Pre-Health Advising is working to keep up with changes to how COVID-19 is affecting applications to health professions programs, mandatory standardized tests, and other programs. Below is a running list of links to various organizations and updates on information a we know it. As always, UIC students and alumni should reach out to Pre-Health Advising for an appointment or with questions or concerns. More programming will be coming to you via webinar and online resources throughout the rest of this semester as well.

Pre-Health Advising Appointments

Pre-Health advising appointments are available!

All appointments will be held online until further notice. Continue to schedule an appointment in the normal manner via iAdvise. Once it is scheduled, you will receive an email from your advisor with your virtual meeting location link.

Drop-Ins 

Drop-Ins have been discontinued while advising has been moved online. Currently, appointments have been available and are open within 1-3 days.

Volunteering in the time of COVID-19

We in Pre-Health Advising want to make sure to acknowledge that the world is turned upside down right now. In no way should you feel guilty or forced to volunteer; especially if you are already working hard to manage all of your needs plus academics.

If you find yourself wishing to help or wanting to get involved, UIC does have some resources/suggestions available. Volunteer in ways that feel good and useful to you during this time. See the link below for some options.

Virtual Shadowing Opportunities

We have heard from a number of health professions programs that they understand the difficulty that students are having getting health care experience during the pandemic. Many are indicating that they will at least consider virtual shadowing and other options as one component of gaining exposure to health care during this time. We have found some options available (currently free of charge) for students below. If you know of others, please feel free to inform us at LASprehealth@uic.edu. We will only list as virtual shadowing opportunities those options that provide a certification for students. For other multimedia options that provide exposure to healthcare but do not provide a certification, please see the section on a Broader Exposure to Health Care (coming soon).

Because of the very new nature of these programs, Pre-Health Advising at UIC cannot comment on or guarantee the quality of the options.

Standardized Testing Updates

We will update known information about standardized testing here. If no information is known, we’ll indicate that under each exam.

DAT Updates

updated 4/14/2020

The DAT is taken/administered through Prometric at Prometric Testing Centers. Currently, Prometric has temporarily closed testing centers starting March 18. Prometric is stating they will have a planned resumption of testing on May 1st. This may vary by state and be subject to state stay-at-home orders, so please use caution when scheduling your DAT.

Individuals with an existing appointment to take the DAT should have received instructions on how to reschedule. There are no rescheduling fees during this time. If you had a test scheduled and did not receive notification from Prometric, please reach out to them directly.

You may find updates at the Prometric Corona Virus update site.

GRE Updates

Given the global nature of the GRE, ETS  has canceled tests in some locations. In the Chicago area, you can register for a test at one of the GRE testing centers. However, we recommend that students wishing to take the GRE consider their new At Home Testing for the GRE General Test. There are certain technology requirements and the test is proctored online by a trained human proctor during the entire test to maintain test security. The At Home Testing will otherwise be identical in test format, content, on-screen experience, and scoring to the GRE General Test taken at the test center. Learn more about the At Home GRE test and how to register.

If your GRE has been postponed or canceled, you should have received an email. ETS is currently waiving all rescheduling fees. Please follow along with the GRE updates at the ETS Corona Virus updates page.

MCAT Updates

updated 5/6/2020

  • Registration for the MCAT re-opens on May 7th. Please read the pre-registration information if you plan to try to register on May 7th.
  • The MCAT has reduced seat time to accommodate three test seatings per test date. Review COVID-19 Changes to the MCAT for details on what the shorted exam time means.

