Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions are the most commonly asked questions by prospective applicants: 

Do you offer a Bachelor's degree?
No. Our program is an entry level Masters program and you must have a Bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation into the program. 

Can I take my pre-requisites at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science?
No.  Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science does not offer undergraduate classes. 

Do you give preference to Illinois residents?
No. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a private university. We make no distinction by state of residency in our admissions policy. Tuition costs are the same regardless of state of residency. 

Is on campus housing available? 
On-campus, one and two bedroom apartments are available through University Housing.  The Office of Student Housing can also provide assistance with locating suitable housing off-campus.  More information on University housing is available at Student Housing.  

Can I speak with a faculty member regarding my application? 
All of the members of the PA Program faculty have heavy teaching and other University responsibilities.  Due to limited time and the large number of applicants, faculty are not available to provide individual counseling to applicants. There are bi-annual College of Health Professions Open House events where prospective applicants can talk with a member of the PA faculty.  During the Open House, candidates will tour the campus and meet in small groups with a member of the PA faculty to learn about the PA profession and the specifics of our program.  You can get answers to general questions during these sessions.  Please note that the faculty will not review individual transcripts or applications during the Open House.  To find out about the next Open House, watch the website.

Who can I talk to about financial aid? 
RFUMS will make every attempt to assist students seeking financial aid.  For more information and assistance with financial aid questions, go to the Financial Aid website

What is your current tuition?
The tuition for the Physician Assistant program is $33,167.00 for the 2014-15 school year. This figure is subject to change without prior notice. Estimated expenses (books, supplies) are $3,183.

I have questions about the Technical Standards, who can I speak with? 
You may contact the PA Program at (847) 578-8686. The technical standards are a part of the University's compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

Can I transfer in to the program and/or transfer credits if I have completed coursework at another PA or Medical School?
No. Students must complete the curriculum in its entirety.  No advanced standing or transfer credits will be awarded regardless of previous experience. 

How will I know if the courses I want to enroll in meets the criteria for your prerequisite courses?
It is a policy of the PA program to not review application material, or make decisions regarding previous coursework, without a completed application file on record. Below are some general, basic guidelines to help you determine if a course you are considering for a prerequisite class is appropriate.

The course in biochemistry should include the study of amino acids, proteins, enzymes, DNA, gene expression, and the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and nitrogen.  This background information will be invaluable in understanding the medical pathophysiology that is taught in the Physician Assistant Program.  A course with a title other than Biochemistry that covers this same course material may be accepted, upon review of the course syllabus by the PA Program Admissions Committee. 

The course in microbiology should include the study of microorganisms - bacteria, viruses, and fungi – and their classification systems, infectious diseases in humans, and the immune response to infection.  This background information will be necessary to understand the medical pathophysiology that is taught in the Physician Assistant Program.  A course with a title other than Microbiology that covers this same course material may be accepted, upon review of the course syllabus by the PA Program Admissions Committee. 

Anatomy and Physiology
Either a two course sequence of combined Human A&P (I & II), or two separate courses in these subjects, is acceptable. Human anatomy and physiology are preferred over vertebrate, mammalian, or comparative courses because they will better prepare the student for the rigorous human anatomy dissection course that begins the PA program. Anatomy and physiology courses with a title other than ‘Human’ may be accepted if the content focus was 80% or greater based on human systems, upon review of the course syllabus by the PA Program Admissions Committee.

Can I substitute other classes for the ones published as pre-requisites (e.g. organic chemistry for biochemistry)?
We do not accept any substitutions for our pre-requisite classes.  Our pre-requisites are in place to ensure that students enter the program well-prepared for the challenging curriculum that we provide.  Classes such as biochemistry are not part of the PA curriculum, but a fund of background knowledge in biochemistry is necessary to be successful in various PA courses.  Entering the PA Program without this background knowledge puts the student at a disadvantage, and increases their risk of failure in the program. 

Why doesn’t the program accept GRE scores when they are more than five (5) years old? 
The University will only accept official scores sent to us directly by Educational Testing Services (ETS).  ETS does not release examinations scores that are more than 5 years old.  Exams are valid until the September 15th following the fifth anniversary of the test date. 

Where can I take the GRE? Can I take it at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science? 
The University is not a GRE testing site.  You can contact Educational Testing Service (ETS) at (609) 771-7670 or on the web at:  Since the CASPA Admissions Service is not an official site for the GRE, you must send your GRE scores directly to Rosalind Franklin University, site code #1117 and department code #0634.

What are your guidelines for TOEFL?
Guidelines for the TOEFL can be obtained at the ETS web site at:  Scores in the 50th percentile or higher are considered competitive for the program. 

