Who determines my status?
Our Program Advisory Committee reviews the applicant files to determine if the applicant will be interviewed. If an interview is granted it's scheduled either in person or via the web (Skype). Once the interview has been conducted, members of the committee discuss the applicant's file and their interview comments and then determine if the student is accepted, denied or other (e.g., alternate/wait listed, delayed decision, etc.). The committee currently consist of five members including the Program Director, two pre-med advisors/academic counselors from the College of Arts & Sciences Natural Sciences Division and two U of L School of Medicine administrators and faculty members. Applicants are notified of their status via e-mail. We do not give status information over the phone.
Keep in mind, our program is very competitive due to having limited spots. Your applicant file is compared with the applicant pool and there may be some candidates who are more competitive in regards to their grades, standardized test score, exposure to medicine/health care or how well they interview.
Our primary goal as a committee is to select the best possible candidates to succeed in our program and to gain admission into medical school. Being denied from our program doesn't mean you should give up on your dream. There are other paths to your destination.
Why didn't I get in?
After you've taken the time to apply to our program, turned in all your materials and were either invited to interview or not; you receive an electronic letter that states you have been denied admission. First you have to deal with the shock and disappointment of not being selected and then secondly you probably wonder, "Why didn't I get in?"
There are several factors that may have lead to our decision.
Your Academic Performance
Grade Point Average and Transcript
We use your transcript as an indication of how well you'll perform with the pre-med curriculum. If you've had difficulty with non-science courses or with some of the science courses you may have taken, it concerns us; especially if you've earned several C, D or F grades. An inconsistent undergraduate or graduate record, numerous withdrawals or transferring to several different colleges (more than two) also raises concern. It makes us question how committed you may be to a strictly science curriculum and how successful you would be in those courses. Keep in mind that a 3.3. is the minimum GPA we're looking for and you're being compared to the applicant pool.
Having a low standardized test score also decreases your competitiveness; even if it was taken years ago. A lower standardized test score raises concern regarding how well you will do on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).
Your Interest and Exposure to Medicine
We are seeking candidates with a genuine and proven interest in clinical medicine. When we read your personal statement or during your interview, we need to be convinced that you put some serious thought into this career change and that you believe this could be the right career for you. We are seeking applicants who have a heart for medicine, meaning a passion to practice and compassion for people. If we don't sense that or you have trouble conveying that, we may question if medicine is the right career choice and whether or not you will truly benefit from our program.
We are also seeking a proven interest in medicine. Applicants need to illustrate that they've had some exposure to medicine either from shadowing, volunteering in a health care facility, doing some career research by speaking with a physician or medical students or even caring for someone who has been ill,
Your Letters of Support
In addition to your personal statement, we take your recommendations very seriously. You want to pick people who can endorse you and that you've spoken with about your career interest. They should share the qualities that would make you a good physician and to reiterate why we should select you for this program. We also require current letters of recommendation (within the same year) that address your interest in our program.
Receipt of Your Application
Since we have rolling admission, the sooner you apply the better. If you wait until late in the cycle, it is possible that our spots have filled and we weren't able to review your file or there wasn't any room to add you. If you're competitive, you may be wait-listed if a spot becomes available or you may be encouraged to apply for the following semester. A new application would be required, however, we can keep your materials for consideration.
Sometimes what you convey on paper doesn't always shine in the interview. Most people are nervous during interviews and that is to be expected. Interviewing allows us to get to know the applicant better and allows us to dialogue and learn more about the applicant's academic ethic and career intentions. There are times that interviews can reveal more than their file states and may hinder their chances for being further considered (e.g, not a genuine interest in medicine, disengaged or confrontational dialogue, etc.). The interview is your time to shine and illustrate that you're the right choice.
If you are a student who has taken the majority of your pre-med course work and only needs a few more courses (12 hours or less) for medical school and to prepare for the MCAT, then this program wouldn't be beneficial for you. Students who've had a substantial amount of pre-med sciences, have already taken the MCAT or have already applied to medical school and want to reapply wouldn't be eligible for our program.
Our program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of post-bac course work completed at U of L to graduate from the program.
Choosing to continue on the Pre-med Path
To determine whether or not medical school is possible, please contact the U of L School of Medicine at 502-852-5193 or your medical school of interest. They have reviewed numerous medical school applications and can give you an idea of how you compare with their applicant pool. They can also offer advice on what you can do to improve your chances for medical school.
If you will be continuing your pre-med education at the University of Louisville, please contact the College of Arts & Sciences Advising Center at 852-5502 to schedule an advising appointment with a pre-med advisor.
Don't forget there are numerous health care fields to consider in addition to clinical medicine; pharmacy, nursing, dentistry, dental hygiene, physical therapy, podiatry, physician assistant and more.
Other Post-bac Programs
There are various kinds of post-bac programs. Some are for career changers while others focus on academic record enhancement,etc., such as MEDPREP. Please visit the postbac premed websites to see if there are other programs you may be eligible for or may be more beneficial for your pre-med journey.