Frequently Asked Questions

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Biotechnology FAQ

We do not recommend that students work while in the master’s program. However, in order to ensure a well-rounded medical school application, we strongly recommend that graduate students keep up with their extracurricular healthcare related activities (i.e. shadowing, community service, research, volunteering, etc.) while enrolled in the master’s program.

No. The faculty admissions committee makes their admission decision based on GPA, test score, letters of recommendation and personal statement.

Graduate Admissions and Biotechnology are two separate offices. Applicants will first need to complete the online graduate admissions application. After the online graduate admissions application has been submitted, you will need to submit a supplemental application to Biotechnology.

Yes but it is recommended to start in the Fall.

The Biotechnology program does not offer any scholarships or graduate/teaching assistantships to our master’s students. The College of Medicine does not have any undergraduate students for our master’s students to TA. Many of our students use federal financial aid loans to help finance their graduate education.

In order to graduate students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and successfully complete the degree requirements. Since this is a one-year masters, students cannot repeat any of the required courses and still expect to graduate within a year.

Yes! Since every student and their situation are unique we will provide you with a one-on-one advising session and a brief campus tour of the College of Medicine. Prospective students can even shadow a current student to see what it’s really like to be a Biotechnology graduate student. Please contact the Office of Graduate Affairs to set up your appointment.

Yes, students that start in the fall can complete the program in 3 semesters (1 year) but it isn’t required to do the program in a single year.

About the pre-professional program

The master’s program is designed to academically prepare students for professional school by exposing students to pre-clinical basic science courses taught by the Morsani College of Medicine faculty who also teach our medical students. Gaining admission into a medical or other health professional school is very competitive. While our program is designed to help students obtain a graduate degree, thus strengthening their professional school application, successful completion of our graduate program does not guarantee admission into a professional school. Every year our MS in Medical Sciences students successfully matriculate into USF medical school, but we do not have an official linkage or bridge program. We provide our graduate students opportunities for medical sciences research, MCAT preparation, clinical shadowing, volunteering, pre-health advising and various workshops, but gaining admission to any professional school is ultimately the responsibility of the student.

All coursework that is completed in the master’s program is designed for you to be a serious candidate for any health professional school. Students in the master’s program are applying to a variety of professional schools including: medical, dental, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistants, veterinarian and law school. When we have surveyed past graduates, over 80% of our graduates who responded found that the master’s program helped them gain admission to a professional school. More importantly, students responded that they felt more confident that after completing the master’s program they were more academically prepared for their first year of professional school than their peers who had matriculated to professional school straight from undergrad. 

Each year, our graduates make-up about 13% of the total incoming class of the USF's medical school in order to create a diversified class of students both in Florida and across the United States from multiple institutions. Aside from our own medical school, we have students matriculate into professional schools across the nation after successfully completing the program. 

While many students will successfully gain admission into medical schools directly following the master’s program, we recommend that you plan on this being a two-year process and do not be discouraged if you do not get an offer of acceptance until the year after you have completed the master’s program. If you apply to medical schools while in the master’s program you will likely only have fall grades to show medical schools. If you apply or reapply for the next year medical schools will see your grades from the entire master’s program.

No. Even though our courses touch on topics covered in the first and second year of medical school, our courses are basic medical science courses to help prepare students for what to expect and are not equivalent to medical school courses.

We do not recommend that students work while in the master’s program. However, we strongly recommend that students also keep up with their extracurricular healthcare related activities (i.e. shadowing, research, volunteering, etc.) while enrolled in the master’s program. It is recommended that students take their first round of exams before considering extracurricular activities.

We do not accept new students into the pre-professional program in the spring or summer due to how the curriculum is designed. Please review the Application Deadlines to see when other concentrations accept new students.

Our department does not offer any scholarships or graduate/teaching assistantships to our master’s students due to the unique nature of the programs. Many of our students use federal financial aid loans to help finance their graduate education.

Most US medical schools routinely admit students with MCAT totals averaging a 30 or higher. It is a good idea for anyone with a score less than 30 to consider retaking the MCAT.

We offer the MCAT Success Skills course every semester, depending on the demand for the class. Class size is limited to 50 students. This is an elective class and not required for graduation.

Some students apply to their professional school of choice while in the program and even go on interviews while taking courses. However, some students wait until they have completed the program to apply and use another gap year to study for the MCAT or DAT. Every student is unique and our advisors will guide you in making the best decision based on your unique situation.

