The following are guidelines to help you to complete your Health Science Application. If you don't see the answer to your particular question, PLEASE ASK Dr. Tischler in Birck 333 or 630-829-6536.
Application and Interview Questions
- My GPA is not high enough - I don't have enough hours (30) here at BenU. Can I still go through the committee?
- If your GPA is close or you don't have enough hours, you need to speak with Dr. Tischler. She can review applicants on a case-by-case basis. You must have a signed approval sheet from her attached to your application packet when you apply to be considered.
What kind of photo do I need to use?
- Photos are used to make sure the person filling out the application is the person coming through the interviews. It is also used when the committee discusses each candidate. There are a lot of you interviewing and it helps the committee to have a photo in front of them to make sure they are thinking of and discussing the right candidate. You DO NOT need to have professionally taken photos or passport photos. You can use a color or black & white photo. You can use a photo that you have sitting on you desk, your driver's license, a photo that you just took in Coal Ben... any photo is OK as long as it is of you and your face is clearly visible (and a school appropriate photo). Upload the photo into your application. (If using an individual photo, PLEASE make sure it is securely attached to the application.)
What if my high school used percentages instead of a GPA?
Write in whatever you have.
Jobs, activities, alternate career choices.... - How many? How do I write this?
Don't overthink your answers! You can use bullet points and just make a list.
For example: Current/Past Jobs:
Fry cook at McDonalds - flipped burgers;
Secretary at Dr. John Paul's Dentist office - greeted patients, filed charts, helped set up equipment.
For "alternate plans if you don't get accepted", just state what you will do if you don't get in the first time around. For example:
If I do not get into medical school, I am going to work on my MPH degree and try again next year. OR
I am going to continue working at Dr. Paul's office and work to shadow him to get more experience and training. OR
I am going to get training as a CNA, etc. OR
I am going to do volunteer work in Doctors Without Borders and travel the world....
We want to make sure that you have an alternate plan if, for some reason, you don't get accepted your first time around.
How long does my personal statement need to be?
- Personal statements should be 1 to 1 1/2 pages long. The can be single or double spaced. No less than 3/4 of a page single-spaced. The length of your answer is not as important as the quality of the writing. Make sure you proofread for mistakes and typos. The Academic and Career Enrichment Center (ACE) can help you proofread your letter.
How many activities do I need to list? I am super active and have a ton... I don't spend much time on campus...
- The number of activities you list depends on you. We want to see that you are a well-rounded individual. Do you tutor at your church? Teach a language at your youth center? Are you a coach for the park district league? These activities can be listed just the same as being a Chem TA or grader. List what you do that keeps you busy.
How do I turn in my application?
- Once you have completed your application here's how I want it:
- Save the application as a Word document as follows: (LAST NAME, FIRST NAME Committee Year) eg: Smith, John F2017 or Doe, Jane SP2018.
- EMAIL a copy of the completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org
- In addition to the emailed copy, ONE paper copy of the application, a SIGNED "Academic Honesty" form, and a SIGNED checklist - paper clipped together - must be turned in to Dr. Tischler in Birck 333
I have already turned in my application but I was wondering how do we sign up for interviews? Can we automatically sign up at each of the committee member's doors once we turn in our application? Or, do we have to wait until we get an email that says when we need to sign up?
- SPRING: Based on the number of applications, you may be separated into interviewing time blocks. This allows for equity among the students interviewing and a manageable work load for the committee members. Dr. Tischler will evaluate the applications each session to determine if time block sessions are necessary. If this happens, you will be notified via email no later than the MONDAY after the applications are due. If you do not recieve an email, you are free to go to the committee member's door and sign up.
FALL: Most likely there will not be interviewing groups in the fall. You are free to sign up as soon as the sign up sheets are posted.
When are the sign up sheets posted? Where are they posted?
- The Committee members will have sign up sheets posted on their door. Committee members need to see how many applicants will be going through in a session so they can designate the appropriate amount of time for interviews. If the applications are due on Friday, the members will begin to post their sheets on Monday. Some members may not begin their interviews on the "interview start date". Please be patient.
My interviews didn't go very well. Will my letter be bad?
Each member of the committee interviews differently. Some may have group formats, some may have readings that need to be done prior to your interview and others will just ask you about you. Relax. Be yourself. We know that you are nervous. The HSRC interviews are good practice for when you receive interview requests from medical and professional schools. Committee members will help you through the interview process and give you tips for improvement. While the interview process itself is important, it is not the only factor in determining your recommendation level.
I went through the committee three years ago and I need a letter sent out now. Do I have to go through the Interview sessions again? Can my letter be updated?
- Once you go through the Interviewing process, you do not need to do it again. We hold letter files for ten years and a letter can be requested at any time. If you need to add experience relevant to your career choice, email Dr. Tischler email@example.com with the updates. Your letter will go out with current date, updated GPA and/or graduation date and any information Dr. Tischler adds per your request at her discretion. Please remember that we cannot assess courses taken elsewhere after you graduate. The letter will read "Since graduation 'the student' reports that..."
I am changing my focus. I no longer want to be an MD I want to be a dentist... I'm going into a graduate program... (or any switch from your original interview). What about my letter?
- The letter can be adjusted for whatever focus you choose. If you change from your original interview focus, you will need to email Dr. Tischler with your changes AND any relevant information/experiences you have had for your new choice. She will evaluate the information and get back to you about updating your letter. Letters are requested the same way, but for clarity, please just write on your request form "CHANGING TO XXXXXXXX" and circle it or highlight it just to make sure the correct letter is used.
Is it possible for me to have all my letters of recommendation (I am anticipating receiving 3 besides the committee letter) sent together as a "letter packet"? Is it possible for them to be uploaded together into my AMCAS Profile?
- Each of your letters requires its own letter ID number. When you set up your AMCAS account you enter who will be submitting each of your letters individually. When you enter Dr. Tischler's contact information, She is the letter writer for that ID number. I don't believe that there is any such thing as a "letter packet" since each letter is uploaded individually. Each person that submits a letter for you will have their own unique letter ID number.
- Do I have to designate which schools I want it sent to even if it is uploaded electronically to AMCAS (CAS, Interfolio, AADSAS, etc.)?
If you are sending your recommendation letters to the professional schools electronically through AMCAS, CAS, etc., you don't need to tell me which individual schools you are applying to - I just need to upload your letter into the portal site. Only one $5.00 electronic upload fee is required. If you request that letters be uploaded into both the AMCAS and Interfolio sites, a $10.00 fee would be due.
What do I need to turn in when I request the letters?
You need the following:
- A "Request for Letter" form
- A "Release of Rights" form
- Your payment (CASH or Check-payable to "Benedictine University") only - NO CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED. $5.00 for each electronic upload or for each paper mailed out letter. $2.00 for each emailed out letter (.edu emails only).
- FOR AMCAS: Your letter writer sheet that has your AAMC ID and your AMCAS LETTER ID on it.
- Any online request - Use Dr. Tischler's name as the letter writer and her email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- For an email request - Make sure you have the school name, the program you are applying to, the email address and the name of the person that the letter is being emailed to/or "admissions". We reserve the right to refuse to email a letter if the address is not a .edu.