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F A Q - Frequently Ask Questions

 
  1. Are the classes taught in English or in Spanish?

    Classes are taught in either or both languages, depending on the preference of the professor and/or instructors. Textbooks and exams are in English; however, students must be fully bilingual in English and Spanish, that is, read, write, speak and understand both languages. Spanish is the official language in PR and the student must be able to communicate with patients in Spanish
     

  2. Can I take the required twelve credits of Spanish at an institution that is not the university/college that I attended?

    Yes, you may take them at any Higher Education Institution as long as the undergraduate institution is accredited by USA Higher Education accrediting agencies and they will be reported in an official transcript.
     

  3. May I take the CLEP Exam to substitute language courses?

    No, the CLEP Test is not accepted at all, neither for Spanish nor English.
     

  4. Are my High School Spanish classes accepted?

    No, the expected language level is much deeper. It is an absolute requirement for all applicants (including local residents) in order to be considered for admission. This is also a requisite of the Medical Board of Puerto Rico.
     

  5. Even if I went to a university/college in the United States, am I still required the 12 English credits?

    Yes, you still have to comply. Classes described as “intensive writing” from other departments may be considered as substitute.
     

  6. What is your policy regarding acceptance of non-resident applicants/ international students?

    Non-resident and/or international students are welcome and accepted regardless of nationality, race, religion, handicaps, sex or sexual preference, as long as they have completed their undergraduate education in an accredited institution within the USA or Puerto Rico, and comply with all the requisites. International students have to comply with USA immigration laws. Nevertheless, preference is given to Puerto Rico residents (this group usually comprises around 85% of the entire body class).
     

  7. When should I take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)?

    It is requested that the MCAT be taken before December 15. 
     

  8. My MCAT score was below the requirement, what can I do?

    You have no choice but to repeat the test. Our MCAT average score is 22. The applicant must notify the Admissions Office his intentions of repeating the test.
     

  9. If I obtain a medical degree from Ponce School of Medicine Health Sciences, can I practice anywhere?

    Ponce School of Medicine Health Sciences is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) www.aamc.org. Our graduates can seek residency programs or practice anywhere within the US through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). Ninety percent of our graduates match within their first three choices. Some graduates stay in Puerto Rico for their graduate training but most opt to continue further training in medical centers in the Continental USA.
     

  10. Do you require a secondary application?

    No, a secondary application is not required but documents to complete your file will be requested.
     

  11. Will I be notified that my AMCAS application was received?

    Yes. After the AMCAS application is received at the Admissions Office, the applicant will receive an email with general information and a list of required documents which are:
     

    1. Non-refundable US$50.00 application processing fee

    2. Official transcript(s) from all universities attended, besides the ones you must send to AMCAS

    3. Three letters of recommendation (two from professors and one written by an individual familiar with the applicant’s skills and abilities ) or a composite letter from a premedical committee 
       

  12. Will a background check be required?

    Yes, an AMCAS CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK (Certiphi Screening) will be conducted once the applicant is accepted. If a criminal record appears in the results of the background check, the acceptance will be revoked.
     

  13. What undergraduate courses are recommended for preparation for medical school?

    We strongly recommend course work in Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Liberal Arts and Humanities.
     

  14. Will the Admissions Committee pay particular attention to my performance in certain courses?

    The Admissions Committee pays particular attention to the science courses taken. The acceptance decision is made considering the sum of all the factors of the evaluation such as letters of recommendation, interviews, etc.
     

  15. My transcript shows several withdrawals. How will the Admissions Committee view this?

    More than two withdrawals without a plausible explanation, will work against you in the evaluation process.
     

  16. What does the Admissions Committee consider other than grades and MCAT scores?

    In evaluating the applicants, the Admissions Committee considers interview reports, letters of recommendation, hospital voluntary work, community service, awards, research experience, poster presentation and/or publications and any other information provided by the applicant.
     

  17. What is the basic interview procedure?

    The candidates who meet the requirements for admission are invited for an interview which will be conducted by faculty members. You may be interviewed as part of a group or individually.
     

  18. When does the Medical School begin interviews?

    The interview process usually begins around November.
     

  19. What is the Early Decision Program?

    The AMCAS Early Decision Program (EDP) allows applicants to secure an acceptance from one EDP-participating medical school by October 1 while allowing sufficient time to apply to other schools if not accepted. Deadline to apply through the EDP Program is August 1 (AMCAS application and official transcripts). The candidate must fully comply with all the requisites. The Committee’s decision could be of either acceptance or not acceptance. If the candidate is not accepted, he/she will still compete for acceptance in the pool of all applicants for that academic year.
     

  20. What about recommendations from prominent persons?

    Letters from people that really know you, rather than from people who have impressive titles, are the most valuable. Three letters of recommendation are required and should provide input from people in responsible positions who can comment on your academic, employment or volunteer performance, character, interests and advocacy experience. For undergraduates this often means professors, academic advisors or employers.
     

  21. How is the alternate list made up?

    The Alternate List is made up of qualified candidates for whom no space is available. As spaces become available, this list provides the order to follow for calling the candidates for admission.
     

  22. Do I need a physical health examination before starting medical school?

    Yes, upon acceptance all students are required to submit a Physical Exam (using a form provided by the Admissions Office), a Health Certificate from the Department of Health of PR and evidence of up to date immunization record (must include Varicella, Td Adult, MMR and three doses of Hepatitis B).
     

  23. When do classes begin? Is the Orientation period required?

    Classes begin with the mandatory orientation period usually during the second half of July.