Frequently Asked Questions – Undergraduate Programs

Does AP credit count for grad schools?

This varies by school. Often if the course is accepted by another college or university and appears on that transcript, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and College Level Examinations Programs (CLEP) may be considered.

What does it mean to take a “Gap Year”?

This is the time between completing your undergraduate degree and the time you begin graduate school. Many students take gap years for various reasons. Some are not quite ready to buckle down for graduate school immediately after graduation. Using this time to gain experience, direction, emotional and cognitive growth, and to satisfy curiosity about the real world are all valid uses of time. Many students will use this time to take prerequisite classes for graduate school or gain patient contact hours.

Do I need to complete all prerequisite courses before I apply?

Generally, no – but in order to fulfill the requirements prior to starting a program, you will need to have approximately 50% of them complete (or be enrolled in) at the time of application.

May I take prerequisite courses at a community college?

This varies by school. Often it is acceptable to take courses at any accredited college or university.

How does a grade I earn at another college or university affect my GPA?

The grades will be listed on your transcript, but are not factored into your GPA. Therefore, they will have no affect on your overall GPA.

What is meant by a “Post Bacc”?

A premedical post-Baccalaureate can help those with a non-science related bachelor’s degree to prepare for medical school or other health professional schools. UD’s certificate program includes core prerequisite credit hours in primarily science-related subjects including biology, chemistry and biochemistry, physics, sociology, math, philosophy, and psychology and recommended elective courses.

What is the difference between Volunteer/Shadow/Patient Contact Hours?

Shadowing a healthcare professional is generally observing them in their typical day-to-day duties, or in some cases, meeting with them to ask questions about their professions. Shadowing is a great way to explore a field and evaluate if it is something you would enjoy and if it would be a good fit with your goals and personal strengths. It is a good idea to shadow a vareity of people in different settings to make sure your reflections and opinions are not solely based on one person’s attitude or even an atypical day you observed.

What does it mean to get hours in more than one setting?

It is important to get exposure to a career field in varied settings. Outpatient clinics (UD and others), hospital inpatient, rehab hospital, VA hospitals, children’s hospitals, nursing homes, and doctors offices are some examples of different settings.

How do I get Volunteer/Shadow Hours?

The more hands-on patient care experience you have, the stronger you will be as a candidate. You have many options. Send out a request to your Facebook or Linkedin network. Search global health opportunities. Call your local hospital or children’s hospital. Call the local veterans association or senior living center. Say you are willing to work for free.

How can I get Patient Contact Hours?

Patient contact hours are hands-on rather than volunteer or shadow hours. Often these experiences require training or certifications and can be more challenging to acquire. EMT, First Responder, Phlebotomist, Medical Assistant, Certified Nurse Assistant, Scribe are some examples of jobs that would allow you to get patient contact hours. Here are some links that can get you started:

Should I have a minor?

The short answer is that it depends. If you have a subject you’d LOVE to explore, college is the perfect time to take a few literature or music classes, or anything else! A minor can be a great way to do this. A minor is between 15 and 24 extra credits. This means a minor takes an extra commitment to a tougher schedule to graduate on time. You don’t want to put in all this extra time for the sole fact of having a minor. It only makes sense if you are sure of the value it will add to you personally or professionally. And most importantly, you must protect your GPA; if a minor stretches you too thin, it’s not a good idea. Consider the options for UD Majors and Minors and review the requirements.

Who should I ask for Letters of Recommendation or graduate school?

This will depend on what programs you are applying to and what their requirements are. Many graduate programs will want to see at least one recommendation letter from a professional in that field. Some programs may not have a preference, or ask for other types of recommendation letters. In other cases, you want to make sure you are getting a recommendation letter from someone who knows you very well and can speak with great detail to your abilities, personality, and motivation; this person does not have to be closely related to the field you are pursuing or an instructor from a related course.

What is the GRE?

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is the official site for the GRE. It is very important to prepare for and take these tests early. We recommend that you take these tests by the end of your junior year, so that you can submit your application materials early and have ample time to retake the test if necessary.