Pre-Med at University of Miami

Can anyone provide information about the Pre-Med program at UM for prospective/admitted students? I know that there are some previous posts but they are dated or not entirely on point. Here are my questions:

  1. What is the placement rate for the pre-med program? The UM website says that "91% of students most highly recommended by the Office of Pre-Health Advising and Mentoring were admitted to allopathic medical school." This isn't very helpful since that could mean that 91% of the students with a 4.0 GPA were admitted to med-school. Does anyone know what the total (or overall) med school placement rate is for UM pre-med applicants?
  2. How rigorous is the pre-med coursework at UM? Are there a lot of "weeder" classes or classes with difficult curves that make it difficult to maintain a high GPA? Is there a high attrition rate with the pre-med program?
  3. It appears that only a small number of pre-med students are accepted into the Health Professions Mentoring (HPM) program. Are pre-med students that aren't admitted into HPM program at a serious disadvantage?

I would be very thankful for any information that current or past students or parents can provide.


I have the same questions @2020CollegeDad … son was accepted, Singer Scholarship, Foote Fellow, but, it seems, not accepted to the Health Professions Mentoring program. He may not be 100% sold on UMiami, if he is at a disadvantage by not being in the program.

I was accepted to the Health Professions Mentoring Program but not the Foote Fellow so I’m also unclear about what the different qualifications are for the different honors programs

Does anyone have med school acceptance rates for UM?

my son is still deciding, what helped you make your decision?

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Most undergrad colleges do not publish their success rates for medical school placement. Those that do, supply data that should not be trusted.

Med school admission numbers can be manipulated in dozens of ways.

The most common method among private universities like UMIami is requiring that students go through the Health Professional Committee to receive a committee LOR. What the committee does is pre-screen med school applicants and only recommends those they believe have a strong chance for a med school admission. Committees set minimum standards for GPAs and MCAT scores for LOR consideration. They also review ECs and professor recommendations. Most school also hold a interview with the student before making a recommendation decision.

While students can apply to medical school without a HPC letter of recommendation, it is considered a “red flag” by med school admission committees and will damage a student’s chances for a med school admission.

UMiami does use a committee letter to control which students are allowed to apply to medical school.

Some undergrads manipulate their med school admission data by not defining what they mean by “medical school”. Some schools only count US MD and DO admissions. Other include admission to any graduate level health profession program (PsyD, PA, APRN, OT, PT, etc.). Still others include admission to non-US medical schools such as those in Eastern Europe or the Caribbean.

Also the number admitted from the undergrad will include ALL of the following:

–students in BA/MD or Early Assurance programs who hold guaranteed admission to med school if they meet minimum GPA requirements (Miami does have an Early Assurance program)

–students who apply to medical school directly from undergrad

– reapplicants (student who have applied previously to medical school. but did not get accepted)

–alumni applicants-- students who have graduated from UMiami in earlier years who are now applying to med school after up tp 5 or more gap years. Alumni applicants may have taken post-baccalauate coursework elsewhere (like a post-bacc for career changers or a GPA enhancement program)

The take-away–don’t trust any numbers supplied by an undergrad touting its success in medical school placement.

Also there isn't any undergrad in the US that tracks the success rate of freshman pre-meds in gaining an acceptance to med school. Since pre-med is an intention, not a particular major, there is no way for a university to determine exactly who is a pre-med.

My recommendation to parents and students is to find an undergrad that provides the best mixture of 

â—Ź Cost-- Med school is hideously expensive. Pre meds  are strongly advised to minimize their undergrad debt since med school will largely be paid via loans, loans and more loans. The median med school debt for newly graduated MDs is $220K with 1/3 graduating with over $350K. 

â—Ź Opportunity-- The undergrad should provide the student a chance to grow and explore--including other majors/other careers since the vast majority of freshman pre-meds will never apply to med school (and of those that do, 60% won't get a single acceptance).

â—Ź Fit

Med school adcomms are agnostic about the name of the undergrad an applicant attends. MCAT and GPA are the first round of determinate used in med school admission selection. That’s followed by consideration of : ECs (physician shadowing, clinical exposure, community service, leadership–and research at some med schools; most don’t care about research experience) , LORs, personal statements, secondary essays and interview performance.

@laxmom2000 My D is also a Singer Scholar and Foote Fellow on the pre-med path. She was not part of the HPM program nor were most of her pre-med fellow students. She did participate in the HHMI program for the chemistry/biology labs in freshman year (and strongly encourages it.) Being a Foote Fellow is an amazing perk at the U because it frees students from taking the cognates (think distribution requirements) so that they can pursue a second major or additional minors.

She began at UM as biology major, but is now a health sciences major on the pre-med track (there are 6 tracks depending on student’s plans post-graduation.) She is very happy with the switch because, despite doing very well in all her biology classes the first two years, she wasn’t passionate about biology and wanted to pursue more classes in public health and psychology. After taking microbiology this spring, she has said that she would have considered a microbiology major if she had known how much she would enjoy it. My point is that being a Foote Fellow freed her to explore these classes yet be prepared for graduate school.

