organizing a program, directing an activity, chairing a committee, being more than a member is what is really impressive on a med school application. Remember, leadership skills are important characteristics of a physician.
A: We don’t! Obviously science majors can get through our science prerequisites faster than the non-science majors, but each year we take art majors, history majors, language majors, forestry majors, philosophy majors, poetry majors… we strive to recruit a diverse group of interesting students, so impress us!
Application Forms and Recommendations
A: All letters of recommendation are to be sent directly to AMCAS. We will not accept them if they are sent to our office.
A: Most universities have pre-health advisers on staff – if you are a UF student/alumnus you can find out more information on their website. Otherwise, once you have received notification of your rejection from UF and all other medical schools to which you have applied, you may email a request for advice to firstname.lastname@example.org . You will either receive an email response to your question or you will be invited to schedule a meeting with a representative from the Admissions Office. This meeting can be in-person or over the phone if you cannot get to Gainesville for an appointment. We cannot provide individualized feedback to an active applicant to our program; therefore, if you have already submitted an AMCAS for a reapplication, we will be unable to provide feedback on either your prior or your new application.
A: Each essay should be considered an opportunity to tell UF COM something about yourself. It is your chance to bring your application to life. Remember, most applicants have competitive credentials, so a well-written, interesting, and sincere essay can set you apart.
A: Yes, you can, but remember that we’ve already read them and have them on file. Use this opportunity to share what you have done since your previous application.
A: This is a form that all applicants to UF COM receive. It is the first step in the application process for the University of Florida. It must be completed and transmitted with the $30 (non-refundable) fee. It has no bearing on the Medical Student Admissions Committee’s decision on your AMCAS application. It is not a secondary application. It must be sent to the address on the form and any questions about it are to be directed to the Graduate & Professional Admissions Office. Their phone number is 352-392-1365; ask to speak to someone regarding your state residence.
A: If you are chosen for an interview, you will typically receive a phone call. If contact isn’t made, an email will be sent to you. All correspondence regarding application status is sent via e-mail using the address you provided on your AMCAS application. For the best results create an e-mail account that is only to be used by AMCAS and the medical schools to which you are applying and do not use a spam blocker. Anytime a decision is made on your application you will receive notification. You may check your application status at any time by logging into apply.med.ufl.edu
A: You may check your application status at any time by logging into apply.med.ufl.edu and looking in the box that says “Status:”.
Q: I got an email saying my file was ‘provisionally complete’. What does this mean, and is it holding up my application?
A: No. A provisionally complete file means that we are missing one of your letters of recommendation, so in the essence of time, we have passed your application on to the medical selection committee without it. Your application will be processed, and an interview can be granted; however, if you are offered an interview we MUST have all of your required letters before we can formally offer you acceptance.
Q: I know I turned all my formal materials in. Why do I keep getting e-mails from you stating that my file is incomplete?
A: Formal materials consist of the two-part secondary application (UF Professional School Application + UF COM Secondary) and three letters of recommendation. You only have control of your secondary application materials. Therefore, if you know you have submitted these to the correct offices and paid applicable fees, it is more likely that your LORs have not been received. Make sure you did not skip Step 2 of our initial email to you inviting you to fill out a secondary application. THESE EMAILS ARE NOT SENT IN ERROR – IGNORING THEM WILL EVENTUALLY RESULT IN A REJECTION EMAIL.
Q: Why haven’t I heard a decision regarding my application from UF COM, I’ve already heard from all of the other programs I’ve applied to this year?
A: More than likely that is because UF COM only reviews verified AMCAS applications. Some schools review preliminary or unverified applications, but we do not. If it has been more than six weeks since you filed your AMCAS application and you have not been notified that your application information is verified, you should contact AMCAS. Typically an application’s verification is delayed due to AMCAS not receiving all post secondary transcripts for their review.
A: One or two year deferrals are approved on an individual basis. Deferrals are typically granted for experiences that will result in self-improvement and personal growth. An example of this is working with the Peace Corps or Teach for America. Once you have been granted a deferral, no new academic requirements will be imposed (i.e. you will not be required to retake your MCAT if it is more than 3 years old).
A: You will be charged a $30, non-refundable fee with your on-line application from the UF Admissions Office (STEP I instructions, sent upon our receipt of your preliminary AMCAS Application). The College of Medicine then collects its own $30 processing charge once the secondary is submitted.
A: This changes each year, but those costs can be found here.
A: No. You must either be a United States Citizen or be a United States Permanent Resident and in possession of the assigned ‘green card.’
Q: I have a medical degree from a country outside of the United States, can I enter your medical school?
A: We recommend that you consider obtaining medical licensing authority in the US; details are available at http://www.ecfmg.org/
A: Our average science GPA is 3.76; our average MCAT is 32.2. There are no minimum standards for these quantitative metrics. The further your GPA and/or MCAT score is below the average, the more difficult it will be for you to be considered for acceptance.
Q: I am really smart. I have perfect grades and a great MCAT. How important is getting health-care experience really?
A: Very! You need as much ‘hands-on’ patient care experience as you can get, consistently over a long period of time is best. Also, community service and working with the underserved is a big plus.
A: Selection of applicants for the medical school class entering in a given calendar year will be based, in part, on MCAT scores achieved during the previous three years from the date of matriculation. For program entrance in Fall of 2017, the final MCAT that can be used for admissions purposes is the September 10, 2016 administration. If you are a current applicant retaking the MCAT later than this date, please contact our office.The oldest MCAT score acceptable for entrance Fall of 2016 would be July 26, 2014.
Prerequisites / Course Questions
Q: My school’s biochemistry class is only three credit and doesn’t offer a lab. Do I need to take another biochemistry class?
A: If your undergraduate school’s biochemistry class is only three hours and has no optional lab, then the requirement is fulfilled. If your school’s biochemistry class has an optional lab, it is recommended that you take the lab prior to matriculation.
A: In order to create the most academically competitive application you should take all prerequisite courses at the most competitive bachelor’s degree granting institution where you can gain entrance. You should try to complete your pre-requisite courses at a four-year institution.
A: Non-UF students requiring biochemistry, who do not have access to an on-campus version of the course are eligible to enroll in the online BCH 4024 offered through the COM. For details on this course please click here.
A: You can apply without taking the prerequisite courses, however, you will be less academically competitive in comparison to those applicants who have completed the required coursework. Back to top
A: They can, however, applicants who have taken the courses in a traditional classroom at a four-year institution are considered more academically competitive unless advanced coursework has been completed in the same discipline(s). Therefore, if you choose to earn college credit for basic science prerequisites through AP/CLEP/dual enrollment, you may want to consider either retaking them at the undergraduate level or earning credit for advanced coursework in the same discipline in a traditional classroom setting.
A: Any labs for basic science requirements must be completed in person. Distance learning or online coursework will not be accepted.
Q: I took Organic I and Organic II. You have a Biochemistry requirement. Can’t I substitute Organic II for the Biochemistry?
A: There are no substitutes for the prerequisite courses. You can apply, receive a secondary application, interview and even be accepted without taking Biochemistry. However, you will not matriculate without the course.
A: The Office Of Admissions Contact page is located here.