You do not need to have completed an undergraduate degree in a science discipline. However, you must have already successfully completed the pre-medical science requirements prior to the start of classes. These requirements include 2 semesters of the following: biology, general chemistry, physics, and organic chemistry, including laboratory sections. These courses are undergraduate courses and are not offered at the graduate level. Students who have not completed these prerequisites should speak with an undergraduate pre-health advisor about a post-baccalaureate premedical program.

The requirements include 2 semesters of the following: biology, general chemistry, physics, and organic chemistry, including laboratory sections. 

Most professional schools require these same prerequisites, which is the goal of most of our students. Having a master's degree from our program will not replace these basic science requirements. If you are missing more than two of the required courses, we recommend speaking with an undergraduate pre-health adviser and taking these courses before applying. You may also want to check the prerequisites for the professional schools where you plan to apply.

In order to graduate, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the core courses and successfully complete the degree requirements. Since this is a one-year masters, students cannot repeat any of the required courses and still expect to graduate within a year.

The Master's in Medical Sciences program offers two curriculum tracks: one track is the pre-professional program, which is designed to assist students who are seeking admission in a health professional school (e.g., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., D.P.T., and Pharm.D. programs) and the second track is the research program that offers 3 concentrations, and is designed for students who want to pursue a career in research, or enter into a biomedical sciences Ph.D. program. The research concentrations are not an extension of the pre-professional program. You can view our degree worksheets to see the difference in curriculum.

About the 100% online Health Sciences program

We do not advise students to start in the spring or summer unless they want to make it a two year program. Also, lack of pre-requisite courses may hinder progression in the program. Please speak to an advisor before considering spring admission and discuss an academic path for your courses to be laid out by term before committing to spring admission. 

Certificate students who have taken fall courses can be considered for spring admission.

Taking GMS courses as a non-degree seeking student does not guarantee admission to the Health Sciences master’s degree program. Applicants must apply and meet the minimum requirements for admission. Up to 12 credits of courses with a “B” or better taken as a non-degree seeking students can be transferred into the degree. Transferring any courses must be approved by the director. 

USF Policy on transfer of credit.

Tuition is assessed based on your residency status in the system. If you are classified as a non-resident student in the system based on the documents you provide, you will be charged out-of-state tuition. If you reside in one of the states that are a part of the Academic Common Market you can apply for in-state tuition after admitted.

No. Due to when the courses are offered, the program can be completed in a minimum of 4 terms (16 months) if the student starts in the fall and attends full-time.

There are no required in-class meetings, and all course materials, documents, exams, etc., are all offered online through CANVAS.

The courses are taught through PowerPoint presentations (with an optional narration), as well as required readings from textbooks. Some courses may incorporate discussion boards and case reports.

The same faculty members who teach at the USF Morsani College of Medicine teach the online courses. The Morsani College of Medicine faculty members all have terminal degrees in their fields of study and are experts in their fields. We do not hire adjunct professors to teach our online students.

Letters of recommendation are a courtesy from your professors. You can request a letter from your professor and it is up to the individual professor and your relationship with that professor that may determine if they will write a letter for your professional school application.

Courses are only offered once a year. Please discuss your academic plan with an advisor if you have any questions. Students must have above a 3.0 in the required courses to graduate. Click here for more information.

When you log on to OASIS from www.my.usf.edu you will need to enter the CRN number to register (OASIS>STUDENT>REGISTRATION>REGISTER, ADD OR DROP CLASSES>INPUT CRN). 

You can find a tutorial HERE.

* As an online student, you will not be required to submit immunizations to Student Health Services.

Accepted students are usually granted permits shortly after admission is granted. If you need to request a permit, follow this link.

You can purchase the course textbooks at the USF Health bookstore, or you can order the required textbooks online. Required textbooks will be in the course syllabus on CANVAS. You must be registered for the course to have access to the syllabus.

  • Type https://my.usf.edu/ in your browser
  • Type your NetID (and press the Tab key)
  • Type your password
  • Press ENTER or click the Login button
  • Click on the COURSES tab
  • Click CANVAS 

You can communicate with your professors and classmates via email, or the discussion board in CANVAS. Office hours will be posted in the syllabus for each class.

All admitted USF Health students need to have a USF Health e-mail address (ending with @health.usf.edu) in which announcements and communication with professors will be utilized. Click here for more information.

