Applying for Our Graduate Program: Frequently Asked Questions

 

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Can’t find the answer to your question? For questions about the admissions process and other general questions, contact Kaitlyn Jacobs at kjacobs42@cop.ufl.edu.

For questions about program content and structure, contact Dr. Almut Winterstein at almut@ufl.edu.

If you are ready to apply, contact graduateadmissions@cop.ufl.edu or visit the college’s graduate admissions website.


Frequently Asked Questions


Graduate Program

Application and Admission to the Graduate Program

International Students

Funding/Financial Information

 

 


 

 

Graduate Programs

What programs are available?

Our department offers three different graduate programs: a Residential Master of Science (MS), an Online Master of Science (MS), and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Our residential MS program shares the same foundational course work as the Ph.D. degree and has a strong focus on preparing its students for a research-focused career in academia, industry and government organizations in the department’s three research specialities, patient safety and program evaluation, pharmacoeconomics and pharmacoepidemiology.

Our PhD program is aimed at developing independent researchers and scholars in the department’s three research specialties, patient safety and program evaluation, pharmacoeconomics and pharmacoepidemiology. Graduates of the program will develop and direct research programs in universities, in the pharmaceutical industry, and in government organizations.

Our online MS program program is focused on working professionals who would like to advance their training in one of three specialties in Applied Pharmacoeconomics, Patient Safety in Medication Use, or Pharmaceutical Regulation.

What are your areas of specialty?

Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy focuses on four specialties: Pharmacoeconomics, Patient Safety and Program Evaluation, Pharmacoepidemiology and Managed Care Pharmacy Systems.

For more information about each specialty, please click here.

What research programs are you working on now?

For information about current research, please click here.

What does your curriculum look like?

For information about our core curriculum (shared by both residential M.S. and Ph.D. students), click here.

How many students do you admit each year?

The number of students we admit varies every year.  We typically provide funding for about five students each year but the total number of students we admit may be slightly higher.

How long does the typical student take to complete the MS program? the PhD program?

Depending on a student’s specialty area and research interests, the typical MS student will take 2 to 2 1/2 years to complete their studies. PhD students will average between 4 to 5 years to finish our program.

What kind of job can I expect to get after graduation?

Our department offers a variety of specializations.  As a result, employment-types depend somewhat on the chosen specialty.  Generally our graduates pursue employment in academia, the pharmaceutical industry as well as in contract research, in regulatory agencies, and in research departments across a variety of different organizations involved in healthcare delivery.

My background is in basic science/outside of pharmaceuticals.  Can I still apply?

A background in basic science would not disqualify someone from the program, but it would be important for the individual to explain why they are considering such a significant change in their focus area.  It would also benefit the individual to explain how they would see their career evolve with a PhD from our department.  With this said, we do enjoy diversity in our students’ backgrounds, and would certainly consider students with degrees outside of the health sciences, epidemiology, statistics, or economics.

Upon admission to the program, how do students go about choosing their research division?

In our PhD program, students in their first year are assigned to a temporary advisor in whatever field they think they will concentrate in. They would then spend the first year getting to know the research of the entire faculty and choose a permanent advisor (major professor) at the end of the first year.

Are there minor areas I can add to my MS or PhD, like a minor in Economics or Health Policy?

A student in a PhD can choose a minor field such as economics as long as there is a graduate degree program in that minor discipline. The description of what is required for a minor is contained in the University of Florida Graduate catalog at http://gradcatalog.ufl.edu/.


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Application and Admission to the Graduate Program

For additional information on Admissions, please visit the University of Florida Admissions “Frequently Asked Questions” page, located here.

Are you accepting students for the fall/spring?

We typically do admit new students each year, and only for the fall term.

Do I have to have an MS Degree to apply for the PhD program? What sort of education do I need to have in order to be eligible to apply?

No- you can apply for the PhD program without having earned an MS degree first.  Admissions requires applicants have a baccalaureate, a graduate/professional degree from a regionally accredited US institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution.

If I send you my CV/test scores/letters of achievement in an email, can you tell me if I will get in?

