Admission to the University
Applicants to Ponce Health Sciences University are selected on the basis of scholastic achievement, fitness and aptitude for the study and other personal qualifications. The Admissions Committees also gives consideration to the use of language, special aptitudes, mechanical skills, stamina, perseverance and motivation. Students are admitted on the basis of individual qualifications, regardless of handicap, sex, race, religion, age, national origin, marital status, neither sexual nor political orientation.
PHSU Admissions Office and the Admissions Committees act in accordance with “Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990” which includes changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which became effective on January 1, 2009. Once the candidate is accepted, if he/she needs special accommodations, he/she is responsible to contact the Academic Affairs Office for further information. It is the student’s responsibility to make his/her condition known to PHSU Administrators and to seek out assistance.
Applicants with disabilities will be evaluated on a case by case basis in accordance with the medical technical standard guidelines as suggested by the Association of American Medical Colleges. All students must possess the physical and emotional capabilities required to independently undertake the full curriculum and to achieve the levels of competence required by the faculty.
Apply to our programs before the following dates:
Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) adheres to the CDC norms on adult immunization. The Office of Student Affairs is responsible for maintaining the documentation of student immunization and PPD status. The school of medicine requires annual tuberculin (intradermal) testing for actively enrolled students. Immunization requirements are:
- Hepatitis B: All medical students are required to have been immunized against Hepatitis B. Such immunization consists of a series of three injections that should be completed poor to or as soon as possible after matriculation. Students who are not in compliance may be barred from participation in clinical activities at the discretion of the Dean’s Office.
- Rubella: Rubella immunity via history or documented vaccine or serological titer is required before a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.
- Rubeola: Rubeola immunization is required for all students born after 1957. Students must provide physician documentation of receipt of two doses of vaccine or serologic evidence of immunity before a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.
- Mumps: Mumps immunization is required. A physician documented history of immunization or documented evidence for immunity (serologic titers) is required before a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.
*Rubella, Rubeola and Mumps requirement is filled by 2 doses of MMR at least on year apart.
- Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria: Students should be current in immunization against polio, tetanus anddiphtheria. It is required before a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.
- Varicella: Students with a history of varicella should have it documented. Students without a history of varicella must have a titer for varicella antibody determined. Students with a negative titer are recommended to undergo varicella immunization. Non-immune students will not be permitted on some clinical services specifically Pediatrics.
PHSU requires annual tuberculin (intra dermal) testing for actively enrolled students. Evaluation and management of medical students with positive tests or those whose test becomes positive during medical school will be evaluated through the PHSU outpatient clinic.
Students in the third and fourth year should have the influenza vaccine before entering the clinical clerkships. It will be available at a reasonable cost at PHSU Outpatient Clinic.
These requirements may vary according to CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization practices and Centers of Disease Control (CDC) recommendation.
Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) students dismissed from a program for academic reasons will not be readmitted to that program. No student will be allowed readmission to any program after dismissal for disciplinary reasons.
PHSU will consider for readmission students who voluntarily withdrew from the program for medical or personal reasons and were in good standing or Satisfactory Academic Progress at the time of the withdrawal.
The application for readmission will be submitted to the Admissions Office. Applicants must meet all requirements at the time of application for readmission. After evaluation by the Admission Committee, the candidate may be:
- Denied re-admission
- Admitted and one of the following:
- Required to re-enter the first-year class
- Required to repeat incomplete (I) courses
- Allowed full credit of work successfully completed
- Transfer some credits to a different program
- Other considerations.
A student readmitted to any program must abide by the curricular requirements and the rules and regulations in effect at the time of readmission.
The Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) is a higher education institution that offers graduate courses. PHSU has established the following institutional policy to guide the transfer of credits for the courses that students have taken in other academic institutions.
The maximum number of total credits that may be recognized shall not be more than 30 percent of the total number of credits in the curriculum, in order to complete the graduation requirements, except for the Medical Education Program.