updated 4/28/2020

  • Registration will open on May 7th for the updated 2020 testing calendar. Three dates have been added: June 28, September 27, and September 28.
  • Each testing date will have three test appointments per day at test centers. Standard start times will be 6:30 AM, 12:15 PM, and 6 PM each testing day.
  • The exam has been temporarily shortened to 5 hours and 45 minutes by removing some field test questions and administrative items, including the tutorial. MCAT has replaced the tutorial with an open access interactive tool on the MCAT Preparation Hub. We recommend that you practice with this feature before your exam.
  • Content on the exam has not changed and it will be neither harder nor easier. Students will still be tested on all 4 sections and will receive 5 scores: one score for each subsection and one combined total score.
  • For exams taken between June 19th and August 1st, MCAT scores will be reported within about 2 weeks (rather than 4 weeks) to allow applicants to include MCAT scores in their applications earlier in the cycle.
  • Multiple health and safety measures will be implemented at the test centers when MCAT testing resumes, including social distancing practices.
  • All rescheduling fees have been waived for all exam dates for the 2020 MCAT testing year until further notice.

updated 4/13/2020

  • The May 9, 15, 16, and 21 MCAT exams have been cancelled globally. If you were scheduled for one of these test dates, you should have received an email with more information. In the meantime, your test appointment will be placed on hold this week.

The AAMC has an MCAT COVID-19 FAQ page with more information.

Pearson VUE administers the MCAT exam. See the Pearson VUE FAQ for more general exam information.

OAT Updates

The OAT is taken/administered through Prometric at Prometric Testing Centers. Currently, Prometric has temporarily closed testing centers starting March 18. Prometric is stating they will have a planned resumption of testing on May 1st. This may vary by state and be subject to state stay-at-home orders, so please use caution when scheduling your OAT.

Individuals with an existing appointment to take the OAT should have received instructions on how to reschedule. There are no rescheduling fees during this time. If you had a test scheduled and did not receive notification from Prometric, please reach out to them directly.

You may find updates at the Prometric Corona Virus update site.

PCAT Updates

updated 4/14/2020

The April 2-3 PCAT exams have been canceled. Registration will open May 4, 2020 for the July 2020, September 2020, and January 2021 exams. 

Currently all Pearson VUE testing enters have been temporarily closed. If you had an exam scheduled, you should have received an email notification. Refunds are being processed by PCAT Customer Relations so that you may register at a later date. The next scheduled PCAT is in July 2020; there is no specific commentary, but replacing the April PCAT does not look to be in consideration at this time.

Please visit the Pearson VUE PCAT website or Pearson VUE FAQs for more updates.

Health Professions Application Services

Find information about how application services are handling COVID-19. Any unknown information will be noted as such.

MD - AMCAS Updates

updated 5/6/2020

AMCAS has created a Guidance on Grading and Transcript Notations  in the AMCAS Application to help applicants understand the potential impacts of alternative grading policies (i.e. CR/NC). You can use this resource to calculate your GPA and understand how any classes that you may have chosen to take CR/NC could affect your GPA in AMCAS.

updated 4/20/2020

2020-2021 Applicants: The AMCAS application will open as planned on May 4. However, the transmission date (the date AMCAS releases verified applications to medical schools) has been delayed by two weeks from June 26 to July 10. They believe this will give applicants additional time to complete their application. Application processing and verification is not expected to be affected by these changes. From mid-June through August, expect it to take 4-5 weeks from the date that you submit your application for AMCAS to verify your application. Only verified applications are released to medical schools.

Pre-Health Advising always strongly recommends that students applying to AMCAS submit their primary application no later than July 4th of their application year. Students who plan to submit their application substantially after this date may want to consider waiting until the following application cycle.

updated 4/14/2020

2020-2021 Applicants: AMCAS will not include a question about the impact of COVID-19 on the AMCAS application. Medical schools that would like additional information have been encouraged to include this in their secondary application.

updated 4/13/2020

Please see the MCAT information in the tab group above for information about MCAT dates and potential for new dates. MCAT updates will be listed there; all AMCAS application information will be updated here.

updated 4/1/2020

The Fee Assistance Program is working remotely and modifying some operations. See the FAP Coronavirus FAQs for more information.

Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is currently in normal operating status. The SHPEP National Programming Office has decided to forgo on-site programming and is currently exploring other options. Check the SHPEP website for more information.

