FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

Preparing to be a competitive applicant

Application Forms and Recommendations

Application Processing

Financial Questions

International Students

MCAT

Prerequisites / Course Questions

Contact


Preparing to be a competitive applicant

Q: Can you mail me information about your admissions process/a catalog?

A: We post the most current admissions information on our Admissions Requirements website. We no longer print our catalog. The most up-to-date information about our program can be found at https://education.med.ufl.edu/medical-students/curriculum/curriculum-catalogue/.

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Q: I’m just getting started on preparing for medical school, where do I start?

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.

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Q: I am an undergraduate student and haven’t applied to medical school yet, can I talk to someone in your office?

A:  Certainly, but please understand that our area of expertise is not pre-health admissions counseling but the UF COM admissions process. We are happy to answer any questions about our program, policies or process that go beyond the scope of this website but cannot counsel you for successful application to medical school. If you are a current University of Florida student, or an alum, and have not previously sought assistance from the UF Pre-Health Advisors, we cannot recommend their services enough. Their 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 seek information on how to prepare a competitive application. We offer a limited direct feedback service for previous applicants who were unsuccessful in gaining admission to medical school; more information on that is below.

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Q: It’s been a while since I have been in school; does my degree/do my prerequisites expire?

A: These are two distinct questions. To meet the minimum completed educational credential for entry into the MD program, if accepted, your bachelor’s degree (or graduate/professional degree) will not expire. However, our committee closely reviews the application for evidence of the science and thinking/reasoning competencies predictive of success in medical school. Therefore, we strongly recommend that prerequisite coursework (or the applicant’s highest level of science courses, if beyond prerequisite level) be taken within five years of intended matriculation. This timeline may be flexible for applicants who apply the science competencies in their daily professional life, especially in an academic setting such as science teaching at the post-secondary level or scientific research.

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), totalling at least 30 credits, at the most competitive four-year institution at which you can gain acceptance. A structured, one year “medical masters” or “special masters” program designed for aspiring health professionals can be a great option to demonstrate success in a rigorous curriculum relevant to medical school. Some remediation at the undergraduate level may be advisable before graduate school if you struggled consistently in science as an undergraduate. Some institutions offer pre-med post-baccalaureate programs for career-changers, which can be helpful in obtaining access to prerequisite courses and other services that can support you in creating an academically competitive application.

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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.

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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.

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Q: What major does UF COM look for?

A: We don’t! Each year we take art majors, history majors, language majors, forestry majors, philosophy majors, poetry majors, etc. We strive to bring together high-achieving students from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, so impress us!

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Q: What should I do if I have a lower Science GPA from Undergrad?

A: If you feel that your BCPM (science GPA) is on the lower end or below our program average of 3.74, than one option to consider is pursuing a Medical or Special Masters program. These kinds of programs tend to combine higher level science courses in a stacked format (multiple science courses taken each semester). This strong course load and course rigor is designed to model what might be seen in the first year of medical school. Therefore, doing well in a program such as this may help put to rest doubts regarding an applicant’s academic readiness for medical school. While SMP’s are not the only option for increasing ones science GPA, we do highly recommend looking for a program that can provide this kind of stacked rigorous science coursework.

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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 must be uploaded by the recommender directly to AMCAS. We will not accept them if they are sent to our office.

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Q: I wasn’t accepted by UF COM. Can I find out how to strengthen my application?

A:  Yes. Most universities have pre-health advisors on staff – if you are a UF student/alumnus you can find out more information on their website.  Your pre-health advisor is your best source of comprehensive feedback and support to help you prepare a competitive application for a wide range of programs. Otherwise, if you receive notification from us, and from other programs to which you applied, that your application was not successful, you may contact us beginning in March for information regarding feedback services our office may be able to provide. We would like to help as many people as possible who are committed to medicine as a profession and in particular, who are interested in our program; however, due to staffing and time limitations, we cannot guarantee the ability to respond to all feedback requests. Please note that we cannot offer individualized feedback to an active applicant; therefore, if we are in a current interview cycle, or you have already submitted an AMCAS for a reapplication, we will be unable to provide this service.  

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Q: What should my personal essay be about?

A: Each essay should be considered an opportunity to tell UF COM something about yourself and your calling to/understanding of a career in medicine. It is your chance to communicate your reflections on your mission as a future physician to the admissions committee. Many applicants have competitive credentials, so the personal dimension of your application, as demonstrated through the combination of your experiences, essays and letters of recommendation can set you apart.

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Q: I applied last year, can I use my essays from the last application?

A: Secondary prompts may change for any given application cycle from the year before. Also remember that we have already read your previous essays if you are a reapplicant, and have them on file. A new application is a great opportunity to show programs how you have grown since your previous application.

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Q: What is the UF Application with all those residency questions?

A: The UF Professional School application is a form that all applicants to UF professional programs regardless of college must complete. It is the first step in the application process for the University of Florida.  It must be completed and transmitted with the $37 (non-refundable) fee. It has no bearing on the Medical Student Admissions Committee’s decision on your AMCAS application. It is not the same as the UF COM secondary application. Any questions about it are to be directed to the Graduate & Professional Admissions Office at 352-392-1365; ask to speak to someone regarding UF Professional Admissions.

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Application Processing

Q: How will I receive notification of my application status with UF COM?

