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Doctor in Medicine

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"*" indicates required fields

Name*
By submitting this form, you are giving your express written consent for Ponce Health Sciences University to contact you regarding our educational programs and services using email, telephone, or text - including our use of automated technology for calls or texts to the number you provided here. This consent is not required to purchase goods or services. You may opt-out at any time.

Program Description

The medical education curriculum is a 4-year program with a duration of 164 weeks that reflects our mission to educate bilingual ethical professionals who provide compassionate, culturally competent health care.

The program consists of two years of preclinical courses in the core basic science disciplines of Gross Anatomy, Histology & Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Physiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Microbiology/Immunology, and Neurosciences with the integration of clinical content and early clinical experiences through Pathophysiology, Introduction to Clinical Skills, Behavioral Sciences and Basic Psychiatry. The first two years of the curriculum integrate longitudinal programs in Preventive and Community Medicine, Clinical Correlation (Problem-Based Learning), Geriatrics, Interprofessional Perspectives on Health Disparities, and Medical Ethics. The preclinical curriculum emphasizes active learning modalities using a flipped classroom model. Classroom interactive response systems (iClickers) allow students to participate in polls and answer questions during class. In addition to clinical correlations and case discussions, this teaching modality enables the students to apply knowledge to real case situations and assess their understanding of the core concepts.

The clinical phase begins in the third year with the core clinical clerkships in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, and Surgery. The curriculum includes longitudinal courses provided during the third year, Professional Development I & II, and Radiology. The Professional Development courses exposed students to general education and humanism topics, including the history of medicine, translational research, medical practice, and preparation for residency programs. The fourth year complements these core clinical experiences with Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Primary Care Selective. Six 4-week elective rotations provide additional clinical experiences in several subspecialty fields that prepare the student for the next level of training.

In addition to the main campus in the south of the island in Ponce, Puerto Rico, the PHSU SOM has another three campuses. One in St Louis, Missouri, where students do the four years of the program, and two regional clinical campuses in Puerto Rico, one in the west (Mayaguez Campus) and the other in the north of the island Metro Campus), where the student does the required third-year clerkship.

The MD program is available at Ponce, PR (Main Campus) and St. Louis, MO.

Mission

To educate bilingual ethical professionals who provide compassionate, culturally competent health care and generate high impact research to reduce health disparities in the populations we serve in Puerto Rico and the US, through high quality education in a diverse environment.

Vision

To be recognized as a world leader in the delivery of bilingual culturally competent medical sciences and research education.

By the time of graduation, students are expected to:

 

Medical Knowledge:  Medical student must demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and socio-behavioral sciences as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care.

  • Explain the normal structure and function of the body and of each of its major organ systems; as well as the molecular, biochemical and cellular mechanisms that are important in maintaining the body’s homeostasis.
  • Explain the genetic, developmental, metabolic, toxic, microbiologic, autoimmune, neoplastic, degenerative and traumatic causes of disease states and their pathogenesis.
  • Identify epidemiological and other factors that place individuals at risk for disease or injury, select appropriate tests for detecting risks and determine preventive strategies for responding appropriately.
  • Interpret the results of commonly used diagnostic studies.
  • Formulate appropriate management strategies in the care for patients with common conditions, both acute and chronic, including pain and rehabilitation.
  • Describe the mechanisms by which therapeutic agents work and apply the principles of pharmacology in patient care. 

 

Patient Care:  Students must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the promotion of health and for the treatment of health problems.

  • Demonstrate caring and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families.
  • Obtain a complete and accurate medical history that covers all the essential aspects of the history taking in a patient-centered interview. Identify health issues and correlate with patient’s age, gender, cultural, spiritual beliefs, psychological and socio-economic status.
  • Perform a comprehensive and/or a problem-focused physical examination, including a mental status examination and accurately interpret the findings.
  • Formulate, using clinical reasoning an initial diagnostic impression and differential diagnosis.
  • Recommend appropriate diagnostic studies and therapeutic management plan based on patient information and preferences, current scientific evidence and clinical judgment.
  • Perform or assist during routine technical procedures, including but not limited to: venous and arterial puncture; placement of an intravenous line, transurethral and nasogastric catheters and suturing of simple wounds.
  • Recognize patients with life threatening conditions, with serious physical and or mental acute/chronic conditions in need of critical care and institute appropriate initial therapy.
  • Counsel and educate patients care givers and families about patient’s condition and aspects of health promotion and prevention.
  • Solve clinical problems in the context of culture, psychological, socio-economic status and the spiritual-health beliefs and needs of the patient.

