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Common Questions

What does the admissions committee look for in an applicant?
Candidates are evaluated on their entire merit, no one criterion is used exclusively in the evaluation of a candidate. Successful candidates typically have strong academic preparation, extensive experience in surgical pathology and the laboratory setting, exceptional letters of recommendation (submitted with the admission package) and exceptional photo and narrative submissions.

How long is the program?
The program is 8 academic quarters or approximately 22 months of study.

What is the timeline for the admissions process?

  • To simplify and facilitate the admissions process, RFUMS utilizes an online application process.
  • Applications for the current admissions cycle will be available on the 1st Monday of August, annually.
  • Applications and all application materials must be submitted by the last Friday of February, annually.
  • Interviews are held on-campus, typically between October and March. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interviews during the 2020-2021 admissions cycle will be held virtually.
  • The program begins in late May.

How can I check my status?
Once your application has been submitted online, you may check your application with RFUCAS by logging on to your profile, calling them at 617-612-2070 ext. 4 or emailing them at

Will my application be reviewed if it is submitted after the deadline and / or missing any of the requirements?
No, the program will not review or consider late and / or incomplete applications.

How do I use Interfolio to send my letters of recommendation?
Please follow these instructions on how to upload letters from Interfolio to an online application system.

When are interviews held and does everyone get invited to interview?
Interviews are typically held between October and March. This is a competitive process and not all applicants are invited to interview.

What type of interview format do you use?
The program utilizes the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format. This is a scenario based interview. Candidates will receive detailed MMI instructions prior to the start of their interview.

When does the program start?
The program matriculates in late May.

What is the class size?
32 Students per class.

How do I obtain surgical/anatomic pathology exposure?
Exposure to surgical pathology can be met with appropriately related work experience in a pathology lab, shadowing hours with a Pathologists’ Assistant, internships within a pathology lab, etc.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many challenges that may prevent applicants from obtaining in-person shadowing, internships and/or volunteer hours. The Pathologists' Assistant Program at RFUMS has partnered with its alumni, clinical preceptors and fellow pathologists' assistants to provide a virtual shadowing opportunity. Please contact the Admissions Office at or 847-578-3204 for more information.

Can autopsy exposure be used to fulfill the surgical pathology exposure requirement?
No, autopsy exposure alone does not satisfy the surgical/anatomic pathology exposure requirement.  However, the Program recommends applicants to obtain autopsy exposure in addition to surgical/anatomic pathology exposure.

Can I use college courses and/or college experiences to fulfill the surgical pathology exposure requirement?
No, college credit received for related coursework or experiences are not acceptable exposure.

Are there a minimum number of hours needed to fulfill the surgical pathology exposure requirement?
No, there are not a minimum number of surgical pathology hours required by the Program at this time. However, a minimum of 8 hours of surgical pathology exposure is recommended. To be a competitive applicant, additional exposure hours are encouraged, and should be obtained within two years of your application. Exposure to autopsy pathology is recommended, but not required.

Will the program waive the clinical requirement for on-the-job trained pathologists’ assistants and/or other medically licensed applicants?
No, in order to be certified by Rosalind Franklin University as eligible to sit for the ASCP certification exam, all students must complete the entire 8 quarters of the program.

Is this program recommended for applicants that are interested in forensics and crime scene investigation?
No, this Program does not teach forensics and crime scene investigation. The curriculum in this Program focuses on anatomic pathology, predominantly surgical pathology and autopsy pathology.

Can the program be completed online?
No, this is not an online program. Rare circumstances may require an exception to the Program’s on-campus didactic course requirement, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will the program accept prerequisite coursework taken more than ten years from the submission date of an application?
No.  Applicants that do not meet this requirement will be required to complete the necessary prerequisite course(s) prior to matriculation into the program.  A course(s) may be in-progress when an applicant submits their application, as long as the course will be completed before matriculation into the program.

Will the program waive a prerequisite course?
No, all six prerequisite courses must be successfully completed prior to matriculation into the program, and they must meet the stated required criteria.

What changes has the program made to the prerequisite courses in response to COVID-19?
In recognition of many undergraduate institutions which have moved courses to online instruction, the program will waive typical requirements for prerequisite courses, which includes laboratory experiences to be completed in person, and will accept spring and summer 2020 coursework delivered via online or distance learning to fulfill a prerequisite course requirement.

The program will waive letter grade requirements for prerequisite courses, and accept spring and summer 2020 coursework that is graded on a Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis to fulfill a prerequisite course requirement, particularly if the applicant was not given the choice to take the course on this basis. When provided the choice by an undergraduate institution, applicants are encouraged to maintain letter grade requirements.

Do you require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?
No. The program does not require applicants to submit official GRE scores.

Do you give preference to Illinois residents?
No. RFUMS 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.

Can I transfer into the program?
The Pathologists' Assistant program in the College of Health Professions does not accept transfer applications nor does it accept transfer credits.

Does the program have a supplemental application?
No, the program does not utilize a supplemental application.

Does the program accept non-degree applicants?
No, the program does not accept non-degree applicants.

Does the program accept early decision applications?
No, the program does not accept early decision applicants.

Does the program accept repeat applicants?
Yes, the program accepts repeat applicants. Repeat applicants will need to update their applicant portal information on their new application, and are strongly encouraged to submit new letters of recommendation, narratives and photos, CV, etc.

Does RFUMS offer financial assistance to its students?
Please visit the Financial Aid Office for more information.

How can I get in touch with the Admissions Office?
Email us:
Call us: 847-578-3204
Our address:
Rosalind Franklin University
Pathologists' Assistant Admissions
3333 Green Bay Road
North Chicago, IL 60064