A: If you are selected for an interview, you will typically receive a phone call. Please make sure your voicemail is set up and can receive messages. If contact isn’t made, we will follow up with an email, but this could result in a delay resulting in fewer options for available interview days. All other 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

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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:”. Your communication history will also show you emails sent from our application portal at various stages of receipt of your application materials.

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Q: I know I turned all my application materials in. Why did you email me stating that my file is incomplete?

A: A complete application consists of a verified AMCAS, MCAT score of at least 500, the two-part secondary application (UF Professional School Application + UF COM Secondary) and minimum three letters of recommendation. The letters you can designate to our program from within your AMCAS once you see that they have been received there. The most common reason we send an incomplete application reminder is because some applicants submit only the UF Professional School Application, and forget to go back and submit Step 2, as instructed in our initial secondary invitation email.  THESE EMAILS ARE NOT SENT IN ERROR – ignoring them will eventually result in a rejection email.

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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: There could be several reasons for this. If you have not received a secondary invitation, it is because UF COM only reviews verified AMCAS applications. 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. If you have submitted a completed application: AMCAS, MCAT of 500 or higher, secondary application and letters, you should have received a “file complete” email from us with more information about the rest of the cycle. If not, please contact our office. Otherwise, regular status updates are not provided due to the nature of our review process. UF COM reviews applications holistically and considers updates submitted through the cycle; therefore, all completed applications are under review with the admissions committee until either an interview offer is extended or through the end of the interview cycle to allow for all updates to be considered.

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Financial Questions

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 ).

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Q: Is there a fee for applying to UF COM?

A: In addition to any fees assessed by AMCAS, there is a $37, non-refundable fee (including processing charges) for the UF Professional Schools application. The university requires all professional school applicants to submit this; it accompanies the invitation to submit a UF COM secondary, sent upon our receipt of your preliminary AMCAS Application.

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Q: What does tuition usually cost?

A: Currently around $37,000 for Florida residents and $49,000 for non-Florida residents.

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International Students

Q: Do you accept international students?

A: Eligible applicants must either be a United States Citizen or be a United States Permanent Resident and in possession of the assigned ‘green card.’

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Q: I have a medical degree from a country outside of the United States, can I enter your medical school?

A:  You would not be eligible to apply to our MD program. We recommend that you consider obtaining medical licensing authority in the US; details are available at http://www.ecfmg.org/

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MCAT

Q: What is the minimum GPA/MCAT I need to apply?

A: We do not have a minimum GPA requirement as we give credit for remediation and improvement. We do not require a minimum MCAT score to receive a secondary invitation prior to the final score release of the year; however, a minimum of 500 is required for interview consideration. Our average science GPA for entering students is 3.86; our average MCAT is 515. 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.

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Q: I have excellent 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 under-served populations is favorably regarded.

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Q: What is the latest/earliest MCAT exam administration that you will accept?

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 five years from the date of matriculation.  For program entrance in Fall of 2025, the final MCAT that can be used for admissions purposes is the September 14, 2024 exam administration. We will accept MCAT scores earned as far back as January 2022. Prior to October 15, 2024, an MCAT score of 500 is not needed in order to receive a secondary invitation, as the final set of calendar year scores are still pending. We do still require the minimum MCAT score prior to offering an interview.

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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 semester 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.

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Q: Can I take the prerequisite courses at my local community/state college?

A: Yes. Keep in mind that in order to create the most academically competitive application it is helpful to demonstrate success in at least some science coursework completed at the most competitive bachelor’s degree granting institution where you can gain entrance.

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Q: My institution does not offer biochemistry. How can I fulfill this prerequisite?

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.

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Q: Do the prerequisite courses have to be taken before I apply?

A: You can apply without having yet completed all of the prerequisite courses, however, you will be less academically competitive in comparison to those applicants who have completed the required coursework.

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Q: Can my AP/CLEP/dual enrollment credits fulfill prerequisites?

A:  It depends. We require a letter grade of a C or higher for each prerequisite OR in a higher level course in the same discipline (with the exception of spring 2020, when COVID prompted grading changes to S/U or P/F systems). Therefore, if you choose to earn college credit for basic science prerequisites through test scores, you should consult your pre-health advisor regarding the best path for you: whether to retake any of them at the undergraduate level or move onto advanced graded coursework in the same discipline.

Q: Can my online coursework fulfill the prerequisites?

A:  Yes, we will accept online lectures and labs to fulfill prerequisite courses. We recognize that students may need to take lectures and/or labs remotely for a variety of reasons, personal or institutional. These applicants will not be at a disadvantage in the application process for doing so. It is worth keeping in mind that medical education is a team, hands-on and immersive experience. Medical students are expected to be present in academic and clinical settings for many learning activities and thus admissions committees look for evidence that applicants have the preparation to be successful in the type of learning environment of that particular medical school. Therefore, a history of demonstrated in-person teamwork or collaboration, whether educational, volunteer or professional, is strongly recommended.

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Q: I took Organic I and Organic II. You have a Biochemistry requirement. Can I substitute Organic II for the Biochemistry?

A: There are no substitutes for the prerequisite courses except for higher level coursework in the same subject. Biochemistry in particular is an important foundation for our basic science curriculum. You can apply, receive a secondary application, interview and even be accepted without taking Biochemistry. However, you will not be able to matriculate without at minimum a “C” grade in the course.

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Contact

Q: How can I contact the Office of Admissions?

A: The Office Of Admissions Contact page is located here.

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