FAQ for Prospective Students

General Information

What is GPPA Medicine?

GPPA stands for Guaranteed Professional Program Admissions. This UIC program guarantees a select number of incoming freshmen a seat in the professional or graduate program of their choice, in this case UIC's College of Medicine, provided the student qualifies upon completion of his/her undergraduate studies here at UIC. The students admitted to the program maintain their guarantee through fulfilling a list of Conditions of Acceptance which are requirements to prepare them for their graduate or professional school experience. For additional information about the programs, the undergraduate experience, and applying beyond what is provided below, you can contact Beth Powers, at (312)355-3380 or bpowers@uic.edu.

What is the advantage of GPPA Medicine?

GPPA Medicine students have the advantage of allowing the students to pursue any undergraduate curricula at UIC before they go on to their professional/graduate degree without the pressure of needing to pursue admission to medical school.

Within the GPPA Medicine program, the College of Medicine facilitates its mission to give GPPA Medicine students an understanding of a wide range of aspects of medicine, including the overall pursuit of medicine as a profession, its history, the philosophy of medicine, and issues in medicine, health policy and society today.

GPPA Medicine students are encouraged to pursue research both in and outside of healthcare and the sciences, to pursue study abroad, to pursue civic engagement/service and to pursue a wide range of activities both inside and outside the classroom.

GPPA Medicine is also non-binding in such that it allows applicants the opportunity to apply to other medical schools when preparing to matriculate to medical school.

Are the programs accelerated?

The programs are not designed as accelerated programs, although some students may finish their undergraduate degree early due to Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate credit. The GPPA requires that each student to complete three years of work before going into the College of Medicine. GPPA Medicine students have up to five years to enter the College of Medicine and are encouraged to consider pursuing as many experiences in and out of the classroom before entering medical school.

Eligibility Requirements

What are the requirements needed to be eligible for GPPA Medicine?

GPPA Medicine applicants must have the following requirements to apply:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident
  2. Be a resident of the State of Illinois

What if I do not meet one of these requirements?

If a student does not have the residency requirements to apply, he or she will be ineligible for application to GPPA. No exceptions are made to the residency requirement.

Can transfer students apply to the GPPA? If not, will this ever change?

GPPA is available only to beginning freshmen. At this time, there are no plans to change the program, and no exceptions are made.

Admissions Information

What criteria are used for selection of GPPA Medicine students?

There a number of different criteria including a full understanding of each applicant’s academic record, extracurricular activities and service, and motivation for their career in medicine. We look for each student to let us know who they are and understand what they will bring to our program.  We review a wide range of information provided including essays, letters of recommendation, transcript, activities, test scores (ACT/SAT Composite), and high school GPA/rank.

How competitive is this program and what can I do to improve my chances of getting in?

The GPPA Medicine program is highly competitive for admission. It is the most competitive of our GPPA programs and only about 10% of the applicants are offered places in any given year. There are approximately 350 to 400 applicants per year. As noted above when asked about criteria, we look at all aspects of each of our applicants. The average ACT composite of admitted GPPA Medicine applicants is a 33 to 34 and rank in the top two percent of the high school class; however, GPPA Medicine regularly admits students with both higher and lower ACT composite scores than the program average.

What every applicant should know is that we look to understand his or her strengths and weaknesses. We seek to understand what each applicant will bring to UIC and the GPPA and how they will benefit from being a part of the program. The important thing to remember is that every aspect of the application matters and we look at all aspects of it. We encourage you to take full advantage of each of the three essays that are required in the application. Your challenge is to give us the fullest picture of who you are.

What is the admissions process like after my application has been received?

Once your application has been submitted and is complete, it is reviewed by the Honors College and the College of Medicine simultaneously. The Honors College will contact you via email to make arrangements for you to attend an Honors College interview. This is the important first step in the process for you. Simultaneously, the College of Medicine reviews each of the applicants and makes a determination which applicants are going to be selected for interviews. Once you attend an Honors College interview, your work as an applicant is complete unless you are contacted to attend an interview at the College of Medicine. All decisions for GPPA will be sent out by April 1st.

What percent of applicants were admitted to the GPPA Medicine last year?

Approximately 14% of 2012 applicants were offered places in the GPPA Medicine program. The ideal incoming GPPA class is between 20 and 25 students in any given year.

Does the admissions committee for GPPA Medicine use quotas for any particular group of students?

No, the GPPA Medicine program does not use quotas for any particular groups of students, high schools, etc.

Can I request an interview for GPPA Medicine and, if so, how do I set up an interview?

No. The Honors College will contact you to arrange an interview for the Honors College, which is the first step in the admissions process once your application is submitted. The College of Medicine will contact a select number of applicants to attend a GPPA interview at the College of Medicine. An interview at the College of Medicine is required in order to be admitted to GPPA Medicine.

What percentage of GPPA Medicine applicants are invited for a GPPA interview?

GPPA Medicine invites approximately 25% of its applicants to the College of Medicine for an interview.

I heard that the College of Medicine has more than one campus and that if I am admitted, I may be assigned to a campus other than Chicago?

