Student Diversity and Enrichment Pipeline Programs

Student Diversity and Enrichment

Pre-Health Summer Enrichment Program (PSEP)

The University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Office of Student Diversity and Enrichment, and the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program invite you to apply to the Pre-Health Summer Enrichment Program (PSEP). PSEP is an intensive six-week full-time summer program for highly motivated college students interested in pursuing a career in the health professions.

We are seeking freshmen and sophomores to take part in an enriching educational and experiential summer program that will run from May 10, 2014 to June 20, 2014. This 6 week program will follow the USF Summer A schedule.

The application is open now and the priority deadline for submissions is March 14, 2014. All applications received by the deadline will be considered equally. Please start the process early so you are able to submit all materials before March 14th.

A maximum of twelve students will be accepted into the program. This program will help participants enhance science inquiry and communication skills utilizing Small Group Problem-based Learning; explore time management and test taking strategies to enhance learning skills; the program provides exposure to various health professions through clinical experiences; and offers professional school admissions information through interaction with faculty, staff and medical students.

The PSEP session includes clinical, academic and hands-on opportunities to learn more about medicine and other health careers. We will take part in sessions from the 5 components of USF Health, which are: College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Public Health, School of Physical Therapy, and the College of Pharmacy.

If you are looking for a strict MCAT prep program, then we are NOT right for you. Although the MCAT is a big part of the medical school application, we are offering far more for our students than test prep. Our focus is on how to help you become a better student. We utilize a combination of case-based learning, along with critical reasoning and thinking classes. Although these skills will translate well when the MCAT comes around, they will be beneficial during your undergraduate career also.


  • Enhances the competitiveness of talented students from underrepresented in medicine populations or disadvantaged backgrounds for admissions into medical and physical therapy schools
  • Provides needed mentors for minority students
  • Serves as a recruitment tool to USF Health

In 2007, a survey was distributed to 90 PSEP Alumni, 63 responded. The intent of the survey was to determine the status of PSEP alumni. The pie chart is a summary of where they are in the pipeline. The process of administering a follow-up survey for 2010 is ongoing.


The program is designed for freshman or sophomore undergraduates interested in a health professions career in medicine, nursing, pharmacy or physical therapy. To be eligible, students should have completed at least Introductory Chemistry, General Chemistry 1 or Biology 1, College Algebra and Trigonometry. Applicants whose overall GPA is less than 3.0 will not be considered.

In addition, applicants must meet AT LEAST ONE of the following criteria:

  • Underrepresented in Medicine (URM) student - a student who identifies himself/herself as Black, Mexican-American, Native American (that is, American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian), or Puerto Rican
  • First-generation college student - a student whose parents have had no college or university experience
  • Rural background - a student whose present permanent address is in a rural county within the state of Florida
  • Low socioeconomic status (as defined by the Federal Poverty Level)

Housing is not provided; students must make their own housing arrangements.

Should you have questions about your eligibility, please contact Kevin Casey, Program Coordinator at

Educational Grant

Accepted and matriculated PSEP students who fulfill their on-going obligations while in the program receive a $1500 educational grant for participation in the PSEP program. The grant is paid out in two installments.

Program Components

PSEP is not all academics. We want to make sure that you have plenty of chances to get hands-on activities as well. Here at USF, we are fortunate to work with our USF Health partners in creating a great experience for our PSEP students. The Center for Advanced Clinical Learning (CACL) provides extensive and exciting programs for us. Last year our students were able to receive BLS certification, participate in disaster simulations, and conduct patient interviews (using our professional standardized patients). PSEP students also went through weekly anatomy lab sessions which coincided with the academic sections from their courses. There are also shadowing opportunities and visits to clinical sites to make sure you get a well-rounded experience.

  1. Academic enhancement

    • Case-based learning: We utilize the case learning system in our ‘Biology for Life Systems’ course that mirrors the style of our first year medical courses. The course is taught by our 2nd year medical students and provides direct access to their knowledge and experiences.
    • Critical reasoning and thinking: Intensive study course that will help you better analyze passages and article for undergraduate work and future testing.
    • Health disparities education is also a critical component of the PSEP experience and a core part of our curriculum. Participants will explore the differences in health equity of various populations and the factors that may contribute to the disparity in health outcomes.
  2. Clinical experience

    • Students will be able to do rotations at our BRIDGE clinic and see first-hand the operations of a community health center.
    • Students will go through sessions in our anatomy lab and have the opportunity to work with our “silent teachers” (cadavers).

Online Application Instructions

In order to move forward in the application you will be required to respond to all questions. We strongly urge you to read through the information below and prepare the recommended documents before beginning the online application.

You have the option to leave and later resume your application, yet if you do so, you must resume the application using the same IP address (same computer). If you attempt to resume your application from another computer you will be forced to restart the application from the beginning. Please read every question thoroughly, and include detailed information with accurate and concise responses.

  • You will have two important documents (résumé and essay) to upload; you may want to complete the following before you continue with the application.

    • PSEP Essay (handwritten essay will not be accepted) should not be more than 750 words. You will be required to upload the essay.

      Your essay MUST include:

      1. What is your motivation to pursue a health professions career?
      2. Why do you want to participate in the Pre-Health Summer Enrichment Program?
      3. How will this program benefit you?
    • A resume that includes health and non-health related employment community service/volunteer, leadership, and other experiences. You will be required to upload the required resume.
  • You are required to submit a science faculty and character recommendations using the PSEP Recommendations forms. Complete the top portion and either provide your recommender with a paper copy or email them the form.

  • Download an unofficial copy of your transcript to assist you with completing the academic record section of the application.
  • Request an official copy of your transcript be sent the address below, for USF students unofficial copies will be accepted.

University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine
Office of Student Diversity and Enrichment
Attention: Kevin Casey
12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MDC 24
Tampa, Florida 33612-4799


Quotes from past PSEP students

“PSEP has given me a lot of confidence and clearly clarifies what it means to be a PREMED.”

“This program has really helped me learn more about what the medical profession is really about and how there is so much more to it then just knowing how to treat patients.”

“As a student from another university, the student, faculty, physicians have all made me feel at home during the PSEP program. This program has allowed me to gain a lot of insight into the type of physician that I would like to be, and has helped clarify my path into that goal.”

If you are interested in other National Summer Enrichment Opportunities, please visit