A formal/written request for the transfer of credits must be filled at the Admission’s Office in the Deanship of Students Affairs. Requests for transfer of credits must be made no later than the second week of classes of the first trimester/semester for entering students at PHSU.
It is the responsibility of the student to facilitate the official catalog and transcript from the institution on which the courses were taken. Only original transcripts are accepted and must be sent directly from the University of Origin to the Registrar’s Office of PHSU. Only graduate courses from institutions accredited by the Puerto Rico Council of Education (PR-CE) or by a regionally accrediting agency (MSCHE or equivalent) are eligible for transfer of credits.
An ad hoc transfer of credits committee with representation from the Student Affairs and the Academic Affairs and a faculty member and the director of the program the student is enrolled evaluates the requests and make final decisions based on institutional and programmatic transfer of credit policies and procedures.
Doctor in Medicine Program
For the Medical Education Program, PHSU accepts transfer students from LCME accredited medical schools or from any medical school recognized in the International Medical Education Directory. The following requirements for transfer also apply for the Medical Education Program:
- Transfer students may only be accepted in the second pre-clinical (basic science) year or the first clinical year.
- Transfer students’ prior coursework and achievements must be comparable to the ones of the medical students in the class they will join.
- Transfer students to the first clinical year are required to take and pass the USMLE Step 1 prior to admission.
- The total years for completion of the MD degree include those years accepted for admission to PHSU.
Biomedical Sciences Program
Students who apply for admission to the Biomedical Sciences Program may transfer up to 21 credits related to the field of basic sciences. To be considered for transfer, the credits must have been obtained from a fully accredited higher education institution from Puerto Rico or USA.
The following additional requirements must be met to consider the requests for transferring credits of graduate courses to PHSU Biomedical Sciences Program:
- The requested courses were approved with at least a B grade.
- The student can demonstrate through formal written and/or oral examination that they possess the scientific knowledge, skills and values expected from the courses.
The following courses are frequently equivalent within Basic Sciences field and may be transferred from outside graduate programs:
- Histology/Cell Biology
Additional requests for transfer of credits of other graduate science courses may be considered on individual basis.
Master of Science in Medical Sciences Transfer Credits Policy
Some students of the Master in Science in Medical Science (MSMS) complete all graduation requirements but are unable to fulfill the minimum 3.0 GPA required for graduation. This is the result of a high credit load of several of the MSMS courses and a “C” in a major course may result in non-compliance with the required GPA. These students have to repeat courses to obtain higher grades so that the GPA increases to required levels. However, some of them are accepted to continue post graduate higher education training, such as medical education and are unable to repeat courses in our institution.
The purpose of this policy is to establish a mechanism so that these students complete their MSMS degree while enrolled at another post graduate higher education program.
MSMS students that comply with all graduation requirements, except the minimum 3.0 GPA and are accepted in a medical education program or another doctoral program the next academic year after initiation of the MSMS program, may be eligible to get credit towards the MSMS degree from courses taken at another higher education institution.
The procedure to achieve this is the following:
- The student must submit the MSMS Transfer of Credits Request Form to the Registrar’s Office by the end of the first year of medical education or doctoral training.
- The student must be enrolled in an LCME accredited medical school, a foreign medical school that has been appropriately accredited according to ECFMG  standards, or a doctoral program in an institution of higher education with regional accreditation (such as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education).
- After the student completes the course/s for which transfer credit is requested, the student must request that an official transcript be sent to Ponce Health Science University Registrar’s Office.
- The Associate Dean for Medical Education and the Assistant Dean for MSMS Program will evaluate the courses and grades in the transcript. A special analysis needs to be done for those students in medical schools where they have an “integrated” or “system based” curriculum.
- Only courses with A’s and B’s may be cross transferred to substitute former courses with a C. If the GPA increases at or above 3.0 of, the student will be certified as eligible for the MSMS degree.
- The Student Promotion Committee will evaluate the results and confirm to the Registrar if the student is a candidate for graduation.