What services do you recommend I use to evaluate my foreign university degree?
If you have studied outside the US, you will need to have your transcripts evaluated for US equivalency using a service such as or

Can I mail you the transcripts or do they have to come from my school?
Your transcripts must be mailed from your school directly to CASPA.  Information on how to do this is available at the CASPA website:

Should I mail my information (transcripts, application, letters of recommendation, TOEFL) to the Physician Assistant Department? 
No. Your test scores, application materials, and letters of recommendation must be mailed directly to CASPA.  Information on how to do this is available at the CASPA website:  The only exception to this is the GRE scores which must be mailed directly to Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (site #1117, department code#: 0634) directly from the GRE testing agency, ETS

I did better as an older student going back to school for my pre-requisites but my GPA is still low from my original college courses.  Can I still apply?
When we review an application we not only review the total GPA, but also the student's academic progress over time.  Positive trends over time are favorably considered by the program's admissions committee. 

If my GPA is under 3.0 will I automatically be rejected?
No, so long as your GPA is above a 2.5.  But a 3.0 and above is more competitive. 

What if I have pre-requisites in progress?  Can I still apply?
You may have up to 3 outstanding prerequisite courses to complete at the time of application submission.  So long as you can document that the course work will be completed by the start of class in May, your application will be considered for admission.  If you are offered a spot in the class with outstanding coursework you must provide proof that the coursework has been completed satisfactorily before you can matriculate. 

What kind of health care experience do you require?
We prefer that applicants have direct patient care experience.  This can be done by volunteering at a hospital, clinic, or nursing home, or by working in some health provider capacity in one of these areas.  If your health care experience includes interaction with physician assistants, it is even more valuable.  Other types of experience, aside from patient care, might be research or health-related employment.  Typically, a successful candidate’s experience is equivalent to one half-year at a full-time job. 

What is the deadline to apply?
December 1 of each year. 

What is the cost to apply?
Check at the CASPA website for their application processing fees (  In addition to the fee you pay to CASPA, RFUMS requests a $35.00 application processing fee. 

How do I check the status of my application?
During the CASPA portion of the application process you will need to track the status of your application using the tracking information supplied to you by CASPA. Once your application has been transmitted to our University, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on submitting the required processing fee. Print off the form, sign the form and return it with a processing fee to the University Admissions Office. Once the Admissions Office receives the processing fee, they will forward the file to the PA program for review. You can check on the status of application receipt from CASPA and the GRE with the Office of Graduate Admissions at: (847) 578-3209, or online at  

Once your completed application is sent to the PA program, you may direct all inquiries to the program at (847)578-8686. 

How many students do you accept each year?
We accept approximately sixty-five (65) students per year through a rolling admissions process.  Successful applicants are offered seats in the class until all are full.  Once the seats are full, subsequent applicants will be offered a chance to interview for a place on the waiting list.  It is to an applicant’s advantage to apply early in the cycle. 

If an applicant declines an offer to join our program, we then offer that spot to the next person waiting list. 

When are interviews held and does everyone get interviewed?
Interviews are held once a month between August and February.  As the number of applications far exceeds the number of available seats in the class, this is a competitive process and not all applicants are invited to interview.

If I am accepted at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, can I select any of my own rotations during my clinical year?
The Program's Clinical Coordinator schedules the core clinical curriculum.  Students have two electives to arrange on their own.  Every student has the option to arrange one of their rotations at a site of their choosing, subject to program approval.  There is a long list of established elective sites that students choose from as well. 

What percentage of your graduates get jobs in the PA profession?
We survey our graduates to gather data about their professional lives.  At our last survey 86% were working full-time as a clinical PA, and the rest were working in non-clinical jobs or choosing not to work at the present time.  Nearly 10% of our alumni have now completed post-graduate residency training programs. 

Our most recent graduates had success with their search for employment, with an average of 2.5 interviews and 1.4 job offers each.  Starting salaries were in the 50-60 thousand dollar range, with nearly a quarter of graduates receiving offers above 60 thousand. Overall, about 40% of all of our alumni are working in family practice, with the remaining 60% working in other medical or surgical specialties. 

Do you have a placement service for graduates?
Many of our students are offered positions during the course of their rotations by the clinical sites.  In addition, all position openings that are received in our Program are transmitted via e-mail to our current second year class and to a data base of alumni who have notified us that they wish to receive job listings.  This process enables us to get the new job opportunities into the hands of our students and alumni in the quickest possible manner and has been very successful. 

Will I be able to work at a job while I am going to school?
We have an intensive program of study which makes working outside of class nearly impossible.  During the second year clinical rotations there is no time available for an outside job.  Our students frequently experience rotations that require 60 or more hours per week. 

Can I specialize?
During the clinical year students have two electives in which they can choose to do their rotation in a specialty area. 

When do classes start?  Can I start mid-term?
Classes begin toward the end of May, around Memorial Day.  The class starts together and continues together.  We do not allow students to enter after the start of classes.

College of Health Professions Open House dates for the 2012-2013 Admissions Cycle

The College of Health Professions invites you to visit our University and College, tour our campus and speak with us about programs that are currently offered within the College of Health Professions.

For more information and to register online, watch the website.

Thank you for your interest.

Life in Discovery
3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, Il 60064-3095 • 847-578-3000