Please see the links below for the most up-to-date information:

DO - AACOMAS Updates

updated 4/13/2020

The following questions were shared to pre-health advisors by AACOM. They are new optional COVID-19 questions that have been added to the AACOMAS application for this upcoming cycle (opening in May 2020).

  • Did your school move to offering only online curriculum during the COVID-19 crisis?
  • Did you have an opportunity to receive a letter grade for any of your courses taken during the COVID-19 crisis?
  • The third question is an open response essay question prompting applicants to describe how COVID-19 has impacted their pathway to medical school. The question is open ended and allows applicants up to 2500 characters to describe any academic, personal, financial, or professional barriers that COVID-19 may have presented.

updated 4/10/2020

Continue to find updates at the AACOMAS COVID-19 Resource page.

Letter to Future DO Applicants from AACOMAS:

Dear Future Applicant,

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), our Board of Deans, and our nation’s 36 osteopathic medical schools recognize that these unprecedented times have impacted your path toward medical school in numerous ways. As we focus on the health of our nation, it is important to ensure the next generation of doctors are given clear guidance for application and acceptance into medical school. Osteopathic physicians across the country have risen to the occasion during this pandemic. We are honored that you seek to join them in providing individual, holistic, patient-centered care while bravely serving our nation in this time of crisis.

Congruent with our philosophy, AACOMAS participating schools intend to adapt their application review process to the following to mitigate the many obstacles you may face:
-Accept all pass/fail/satisfactory/unsatisfactory coursework, regardless of whether your school required this, including pre-requisite coursework in the context of your entire academic history
– Accept all online coursework, including laboratory credits
– Review your application without all required laboratory coursework, if you can demonstrate that your institution was unable to provide these courses due to COVID-19; proof of completion may later be required
– Review your application and extend interview invitations prior to receiving your MCAT score, by evaluating experiences, academic metrics, and attributes that you have demonstrated in your application. In some instances, our colleges will accept you without MCAT scores, but many will await required MCAT scores before extending an offer to join a class
– Consider reducing the required number of health care experience hours and other extracurricular experiences you planned to complete
– Most of our schools will continue to require a letter of recommendation from a physician (DO or MD)

If you plan to take an MCAT exam, please ensure you are currently registered for an upcoming exam and indicate your planned MCAT date in your AACOMAS application. We encourage you to apply early and when ready without MCAT scores. As in previous application cycles, AACOMAS does not delay the delivery of your application without MCAT scores.

If any of your institutions cannot provide official transcripts due to this pandemic, the AACOMAS application will provide an exception process for you to get your application verified and delivered to the colleges you select in your AACOMAS application. Keep in mind that our colleges will require official transcripts when operations resume at your previously attended institutions.

It would add value to your AACOMAS application to answer the COVID-19 essay that will be presented to you. This is your opportunity to highlight how you have dealt with and shown perseverance during this pandemic.

We encourage you to continue to apply early and when ready. Now more than ever, our communities need physicians that are willing to face uncertainty. We wish you the best of luck in your journey to enter the field of medicine.

Best, Robert A. Cain, DO, FACOI, FAODME
AACOM President & Chief Executive Officer

updated 3/30/2020

AACOMAS Application/School Information updates: If you scroll down on the AACOM Coronavirus Resources for Applicants & Advisors page, you will find school specific responses to COVID-19 challenges. This includes information about virtual interviews for applicants currently in the application process to DO Letter requirements for the application to whether schools will accept CR/NC grades for prerequisite courses.

AACOMAS has added a question to the 2020-2021 application (opening this summer for Fall 2021 start) prompting applicants to describe how COVID-19 has impacted their pathway to medical school. The question is opened ended and allows applicants up to 2,500 characters to describe any academic, personal, financial, or professional barriers that COVID-19 may be presenting.

You can find blog posts and more information on the AACOM Coronavirus Resources for Applicants & Advisors page.

Please see the Liaison Application Service tab for questions about the Centralized Application Service and/or how your application services may be affected.

