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.
Fall 2020 & Spring 2021 CR/NC Policy Heading link
UIC will return to the regular grading policy beginning in Summer 2021. This means that beginning with the Summer 2021 term, D grades will no longer be converted to CR and F grades will no longer be converted to NC. Grades of D and F will again be factored into your GPA.
Considerations regarding the Undergraduate Grading Policy Modifications for Fall 2020 Courses and Extension of Grading Policy to Spring 2021.
The Spring 2020 CR/NC policy and information from specific health professions programs may be found further down on this page. LAS students who have general questions about the CR/NC changes are encouraged to read through the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 Undergraduate Grading Policy FAQs put together by LAS Academic Advising.
- Individual health professions programs will make final determinations on whether they will accept CR grades for prerequisite courses. If requested by a health professions program, Pre-Health Advising will submit a letter for applicants regarding the various CR/NC credit policies for Spring 2020 and Fall 2020/Spring 2021 semesters.
- If you receive a CR grade in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 in a pre-requisite course (such as biology or chemistry, for example) and are able to move onto the next course in a later semester, expect that any health professions program that you apply to will pay additional attention to grades in courses in the same subject area completed both before and after the CR grade.
- Per the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 policy a CR grade will not be accepted to fulfill a prerequisite course if a C or higher is required. This holds for LAS students who wish to take KN 251/252 at UIC. A grade a C or better in BIOS 110 is required as the prerequisite for KN 251/252. A grade of CR in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 will not be sufficient to fulfill this requirement.
- A grade of NC will not be reflected in your UIC GPA. When applying to a health profession program, you will need to list these grades in your application as they will appear on your transcript. In many cases (though not guaranteed and subject to change at any time), the NC will also not affect the GPA as calculated by the individual health professions application services. Again, this can vary by health profession application service and you should check the instruction manual in the year that you plan to apply to see how NC grades may be utilized.
- NC grades will be visible to the health professions programs that you are applying to on your transcript and you should be prepared to answer any questions or concerns about them. You are welcome to make an appointment with a Pre-Health Advisor if you would like to discuss what to cover or how to address any NC grades.
Pre-Health Advising Appointments Heading link
Pre-Health advising appointments are available!
Pre-Health Advising is now offering both in-person and virtual advising appointments via Zoom. Continue to schedule an appointment in the normal manner via iAdvise. Look for the location in the iAdvise appointment when you schedule to determine your location options.
Drop-Ins have been discontinued as we are better able to answer quick, short questions by email and open more appointment spots on drop-in days.. Currently, appointments have been available; you may need to look beyond the current week to find open appointment spots. Advisors open new appointment times every Friday afternoon for two weeks in the future.
Volunteering in the time of COVID-19 Heading link
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.
- SLCE COVID-19 Service Opportunities
- UIC Student Leadership and Civic Engagement (SLCE) Service Portal
- UIC SLCE Co-Curricular Leadership Certificate
- From the NAAHP – Pre-Health Opportunities and Ideas
- Crisis Text Line (requires 30 hours of training)
- Greater Chicago Food Depository is in need of volunteers in person
- CommunityHealth is in need of Spanish and Polish speakers to volunteer as remote medical interpreters.
- Meals on Wheels – Joliet and Monee in particular are in need of volunteers to deliver meals. Meals on Wheels Chicago also has volunteer opportunities.
Virtual Shadowing Opportunities Heading link
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.
Links for Virtual Shadowing Opportunities Heading link
CR/NC Policy Heading link
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.
AHS - Health Information Management
updated 11/20/2020 – no additional changes
Pre-requisite courses that were originally offered in an online format (KN 253/KN 254) are strongly encouraged to remain graded for a letter grade.
For other courses pre-requisite courses, a letter grade is encouraged, though CR will be accepted. If a CR grade is recorded, additional attention will be paid to grades from previous and following semesters.
AHS - Human Nutrition/Coordinated Program
BS in Nutrition Science: Students interested in applying to the Nutrition Science program are encouraged to maintain a grade for their prerequisite courses. For specific questions, please reach out to Kirsten Straughan, Director of Nutrition Science Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AHS - Occupational Therapy (MS in OT)
The MS in OT program does prefer that students receive letter grades for their 6 prerequisite courses.
Courses with a grade of CR (credit), S (satisfactory) or P (pass) will be accepted if regular grades are not available. If students get a grade below a B in a prerequisite, they can submit a supplemental statement explaining the circumstances, as instructed in the OTCAS application. The admissions committee will consider the lower grade in the context of their earlier and later grades. Students who feel their grade was affected by the move to online classes in spring or summer can also retake the course in the fall if needed, and the fall grade will be considered as a potential replacement for the online course grade.
If students accepted to the program earn a grade of CR, S or P in an anatomy course, or take an online anatomy lab, they may be required to take the OT-only cadaver lab at UIC concurrent with OT courses. COVID-19 considerations are also posted on the “Before You Apply” section of the website.
Shadowing/observation hours: If you are unable to complete volunteer or observation hours, do not let that deter you from applying to UIC’s program. While 50 hours of OT observation is a recommended minimum, UIC does not require a minimum number of hours. See the Before you Apply section of the website for more suggestions or participate in the Virtual OT shadowing options linked higher up on this page.
AHS - Physical Therapy (DPT)
Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory courses: While graded prerequisites are preferred, credit only courses will be accepted for spring and summer 2020 courses.
Online and/or distance learning courses:
- Spring 2020: Science courses that began in 2020 with in-person labs, but were completed with online labs, will fulfill prerequisite requirements.
