Outreach Programs


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  • Professional Portal Program FAQ

    The following are answers to frequent questions about the Professional Portal Program.

    What is the target audience for the program?

    The Professional Portal Program is intended for students who:

    • Strive towards careers in health care or biomedical science;
    • Belong to racial or ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine or come from an environmentally or economically disadvantaged background that renders them less than academically competitive;
    • Are most likely to serve medically underserved communities or populations.

    What constitutes an environmental or economic disadvantage?

    The dederal definitions for environmental and economic disadvantages are taken from rhe Health Professions Education Partnerships Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-392).

    An individual is considered "environmentally/educationally disadvantaged" if they come from an environment that has inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge skills and abilities required to enroll in and graduate from a health professions school, or from a program providing education and training in an allied health profession.

    Specific criteria for an environmentally disadvantaged background include:

    • The individual graduated from (or last attended) a high school with low ACT or SAT scores based on most recent data available.
    • The individual graduated from (or last attended) a high school from which, based on most recent data available: (a) a low percentage of seniors receive a high school diploma or (b) a low percentage of graduates go to college during the first year after graduation.
    • The individual graduated from (or last attended) a high school with low per capita funding.
    • The individual graduated from (or last attended) a high school at which, based on most recent data available, many of the enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced price lunches.
    • The individual comes from a family that receives public assistance (e.g. Aid to Families with Dependent Children, food stamps, Medicaid, public housing).
    • The individual comes from a family that lives in an area that is designated under section 332 of the Act as a health professional shortage area.

    An individual is considered "economically/financially disadvantaged" if they come from a family with an annual income below a level based on low-income thresholds according to family size, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index, and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health and allied health professions programs.

    The Secretary defines a "low-income" family for programs included in Titles VII and VIII of the PHS Act as having an annual income that does not exceed 200 percent of the Department's poverty guidelines.

    The Department's poverty guidelines, published in the Federal Register, are based on poverty thresholds published by the U.S. Census Bureau, adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index. The Secretary annually adjusts the low-income levels based on the Department's poverty guideline and makes them available to persons responsible for administering the applicable programs. 

    Who should consider applying to the program?

    Applicants must meet the following criteria. They must:

    • Formally apply and be denied admission, within the past calendar year, to either the School of Medicine, Dentistry or Graduate Studies in Health Sciences at UMMC.
    • Have Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) or Dental Admissions Test (DAT) scores not more than four years old.
    • Belong to a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in medicine or come from an environmentally or economically disadvantaged background.
    • Be recommended by the medical, dental or graduate school's admission officer based on the following:
      • Academic credentials (low GPA or entrance exam scores) less than competitive with the current applicant pool and not immediately correctable by diligent effort on the part of the applicant.
      • Possession of non-cognitive, non-academic and other professional attributes sought by the school.
      • Demonstrated interest in or promise of serving medically underserved communities or populations.
    • Expressed interest in completing the two-year Master of Biomedical Science degree program.
    • Be invited to apply by the Professional Portal Program director and submit acceptable Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

    What courses are offered in this program?

    The PPT program includes seven required core courses and elective courses. Consult the PPT curriculum for course descriptions and an updated PPT calendar for the academic schedule.

    What are the outcomes for the program?

    The primary outcome for successful completion of the Professional Portal Program program is the awarding of the Master of Biomedical Science (M.S.) degree.

    In addition, both successful completion of M.S. program requirements and accomplishment of specific academic remediation requirements, as specified by the relevant admissions committees, will afford an individual entry into their school of primary interest (Medicine, Dentistry or Graduate Studies in Health Sciences).

    Does this program guarantee subsequent entry into the School of Medicine, Dentistry or Graduate Studies in Health Sciences?

    Yes, but only if the individual meets the following criteria:

    • Successful completion of all requirements for the degree of Master of Biomedical Science;
    • Completion of specific, individualized academic remediation requirements, specified by the relevant admissions committee including but not limited to:
      • Retake of standardized tests (MCAT, DAT, GRE) with achievement of specified scores; and/or:
      • Achievement and maintenance of a specified GPA in the academic coursework leading to the Master of Biomedical Science degree.

    Is financial aid available?

    Scholarships are not available at this time. PPT students should be prepared to pay for the summer quarter of graduate school expenses at registration. For those who complete requirements listed in Steps for Aid, financial aid customarily available to graduate students (federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans) may be available in time for registration for the fall quarter in August.

    Is a thesis required?

    No. Graduation from the Professional Portal Program and awarding of the Master of Biomedical Science degree do not require completion of a thesis.

    What is the anticipated timeline for admission?

    The admissions process in both the School of Medicine and Dentistry can accommodate the following timeline. Months listed refer to the calendar year following the initial unsuccessful application to medical, dental or graduate school. For example, a student who applied for admission to professional school in summer 2011 would receive notification from the admissions officer of review for recommendation into the Professional Portal Program in March 2012.

    • March 15: Potential applicants to the Professional Portal Program will be notified of review and/or possible interview.
    • March 30: An invitation to apply to the Professional Portal Program will be issued by the program director.
    • May 1: Application to the Professional Portal Program must be received; notification that a student has taken or is scheduled to take the GRE must accompany the application.

    What is the duration of the Professional Portal Program?

    The Professional Portal Program begins with a mandatory summer entrance examination (MCAT or DAT) preparation course offered by the Division of Multicultural Affairs followed by one year of course work required for the Masters of Biomedical Science (M.S.) degree.

    Grades for course work in Master's program are required reapplication to medical/dental school. Students enrolled in the first year of the Professional Portal Program that prematurely apply to UMMC's Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Graduate Studies in Health Science will be automatically denied admission.

    How do I find further details about this program?

     

    The initial contacts for information concerning the Professional Portal Program are the admissions officers for the school of primary interest for the applicant.

    For the School of Medicine:

    • Steven T. Case, Ph.D. Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions
      • University of Mississippi Medical Center
      • 2500 N. State Street
      • Jackson, MS 39216-4505
      • Phone: (601)984-5010
      • E-mail: AdmitMD@umc.edu

    For the School of Dentistry:

    • James D. Duncan, D.D.S. Chairman, Dental School Admission Committee
      • University of Mississippi Medical Center
      • 2500 N. State Street
      • Jackson, MS 39216-4505
      • Phone:(601)984-6030
      • E-mail: jduncan@umc.edu

    For the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences, cntact the department or program of interest.

    The program director for the Professional Portal Program is:

    • Rob Rockhold, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology
      • University of Mississippi Medical Center
      • 2500 N. State Street
      • Jackson, MS 39216-4505
      • Phone: (601)984-1634
      • E-mail: rrockhold@umc.edu