School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Common Questions MS to MD Pathway
In this section
What is the timeline for the admissions process?
- Applications will be available on September 1, 2020. The application deadline for matriculation in Fall, 2021 is January 31, 2021 (Midnight Eastern Standard Time). Files are reviewed on a rolling basis. Interviews are typically held on campus in February, and admissions decisions occur from March through April. Accepted students come to campus in early August.
What are the options for research areas in the MS program?
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Anatomy, Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, Microbiology and Immunology, Neuroscience, or Physiology and Biophysics.
When do I select my lab and degree discipline?
- Applicants indicate in the application up to three faculty members whose research is of interest to them and whose laboratory is sought to complete the MS thesis. Individual faculty members are affiliated with specific degree programs. The specific MS degree (Neuroscience, Physiology and Biophysics, etc) to be earned by the MS student is determined by the research faculty member affiliation with the specific degree program. See the Research Faculty booklet for more information.
What are some of the attributes of a competitive applicant?
- We take a holistic approach in evaluating applications, emphasizing research, medical, humanitarian, employment, leadership and other diverse life experiences. Most successful applicants also have cumulative and science GPAs around 3.5 and an MCAT score of at least 510.
Are applicants from outside the U.S. eligible for admissions?
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens, hold a permanent resident visa or be eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the time of application submission.
Do you accept transfer students?
- Students who request transfer into SGPS and the MS degree component are considered on a case-by-case basis. Please consult with the SGPS Dean's Office for further information.
Can my admission decision be appealed or reconsidered?
- All decisions made by the SGPS and CMS admissions committees are final. Appeals for reconsideration are not accepted. Denied applicants are allowed to re-apply for future admissions cycles.
If accepted, does the Pathway permit deferred matriculation?
- Deferral requests into the Pathway are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may be granted or denied. Deferral requests are only considered in unusual circumstances for unforeseen and serious events. No request that exceeds one year will be considered. Accepted students who wish to consider a deferral should contact the SGPS Dean's Office directly.
What are the requirements for a complete application?
- Please visit our Application Requirements page for requirements needed to complete your application to the MS to MD Pathway.
How important is the MCAT?
- When reviewing applications, we look at many factors, and the MCAT score is just one of them. Cumulative undergraduate and science GPAs, graduate coursework and earned degrees, research experience, academic rigor, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and other essays, medical experience, humanitarian and community service, employment history, leadership and other diverse life experiences are also part of the admission committee’s decisions. In addition to a strong profile, most successful applicants also have a strong science GPA and/or MCAT score of 510 or above.
I have taken the MCAT more than once; which score will be reviewed?
- We see all of your scores, but for evaluation purposes, the Admissions Committee focuses on your most recent MCAT score.
When must I take the MCAT?
- Only scores from January 1, 2018 to September 29, 2020 will be accepted. Please note: If you submit multiple exams, your most recent score will be considered for admission. Also, if you indicate a future MCAT test date, your application will be reviewed only after receipt of your most recent score.
How many letters of recommendation are required to submit my application?
- Three letters of recommendation are required.
- At least one letter needs to be from a primary research mentor.
- At least one letter is recommended from a healthcare professional (not necessarily a MD) with whom you have worked.
- The remaining letter can be from a person who knows you well or a committee letter.
Can I take prerequisite coursework at a community college?
- We can accept coursework taken at any accredited higher education institution, although the rigor of an applicant’s course of study is considered. Transcripts from each institution attended must be submitted.
Is AP credit or CLEP test accepted for the prerequisites?
- Yes, both AP and CLEP credit are accepted for prerequisite courses as long as the course credit is listed on your college transcript.
Can online coursework fulfill prerequisite requirements?
- Yes, we can accept online coursework. However, some prerequisite courses may require a laboratory component. Transcripts from each institution attended must be submitted.
Will you accept coursework from institutions outside the U.S.?
- Yes, we accept international coursework. Transcripts from international schools (with the exception of Canadian schools) must first be evaluated by a credentialing service and sent directly to RFUCAS. We accept evaluations from World Evaluation Service (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).
Can I submit my application before my MCAT score is uploaded?
- Yes, you can submit your application without the MCAT score present. Your file will be reviewed once all components of the application are received. If you indicate that you plan to take a future MCAT on your application, we will not review any part of your application until we receive your official future MCAT score.
