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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.
  • 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

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.

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 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. 

Can autopsy exposure be used to fulfill the surgical pathology exposure requirement?
No, autopsy exposure alone does not satisfy the surgical pathology exposure requirement.  However, the Program recommends applicants to obtain autopsy exposure in addition to surgical 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.  Generally speaking, the more hours an applicant has the better, but the Program understands that hours may be hard to come by depending on geographic locations.

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.

Do you require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?
No. We do 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 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