Unfortunately, we cannot evaluate your chance for admittance before you submit an application.  Because our program is very competitive, we take into account a lot of different factors when we select a student for admission and cannot evaluate an individual’s chances without seeing their entire application.

What are the admission requirements?

Please click here for our admission requirements.  To view the minimum admission requirements for all graduate students at the University of Florida, please click here.

What test scores do I need?

Grade Point Average (GPA):
  • We require our students to have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale.
 Graduate Record Examination (GRE):
  • Our students usually have GRE scores above 155 in both verbal and quantitative domains.  We also like to see a writing score of at least 3.5.  However, many variables factor into student selection and it’s difficult to evaluate the chance for admission without a complete application.
  Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):
  • The TOEFL-iBT is the preferred test, with a score of 25 or higher for each score on the reading, writing, and listening sections.  A score of 28 or higher is required for the speaking section of the TOEFL-iBT.
  • Answers to questions about waiving the TOEFL can be found in the “International Students” section of the FAQs below.

I got my degree in the US.  Do I need to turn in a GRE score?

We require every applicant to submit a GRE score without exception.

I got my degree in the US.  Do I need to turn in a TOEFL score?

We ask that all international students submit TOEFL scores, regardless of the length of time they have spend in the U.S.  The submission of TOEFL scores cannot be waived for those wanting to be considered for funding or employment.

Do you accept the GMAT?

Unfortunately, we do not.

My GRE score is over 5 years old/I only have a photocopy of my GRE scores.  Will you still accept it?

Unfortunately we do not accept expired GRE scores.  Additionally, we only accept official ETS scores, and for formal admission purposes, the University will not be able to take a photocopy of any test scores.

Will my application be dismissed if my scores are lower than what you suggest?

We evaluate every student on an individualized basis.  Because of this, we do not immediately dismiss any application that comes to us.  Each person is rated on their whole application and not on individual portions of it.  However, our program is very competitive, and many will retake tests that do not meet our recommended scores.
 

Will you take transfer credits from my previous degree?

We may be able to transfer one or more of your courses, which is generally permitted by the University of Florida (UF) graduate school. The decision will be up to your supervisory committee here at UF, and will be based on the syllabi and the committee’s assessment whether you are ready to start with a more advanced course (where applicable). Also, some advanced courses might have prerequisites which can only be waived by the instructor (who may not be faculty in our department).

In faculty’s experience, course work has never been the component that has defined students’ time to graduation. It is usually the development and conduct of the dissertation that takes much longer than expected. This said, we will certainly not have you repeat didactic content that you have already successfully completed.
 

Can I get a conditional admission?

We do not provide conditional letters of admission without an application.

Can you make an early admission decision if I turn in my application earlier than the deadline? 

Unfortunately, we are unable to make an early decision on an individual applicant before the application deadline. However, you may want to let us know when you need a decision because you have alternative offers that require your decision.

What is the application deadline?  When is the soonest I can send my application materials to you?

We ask that a completed application package be in our office by January 1. We usually reach our decisions by March.

How do I apply?

For directions on how to apply, and to find out what items must be included in your submission, please click here.

Where can I find the online application?

The University of Florida online application can be found on the UF Admissions website at http://www.admissions.ufl.edu/start.html.

What do I need to include in my application packet?

Please click here to see what items are required in the packet.

Who do I send my transcripts to? What if I’m still in school and they won’t be ready by the deadline?

Please send transcripts directly to the University of Florida Office of Admissions.  If you are graduating this semester and will not have your completed transcript until after our deadline, please submit your official transcripts to date.  Please note that the transcript should reflect that you are close to finishing your degree.

Students must submit two copies of their transcripts, as one copy stays with the department and the other goes to the Office of Admissions.

I only have a student copy of my transcript.  Is it okay to send that to you instead?

Unfortunately we cannot accept this as an official transcript.  If your institution cannot send an original copy of your transcripts, please contact us for directions.

Can I email you a copy of my transcripts? They have my institution’s official seal on them.

Unfortunately we cannot accept any transcript that does not come in a sealed envelope directly from your institution.  Original transcripts must be submitted to the University prior to enrollment.