All admitted GPPA Medicine students will be assigned to one of the College of Medicine's four campuses at the time of admission to GPPA Medicine.  The College of Medicine has campuses in Chicago, Peoria, Rockford, and Urbana-Champaign.  The assignment is made randomly at the time of admission to GPPA so that each applicant is informed from the time they begin as freshmen.

Is there a waiting list for GPPA medicine, since if a student is not accepted on the first list, considering that everyone who will get accepted at UIC may not come to UIC?

No, there is no waiting list. There are many reasons for this as we anticipate the size of the incoming class knowing that not all of our admitted students will attend. Secondly, there is an issue with the time an admitted student has to make a decision to attend his or her colleges and universities. If a student were put on a waiting list, we would not be able to let students know until after the binding national reply deadline of May 1 whether there is room in the program, thus if he or she wanted to attend another university or college in lieu of attending UIC and GPPA, that opportunity would not be possible.

If you were not offered GPPA would you still have Honors at UIC?

Absolutely, yes if a candidate is admitted to the Honors College but not GPPA, the admission to the Honors College stands separately and we welcome each Honors College incoming student! The Honors College has a fantastic record of its students being admitted to medical school as regular applicants. It is a great opportunity and at any given time a very, very small percentage of medical school students across the country are admitted to GPPA or programs like it.

Application Specifics

Do I have to submit more than one application for the GPPA, UIC and the Honors College?

UIC will be using the Common Application system beginning for fall semester 2013 applicants.  All applicants for GPPA will complete the Common Application and complete the UIC Supplemental Application within the Common Application system.  The GPPA and Honors College application items are included in the UIC Supplemental Application.  Each applicant will be asked to upload a GPPA statement to apply for GPPA and a separate Honors College statement to apply for the Honors College.

If I want to apply to more than one GPPA program, do I need to submit a separate application for each one?

Submitting an application to more than one GPPA program is no longer allowed effective for applicants for the fall 2011 as freshmen.

Can I apply for an application fee waiver?

There is no application fee for GPPA; however, yes, you can apply for an application fee waiver. The fee waiver application is part of the Common Application and can be found at the Common Application website.

If I'm required to write an essay, what's the topic?

Students are asked to write three separate essays as part of the whole application process. One is a personal statement included in the Common Application initial application, a second essay is GPPA statement which asks about your desire and motivation for your intended career and why a guaranteed path is the right one for you, and a third essay is an Honors College statement, which specifically asks your motivation for joining the Honors College and what you can bring to the Honors College community.

Do I need to take the SAT-II or the ACT Writing Test?

No. UIC currently requires either your SAT, SAT-I or ACT scores for the GPPA program.

Can I submit any supporting documents, such as awards, etc.?

The only materials that are needed are the materials listed on the application. Any other supporting documentation will not be forwarded to the department. Also supporting documentation does not play a role in decision making.

How can I be sure that the GPPA Medicine program has received my application materials?

You can track your application status at http://www.uic.edu/depts/oar/undergrad_gppa/check_status_gppa.html, and call the Special Programs Unit to check to see if everything has been received by calling 312-996-8365.

What is the admissions process like after I submit my materials?

See below.


Program Information and Requirements

Are there minimum requirements to remain in the GPPA?

Yes. They are detailed in the Conditions of Acceptance each year and given to each applicant who is admitted.  In general, courses representing the standard pre-medicine curriculum are required including general college biology, general college chemistry, organic chemistry, genetics, general college physics, and one upper-division animal biology or biochemistry course.  Each GPPA student must maintain a 3.5 cumulative UIC GPA.  Each student must also prepare for and take the MCAT (please see below for our policy and philosophy regarding the MCAT).

Do GPPA Medicine students have to belong to the Honors College?

Yes, the GPPA Medicine program requires the Honors College.

Why is the MCAT (Medical College Aptitude Test) still required if I've been guaranteed admission into the College of Medicine?

The MCAT is required nationwide for all medical schools and colleges. Having the scores of the GPPA participants allows the College of Medicine to assess each student within the program on a national spectrum. The MCAT is believed to be a pivotal first step in assisting GPPA students to begin understanding the process not only of what will be the first of a series of nationalized, standardized tests that will be taken in medical school.

What is the difference between a major and being pre-medicine as an advising track?

Pre-medicine is actually an advising track, with many possible majors available. UIC has over 70 undergraduate majors and GPPA students may pursue any major that we offer while completing requirements for pre-medicine, the Honors College, and GPPA. These requirements are designed to mesh together and provide a complete experience for GPPA Medicine students covering both their own desired major and required courses for preparation for medical school.

Do GPPA Medicine students take classes with only GPPA Medicine students?

No, GPPA Medicine students are members of the UIC undergraduate student body and the Honors College. Each GPPA Medicine student will be in class with other UIC undergraduates and Honors College students. Each semester of a GPPA Medicine student's first year there is at least one Honors College course that is with only other Honors College students. GPPA Medicine students are in GPPA Medicine seminars together with other members of their cohort. The GPPA Medicine seminars are a chance to be together in a small group setting to discuss a wide range of topics related to medicine.