FAQ

Q. I am not taking the MCAT until April or May, can I send in my score after the application deadline?

A. There are a number of applicants that may be taking the MCAT in April and May. It will then be a number of weeks until those scores will be available. We will accept those scores coming in after the submission deadline, assuming the rest of the application is complete. We will evaluate your application as best we can while awaiting your MCAT score; however, we will consider fully complete applications first, and if we are able to fill the class without waiting on late MCAT, DAT, GRE or PCAT scores we will do so. Thus, those without a score will be at a slight disadvantage compared to others with similar credentials who have submitted a score.

We understand the desire to postpone taking the MCAT until later in spring.  One potential option for those desiring to have a complete application would be to take the GRE for applications to this or other post-baccalaureate programs. Since the GRE is assessing primarily quantitative and analytical abilities, it shouldn't require as much study as the big 'content' pieces in the MCAT, DAT, etc. You could consider taking the GRE, and if the scores are good, send them. If not, don’t!

Q. I am a non-traditional student. Will I still be eligible for this program?

A. Yes, as long as you have fulfilled the same prerequisites that are required for entry into professional school (see the Application Requirements page). In addition, you must have a standardized test score (e.g. MCAT or GRE, etc.) from within the last 3 years.

Q. Does this program have any linkages to the UM or other Medical Schools?

A. Not at the present time. This program is still relatively new. As students from the first few classes succeed, we anticipate that their and your successes will allow us to establish those kinds of linkages. The important ‘linkages’ that will be formed are, instead, intangible and informal but nevertheless valuable. For example, all the classes are taught by UM Medical School faculty, and getting to know one or more of them for a strong reference letter would be very valuable..

Q. Where can I find MS Program in Physiology alumni?

A. Many of our recent applicants are currently applying to health professional programs.  Our program is currently represented in the following programs*:

Medical Schools: University of Michigan Medical School, Michigan State University (both MD and DO programs), Wayne State University Medical School, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, University of Toledo, University of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio (M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs), Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine (M.D./Ph.D.), Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Western Michigan University School of Medicine

Dental Schools: University of Michigan, Detroit Mercy, State University of New York – Buffalo, University of Pittsburgh Dental School

Ph.D. Programs: University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS)

Other programs: Case Western Reserve University – Master of Science Anesthesia Program and SUNY - Stony Brook Physician Assistant School

*This list is of alumni CURRENTLY in the listed programs.  Students and alumni have been accepted into other programs and are either not currently students or declined the other programs’ offers.

Q. What is the cost of the program?

A. Tuition only for 2018-2019 Academic Year*
    Michigan Resident= $27,460
    Non Michigan Resident= $54,934

*Excluding limited University Registration and other fees. Please visit the Registrar’s Office page for more information.

Q. Is financial aid available? When should I submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The program does not provide any direct financial aid; however, prospective and accepted students will have access to the information and resources at the University of Michigan Office of Financial Aid. 

It is recommended that you submit a FAFSA at the same time as, or before, submitting you program application.

Q. Would I be able to work or attend on a part-time basis? Is there flexibility in terms of credits/semester or time to completion?

A. This M.S. program is full-time; attending part-time is not an option. While we have no control over student work or extracurricular schedules, taking on too much is strongly discouraged. This program is designed to be highly intensive and demanding; graduates will thus be demonstrating to professional school admissions committees the ability to handle challenging biomedical material in the context of a high work load – exactly what is required for admission and success in those schools. Furthermore, students on the research track will be expected to spend some evening and weekend hours in the laboratory – for a variety of reasons, biomedical research rarely fits neatly into an 8-5 schedule!

Q. Is there an interview?

A. Applicants to the research track may be interviewed by potential mentors to determine the best laboratory/mentor placement. Interviews may take place in person or via a phone or video call. Applicants SHOULD NOT contact potential mentors until expressly directed to do so by the program.

Q. When do classes begin and end? 

A.  Coursework Track: In order to be awarded an MS degree in Physiology, coursework track students register for Fall and Winter terms and the Spring Half Term. All coursework track students begin the program at the beginning of the Fall term in September. Students must complete the Capstone Project in the Spring Term, which ends at the end of June. Traditional start dates may be found on the Registrar’s Office webpage. This means that planning to enter a program that begins prior to the end of June is not realistic if you desire to complete the MS degree requirements.