She will graduate next year with a major in health science and minors in chemistry, public health, psychology, and health communications. She could take one additional course to have a biology minor, but she doesn’t see the point. She will have completed all the pre-requirements for medical school or any other graduate health-related program. Many students end up take post-baccs, but she won’t need to.

My D hasn’t pursued research because of other interests, but many of her friends who intend to apply to medical school have found opportunities at the university.

Finally, being a Singer Scholar is a wonderful thing. Merit scholarships like those are not won easily. Congratulations!

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I think the HPM is more focused on diversity. With Singer and Foote, Miami seems like it would be great for a premed.

I am a rising Sophomore pre-med that just transferred out of the University of Miami this semester!

I was not accepted into the HPM program like many others, but I still enrolled at the U, as I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. As far as courses, it doesn’t make that much of a difference—HPM only adds Clinical Medicine and MCAT courses. The website says HPM students get access to HHMI labs, however, you can enroll in these even if you aren’t, I took them last semester. As far as pre-med requirements, there are other similar programs that can assist. The UM PRISM program creates a schedule for students in which they finish most of their pre-reqs by the end of their sophomore year.

What I did notice, and what eventually made me want to transfer out, were the non-course benefits not available if you aren’t in HPM. I found volunteering at the on-campus hospital to be near-impossible if you are not an HPM student. When I was looking for research with professors, during my first interview, the professor explicitly told me they typically only accept HPM scholars immediately, and if I were to join his team I would need a year or two of maintaining a 3.8+. Then of course there are other seminars, shadowing, clinical opportunities that just put me off to the idea of pre-med at UM.

You should by no means let this discourage you from applying/enrolling, as there are still many clubs that can help give MCAT advice, pre-med advice and many professors can help you on your journey, but it just wasn’t for me. I hope this helped!

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@alfkla86 so you think it’s hard to get pre-med extracurriculars (research, shadowing, volunteer, etc.) if you aren’t in the HPM program? Other UMiami pre-med forms mentioned that it was easy to get reach opportunities. How do you recommend going about these difficulties and disadvantages?

Past few years, each year there are about 30 students getting accepted to HPM. Old BSMD got canned because students, though brilliant test takers, goofed too much in those three years, most had little clinical exposure, going into medical school phase was a crap shoot, some good, some really bad. Ergo, Program got canned.

HPM had in existence the past 7-8 years now, first few years were transformative, not much data to show whether is is really worth it vs other BSMD assured program.

But it is now very matured, student data consistent year after year. Students are required to have clinical exposure from the get go. Most got that at that shiny Lennar Health Center on campus for their clinical exposure. GPA is not an issue. 5-6 students will drop out of premed, because they are not interested in medicine. The other 24-25 students will be invited for intramural (not open to other school) Medical Scholar Program MSP (some call it Medical Scholar, some call it Miller Scholar, eitherway MSP) at end of their sophomore year. 8-9 (1/3 of this group) will be chosen, have one year to take MCAT score 512. Program will pay Kaplan prep course fee. Pretty much everyone got past 512, start first year UM medical school their senior year. Of those 15-16 (2/3 of HPM) not chosen, 12-13 will end up in UM after 4 years. The other 2-3 left over will end up at other medical school.

No major requirement, you do not have to be in Prism, Da Vinci, or any other program. But being a Foote scholar will make your classes scheduling much easier. You can major in any thing, but top three are bio, health science, microbio. I personally will choose Econ, just to be fun and have more real life application later.

So if you got into HPM, your chance of going to medical school is very, very, very good. Compared to national average of 40% and UF’s 45%.

@alfkla86 where did you transfer to?

Is it hard to get into HPM? How many do they take?

Would you update us on your daughters experience at UM? How was advising fir med school applications not being part of HPM? Does she feel she had the same assistance, volunteer, shadowing, research opportunities? I’ve seen others say you are at a disadvantage if you are not in HPM.

Hi @jtrice Despite doing well in the freshman and sophomore biology courses, my daughter is no longer a biology major in the College of A&S. She was not a part of HPM (didn’t even know what that was when she applied to UM), but she was invited to participate in PRISM (she opted not to do so) but did participate in the HHMI labs for freshman year chemistry and biology (strongly recommends.) The advising was terrible although the Foote Fellow advisor did manage to help her when she was having issues getting into certain courses during registration.

At the end of sophomore year, she applied and was able to transfer to the College of SONHS as a health sciences major on the pre-med track. She’s taken all the courses necessary to apply to med school including organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, etc. She will graduate in May with a health science major and minors in chemistry, public health, and psychology.

Despite meeting all the qualifications to go to med school, my daughter decided some time ago that she wants to be a physician assistant. Unfortunately, this means that I can’t speak directly to how the recommendations are for non-HPM students to medical schools. She does have friends that weren’t in HPM that received recommendations in past years. The pandemic has disrupted everything so shadowing and research opportunities have been extremely limited if not impossible - even for juniors and seniors.