FAQs

Before Applying

Q: Do I need to fill out a form or sign up to be a pre-medical or pre-dental student?

No, there is no formal sign-up procedure to join the pre-med/pre-dental programs.

We do recommend that you sign up for our LISTSERV (email premed_predental@uconn.edu to be added), like us on Facebook, and regularly check UConn’s Pre-Med/Pre-Dental website in order to receive updates about application deadlines and ongoing events. Many important communications are shared via these media, so it is important to check these accounts on a regular basis.

We also recommend that you meet with Dr. Crivello or Dr. Sanford if you are pre-med, and Dr. Abbott or Dr. Sanford if you are pre-dental, at least once per semester for a general check-in appointment.

Q: I am a pre-med/pre-dental student but I do not have an advisor assigned to me in Student Administration. With whom should I make my appointment?

We do not assign a specific pre-med/pre-dental advisor to students, which allows students to find appointment times with an advisor that best fits their schedule. Information on scheduling an appointment can be found under Advising.

Q: Do I have to be an undergraduate science major?

No, you do not have to major in a science to be a pre-med/pre-dental student. In fact, medical and dental schools encourage you to pursue any course of study that interests you as long as you take the necessary pre-med/pre-dental coursework and put in the required effort to do well in your classes.

Q: What classes should I take to be ready to apply to medical or dental school?

The minimal requirements for most medical and dental schools are listed on our website. Some schools have slightly different and more specific requirements, so please check individual school websites for further information.

Q: Do I have to take an English class as a pre-med/pre-dental student?

Yes, you must complete the necessary English general education requirements for your UConn college/school and major. In addition, most medical and dental schools require a year’s worth of English classes as a minimal requirement.

Q: Are there any information sessions that I can attend to help me better understand the application process?

If you are interested in becoming a pre-med/pre-dental student, we host group advising sessions and workshops during each semester that are posted on the website. If you are interested in applying for the current cycle please plan to attend the General Orientation Information Session, which is held every year at the beginning of February. This session helps students learn about the steps they need to take to stay on track and to complete all application steps in a timely manner. Please email us if you are unable to attend the February workshop for further information about how to proceed.

Q: Should I be involved in extracurricular activities as an undergraduate? Do medical/dental schools look at extracurricular involvement when reviewing applications?

Absolutely! You are encouraged to pursue one or more extracurricular activities in depth outside of your coursework, as opposed to a handful of only “surface-level” activities. Such activities do not need to be intrinsically related to medicine, but will show medical schools that you are a well-rounded person with a passion for something. In addition, please consider joining UConn’s Pre-Med Society, Pre-Dental Society, Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Planning & Programming, or the Pre-PA Club as an undergraduate.

Q: Can I still participate in experiential learning (study abroad, internships, etc.) while on the pre-med/pre-dental track?

Yes, medical and dental schools encourage you to participate in experiential learning as an undergraduate. Some examples of experiential learning opportunities include study abroad, internships, conducting research, summer employment, volunteer work, alternative breaks, or shadowing professionals in the medical/dental fields.

Q: I really want to go to medical school, but my cumulative GPA is under 3.0. What steps can I take to make myself a more attractive candidate?

It may be wise to postpone your application until a future cycle in order to strengthen your prospects of being accepted. One option for you to do in the meantime is to retake classes that you did not do well in either at UConn or at another local school, particularly if they are on the list of the minimal coursework requirements for medical and dental schools. Another option for those students who have already completed or are in the process of completing an undergraduate degree is to apply for UConn’s Medical and Dental Medicine Post-Baccalaureate Program, which begins accepting applications on January 1.


During/After Applying

Q: What is the online letter collection system?

The online letter collection system allows for the confidential collection of your letters of recommendation. Complete this form to establish your Personal Application File, which includes a tool to request letters from your recommenders. Learn more about about the online letter collection system.

Q: Where should my recommenders send their letters if they are having trouble with the online letter collection system?

For a recommender to submit their letter all fields on the website on their end must be filled in. If they are still having trouble please have them email your letters to premed_predental@uconn.edu. PLEASE DO NOT have them send any letters directly to Dr. Sanford, Dr. Crivello, or Dr. Abbott’s personal UConn email accounts.

Q: What file format should my recommenders use to submit their letters of recommendation?

PDFs or Word documents are the most convenient forms of letters for us. Letters must be on letterhead and signed for us to include them in your composite letter.

Q: What does a composite letter look like?

A composite letter is composed of three main parts, which are then combined into one PDF and sent to medical or dental schools. The first part is a summary co-authored by either Dr. Crivello and Dr. Sanford or Dr. Abbott and Dr. Sanford. In this section, they highlight your strengths as an applicant, your background, and quotes from your letters of recommendation. The second part consists of all of your individual letters of recommendation that we have received. Finally, the third part completes the composite letter with a fact sheet about UConn to help schools understand some UConn-specific terms and to provide further information about the university.

Q: If I am applying to Osteopathic medical schools (D.O. programs) or Physician Assistant (P.A.) programs, what system will my composite letter be sent through?

Beginning with the 2017 cycle, we are now using the CAS (Centralized Application Service), which includes AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service), CASPA (Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants) and OPTOMCAS (Optometry Centralized Application Service), among others. You will need to submit a committee letter request through the applicable system for us to be able to upload your composite letter.

Q: All of my letters of recommendation have been submitted. What should I do now?

Please confirm that your application has been accepted by AMCAS, AADSAS, or AACOMAS and that we have received all of your identification numbers. We will begin working on your composite letter and will complete it as soon as possible based on the submission cycle timeline posted on the UConn Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental website.

Q: I have an urgent matter and need to speak with a pre-med/pre-dental advisor right away. What should I do?

We ask that you please refrain from drop-in visits to any of the pre-med/pre-dental advisors’ offices as their scheduled appointment loads do not allow for impromptu advising. Instead, please fill out the appropriate appointment request form found here.

Have a question that is not listed above? Email us at premed_predental@uconn.edu and we will promptly get back to you with an answer.

Suggestions for additional FAQs? Let us know at premed_predental@uconn.edu.