Admissions Information

white coats with student physician patches on sleeves

 

Overview

The philosophy of the curriculum leading to the Doctor of Medicine degree is to impart the fundamental knowledge upon which medicine is based. The basic objective is to prepare students so that after further specialized training they may follow a variety of careers in the private practice of medicine, teaching, research, medical education or medical administration.

The Committee on Admissions is charged with the final responsibility for selecting students with superior academic, personal, and moral attributes who have demonstrated a strong motivation for the study of medicine and who show by other measures a strong promise to develop into competent physicians. The committee is charged with the responsibility of selecting the best qualified students without regard to age, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or gender, a selection that is not influenced by political or financial factors.

Detailed information on admission to the College of Medicine can be found at
southalabama.edu/colleges/com/futurestudents.

 

▼   Preparation for the Study of Medicine

Preparation for the Study of Medicine

Since the medical profession needs individuals with a wide range of talents and academic backgrounds, both science and nonscience majors will be considered. Ninety (90) semester hours from an accredited college or university are required, and a Baccalaureate degree is preferred.

The following required college courses (including laboratory work) must be completed prior to matriculation and must be completed at an accredited college or university in the United States.

  • General Chemistry with Lab: Two semesters or three quarters.

  • Biology with Lab: Two semesters or three quarters.

  • Mathematics (Calculus is recommended): Two semesters or three quarters.

  • Organic Chemistry with Lab: Two semesters or three quarters.

  • Physics with Lab: Two semesters or three quarters.

  • Humanities: Two semesters or three quarters.

  • English Composition or Literature: Two semesters or three quarters.

The following courses are recommended, but not required: Biochemistry (may substitute for Organic Chemistry II), Psychology, Computer Science and Genetics.

Preparation in foreign universities must be supplemented by one or more years of work in an approved college of arts and sciences or institute of technology listed in the current directory of Accredited Institutions of Post-Secondary Education published by the American Council on Education.

▼   The Application Process

The Application ProcessMedical students seated in classroom

All applicants are required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and apply to medical school through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).

AMCAS begins accepting applications on June 1 of each year. Completed applications and all materials, including official transcripts, must be submitted to AMCAS no later than November 1. If the application is submitted after the deadline, the student must contact the school directly and obtain permission for AMCAS to process the application.

AMCAS offers a Fee Assistance Program for students with documented need. Those students granted a fee waiver will automatically qualify for a secondary application fee waiver from the College of Medicine.

All U.S. citizens who apply and international applicants with permanent resident status will be sent a secondary application. The information and documentation that students furnish will provide the Admissions Committee with an opportunity to learn more about each candidate. A $75.00 non-refundable application fee must accompany the application form.

▼   The Selection Process

The Selection Process

In the early phase of the selection process, the Admissions Committee relies on objective criteria such as grade-point average, MCAT scores, substance and level of courses taken, trend in academic performance, pre-health advisory review, extracurricular activities and state of residence.

Once the student’s credentials have been favorably reviewed, the applicant is invited to interview with members of the Admissions Committee. Approximately 200 applicants are invited for interviews. Applicants are interviewed by members of the Admissions Committee and ad hoc interviewers. Each interview is scheduled for 30 minutes. The interviewers are supplied with the AMCAS profile of the applicant and an evaluation form. In addition to the interviews, applicants have an opportunity to tour the medical school and selected clinical facilities, as well as meet with current medical students.

The Admissions Committee interview evaluates the applicant’s abilities and skills necessary to satisfy the nonacademic requirements established by the faculty, and the personal and emotional characteristics that are necessary to become a competent physician. Specifically, the applicant’s communication, empathy, leadership, team-orientation, previous life and work experiences, research experience, regional bilingual language proficiency and sensitivity to our multicultural society are evaluated.

▼   Acceptance

Acceptance

The College of Medicine’s goal is to select candidates who have the potential to address the wide spectrum of needs that the medical profession faces. Candidates who have been accepted must notify the school of their decisions within two weeks of the offer. If further information is needed to expedite a decision, students are encouraged to call and seek clarification.

Deferred Admission: It is possible, under special circumstances, for an applicant who is offered a position in the freshman class of the College of Medicine to request a deferral of the start of their medical studies for one or two years. A written request that describes the reason for the deferral should be received by the Office of Admissions no later than June 1. Approval of a request to defer will be based on the perceived validity of the reasons set forth by the student. Deferred applicants may not seek nor accept admission at any other school for the deferred entering class year.

▼   Early Decision Program (EDP)

Early Decision Program (EDP)

The College participates in the EDP operated by AMCAS. This program is designed for competitive students who have narrowed their selection down to a single choice. The chief benefits include the security of having an early guaranteed position, reduced application and travel fees involved in applying to multiple institutions, and the opportunity to begin financial planning as soon as possible. Students applying as Early Decision candidates should be competitive on a national level. The EDP is limited to residents of Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast counties, which are eligible for in-state tuition.