Please see the links below for the most up-to-date information:

Liaison Application Service updates

updated 4/1/2020

All health professions programs that utilize a centralized application system (CAS) except MD/AMCAS use Liaison as their application system provider.

From Liaison:

  • All CAS service staff are working remotely and able to assist applicants as usual.
  • All CAS application services are operating as expected/per usual.

Please see the links below for the most up-to-date information. An updated FAQ section has been added.

Dental AADSAS Updates

updated 4/22/2020

The AADSAS Application has added a new open-ended question to allow you to explain/discuss any impact COVID-19 has had on your preparation to apply to dental school in summer 2020. Each dental school will decide how responses to this question will be considered as a part of their admission process. 

You are encouraged to consider how COVID-19 has affected your academic, professional, and/or personal experiences as you answer this question. AADSAS offers some questions for you to consider as you formulate a response.

 

updated 4/14/2020

A chart is available with information on CR/NC grade policies for individual dental schools (note: not all dental schools are included as this was a voluntary/quickly pulled together document).

2020 AADSAS Applicants (have submitted an application for Fall 2020 start): No changes to timelines or application processes.

2021 AADSAS Applicants (planning to submit an application in Summer 2020 for Fall 2021 start): No changes; anticipated to open as scheduled on May 12, 2020.

Please see the Liaison Application Service tab for questions about the Centralized Application Service and/or how your application services may be affected.

Please see the links below for the most up-to-date information:

Occupational Therapy Updates

There are no updates on the OTCAS or OATA websites regarding the either the 2020 or 2021 OTCAS application cycles. Information is subject to change quickly.

Please see the Liaison Application Service tab for questions about the Centralized Application Service and/or how your application services may be affected.

Please see the links below for the most up-to-date information:

Optometry Updates

updated 4/14/2020

At this time, OptomCAS plans to continue processing applications without interruption.

Many optometry schools have made changes to application requirements and/or deadlines in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check the websites of the schools that you have applied to for specific details about any changes. Some data has been gathered in a chart by OptomCAS for students (note: not all schools are listed).

Please see the Liaison Application Service tab for questions about the Centralized Application Service and/or how your application services may be affected.

Please see the link below for the most up-to-date information:

Pharmacy Application Updates

updated 4/1/2020

Please see the UIC College of Pharmacy information in the page above dated April 13, 2020 for specific information about changes to the 2019-2020 application cycle and process.

2020 PharmCAS Applicants (have submitted an application for Fall 2020 start): PharmCAS has modified its 2019-2020 cycle dates to better accomodate students and schools.

  • If you are interested in applying to a program but will have difficulty meeting the application deadline, please contact the institution to request a deadline extension.
  • Interviews are expected to move to a virtual format. Dress appropriately and double check what shows in your background! If you cannot participate in a virtual interview, contact the admission office as soon as possible.
  • PharmCAS will soon begin to accept unofficial transcripts from applicants in the current 2019-2020 cycle who are unable to obtain official transcripts due to campus closures or registrar office delays. Official transcripts should be sent if they are available. For those who submit need to submit unofficial transcripts, an official transcript will eventually be required.

2021 PharmCAS Applicants (planning to submit an application for Fall 2021 start): No changes; anticipated to open as scheduled on July 14, 2020.

Please see the Liaison Application Service tab for questions about the Centralized Application Service and/or how your application services may be affected.

Please see the links below for the most up-to-date information:

Physical Therapy Updates

updated 4/1/2020

PTCAS has issued recommendations to DPT programs for a number of areas affecting students/applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please review the recommendations, but also check with the individual schools you are interested in applying to for their school specific policies.

2019-2020 Application Cycle (have submitted an application for Fall 2020 start): PTCAS remains open and functioning at full capacity. You should see no interruptions to service.

2020-2021 Application Cycle (applying in Summer 2020 for Fall 2021 start): PTCAS remains scheduled to open on June 17, 2020.

Please see the Liaison Application Service tab for questions about the Centralized Application Service and/or how your application services may be affected.