Can I send the letters of reference in my packet to you? Can I send them to you by email?

We ask that you do not send us your letters of reference, but that they come directly from your recommenders.  Letters should be submitted online. If this is not possible, recommenders can complete the paper form and mail the recommendation directly to us in the department.

Directions for completing the on-line recommendation appear on the on-line application.  Traditional letters of recommendation (printed on letterhead) need to be signed by the recommender on the back of the sealed envelope.

Should I choose a specific research interest when I apply to the program?

If you know the area of research in our department that you want to focus on, please indicate this and explain the reason for your interest.  If you are uncertain about the specific area, state that you have not decided which area is of interest, but go on to list areas that you think may be of interest to you and why. Our students are not required to choose their area of specialty until the end of the first year of their study.

Where do I send my application packet? What is your mailing address?

Click here for details on where to send your entire packet. Click here to jump directly to the mailing addresses.

How can I check to see if you’ve received my test scores/letters of recommendation/transcripts? How can I check the status of my application?

To check the status of your application, visit the UF Admissions website at http://www.admissions.ufl.edu/appstatus.html.  You can also check your status via any page on the UF Admissions website: on the left side of the screen, click the brown “Check Status”. This will prompt you to log on to ONE.UF, where you can check your status. Remember to use your GatorLink User ID and password, not your temporary user ID or UFID.

My application status hasn’t been updated in the system.  When will that happen?

Your application status will change once all the materials have been delivered and verified.  If your application status has not changed within two weeks of submission, please contact us.


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International Students

If I am an international applicant who is currently living in the US, should I submit the domestic application or the international application?

Only citizens or permanent residents of the United States are eligible to send the domestic application.  If you are in international student currently residing in the US to attend school, you should submit the international application. Please note that the requirements are different if you applying for our Online Master of Science in Pharmacy program.  Please see the Online MS program’s website for additional information.

What test scores do International Students need to submit?

The TOEFL-IBT is the preferred test, along with the GRE.

I am currently studying in the US/received an undergraduate degree in the US.  Do I still have to submit GRE scores? Why?

Our graduate program is highly competitive.  As a result, we require a GRE score for every (domestic and international) applicant to help us assess each candidate equally.  Please note that we ask that the GRE be taken by the time you apply to the program.  Applications that do not have submitted GRE scores by the application due date will be delayed in processing.

What TOEFL scores will I need?

We like to see a TOEFL-IBT score of 25 or higher for EACH score on the Reading, Writing, and Listening sections and a score of 27 or higher on the Speaking section.  It is important to note that many variables factor into applicant selection and it is difficult to evaluate the chance for admissions based on these scores alone.

Does my TOEFL score qualify me for admission? If my TOEFL does not meet your recommended score, will my application be rejected?

Unfortunately, we cannot comment on the competitiveness of specific scores. Because we typically have many more applications than we have available openings in the graduate program, it is difficult to evaluate an individual’s chance for admission without a complete application.

All completed applications are measured on an individualized basis, and no application is immediately rejected without being reviewed by the selection committee. If your TOEFL score does not meet the department’s recommended score your completed application will still be considered, however many students will retake the test due to the limited amount of openings.  For more information regarding the  English language skills requirements for admission to the University of Florida, please visit the UF Graduate School website ( http://graduateschool.ufl.edu). 

Can the IELTS test replace the TOEFL IBT test?

Yes, a score from IELTS can replace the TOEFL IBT. To be considered competitive for our program, we like to see applicants with a score of at least a 7 on the IELTS which is equivalent to a 100 on the TOEFL IBT test.

I am currently studying in the US/received an undergraduate degree in the US.  Do I still have to submit TOEFL scores? Why?

We do not waive the TOEFL iBT because it includes a spoken English component.  Additionally, if you are seeking funding through the University, the spoken English component cannot be waived for appointment as a Teaching Assistant under Florida state law.

Our graduate program is highly competitive.  As a result, we ask that the TOEFL exam be taken by the time you apply to the program.  Applications that do not have submitted TOEFL scores by the application due date will be delayed in processing. If you have taken the test and are waiting for the results, you may share with our department an unofficial copy of the results and provide us with an estimate when the results will be available. This will expedite review of your application. Send this information to Kaitlyn Jacobs at kjacobs42@cop.ufl.edu.