 

Interpersonal and Communication Skills:  Students must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective interchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families and health professionals.

  • Develop a team relationship with patients and their families to provide patient centered care.
  • Use a patient centered approach with effective listening and communication skills during the medical interview.
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills with patients, their families and health professionals.
  • Document patient information in a comprehensive, timely and legible electronic or written medical record.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills as a member of a health care team and other professional groups.
  • Demonstrate effective interaction with colleagues and health care professionals to provide patient-centered care.

 

Practice-based Learning and ImprovementStudents must be able to investigate and evaluate their care of patients, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence and continuously improve patient care based on constant self-evaluation and life-long learning.

  • Demonstrate capacity to accept personal limitations and continuously improve one’s medical knowledge and clinical skills.
  • Identify the information resources and tools available to support life-long learning and self-improvement.
  • Review and incorporate the most current and relevant evidence based information in the diagnosis and management of patients.
  • Explain how to conduct clinical and translational research, its scientific and ethical principles and apply the results and evidence derived from those studies to patient care.

 

Systems-based Practice: Students must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value.

  • Work effectively in various health care delivery systems.
  • Deliver patient care according to the regulations and resources of health care systems.
  • Advocate for quality patient care and assist patients in dealing with system complexities.
  • Promote cost-effective health care and optimal resources allocation.
  • Formulate appropriate management strategies for patients with clinical conditions that require short and long-term rehabilitation.
  • Identify and assess factors that place patient’s safety at risk and select appropriate interventions to minimize them
  • Collaborate with colleagues, health care providers and other professionals to assess and coordinate patient care.

 

Professionalism: Students must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles and sensitivity to a diverse patient population.

  • Recognize ethical and legal dilemmas in medicine and demonstrate commitment to ethical principles.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to the diversity of patient population, including, but not limited to differences in culture, social status, gender, sexual orientation and health beliefs.
  • Demonstrate understanding of and respect for the roles of other health care professionals.
  • Demonstrate honesty, integrity and respectful behavior in all interactions with patients and families, peers, preceptors, members of the healthcare team and others.
  • Demonstrate compassionate treatment of patients, respect and sensitivity for their privacy and dignity.
  • Recognize the threats posed by conflicts of interest and advocate for patients’ interest over one’s own
  • Demonstrate respect for patient’s autonomy in decision making.

The primary goal of the MD Program is to provide quality medical education. A strong foundation in the basic sciences is stressed so that students can obtain the most from their training in the clinical sciences.  It is mandatory that the students be fluent in both English and Spanish, (writing, reading, speaking and understanding) for Main Campus candidates.

Bachelor Degree (BS or BA)

Ordinarily, four years of undergraduate education are necessary to prepare for entrance into medical school; however, special programs (e.g., combined baccalaureate-M.D. programs) may allow this to be reduced. General education that includes the social sciences, history, arts and languages is increasingly important for the development of physician competencies outside of the scientific knowledge domain. Ponce Health Sciences University strongly suggests that applicants apply with a BA / BS completed at a college level institution accredited by the Council of Education of PR or by a US accrediting organization. Candidates that have completed the degree (BA / BS) will be given preference.

All MD program applicants must complete the following required coursework:

Course Title Credits
Biology I & II, with Laboratory 8
Chemistry I & II, with Laboratory 8
Organic Chemistry I & II, with Laboratory 8
Physics I & II, with Laboratory 8
Mathematics 6
Behavioral and Social Sciences*** 6
Spanish*,** 3
English* 3

Revised: December 18,2023

* The English and Spanish requisites are direct language classes (grammar or literature). For the English courses, classes from other departments described as “intensive writing” may be considered as substitute.  

**The Spanish credits are required for the Ponce Campus (Main Campus) only because PHSU’s partner hospitals and clinics in Ponce serve a predominantly Spanish speaking population.   The English and *Spanish requisites are direct language classes (grammar or literature). For the English courses, classes from other departments described as “intensive writing” may be considered as substitute. The Spanish credits are only required for the Ponce campus. 