The only mandatory times to log- in are during exam times, which will be outlined in the syllabus. Allow yourself adequate time to take the test in case any technical issues arise.

All exams are administered online via CANVAS. All exams are set on a certain day and time at the discretion of the professor. Student will utilize Respondus LockDown Browser during exams: 

https://www.respondus.com/products/lockdown-browser/

  • Access to a personal computer
  • Internet browser
  • Access to CANVAS via my.usf.edu
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser
  • Valid e-mail address

Specific Course Technology Requirements:
Course may require the student to view/listen to narrated presentations, videos, and participate in audio-conferencing. Therefore, in addition to the general technology requirements, this course will require the following:

For computer related technological support & CANVAS problems (i.e., computer questions, access to CANVAS, USF email, USF portal, cannot access the course, browser issues), please contact Academic Computing helpline at (813) 974-1222 or help@usf.edu.

Admissions requirements

Admission requirements are HERE. 

*We will review all completed applications; however, to be a competitive applicant you should meet or exceed all 3 of the minimum requirements. 

*Please note that meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission due to the limited amount of seats available.

GPA: 3.4 MCAT: 25 GRE: 308

While we review all completed applications, you must have met at least one of the admission requirements. Some applicants may want to consider starting with the Health Sciences certificate and take graduate level courses as a non-degree seeking student to demonstrate their performance in graduate level courses. Keep in mind, taking courses as a non-degree student does not guarantee admission into any degree program. However, courses with grades of "B" or better may be transferred into the degree program (if accepted) with the approval of the director. Courses taken online as a non-degree seeking student cannot be transferred into the pre-professional program.

Each year, we receive over 1,000 primary applications and around 700 completed secondary applications for the pre-professional program, making the program very competitive. Unfortunately, due the limited number of seats and lack of facilities, not everyone who applies and meets the minimum requirements can be accepted. Our staff cannot predict your chances of admittance to the program.

If you are extremely deficient in the pre-requisites courses, we recommend speaking with an undergraduate pre-health adviser before applying. Our programs are designed to be an application enhancer rather than a career changer program. Before applying to the master's program, be sure to check your future professional schools for their pre-requisite requirements. Since the curriculum for the M.S.M.S. degrees cover the basics of the first and second year of medical school, it is recommended you have most, if not all, the required pre-requisites.

You can submit your application materials. However, we will not review an application until it is complete. You should submit a score report to our department as soon as possible.

Yes, you can apply as long as the course work and your degree will be completed before your graduate program starts. We can offer "provisional admission" pending completion of course work or degree prior to matriculation.

Admissions process

No. The faculty admissions committee makes their admission decision based on a holistic review of applications. Requests to meet with members of the committee will not be honored in order to be fair to all applicants in the admission process.

We require you to include all sections (I and II) of Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physics. Please do not include lab or math courses in the Science GPA Calculator. You may also include courses in anatomy, biochemistry, biophysics, biotechnology, botany, cell biology, ecology, entomology, genetics, histology, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, neuroscience, physiology, physical chemistry, molecules and cells, astronomy, physics, and thermodynamics. Please do not submit social science (i.e. psychology) or computer science courses in the Science GPA Calculator.

If you repeated a course, you must include both grades unless you were granted grade forgiveness on your transcripts.

Yes. You can have your recommendations written for medical or other health professional schools sent to our office from your university or college pre-health advising office. Letters can also be sent by Interfolio.

Your application can only be reviewed for up to three concentrations BEFORE a decision is made on your initial application without paying an addition application fee. If you are not notified of a decision on your initial application within 4 weeks of submitting a completed application, it would be a good idea to contact the Admissions Officer to be considered for another concentration. Do not wait until July or August to be considered for another concentration since seats fill up quickly after the June 1st deadline.

Yes. However, we suggest that you try to send all items in one package so that they all arrive at one time to complete the secondary application requirements. We do understand that some schools or letter writers do not issue official copies to students. We will add documents to your file as we receive them. Applications that arrive in pieces may delay your application from being completed and reviewed in a timely manner. It is the applicants responsibility to ensure their application is complete

The institution code for USF is 5828 and applies to all tests administered by ETS.

Submit a printout of your MCAT test scores with your secondary application. Our staff will verify your scores online. Make sure your AAMC ID and verification code is included on your print out. If not, this will stall your application.