Can I apply without the TOEFL and, in case of admission to the program, take the TOEFL after admission but before starting a Teaching Assistantship (TA)?

Unfortunately no. Our admission decisions are connected to TA or Research Assistantships (RA).  We will not be able to make a determination of financial support without official TOEFL scores.

My TOEFL scores have expired.  Do I need to take them again? Can I send you a photocopy of my scores?

All TOEFL scores must come directly from ETS, who do not officially report your scores after the two year period.  Unfortunately, we cannot accept photocopies of your expired TOEFL scores to meet this requirement.  As a result, we highly recommend that if your scores are expired that you retake the exam.

You may send a copy of your expired results along with an estimate when the new results are available to Kaitlyn Jacobs at kjacobs42@cop.ufl.edu. This will expedite the review process for your application.

Will you accept official transcripts from WES (World Educational Services)?

We do not accept the WES transcript as official transcripts.  If WES transcripts are sent, they are automatically coded as “unofficial” and placed in your file. We will review a file with the unofficial WES documents, however before you can be offered admission, your university must send official school transcripts.


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Funding/Financial Information

Do you provide financial support?

Fellowships, assistantships, and tuition waivers are available but competitive.  For applicants with US licensure, opportunities to work part-time as a pharmacist at the University of Florida teaching hospital or other pharmacies are available.

What’s a TA/RA?

TA stands for “Teaching Assistant”.  RA stands for “Research Assistant”.  Both are considered Graduate Assistantships (GA).  A graduate assistant is a person who serves in a support role while attending school. GAs receive a stipend and tuition waver for a work commitment of 0.33 FTE.

Is tuition covered when you are a TA/RA?

Graduate assistants do get a tuition waiver, which covers all credit hours you would need for graduating with a PhD.

How much is the stipend for a TA/RA?

The amount of the stipend we offer is between $18,000- $22,500 (US) per year, which allows students to cover most of their living expenses. Cost of living in Gainesville is relatively low. Please look here for current cost estimates.

How many hours per week does a TA/RA work?

Graduate assistants are asked to work an average of 13 hours per week as a teaching or research assistant.

Do TA/RA positions come with health care? What does it cost?

Graduate assistantships do come with health insurance provided.  For more information, visit the University of Florida’s Student Health Care Center webpage (located here), the University of Florida Human Resources Services website (located here) and the University of Florida & UF Health’s GatorCare website (located here.)

Can applicants for the MS program apply for an assistantship?

Both MS and PhD applicants are eligible to apply for an assistantship, and all interested applicants compete for the same funding opportunities we offer. Our assistantship opportunities are open to both domestic and international applicants

How do I apply for a TA/RA?

Please indicate on your application that you would like to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship award.

Why do I need TOEFL scores if I’m applying for a TA/RA?

Under Florida state law, TOEFL scores are required for international graduate assistantship appointments as they are tied to financial support.  International students must prove adequate command of the English language prior to getting the appointment by submitting Test of Spoken English (TSE) scores that meets the state’s required minimum score.  As a teaching assistantship is essentially considered employment through the State of Florida, this requirement will not and cannot be waived.

This is why we ask that all international applicants supply a TOEFL iBT score, as a score of 28 or above on the speaking section will satisfy the state’s requirement without having a student have to complete additional work.

Do I need to submit a financial status form or something like it if I am looking forward to getting a teaching or research assistantship?

The financial status form is required if you are funding your own education. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, this form is not required. 

Where can I find out more about financial support opportunities?

The University of Florida’s Office of Student Financial Affairs can provide you with information regarding financial aid.  You can access their website here.

Where can I find out more about the basic cost of attendance including additional fees?

Please visit the Student Financial Affairs website at http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/basics/cost-of-attendance/ for a listing of the projected costs of attending the University of Florida.  For international students, please visit the UF Admissions website at http://www.admissions.ufl.edu/intl/cost.html

 


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