*** Any of the following: Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science or Economics. 

In addition to the above requirements, we strongly recommend coursework in biochemistry, cellular biology, microbiology, genetics, statistics, as well as Liberal Arts and/or Humanities. 

All MD applicants must meet the following requirements to be considered eligible for admission to our Main Campus (Ponce) or St. Louis Campus: 

  • Minimum AMCAS Cumulative GPA of 2.7 (on a four-point scale).
    • [Historically, our average is 3.5.]
  • Minimum AMCAS BCPM GPA of 2.7 (on a four-point scale).
    • [Historically, our average is 3.3.]
  • Minimum MCAT score of 494 within first three (3) MCAT attempts, taken within the past five (5) years

IMMUNIZATIONS POLICY

Required Immunizations before admission:

  1. Tdap booster
  2. MMR (2 doses)
  3. Hepatitis B (3 doses)
  4. Varicella (2 doses)
  5. Polio (if under 21 years old)
  6. Flu shot (annual doses)

All applicants must submit an AMCAS application and a PHSU secondary application to select the PHSU-SOM campus for which they are applying to (Main Campus, Ponce OR St. Louis Campus). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis to determine eligibility and offer interview invitations. We follow the CDC reccomendations as they may change please refer to CDC to confirm.

 Upon acceptance, all students are required to submit the following:

  1. Written confirmation of acceptance and a deposit of $100.00 to secure your seat in the entering class.
  2. Evidence of up-to-date immunization certificate, including Hepatitis B, Influenza, and COVID 19.
  3. Puerto Rico Health Certificate or Quantifferon TB Test.
  4. Other documents will be notified as pertinent. 

     

Registration, orientation period, and commencement of classes take place in the second half of July.

 

INTERVIEWS

Interviews are conducted virtually in the Multiple Mini Interview format to support a holistic admissions process and evaluate premedical competencies that align with PHSU-SOM’s mission to train ethical professionals who provide compassionate, culturally competent health care and generate high impact research to reduce health disparities in the populations we serve in Puerto Rico and the US.

Interviews will be conducted in Spanish and English for applicants applying to the Main Campus (Ponce) and in English only for applicants applying to the St. Louis Campus.

 

LANGUAGE

Of note, all applicants to the Main Campus (Ponce) must be bilingual in English and Spanish to be eligible for admission to the MD Program, given that PHSU’s partner hospitals and clinics in Ponce serve a predominantly Spanish speaking population. A Language Assessment Evaluation may be required.

 

Selection Criteria

When evaluating MD program applicants, the MD Admissions Committee aims to select the most competitive applicants with integrity, maturity, service orientation, as well as leadership, and enthusiasm for working with others. Preference will be given to local residents for the Main Campus (Ponce), but US citizens from the mainland are also invited to apply.

Through a holistic admissions process, the MD Admissions Committee evaluates applicants considering the following premedical competencies and attributes:

  1. academic performance
  2. commitment to a career in medicine
  3. critical thinking
  4. cultural competency
  5. ethical responsibility
  6. humanism
  7. integrity and maturity
  8. language and communication skills
  9. leadership
  10. resilience and adaptability
  11. service orientation

Graduation Requirements

To receive the MD degree, every student must fulfill the following requirements: General Requirements
  1. Time Frame for Completion of the Academic Program
    • A medical student will be allowed a maximum time frame of two years of enrollment beyond the standard required to complete the program. Summer enrollment is considered part of the academic year for the measure.
    • The total years to complete the degree include those years accredited on admission to MD Program for transfer students.
Program Standard Maximum
Doctor of Medicine – Four-Year Program 4 years 6 years
  1. Completion of Program Requirements
    • Course Requirement
      • Students must complete all required courses, clerkships, and electives within the established time frame.
    • Performance Requirement
      • A student must pass each required course, clerkship, and elective. Any student failing to meet this performance standard will be referred to the Students Promotion Committee to determine the action to be taken.
    • Medical Licensure Exam Requirement
      • USMLE Step 1 must be taken and passed before beginning the clerkship phase of the curriculum. A passing score for USMLE Step 2 CK is required for graduation.
    • Professional Behavior Requirement
      • The students must conduct themselves following the norms for professional conduct set forth by Ponce Health Sciences University and the corresponding accreditation agencies.
    • Clinical Practice Examination (CPX)
      • All medical students must take and pass a Clinical Practice Examination (CPX) at the end of their first clinical academic year.
  1. The SOM Student Promotions Committee reviews students' cognitive and attitudinal aspects of performance to decide if student complies with graduation requirements.

