Frequently Asked Questions
Many questions that HPA advisors are receiving are covered in the For Students section on the CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 website. Visit the link for more FAQs.
In addition to these university-wide responses, here are FAQs we have received that are specific to pre-health students. We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.
Should I use Credit/No Credit grades for required pre-health courses?
Health Professions Advising does not recommend the use of Credit/No Credit grading for required pre-health courses. Should you have any questions about your particular situation, please reach out to your assigned advisor. Questions regarding the use of the C/NC option for courses that are not required for application to pre-health programs should be directed to your college or major advisor.
Will medical schools and other health professions programs accept P/NP grades for pre-requisite courses?
The National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) has started recording medical schools' and other health professions programs' grade policies. These documents will continue to be updated as schools release this information.
I was planning to use spring quarter science classes to boost my science GPA. Should I still take those classes?
Should I take a fifth class for the spring quarter?
How will medical schools look at my GPA?
Will there be anything on my academic transcript to show only P/NP grades were available in spring?
My MCAT date has been cancelled. What do I do now?
How will the pandemic and MCAT cancellations impact the application process?
Thus far, the application process remains mostly unchanged. All application services (including AMCAS, AACOMAS, and AADSAS) are expected to open on their originally scheduled dates, and submission of primary applications is expected to continue without changes.
However, AMCAS has announced it will delay transmission of primary applications to medical schools by two weeks. AMCAS will now send verified primary applications to medical schools on July 10. What this means: You now have more time to complete your primary, and medical schools will not receive your application materials until July 10. Accordingly, school will not begin sending secondary applications until that time or later. For more information, visit the Coronavirus and AMCAS page.
What support is available if my ability to pay for medical school application has been impacted?
How can I find volunteering experiences over spring?
Due to safety concerns, it is highly unlikely clinical opportunities will be available to students without formal healthcare qualifications (e.g. CNA, EMT, etc.). Instead, we would encourage you to look at online volunteering opportunities. To stay engaged in some kind of service to others, consider volunteering with some of the following organizations:
- Nine Places to Volunteer Online (and Make a Real Impact) – A list of online opportunities for service, including translating and crisis line texting.
- Phone or text support lines – Groups like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, The Trevor Project, and the National Runaway Safeline have opportunities to volunteer for a weekly phone or text support shift (training required).
- Online tutoring – Many websites offer the opportunity to volunteer as a digital tutor to other students.
- Food distribution – Check with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, local schools, churches, and food pantries for opportunities to support individuals and families in need.
- Each state should have a similar resource to Illinois: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/serve/Disaster/Pages/default.aspx#volunteer
- Mutual Aid: Solidarity, Not Charity - Find a mutual aid project to help with near you, or learn how to start one.
Resources From Explore Health Careers
This month, Explore Health Careers is highlighting the changes higher education institutions are making as a result of the novel Coronavirus. Whether you’re making the adjustment to online schooling or navigating the admissions process during the pandemic, these articles are here to help you continue on your healthcare career path.
How Medical Students Can Stay Safe on the Frontlines of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) OutbreakThis article explores the CDC’s recommendations for health care professionals who are working on the frontlines of the Coronavirus outbreak, and it offers first-hand advice from medical professionals currently treating patients.
Common Questions about Applying to Grad School During the CoronavirusLearn more about admissions applications, online classes and standardized testing in the age of Coronavirus by reading answers to questions that have been asked by real students.
4 Ways for Students to Stay Productive During the PandemicYou can make the most out of being under a shelter-in-place order! It’s possible to stay on track to achieve your goals during this time, and this article explores how to do so.