FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Advising and Pre-Med Organizations
- Can you send me a catalog?
- 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?
- What is a peer letter?
- How will I receive notification of my application status with UF COM?
- How can I check 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?
- I haven’t taken the April through September MCAT, won’t you use the January administration of the exam?
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?
- Can I take the prerequisite courses through distance learning or through the internet?
- Do the prerequisite courses have to be taken before I apply?
- Can my AP/CLEP/dual enrollment credits fulfill prerequisites?
- I took Organic I and Organic II. You have a Biochemistry requirement. Can’t I substitute Orgo II for the Biochem?
Advising and Pre-Med Organizations
Q: Can you send me a catalog?
A: We no longer print our catalog. The most up-to-date information about our program is found on the various College of Medicine web pages, often in a printable format. We are undergoing a change in our curriculum and those course catalog changes will be posted here when available.
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……………… Now I want to be a doctor, what do I do?
A: The most effective path must be discussed with an admissions counselor 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 as an undergraduate, but can be an option. Some institutions have pre-med post-baccalaureate programs, which can be helpful in to creating a more academically competitive application.
Q: Aren’t the health-care and community service activities I did in my pre-med organization enough?
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.
Q: Does it look good that I’m a member of a pre-med organization?
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.
Q: What major does UF COM look for?
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
Q: I am applying this year, can I send in my letters of recommendation before I apply?
A: All letters of recommendation are to be sent directly to AMCAS. We will not accept them if they are sent to our office.
Q: I wasn’t accepted by UF COM. Can I find out how to strengthen my application?
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 email@example.com . 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.
Q: What should my essay be about?
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 the essay should set you apart. The personal statement is also your opportunity to explain something in your record or on the AMCAS application that may need clarification. Make it interesting, heartfelt, and sincere.
Q: I applied last year, can I use my essays from the last application?
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.
Q: What is the UF Application with all those residency questions?
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 Admissions Office, 352-392-1365 and ask to speak to someone regarding your state residence.
Q: What is a peer letter?
A: A peer letter is written by an individual that you would consider as an equal. This individual would be close to you in age with similar credentials and qualifications, and can attest to your personal characteristics and attributes that would make you a great physician. A friend, roommate, or classmate would be considered a peer. A mentor, professor, or academic adviser would not. It should be at least a page in length and tell us something about you that your application, essay, and other letters did not.
Q: How will I receive notification of my application status with UF COM?
A: If you are chosen for an interview, you will 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
Q: What is the status of my application?
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 are: secondary application, three letters of recommendation and two character letters (one of which may be from a peer). You only have control of your secondary application. Therefore, if you know you have sent it in to the correct office, it is more likely that your LORs have not been received. Or you skipped Step 2 of our initial email to you inviting you to fill out a secondary application. Usually the character letters are the last letter we receive and without it your file will be incomplete. 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.
Q: If I am accepted can I defer matriculation?
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).
Q: Is there a fee for applying to UF COM?
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 sent.
Q: What does tuition usually cost?
A: Obviously this changes each year, but those costs can be found here.
Q: Do you accept international students?
A: No. You must either be a United States Citizen or be a United States Permanent Alien 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: You will have to follow regular admissions policy: citizenship or permanent resident status, a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a United States accredited institution, and an AMCAS application with letters of recommendation. You will not receive advanced standing from your previous medical school. Alternatively you may consider obtaining medical licensing authority in the US; details are available at http://www.ecfmg.org/
Q: What is the minimum GPA/MCAT I need to apply?
A: Our average science GPA is 3.72; our average MCAT is 31.75. 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.
Q: I haven’t taken the April through September MCAT, won’t you use the January administration of the exam?
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. MCAT scores achieved during the same calendar year as matriculation may be considered as additional information during the selection of alternates, but will not be considered valid MCAT scores for application/admission purposes.
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 you school’s biochemistry class has an optional lab, it is recommended that you take the lab prior to matriculation.
Q: Can I take the prerequisite courses at my local community/junior college?
A: In order to create the most academically competitive application you should take all prerequisite courses at the most competitive bachelor degree granting institution where you can gain entrance. You should try to complete your pre-requisite courses at a four-year institute.
Q: Can I take the prerequisite courses through distance learning or through the internet?
A: Prerequisite courses must be taken in a traditional classroom environment. However, non-UF students requiring biochemistry are eligible to enroll in the online BCH 4024 offered through the COM. For details on this course please click here.
Q: Do the prerequisite courses have to be taken before I apply?
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.
Q: Can my AP/CLEP/dual enrollment credits fulfill prerequisites?
A: They can. However, applicants who have taken the courses in a traditional classroom at a four-year institution are considered more academically competitive. If you choose to earn college credit through AP/CLEP/dual enrollment you should earn them in non-prerequisite subjects. Otherwise you may find that to create a stronger academic record you will be retaking the courses once enrolled in an undergraduate institution.
Q: I took Organic I and Organic II. You have a Biochemistry requirement. Can’t I substitute Orgo II for the Biochem?
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.
Q: How can I contact the Office of Admissions?
A: The Office Of Admissions Contact page is located here.