USMLE Requirements

United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Policy This policy states the requirements and timeline established for Ponce Health Sciences University medical students for the USMLE examinations. The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for the MD Program establishes that six years is the maximum time to complete the entire academic program. Comprehensive Basic Sciences Examination
  1. All medical students must take the Comprehensive Basic Science Examination (CBSE), developed by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), as a USMLE Step 1 performance indicator in January and May.
  2. The test score will be used to assess the readiness of the student to pass the USMLE Step 1. A minimum score in the CBSE is required to be authorized to take the USMLE Step 1. The required minimum score is revised annually and announced to second-year students at the beginning of each academic year.
USMLE Step 1 The student applies to take the USMLE Step 1 through the Licensing Examination Services at the USMLE website and selects the eligibility period.
  1. Students who pass all pre-clerkship courses, and obtain the required minimum score in the NBME CBSE, must take and pass the USMLE Step 1 before beginning the clerkship phase of the curriculum.
  2. The student must take the USMLE Step 1 no later than July 10 to have the results before starting third-year clerkships. If a student fails the USMLE Step 1, the student must enroll in the PHSU Basic Science Review Course (SKD 091) to prepare to pass the USMLE Step 1.
  3. The student can only enroll to begin the clerkships during the official dates published by the Registrar's Office.
  4. Students have a maximum of three opportunities to pass the USMLE Step 1.
  5. Students cannot be enrolled in remedial courses for more than one year in preparation for passing the USMLE Step 1 or out of the regular medical program curriculum unless for an approved medical LOA.
  6. Students who fail the USMLE Step 1 for the third time or have been one year or more out of the regular medical program curriculum program will be referred to the Student Promotions Committee for consideration of dismissal from the Medicine Program.
  USMLE - Step 2
  1. All medical students must pass the USMLE Step 2-CK component as a requirement for graduation.
  2. It is strongly recommended that the students take the USMLE Step 2-CK no later than August 30 of the year they apply to residency programs so that the score is available when the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS) opens and the interviews for residency programs begin.
  3. Students must receive passing scores on the USMLE Step 2 CK by the annual deadline for their rank order lists to be verified by PHSU and be able to participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Without verification of graduation credentials by the medical school, students will not be able to participate in the match process.
  4. The last opportunity to take and pass the USMLE 2-CK examination to complete this graduation requirement with the May graduating class will be the last week of April of the corresponding graduation year.
Approved by Medicine Program Curriculum Committee: April 1st, 2023 Effective: July 1, 2023

Clinical Practice Examination

  1. All medical students are required to take and pass a Clinical Practice Examination (CPX) to be given at the end of their Third Academic Year.
  2. Written feedback concerning individual performance will be provided to each student.
  3. Students not meeting the acceptable level of performance will receive guided learning to overcome areas of low performance during one or more of the fourth year required clinical rotations. A modified version of the exam will be given after the completion of the guided learning experience.
  4. Satisfactory completion of this additional guided learning fulfills the requirement to pass this examination.

Grading System

The medicine program defines grades of courses based on the following system:
Grade Percentage Points
H 90-100 Honor
P 70-89 Pass
F 69 and below Fail
E Extended
I Incomplete
W Withdrawal
AW Administrative Withdrawal
R Repeated Modifier to another grade

The numerical grade obtained in each course may be included as part of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) that the SOM prepares as part of the requirements for application to residency programs.

