The Medical Education Program is a 4-year program with an emphasis in primary care and duration of 166 weeks. It grants a doctor of medicine degree (MD degree). The MD Program consists of two years of pre-clinical courses in the core disciplines of Gross Anatomy, Biochemistry, Histology and Cell Biology, Microbiology/Immunology, Neurosciences, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Physiology.
During the second year, the organ-system approach is used to integrate the basic science curriculum content. The pre-clinical years provide integration of clinical content and early clinical experiences through Introduction to Clinical Skills, Pathophysiology, Behavioral Sciences and Basic Psychiatry. In addition, longitudinal programs in Community Medicine, Problem-Based Learning, Geriatrics, and Medical Ethics are integrated into the educational program of the first two years.
The third year provides the core clinical clerkships: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery.
The fourth year complements these core clinical experiences with advanced rotations in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Radiology, Surgical Subspecialties and Primary Care Selectives. Five months of elective rotations provide additional clinical experiences in several subspecialty fields.
A five-year program may be available for students who need to proceed at a slower pace during the basic sciences. The first two years are extended to three. The Medical Education Program is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and the Puerto Rico Council of Education (P.R.-C.E.).
Ordinarily, four years of undergraduate education are necessary to prepare for entrance into medical school; however, special programs (e.g., combined baccalaureate-M.D. programs) may allow this to be reduced. General education that includes the social sciences, history, arts, and languages is increasingly important for the development of physician competencies outside of the scientific knowledge domain. Ponce Health Sciences University strongly suggests that applicants apply with a BA/BS completed at a college-level institution accredited by the Council of Education of PR or by a US accrediting organization. Candidates that have completed a bachelor’s degree will be given preference. Within the bachelor’s degree, all applicants are requested to have completed the pre-med courses to comply with the requisites of the Puerto Rico Medical Board of Physicians (“Junta de Licenciamiento y Disciplina Médica de Puerto Rico”) and six credits in mathematics. For these requisites, online courses are not accepted.s. The courses required for admission are as follows (to be included in the bachelor’s degree): *Any of the following: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Sciences, and/or Economics. The English and Spanish requisites are direct language classes (grammar and/or literature). For the English requirement, classes from other departments described as “intensive writing” may be considered as a substitute. In addition to the above requirements, we strongly recommend coursework in Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Liberal Arts and/or Humanities.
- Fully bilingual in English and Spanish (read, write, speak and understand)
- Minimum GPA of 2.7 on a four-point scale (as calculated by AMCAS) is required for applying; our average is 3.5.
- Minimum Science GPA of 2.7 on a four-point scale (as calculated by AMCAS) is required for applying; our average is 3.2.
- The completion of a graduate degree in science or health allied field may be used to substitute the GPA and Science GPA of the bachelor’s degree.
- Minimum MCAT score is 494 – No more than three attempts will be considered – MCAT scores no later than three years prior to applying to P.H.S.U.
Ponce Health Sciences University has a combined baccalaureate-MD program in consortium with two private universities:
- Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico at Ponce (PUCPR) – The program with PUCPR includes two years of pre-medical courses at PUCPR and four years of medicine at P.H.S.U. You must contact their General Science Department at 787- 841-2000 for details.
- Interamerican University of PR at Ponce (UIA) – The program with UIA includes three years of pre-medical courses at UIA and four years of medicine at P.H.S.U. You must contact their Science Department at 787-284-1912 for details.
Each university is responsible for the selection of the candidates to participate. They are selected among those who show outstanding performance in High School and College Board Exams. For P.H.S.U., these candidates must comply with all requisites but are requested a minimum MCAT score of 20. Once the student meets all the admission requisites, will automatically be admitted to Ponce Health Sciences University. Applications are processed through AMCAS.
When evaluating the applicants, the Admissions Committee selects the best of all candidates applying. P.H.S.U. looks for students of integrity and maturity that show concern for others, leadership potential and a positive attitude for working with people. Preference will be given to local residents, but applicants from the US mainland are also invited to apply. The Admissions Committee evaluates applications considering several factors which include:
- Academic performance
- MCAT scores
- Applicant’s essay
- Extracurricular activities
- Life Experiences
- Experience in the health field (research, community work)
- Letters of recommendation
Accepted applicants that are still completing the degree, must successfully complete all courses in progress at the academic level they had been performing at the time of application.
Advanced Standing (Transfer)
The MD Advanced Standing Committee will consider applications for transfer from other medical schools to the second or third year of the MD Program. Applicants must be in good academic standing. Students with academic or disciplinary sanctions will not be considered for transfer. Students seeking the transfer from LCME accredited schools may be accepted to the level for which they are applying provided that their curriculum is equivalent to that of P.H.S.U. The number of acceptances will always depend on the availability of vacant spaces. Preference will be given to local residents. Tuition: will be in accordance with the academic year to which the applicant will be enrolled in.
Advanced Standing Admission Requirements
Present evidence of a bachelor’s degree from a college level institution accredited by the PR Council of Education or by a US accrediting organization and comply with the following courses:
*Any of the following: Psychology, Sociology, Political Sciences, Economics, or Anthropology
- Undergraduate GPA of 2.7 or higher (on a four-point scale)
- Fully bilingual in English and Spanish (read, write, speak and understand)
- Have taken the MCAT
- Be a bona fide student in good standing at his/her Medical School
- Have completed courses in medical school equivalent to P.H.S.U.’s curriculum prior to the year for which admission is requested.
- USMLE Step 1- approved preferably on the first attempt (to apply for admission to the third year)
- The student must submit the following:
- Official transcript from all institutions attended (undergraduate and graduate)
- Official transcript from the medical school from which the candidate is seeking transfer
- Letter of good standing from the dean of the medical school
- Submit two letters of recommendation from professors, academic advisors or clinical supervisors from the medical school which the student is attending, who can comment on his/her academic performance, character and interests.
- Letter explaining the reason(s) for seeking transfer to P.H.S.U.
- Certificate of No Penal Record (Police Clearance/Background Check)
- Application fee of US$75, non-refundable
Upon acceptance, all students are required to submit the following:
- Written confirmation of acceptance and a non-refundable deposit of $100.00 to secure the seat in the entering class.
- Physical Exam (using a form provided by the Admissions Office)
- Health Certificate from the Department of Health of PR
- Evidence of up to date immunization record (must include Varicella, Td Adult, MMR and three doses of Hepatitis B).
- Policy on Technical Standards
- Other documents will be notified as pertinent.
Classes and clinical rotations begin every July.
How to Apply
Application for Admission to MD Advanced Standing may also be obtained personally at the Admissions Office.
The deadline for submitting a complete application is MAY 15 of the same year admission is sought.
The program is designed to take 5 years to complete. Of those that completed the program in 2014-2015, 96% finished in 5 years.
Cost & Fees
Tuition and fees: $142,613
Books and supplies: $12,962
On-campus room & board: not offered
*The amounts shown above include costs for the entire program, assuming normal time to completion. Note that this information is subject to change.
Financing for this program may be available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans.
The median amount of debt for program graduates is shown below:
Federal loans: $6,444,871
Private education loans: $0
Institutional financing plan: $0
The school has elected to provide the following additional information: 96% of program graduates used loans to help finance their costs for this program.