Procedures for regular admission apply to the EDP with the following exceptions:

  • Candidates must indicate the EDP intention on the AMCAS application.
  • A completed AMCAS application must be received by August 1.
  • MCAT scores must be available by September 1.
  • Under the EDP guidelines, applicants agree to apply to one medical school and attend that medical school if offered an acceptance.
  • Candidates will receive notification of the outcome by October 1.
  • Early Decision Program candidates are required to have a minimum composite MCAT score of 503 and a grade-point average of 3.50. However, having the minimum requirements only allows a student to be considered for an EDP interview. It does not guarantee an interview.

Candidates who are not accepted through the EDP are placed in the regular applicant pool and are free to apply to other medical schools.

▼   Advanced Standing Transfers

Advanced Standing Transfers

Opportunities to transfer to our school are limited to the third year on a space-available basis. Transfer spaces are rarely available due to a very low attrition rate.

All transfer applicants should be currently enrolled in good standing at an LCME-accredited medical school and must have a compelling reason to transfer. Students who are attending non-LCME accredited medical schools, offshore medical schools or osteopathic schools will not be considered.

Students who believe they meet these requirements should submit a request for consideration, including school presently attending and reason for requesting transfer, to Nancy Dunn at ndunn@southalabama.edu.

▼   Technical Standards for Admission

Technical Standards for Admission

Because the M.D. degree signifies that the holder is a physician prepared for entry into the practice of medicine within postgraduate training programs, it follows that graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care.

Candidates for the M.D. degree must have somatic sensation and functional use of the senses of vision and hearing. Candidates’ diagnostic skills are also lessened without the functional use of the senses of equilibrium, smell and taste. Additionally, they must have sufficient exteroceptive sense (touch, pain and temperature), and sufficient proprioceptive sense (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis and vibratory). They must be able to consistently, quickly and accurately integrate all information received by whatever sense(s) employed, and they must have the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data.

The technical standards are published in the College of Medicine Admissions Policies and Procedures Manual, which is provided to all faculty, administrators and students who are participating in the admissions process. The technical standards are reviewed annually by the Assistant Dean for and Director of Admissions and presented to the Admissions Committee for modification if necessary and for approval. Students who do not meet all of the technical standards must submit documentation of disability and application for reasonable accommodation to the Office of Student Disability Services at the University of South Alabama.

▼   Early Assurance Programs

Early Assurance Programs

Diversity Recruitment and Education for Admission into Medicine (DREAM) Program

The Diversity Recruitment and Enrichment for Admission into Medicine (DREAM) program is a seven-week summer medical school preparatory curriculum that emphasizes MCAT preparation and exposure to the rigors of medical school.

Participants of the DREAM program will become familiar with the process for applying to medical school, gain an understanding of the MCAT test and its content, develop skills as critical thinkers, observe clinicians within a clinical setting and be involved in professional development. Participating scholars will earn a seat in the USA College of Medicine first-year class upon meeting admission criteria.

Highly motivated and academically driven students are encouraged to apply to the DREAM program. Residents of Alabama and designated service areas in Florida (Escambia and Santa Rosa counties) and Mississippi (George, Greene, Harrison, Jackson, Perry and Stone counties) are given priority.

To be eligible for the DREAM program, students must have completed two years in a pre-med curriculum with a minimum of eight hours in biology with lab, chemistry with lab, and math up to calculus; have an overall GPA of 3.4 or higher, Math and Science GPA of 3.0 or higher, and ACT score of 20 or higher; and be underrepresented in the medical community or disadvantaged based on family income, community resources or other self-determined status.

For more information, email LoRen Burroughs at lburroughs@southalabama.edu or visit southalabama.edu/colleges/com/administration/diversity/dream.html.

SouthMed Prep Scholars Program

The SouthMed Prep Scholars Program is a pre-medical school enrichment program designed for a select number of talented and academically competitive college students identified in their freshmen and sophomore years of undergraduate studies who aspire to become physicians. Students are enrolled at one of our partnering institutions: Dillard University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Tuskegee University and Xavier University. During their junior and senior years, students attend the program at the USA College of Medicine for eight-week summer sessions that focus on research, MCAT preparation, shadowing, professional etiquette, personal statement development and understanding the interview process.

To qualify, students must have a cumulative high school grade point average of at least a 3.5 and an ACT score of 26 or SAT score of 1170-1200 (critical reading plus math).

Participating scholars who obtain the specified GPA and MCAT scores will be offered a position in the USA College of Medicine first-year class following completion of their undergraduate degree and prerequisites.

For more information, visit
southalabama.edu/colleges/com/administration/diversity/southmed.html
or email LoRen Burroughs at lburroughs@southalabama.edu.

Early Acceptance Program

The Early Acceptance Program is for qualified high school graduates interested in a career in medicine. Participants must maintain a specific grade-point average during college and meet all other requirements for entering medical school at the University of South Alabama. Annual evaluations of EAP student performance takes place each spring.

Additional information can be found at
southalabama.edu/departments/admissions/earlyacceptance/

 

For further inquiries regarding the Admissions process, e-mail Nancy Dunn at ndunn@southalabama.edu.