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY

Implementation Date/ Effective Date AY 2023-2024
Last Reviewed/Update June 15, 2023
Approved by Executive and Policy Committee
Initially Approved July 2001

Medical Education (MD)

A Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy has been established to ensure that medical students complete the academic program within the acceptable time frame and the minimally accepted quality of performance. This policy also ensures that the Student Financial Aid requirements set forth by federal regulations have been met. The SAP applies to all medical students enrolled in the Ponce Health Sciences University School of Medicine. Student academic progress is evaluated twice each academic year by the SOM Students Promotion Committee, which determines whether students comply with promotion and graduation requirements. General Requirements
  1. Time Frame for completion of the Academic Program
  • A medical student will be allowed a maximum time frame of two years of enrollment beyond the standard required to complete the program. Summer enrollment is considered part of the academic year for the measure.
  • The total years to complete the degree include those years accredited on admission to MD Program for transfer students.
Program Standard Maximum
Doctor of Medicine – Four Year Program 4 years 6 years
  1. Completion of Program Requirements
    • Course Requirement
      • Students must complete all required courses, clerkships, and electives within the established time frame.
    • Performance Requirement
      • A student must pass each required course, clerkship and elective. Any student failing to meet this standard of performance will be referred to the Students Promotion Committee to determine the action to be taken.
    • Medical Licensure Exam Requirement
      • USMLE Step 1 must be taken and passed before beginning the clerkship phase of the curriculum. A passing score for USMLE Step 2 CK is required for graduation.
    • Professional Behavior Requirement
      • The students must conduct themselves in accordance with the norms for professional conduct set forth by the Ponce Health Sciences University and the corresponding accreditation agencies.
    • Clinical Practice Examination (CPX)
      • All medical students are required to take and pass a Clinical Practice Examination (CPX) at the end of their first clinical academic year.
    • Student Promotions Committee
      • The SOM Student Promotions Committee reviews students’ cognitive and attitudinal aspects of performance to decide if they can advance to the next academic year or graduate, in the case of senior medical students.
Grade Requirement The Ponce Health Sciences University Medical Program does not measure academic progress by cumulative grade point average. To graduate, the student should pass all required courses, clerkships, and electives. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed each semester. An Incomplete Grade could be assigned following the Institutional Incomplete Grade Policy. The student must complete the “I” (Incomplete) by the following semester, or an - “F” will be recorded for that course. The “I” (Incomplete) grades are part of the academic record, as are the final grades. Academic Probation Any student failing to meet Ponce Health Sciences University medical program performance requirement will be referred to the School of Medicine Students Promotion Committee and placed on academic and financial aid probation. The following guidelines will be applied:
  1. If the student fails one course, he/she should remediate the deficiency during the summertime. In these cases, an associate dean will notify the student that he/she is under academic probation and authorize summer enrollment.
  2. If the student fails two or more courses or fails a course a second time, he/she may be considered for either repetition of courses or dismissal.
  3. If the Students Promotion Committee determines that the student must repeat one or more courses during the summer or the next academic year, the student is considered on academic probation.
  4. If the Students Promotion Committee determines to dismiss the student from the medical program, the student must be informed about his/her right to appeal.
  5. If the dismissal decision is reversed by due process, the student will be considered on academic probation.
Appeal Process Students referred to the Student Promotions Committee (SPC) will be notified, stating the reasons for the referral and informing them about their right to be heard or provide information to the SPC. Course or clerkship directors should recuse themselves if the student being considered had an unsuccessful outcome in their course. Any Committee member who has a conflict of interest as having personal relations or providing health care to the students must also recuse themselves. Students who have been notified a decision of the SPC that they must repeat an entire year of study or are dismissed from the medical program have the right to request a reconsideration of the decision from the SPC within five working days of receiving the notification. The appeal or due process presented below must be followed. The student will request in writing a reconsideration of the decision to the School of Medicine Students Promotion Committee (SPC) and include all relevant documentation to support the request. The student has the right to attend and provide information about their case to the Committee. The Committee will evaluate the reasons and evidence submitted to determine if they change their initial decision. If the SPC sustains the adverse decision, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean of Medicine. The appeal must be submitted in writing within five working days of receiving the notification. The Dean of Medicine will evaluate the appeal and the student's academic record. The Dean can appoint a three-member Ad-Hoc Committee to re-evaluate all evidence. Rejection of the appeal by the Dean is final. The Ad Hoc committee will notify the student of the date and time when the case will be heard. The student has the right to attend and provide information about their case to the Ad- Hoc Committee. The Dean of Medicine will consider the Ad-Hoc Committee recommendation and make the final decision. Any decision will be reported to the student in writing. The decision made by the Dean of Medicine is final. During the appeal process, the student has the right to withdraw from the school at any time up to the point when the Dean makes the final decision. The same process described above will be followed in the case that the adverse decision made by the Committee is for non-academic reasons, such as unacceptable professional behavior. The Department Chairperson, the Associate Dean for Medical Education, or the Vice-President of Student Affairs will refer the case to the SPC. If the SPC recommends dismissing the student, the appeal process described above may be activated. If an adverse decision is made due to non-academic reason and the Dean of Medicine sustains the decision after the appeal process, the student may appeal to the Chancellor and then to the President. Financial Aid Eligibility Financial Aid eligibility is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress. Please refer to the institutional policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress published by the Office of Financial Aid. Enforcement The Office of the Executive Director of Student Affairs shall have primary responsibility for overseeing this policy and will provide all medical students a copy of this document upon admission to the Ponce Health Sciences University School of Medicine. The President, the Chancellor, the Vice President of Student Affairs, the Dean of Medicine, the Associate Dean for Medical Education, the Registrar, and the Financial Aid Director will receive all pertinent data to ensure proper enforcement of the policy here set forth. Rev. November 30, 2020 and February 16, 2021, December 12, 2022 by the Executive and Policy Committee of the School of Medicine