There are few steps your application moves through during the processes:

  • Stage 1: Initiation of VZ application completed online
  • Stage 2: Submit your secondary application materials to Graduate Affairs. Your status will stay in this stage until you receive an e-mail receipt that your application is complete.
  • Stage 3: Complete is the status that your application will stay in until the Admissions Committee reviews your file and you are notified of the decision. Students are admitted on a rolling basis starting with the most competitive from March—August.
  • Stage 4: Decision Once the Admissions Committee has made a decision, you will be notified. Some applicants who are not competitive may stay on a wait list until a seat opens. If you are admitted, you will receive an e-mail from the Office of Graduate Affairs. 


Once a decision has been made, you can check you status HERE.

Please note: we process a high volume of applications and cannot continuously provide status updates. This may stall the physical processing of applications.

No. All applications must be mailed to:

USF Morsani College of Medicine
Graduate Affairs MS Admissions
12901 Bruce B. Downs, MDC 40
Tampa, FL 33612

We will send an e-mail to applicants when we have completed your file. If you would like to know if your materials were received, we suggest that you send your application package via certified mail.

Please review the admissions website for averages of accepted applicants. We will not inform an applicant if they are competitive to avoid bias in the application process.

The deadline is July 1st, but we encourage early submission before June 1st due to the number of seats available in the program. Applications are reviewed on a rolling admissions basis until the beginning of August, or until the class reaches capacity. We will update our application procedure website if a program is closed for admission. We will begin reviewing application early March for fall admission and roll admissions until August. You could be notified at any point in time via e-mail. We receive approximately 600-700 applications for the pre-professional program and only accept 250 students.

Yes! Since every student and their situation are unique, we will provide you with a meeting to answer your questions about the program and a brief campus tour of the USF Health area. Prospective students can even shadow a current student to see what it’s really like to be a Morsani College of Medicine graduate student. Please contact the Office of Graduate Affairs to set up your appointment.

There is a primary application and a secondary application. There are two different offices that will processes your application as explained below.

Primary application: The Graduate Admissions Office is located on main campus and oversees all graduate programs. You will complete the online VZ application as your first step to applying. After your application fee is paid, your application status online will change to “Referred—College of Medicine.” This means Graduate Admissions is waiting on our office to make a decision after reviewing your secondary application.

Secondary application: The Morsani College of Medicine, Office of Graduate Affairs is the location where you submit your secondary application materials. After the online primary application has been submitted, you will need to submit a supplemental application to the Office of Graduate Affairs located on Bruce B. Downs. After your application is reviewed, we will forward the decision to Graduate Admissions and they will update your record.

The status you see online only refers to your primary application in your electronic record. When you complete the online application by paying the fee, this means your primary application is complete and Graduate Admissions is waiting on our department to send a decision. Since we are a direct receipt program, your secondary application materials must be mailed to our department for review. Once a decision has been made on your application, we will send the decision to Graduate Admissions to update your record. You will most likely hear from our department via e-mail before your s status changes online.

Our staff can assist you in answering questions about your application when applying. We will contact you with directions on how to submit your secondary application and will contact you when your secondary application is complete. We can update you concerning whether your application is complete or incomplete. However, once your application is complete, we will not be able to meet with you concerning your application status in order to prevent bias in the application process. We do not encourage applicants to pressure the committee in making a decision. Since the process is rolling, some applicants will need to wait longer than others depending on how competitive the applicant pool is at any given moment. If you have not heard a decision within 4 weeks after completing your application, you may want to consider updating your application with new transcripts, test scores, etc., to make your application more competitive. We tend to leave applications open and not quickly deny an applicant in the event they would like their application reviewed for another concentration without paying another application fee.

The MS in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences (IMS) program is housed in the Office of Student Diversity and Enrichment in the Morsani College of Medicine. Applicants must apply through AMCAS first, then a small classes is selected from that applicant pool. Please see their website for further information.

No. We are a separate office from the medical school and use a different system. The applicant will need to send these documents directly to our department.

Additional Contacts

The Office of Graduate Affairs in the Morsani College of Medicine does not have access to update your residency. Please contact main Graduate Admissions: 813-974-8800. 

You can also view the forms and policies on residency reclassification HERE.

The Office of Graduate Affairs is an academic unit and cannot advise on financial aid. Please contact the Financial Aid Office.