Please see the links below for the most up-to-date information:

Physician Assistant (PA) CASPA Updates

updated 4/14/2020

A chart is available with information on CR/NC grade policies for individual PA schools (note: not all PA programs are included as this was a voluntary/quickly pulled together document).

There are no updates on the CASPA or PAEA websites regarding the either the 2020 or 2021 CASPA application cycles. Information is subject to change quickly.

Please see the Liaison Application Service tab for questions about the Centralized Application Service and/or how your application services may be affected.

Please see the links below for the most up-to-date information:

Podiatric Medical School (AACPMAS)

updated 4/1/2020

A statement from the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine to the National Association for Advisors of the Health Professions:

The AACPM, and the nine colleges of podiatric medicine it represents, recognize the extraordinary situation current and future students are experiencing during the COVID19 pandemic. If you have found that your previous pathway to a physician discipline has been disrupted during this extraordinary COVID19 pandemic, we wish to reassure you that your new pathway will be recognized and honored as “special circumstances beyond your control.” We are taking action to offer current and future applicants the appropriate accommodations to alleviate fears and concerns during this application cycle. We are all in this together.

The AACPM is suspending, in part, its current Traffic Rules to mitigate requirements for the following:

  • Official MCAT. The colleges have agreed to temporarily waive Item II.5 of the AACPMAS Traffic Rules for the remainder of the application cycle, which states “Schools and colleges will not take final admissions action, including a request for deposit or a matriculation agreement, prior to the receipt of an official MCAT (or DAT) standardized test score. An official score is accepted only through the AACPMAS program.”

If your spring MCAT (or DAT) has been cancelled, this means the school or college now has the prerogative to modify testing requirements for you. Each school or college will provide you with their specific modifications. Additionally, the AACPM and its colleges of podiatric medicine wish to confirm the following:

  • 1. Acceptance of online and/or distance learning prerequisites: all schools and colleges will accept Spring 2020 prerequisites that are delivered via online or distance learning.
  • 2. Courses taken as Pass/No Pass: all schools and colleges will accept Spring 2020 prerequisites that are graded Pass/No Pass
  • 3. In-person Interviews: Interviews may now be conducted via video-conference technology or other acceptable means.

While the AACPM is a resource for you during the application process, we do encourage you to reach out to the schools and colleges of podiatric medicines’ offices of admissions for additional guidance on starting or completing an application. Contact information for each college can be found here: https://www.aacpm.org/colleges/.

Please see the Liaison Application Service tab for questions about the Centralized Application Service and/or how your application services may be affected.

Please see the links below for the most up-to-date information:

Veterinary Medicine (VMCAS)

updated 4/1/2020

2019-2020 Application Cycle (submitted application for Fall 2020 start):

  • All established deadlines remain in effect. If you have been affected by COVID-19 and wish to appeal a deadline you may do so in the appeals form.
  • VMCAS is functioning as normal and is on schedule.

2020-2021 Application Cycle (applying in Summer 2020 for Fall 2021 start):

  • The 2020-2021 AAVMC VMCAS application cycle is open and you may begin working on your application.
  • Application submission is expected to begin on May 12, 2020 and end on September 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST.

Please see the Liaison Application Service tab for questions about the Centralized Application Service and/or how your application services may be affected.

Please see the links below for the most up-to-date information:

CR/NC Policy

Spring 2020 CR/NC Policy & Considerations for Pre-Health Programs

With the new undergraduate CR/NC policy just released, Pre-Health Advising is working to find out as much information as possible regarding how pre-requisite courses for your health professions educational goal will be affected if covered with a CR/NC.

At this time, we are recommending that students keep a letter grade for the courses that are required for their health professions programs. You have until April 29, 2020 to make a decision regarding CR/NC, so it may be worthwhile to engage in your online courses right now as though you plan to earn a letter grade. However, this is subject to change as we learn more and we will update below as information becomes known. Please check back for updates regularly.

Unless otherwise stated, all health professions programs listed below are UIC specific.