2023-2024 Cost of Attendance

For more details of PHSU tuition and fees please refer to: 2023-2024 Tuition & Fees and 2024 – 2025 Tuition & Fees

ALL TUITION AND FEES ARE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE REGISTRATION.

Ponce Health Sciences University reserve the right to increase the tuition or other fees as deemed necessary.

Ponce Health Sciences University is pleased that you have selected our institution to continue with your academic and professional goals. The Office of Student Financial Aid provides you with the information and tools to assist you in reaching educational goals. Please take your time to navigate through the various links we have provided and feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office if you need more information: psmfinstu@psm.edu  

 

Links for Federal Financial Aid Application Processes (External):

  • Get your FSA ID  – this is your electronic signature for all federal financial aid processes
  • Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online and add the PHSU federal school code: G24824
  • Complete the Federal Student Loan processes (Entrance & Exit Counseling, Master’s Promissory Note, etc.) (https://studentaid.gov/)
  • View Your Financial Aid History (if applicable to determine usage and available funds)

Important Links for PHSU application forms and manual

PHSU Financial Aid Loan Approval Requirements – click to access the forms – 

 

Click here to download your – Student Financial Aid Manual 

 

Federal Financial Aid Programs

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan: This is a low interest federal student loan that gains interest while the student is studying. Students who meet the requirements established by the U.S. Department of Education may receive a Direct Loan, according to the academic program.

Graduate and professional students are eligible to receive up to $20,500 per academic year. As an institution that participates in the HEAL Program, our Doctor in Medicine, Doctorate and PhD in Clinical Psychology, as well as certain Master’s Degree Programs may be eligible for an increased amount of unsubsidized loans per academic year. The amount is established by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Financial Aid Office provides orientation to explain student loans and the steps required to borrow, the specifics regarding interest rates, origination fees, loan repayment, etc. Borrower students must submit an agreement form known as a Master Promissory Note (MPN), and the Entrance Counseling, which teaches students about borrowing. For additional information regarding federal student loans, you may visit https://studentaid.gov/.

  • Direct Loan- Graduate PLUS Loan: This is a fixed-interest federal loan for graduate and professional students, beyond the Unsubsidized Direct Loan award, but cannot exceed the annual cost of attendance. The interest rate and origination fee, which is fixed annually by the Federal Government, begins to accrue from the date of the first disbursement. Repayment on Graduate PLUS loans may begin while the student is still attending. Graduate students must apply for this loan, which also includes a credit check. Upon approval, students must complete an Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note.
  • Private Loans (Alternative Loans): These are credit-based loans that may be used to supplement other types of financial aid programs. The loan amounts vary according to amount requested and approved for the student. The interest rate is variable, accrued while in school and usually based on the current “Prime Rate” plus a lender’s predetermined interest rate. Repayment may be up to 20 years. These Private Alternative Loans provide funds to complete the remaining need after the student is awarded other financial aid. Due to the high interest rate that these loans represent, the student should consider these loans as a last resource to their financial need. PHSU does not recommend any specific lender, the evaluation and selection is a student’s individualized decision.
  • Historical Private Lender List PHSU does not deny or otherwise impede the student’s choice of an alternative lender or cause unnecessary delay in loan certification of these loans. Below you will find the private loans that have been most commonly selected by our students during the last two academic years, however, we reiterate that the student may select any other lender they esteem will meet their financial need.

