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Common Questions

About The Program

If I am accepted at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, can I select any of my own rotations during my clinical year?
The program's Clinical Year Team schedules the core clinical curriculum. For the two elective rotations, each student has the opportunity to request a site of his/her choosing.  The department has a long list of established sites from which students may request rotations.  All sites are subject to availability and approval by the clinical coordinator.

Will I be able to work an outside job while I am going to school?
We have an intensive program of study which makes working outside of class nearly impossible. During the second year clinical rotations there is no time available for an outside job. Our students frequently experience rotations that require 60 or more hours per week.

Can I specialize?
Students have two electives during the clinical year in which they can choose to do their rotation in a specialty area. As a practicing PA, positions are available in all medical fields.

Do you have a placement service for graduates?
Many of our students are offered positions during the course of their rotations by the clinical sites. In addition, the university receives many job opportunity listings which are passed along to students.

Do you offer shadowing opportunities?
Due to the number of requests for shadowing hours, please reference the following resources versus contacting the Program. RFUMS PA Program does not endorse any particular organization or way of obtaining shadowing hours and is not directly affiliated with the options provided below:

  • Northwestern Hospital 
  • Illinois PA Academy - For those applicants who are out of state, they can contact the PA association in their state. 
  • Applicants can Google "PA shadowing" and find a number of websites.

Prerequisite Courses

Can I take my pre-requisites at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science?
Rosalind Franklin University does not offer undergraduate coursework.

I'm selecting prerequisite courses and am wondering if a specific course meets the prerequisite requirement?
Below are some general, basic guidelines to help you determine if a course you are considering for a prerequisite course is appropriate.

Biochemistry - The course in biochemistry should include the study of amino acids, proteins, enzymes, DNA, gene expression, and the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and nitrogen. This background information will be invaluable in understanding the medical pathophysiology that is taught in the Physician Assistant Program. A course with a title other than Biochemistry that covers this same course material may be accepted, upon review of the course syllabus by the PA Program Admissions Committee.

Microbiology - The course in microbiology should include the study of microorganisms - bacteria, viruses, and fungi – and their classification systems, infectious diseases in humans, and the immune response to infection. This background information will be necessary to understand the medical pathophysiology that is taught in the Physician Assistant Program. A course with a title other than Microbiology that covers this same course material may be accepted, upon review of the course syllabus by the PA Program Admissions Committee.

Anatomy and Physiology - Either a two course sequence of combined Human A&P (I & II), or two separate courses in these subjects, is acceptable. Human anatomy and physiology are preferred over vertebrate, mammalian, or comparative courses because they will better prepare the student for the rigorous human anatomy dissection course that begins the PA program. Anatomy and physiology courses with a title other than ‘Human’ may be accepted if the content focus was 80% or greater based on human systems, upon review of the course syllabus by the PA Program Admissions Committee.

I have prerequisite coursework still in progress; can I still apply?
You may have up to three outstanding prerequisite courses to complete at the time of application. Be sure to note this coursework will be completed by the start of classes in May on your application. If you are offered a seat in the class with outstanding coursework, you must provide proof the coursework has been completed satisfactorily prior to matriculation.

I did better as an older student going back to school for my prerequisites but my GPA is still low from my original college courses. Can I still apply?
When we review an application we not only review the total GPA, but also the student's academic progress over time. Positive trends over time are favorably considered by the program's admissions committee; the program will give consideration to the last 60 hours of completed coursework.

Can I substitute other classes for the ones published as prerequisites (e.g. organic chemistry for biochemistry)?
Our pre-requisites are in place to ensure that students enter the program well-prepared for the challenging curriculum that we provide; therefore, we do not accept any substitutions for our pre-requisite classes. Entering the PA Program without this background knowledge puts the student at a disadvantage.

What kind of healthcare experience do you require?
We prefer that applicants have direct patient care experience. This can be done by volunteering at a hospital, clinic, or nursing home, or by working in some health provider capacity in one of these areas. If your healthcare experience includes interaction with physician assistants, it is even more valuable. Other types of experience, aside from patient care, might be research or health-related employment. Typically, a successful candidate’s experience is equivalent to one half-year at a full-time job.

Test Scores

How many years is my GRE score valid?
The University will only accept official scores sent to us directly by Educational Testing Services (ETS). ETS does not release examinations scores that are more than 5 years old. Exams are valid until the September 15 following the fifth anniversary of the test date.

Where can I take the GRE?
You can contact Educational Testing Service (ETS) at (609) 771-7670 or on the web at: Please release your GRE scores to code #0276 for "Rosalind Franklin U Phys Asst CASPA."

What are your guidelines for TOEFL?
Guidelines for the TOEFL can be obtained from ETS. Scores in the 50th percentile or higher are considered competitive for the program.

Applying to RFUMS

What is the deadline to apply?
December 1.

What is the cost to apply?
Check the CASPA website for their application processing fees. In addition to the fee you pay to CASPA, RFUMS requires a $35.00 application processing fee.

Do you give preference to Illinois residents?
No. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a private university. We make no distinction by state of residency in our admissions policy. Tuition costs are the same regardless of state of residency.

How do I check the status of my application?
During the CASPA portion of the application process you will need to track the status of your application using the tracking information supplied to you by CASPA. Once your application has been transmitted to our University, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on submitting the required processing fee. You can check on the status of application receipt from CASPA and the GRE with the Admissions Office at: (847) 578-3204, or online at

Should I mail my information (transcripts, application, letters of recommendation, TOEFL) to RFUMS?
No. Your test scores, application materials, and letters of recommendation must be mailed directly to CASPA. Information on how to do this is available at the CASPA website.

Who can I talk to about financial aid?
RFUMS will make every attempt to assist students seeking financial aid. Visit the Financial Aid Office for more information.

When are interviews held and does everyone get interviewed?
Interviews are held once a month between August and February. As the number of applications far exceeds the number of available seats in the class, this is a competitive process and not all applicants are invited to interview.

If my GPA is under 3.0 will I automatically be rejected?
No, our minimum GPA is 2.75. We conduct a holistic review all components of an application. Historically, students with a 3.0 or above are more likely to be successful in the admissions process.

What is the RFUMS class size?
Our class size is 67 new students per year. RFUMS utilizes rolling admissions and encourages all applicants to apply early in the cycle for best consideration. For more information, check out our Class Profile.

When do classes start?
Classes begin in late May.

Contact us:
Email us:
Call us: 847-578-3204
Mailing address:
Rosalind Franklin University
CHP Admissions
3333 Green Bay Road
North Chicago, IL 60064