Can I send in updates to my application?
- Unfortunately, we cannot accept any additional information or materials unless it includes Institutional Action, Felony, Misdemeanor or Military Discharge explanations. Any additional information or materials will be discarded.
Visiting Campus and Interviews
Should I visit the campus?
- We encourage prospective students to to learn more about our students, campus, and the opportunities available. We offer small-group weekly information sessions and tours year-round, as well as large-group open houses programs in the fall and spring quarters.
Do you offer individual counseling sessions to discuss my application?
- We do not offer one-on-one counseling sessions. As a matter of policy, admissions staff are unable to discuss individual applications, including admissions decisions. We do, however, encourage you to visit campus in either small group or large group setting. If you would like to visit campus, you can find more information about our upcoming events on the page.
How many applicants do you invite for interview?
- We do not have a fixed number of interview spots.
When do you interview candidates?
- We typically interview in February prior to an August matriculation date. The interview is typically conducted over a day of information sessions, meetings with students, staff, faculty members, and a tour of the campus.
Can I stay with a current student while visiting campus for an interview?
- We do not offer a host program. There are a number of hotels in the area offering a shuttle. You can find more information about travel accommodations on the page.
The MS to MD Pathway
Does my application to the Pathway include my application to the MS degree program and the medical school class?
- The application to the Pathway is for entry into the first component of the Pathway - the MS degree. A separate AMCAS application is required for admission into the medical school to be submitted during the MS degree.
What is the relationship between my application to the MS degree and my application to the medical school class?
- There are two separate applications in the MS to MD Pathway. The first application is used for consideration of admission into the MS degree program in SGPS. The second AMCAS application is used for consideration of admission into CMS. However, members of both schools do provide preliminary evaluation of applicants to the Pathway.
If I am admitted into the Pathway, am I admitted into the medical school class?
- No. Admission into the Pathway does not guarantee or imply admission into the medical school. An offer of admission into the Pathway is an offer of admission into the MS degree program.
Does my acceptance into the MS degree component of the Pathway guarantee my acceptance into the medical school class?
- No. Acceptance into the MS degree program does not guarantee or imply acceptance into the medical school class. A separate AMCAS application is used for application to CMS.
When do I apply to the medical school?
- Students in the MS degree component of the Pathway typically apply to the medical school in their second year of the MS degree program through AMCAS.
How do I apply to the medical school?
- The medical school requires application through AMCAS as well as a CMS Supplemental Application.
Will the medical school admissions committee consider my academic record during the MS degree?
- All academic records, including the record from the MS degree, will be considered by the CMS Student Admissions Committee.
Will the MS degree help to prepare me for application to the medical school?
- The MS degree provides opportunities for students to engage in research. Students are also able to take advantage of University resources such as mentorship and opportunities to gain clinically-relevant experience during the MS degree.
Will the medical school offer me an interview as part of my application to CMS?
- The medical school will offer interviews to students in the MS to MD Pathway if students in the Pathway maintain good academic standing within the Pathway - no course grade less than a 'B', no grade of Fail in a Pass/Fail course, no repeated coursework due to deficiency or remediation.
If I maintain good academic standing while in the MS degree, will the medical school offer me admission?
- Maintaining good academic standing while in the MS degree is required, but not sufficient, for an offer of admission into the medical school class. Cumulative undergraduate and science GPAs, graduate coursework and earned degrees, research experience, academic rigor, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and other essays, medical experience, humanitarian and community service, employment history, leadership and other diverse life experiences are also part of the CMS Student Admission Committee’s decisions.
Will information from my application to the Pathway be used in my application to the medical school?
- Students in the MS to MD Pathway who have submitted MCAT and CASPer scores in the initial application to the Pathway are not required to submit new scores when applying to the medical school. The CMS Student Admissions Committee will accept MCAT and CASPer scores used in application to the Pathway. Students are free to submit new MCAT and CASPer scores when applying to the medical school, but it is not required.
Where can I get more information about applying to CMS?
- Please see the information on submission of an application to CMS.
How do I get in touch with the Pathway?
- Telephone: 847-578-8493
- Email: IGPBS@rosalindfranklin.edu
- Mailing address: Rosalind Franklin University
SGPS Dean's Office
3333 Green Bay Road
North Chicago, IL 60064