Other Financial Aid Options: 

 

Institutional Scholarships: PHSU is dedicated to supporting its students through their educational journey. Throughout the year, PHSU will offer students the opportunity to apply for different institutional scholarships. When applications become available, students will receive an email to their institutional emails with the requirements needed to apply with a link to the application. The same application will be available on the webpage.

 

External Scholarship Opportunities: PHSU is consistently searching for ways to financially support our students to help minimize student loan debt. We have a list of scholarship opportunities listed on our scholarship page that students may apply to on their own. Students are not limited to these scholarships and can apply to any scholarship they may find they qualify for.

 

For additional information regarding scholarships, you may contact the Financial Aid Office at psmfinstu@psm.edu.

 

Military Scholarship Programs: Students interested in a military career may consider applying for one of the scholarships programs for healthcare professions offered by the US Army, the US Air Force, Navy, or the National Guard. Some branches may offer full-ride scholarships, in addition to monthly stipends and sign on bonuses. For students who chose this route you must contact the desired program:

Financial Aid Direct Loan Requirements: 

Graduate students interested in applying for a Direct Loan must comply with the following requirements:

  1. Be a US Citizen or an Eligible Non-Citizen.
  2. Have a valid social security number.
  3. Enroll in an eligible program as a regular student working towards a graduate degree.
  4. Meet satisfactory academic progress standards.
  5. Certify that are not in default on a federal student loan and that do not owe money on a federal student grant.
  6. Students cannot exceed the aggregate loan limit established by the Department of Education.
  7. Comply with the Entrance Interview/Counseling.
  8. Provide all the documents and information required by the Financial Aid.

Awarding and Notification The next step is the awarding of financial aid by PHSU and preparing the award offer notification for the student. Once the awarding process is completed, a Notification of Award is sent to each student. 

 

Return Policy and Requirement for Withdrawal and Return of Federal Financial Aid (see PHSU catalog refund policy section)

 

Financial Literacy Courses:

 

PHSU has collaborated with the company Inceptia who supports our students with free smart borrowing courses along with repayment guidance and budgeting courses as well. To enroll in these courses, you must create an account. Follow the steps below.

Financial Aid Education Portal: You must select “Find My School”, choose state: Puerto Rico, and city; Ponce, then select “Ponce Health Sciences University”. Proceed to set up your account. To encourage smart borrowing, we recommend taking one of the following courses: COLLEGE AND MONEY or PSYCHOLOGY OF MONEY. PSHU will receive a report of those students accessing this site.

How To Apply

Application Process

Ponce Health Sciences University participates in the centralized application service provided by the American Medical Colleges Application Service (AMCAS), a division of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The electronic web-based application is available at: www.aamc.org

The AMCAS application deadline is DECEMBER 31 of the year prior to the requested admission date. A secondary application is also required for PHSU’s School of Medicine, due by January 15th. (For more information Click Here) . The following documents will be requested after the AMCAS application is received.

  • 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. Letters must be submitted through AMCAS.
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended.
  • US $90 non-refundable application processing fee.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Essay

An AMCAS criminal background check will be conducted once the applicant is accepted. If a positive criminal record appears, the acceptance will be revoked.

Upon acceptance, all students are required to submit the following:

  • Written confirmation of acceptance and a deposit of $100.00 to secure your seat in the entering class.
  • Physical Exam results.
  • Evidence of up to date immunization certificate.
  • Other documents will be notified as pertinent.

(Contact: admissions@psm.edu)

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Thank you for inquiring into
 Ponce Health Sciences University 
for your education

We are working on providing you with an improved and updated application experience. You will soon receive information about the launch of our new application portal for the 2023-24 academic year

For MD Secondary Application click HERE