- Students admitted to the MSMS prior to the creation of this policy are eligible and will be notified about this policy.
- The PHSU Registrar may establish an administrative fee for the time and efforts this entails.
- The policy is effective May 5, 2016 and will be in effect for two years, after which it will be revised by the Executive and Policy Committee.
 http://www.ecfmg.org/about/initiatives-accreditation-requirement.html ECFMG® has announced that, effective in 2023, physicians applying for ECFMG Certification will be required to graduate from a medical school that has been appropriately accredited. To satisfy this requirement, the physician’s medical school must be accredited through a formal process that uses criteria comparable to those established for U.S. medical schools by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or that uses other globally accepted criteria.
Clinical Psychology Programs
Students who apply for admission to the PHSU doctoral programs in Clinical Psychology may transfer up to 24 graduate credits from institutions accredited by the PR-CE or MS-CHE or a regionally equivalent agency. The 24 transfer credits must be approved in programs related to the field of Clinical Psychology. Students with prior graduate work in a field outside mental health may transfer at least 18 credits depending on the nature of the program attended and the equivalency of the courses approved.
The following requirements will guide the evaluation process of those graduate courses submitted for approval:
- Graduate courses need to be relevant to the field of Clinical/Professional Psychology
- The requested courses were passed with at least a B grade.
- The students can demonstrate in an objective manner or through formal written and/or oral examination that they possess the knowledge and skills expected from the courses.
The following courses are frequently equivalent within mental health disciplines and may be transferred from other graduate programs:
- Research Methods
- Test Construction
- Cognitive Assessment and Practicum*
- Group Therapy
- Motivation and Emotion
- Child Psychopathology
- Child Psychotherapy
- Professional Ethics in Psychology
- History of Psychology
- Family Therapy*
- Clinical Psychopharmacology
- Human Sexuality
- Psychology of Addictions
- Geriatric Psychology
- Mental Health Administration
- Forensic Psychology
- Psychoeducational Assessment*
The following courses are not considered for transfer to PHSU Clinical Psychology Programs:
PSY 522 Psychology of Personality
PSY 515 Human Growth and Development
PSY 523 Cognitive Psychology
PSY 541 Fundamentals of Clinical Psychopathology
PSY 511 Fundamentals of Neuroscience
PSY 512 Neuroanatomy Laboratory
PSY 645 Mood and Anxiety Disorders
PSY 658 Projective Assessment of Personality
PSY 667 Short-Term Psychotherapy
PSY 662 Cognitive and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
PSY 747 Personality and Psychotic Disorders
PSY 818 Clinical Health Psychology
In addition to those courses, the 1100 hours of required clinical practice in the PsyD or PhD programs cannot be transferred for other practice taken at other institutions. *requires demonstration of competence.
Public Health Program
Students who apply for admissions may transfer up to 15 graduate credits to PHSU Public Health Program. The graduate courses must be relevant to the field of public health and related to the program’s core or elective courses. The Capstone Experience (CE) and Practicum courses taken at other institution cannot be transferred to PHSU Public Health Program.
To consider for transfer credits, the graduate courses must be taken at institutions accredited by the PR Council of Education or a US regional accreditor.
Students applying for transfer of credits must submit the application to the Office of Admissions during the beginning of the admissions process. Interested students are required to provide the institutional catalog and course syllabi. The PHSU Office of Admissions will refer the cases to the Public Health Program. The Program will establish and Evaluation Committee composed of two Public Health faculty to assess the graduate courses that students submitted for transfer. This Evaluation Committee will have the responsibility to evaluate:
- The comparability of the course content
- The course length: number of credits or contact hours (can be more but not significantly less)
- Grading system (the requested courses for transfer must be approved with at least B or Pass grade).
The Evaluation Committee will respond no later than the second week of classes of the first trimester/semester for entering students at PHSU.
Please send original documents by mail to:
PHSU, Admissions Office
PO BOX 7004
Ponce, PR 00732