Research Track: In order to be awarded an MS degree in Physiology, research track students register for Fall and Winter terms and the Summer Hull Term, which ends in late August. Research students must complete a minimum of 10 months in a laboratory (with typically 1 additional month to write and present the final project) to be awarded the MS degree. Possible early start dates for research are the beginning of July (can then be finished by ~June 15) or the beginning of August (can then be finished by ~July 15).  Traditional start dates may be found on the Registrar’s Office webpage.

Q. What is the class-size? 

A. Class size will be around 30 total students in order to provide individualized attention, ensure access to laboratory space and research resources, and build an interactive, collegial atmosphere of cooperation.

Q. What is the composition of the class? How many students do you take from UM? What is the average GPA of accepted students, etc.?

A. We strive for a class size of approximately thirty students.
Of our current and previous students:

  • 50% have been graduates of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.
  • 72% have been Michigan residents. (No preference is given to Michigan residents.)

The average incoming metrics have been:

  • undergraduate GPA is 3.39
  • undergraduate science GPA is 3.27
  • MCAT score is 30
  • DAT score is 19

No GRE score averages are posted due to a mix of “old” and “new” scores reported.     

*We review applications based on a holistic model and give significant weight to statements, letters and the like.

Q. What is the difference between the Academic Statement of Purpose and Personal Statement?

A. The academic statement of purpose should cover prior work and academic experiences that speak to why you're interested in the program, how you're prepared for it, and how it will help you achieve your future goals. Discrepancies in the work or academic record should be addressed, notable successes or failures should be mentioned, and other relevant experiences should be shared. The personal statement should address your important non-academic qualities (although, yes, there is some overlap): creativity, work ethic, group and team experiences, seminal life experiences, personality traits, outside interests/hobbies, reason(s) for your short and long-term goals, etc.

Q. Can I submit letter of references that were written for medical school or other health professional schools?

A. Yes, you can submit letters that were written for Medical or other health professional school admission. Please review the instructions on how to submit letters of recommendation on the Rackham website:http://www.rackham.umich.edu/prospective-students/admissions/letters-of-recommendation

Q. I want to improve my science GPA; is it possible to maintain a strong GPA while in the program?

A. We can't answer whether it is possible for you, specifically, to achieve a strong GPA in the program. We can't completely predict how challenging the program will be for you or how well you will do if you are accepted. We can say that we have many students applying, and we will accept only those students we think can succeed. It is anticipated that if those students work hard then superior grades will naturally follow. We will totally support you to further your education and help you prepare for a place in the professional workforce.

That being said, the average MS Program in Physiology student graduates with a graduate GPA 0.3 points above their undergraduate GPA.  The incoming GPA average was 3.39 and the average graduate GPA has been 3.69.

Q. How will medical and other professional schools view this program?

A. The University of Michigan Molecular & Physiology Department is among the top 10 Physiology programs in the nation. This is a rigorous 1-year program with a challenging curriculum that is taught by medical school faculty. Our program has been positively reviewed by both faculty and admissions officers at the UM Medical School such that successful completion will significantly enhance an applicant's competitiveness for entry to professional schools or entry to research-related positions in the workforce.

Q. Will the program accept transfer credits?

A. No. As stipulated above, the program is designed to be challenging. Therefore, accepting transfer credit(s) would diminish the workload and undermine that aspect. In addition, there is a quality control issue - we have designed a strong program that both we and you will want to maintain an excellent reputation - accepting coursework from outside the program can become problematic in that regard.

Q. How many students were accepted to the program? How many were waitlisted? 

A. From an applicant pool of 125 in late spring of 2014, we sent out initial acceptances to 49, waitlisted 41, and denied admission to the rest of the applicants. From the waitlist, we ultimately issued another 12 acceptances; therefore, at least for 2014, applicants had a little less than a 50% chance of being offered an acceptance. Of the 61 accepted, 30 students matriculated into the program.

However, for all application years combined, applicants have a 35% chance of acceptance.