- Summer 2020: Online 2020 summer courses, including science labs, will fulfill prerequisite courses.
- Fall 2020 and Spring 2021: In-person labs are strongly preferred, especially for Anatomy and Physiology. If COVID prevents that possibility, however, online labs will be accepted.
GRE: The new at-home GRE testing being offered by ETS will be accepted in place of in-person exams. More information on the home GRE testing is available on the ETS website.
Interviews: Interviews will be scheduled and held over video-conferencing after your application is in VERIFIED status on PTCAS.
Transcripts: In the event official transcripts cannot be sent to PTCAS, unofficial transcripts will be accepted for application processing and verification only. Official transcripts will be required upon final offer or prior to matriculation.
PT shadowing/observation hours: While 40 hours of observation is a preferred minimum, with a written request, UIC will consider waiving that requirement, and the PT verification of shadowing experiences for the 2020 application cycle.
Other exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please include specific considerations in the PTCAS question about the impact of COVID-19. Please review the Before You Apply page for most up-to-date changes to policy.
College of Dentistry
The UIC College of Dentistry will accept CR/NC in place of grades for the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 terms.
We have recently learned that the UIC College of Dentistry will not accept virtual shadowing to fulfill their dental shadowing requirements. They have reduced their shadowing hour requirement to 50 hours (instead of 100 hours) of shadowing for the current admission cycle and in anticipation of the dental admission cycle opening in Summer 2021. However, shadowing hours must be done in person.
Please note: if you are approaching your application cycle we recommend that you reach out to schools that you are most interested in applying to check on their individual policies regarding CR/NC grades.
College of Medicine
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine will accept CR/NC grades for the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2020 terms. Because of their holistic review process, they will look closely at grades/coursework in other semesters that were completed with a grade.
Pre-Health Advising is hearing from many medical schools that they will accept CR/NC grades for Spring 2020. However, it is always a case-by-case basis. If you are nearing your application cycle, you should always check in with the schools that you are most interested in regarding their policies.
College of Nursing
The UIC College of Nursing strongly prefers that students retain a letter grade for their pre-requisite courses in Spring 2020 and Fall 2020.
If you plan on applying to multiple nursing programs, we recommend that you should always check in with the schools that you are most interested in regarding their policies for the Spring 2020 semester as each school will determine their own policies for CR/NC grades.
College of Pharmacy
CR grades for courses taken in Spring and Summer 2020 will be accepted to fulfill the pharmacy prerequisite courses.
A letter from the UIC College of Pharmacy to Pre-Pharmacy students:
On behalf of the UIC College of Pharmacy, we want to wish you well as you navigate all of the changes going on in your world and the world at large. It is our hope that you are staying safe, healthy, and remaining connected with those near and dear to your heart. We hope that this situation has not halted your passion of service within the healthcare field, as we see now more than ever before how these heroes make such a large and important impact in times of uncertainty.
The need to have our applicants feel safe and supported in their own social distancing procedures put in place by academic and governmental institutions nationwide is of utmost importance to us. We are dedicated to figuring out ways to best serve our applicants in these challenging and unprecedented times. The cancellation of upcoming PCAT dates, as well as undergraduate universities and colleges changing grading criteria, made it essential for us to reevaluate our admissions criteria. To meet the needs of our outstanding applicants, the following changes were implemented for remainder of the current Fall 2020 application cycle.
- No PCAT – Applicants without PCAT scores will be reviewed and considered for Fall 2020 admission.
- PharmCAS Application Deadline Extended – The UIC College of Pharmacy PharmCAS application deadline has been extended to July 1, 2020 [for students applying for Fall 2020 entry].
- Prerequisite Courses – The following changes have been implemented for prerequisite courses:
- CR (credit) or P (pass) grades in prerequisite courses taken during the Spring and Summer 2020 will be accepted.
- C- grades in prerequisite courses will be accepted and will not need to be repeated.
- Summer 2020 prerequisite courses, including online courses, will be accepted.
UIC Pharmacy will accept “CR” – Credit courses taken spring and summer 2020 for future admissions cycles as well.
UIC Pharmacy is considering eliminating the PCAT as a requirement for future admissions cycles as well but this is not confirmed. Unfortunately, we may not have this until earl/mid summer. I recommend, that you contact me or wait before you register to take the PCAT.
It is our hope that these immediate changes will best support you as you work through this new and temporary normal. We are here to support you every step of the way!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at PharmD@uic.edu.
Also, I would be happy to assist you and we could set up a meeting either by phone or online to discuss your questions. Please schedule an appointment.
Best regards and stay safe,
Director of Student Affairs – Chicago
College of Pharmacy
Office of Student Affairs
The University of Illinois at Chicago
833 S. Wood St, Rm 154 (MC 874)
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 355-3398 (p)
(312) 413-0106 (f)
UIC Pharmacy will accept CR/NC grades from any applicant during this time (spring and summer 2020).
School of Public Health
UIC’s Bachelor’s in Public Health program will be accepting CR/NC grades for all pre-requisite courses (including the 100-level PUBH classes) for the Spring 2020 semester.
The ICT application is available to UIC students online and the application deadline has been extended to May 15, 2020. They are also currently waiving letters of recommendation as well to make the application process easier for students.
Midwestern University's Health Professions Programs
Midwestern University’s health professions programs are each making individual decisions regarding CR/NC grades for their colleges. Because our CR grade will cover a “D” grade, it makes it more complicated. At this time, they are recommending that students keep a grade in their prerequisite courses. They encourage students to reach out to their admission office if there are further questions. The general admission email is email@example.com.