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2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

College of Medicine


Interim Dean: Alma Littles; Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: TBD; Associate Dean for Continuous Quality Improvement: J. Michael Overton; Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions: Robert Campbell; Assistant Dean for Student Affairs: TBD; Assistant Dean for Admissions: Eric Laywell; Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs: Jeffrey Joyce; Associate Dean for IMS: Anthony Speights; School of Physician Assistance Practice Associate Dean: Benjamin J. Smith; Senior Associate Dean for the Regional Medical School Campuses: Paul McLeod (Pensacola Campus); Assistant Deans for the Regional Medical School Campuses: Nicole Bentze (Sarasota Campus), George Bernado (Daytona Beach Campus), Juliette Lomax-Homier (Fort Pierce Campus), Chaet (Orlando Campus), Sandeep Rahangdale (Tallahassee Campus); Director of Rural Health: Kerwyn Flowers; Director of the Clinical Learning Center: Debra Danforth; Director of the Medical Library: Martin Wood; Executive Director of Outreach and Advising: Thesla Berne-Anderson; Associate Dean for Faculty Development: TBD; Assistant Dean for Information Management: H. Scott Dunn

The Florida State University College of Medicine, in partnership with local communities, provides a four-year program of study leading to the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. The College is fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association. The MD degree is a requirement for admission to medical residency programs and is a prerequisite for taking the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 3, and a prerequisite for licensure for the practice of medicine in the United States. Steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE are taken during medical school.

The mission of the College of Medicine is to educate and develop exemplary physicians and physician assistants who practice patient-centered health care, discover and advance knowledge, and are responsive to community needs, especially through service to elder, rural, minority, and underserved populations. The third- and fourth-year curriculum is primarily in ambulatory settings and focuses on preparing students to deliver primary care for Florida's underserved senior, rural, minority and inner-city populations. However, the Florida State University College of Medicine student selection process and the comprehensive physician training program do not exclude students interested in specialty medicine, as specialty training is a required part of the curriculum. The physician assistant curriculum, with a strong emphasis in the biomedical sciences, simulation, and procedural skills, prepares graduates to work in any clinical setting and to be responsive to community needs, especially through service to elder, rural, minority and underserved populations.

The Florida State University College of Medicine (FSUCOM) was created in June 2000 by a legislative act, Florida House Bill 1121/Senate Bill 1692, to serve the unique needs of the citizens of the state of Florida. The Program in Medical Sciences (PIMS), founded in 1971 as an expansion program of the University of Florida College of Medicine, is the foundation upon which The Florida State University medical school is built.

During the first two years of medical school, the basic sciences and early clinical exposure are taught at Florida State University and housed in the John E. Thrasher College of Medicine Building. Years three and four are community-based and focus on clinical training. The community-based model ensures that students receive training in a variety of practice settings including rural and inner-city hospitals, nursing homes, residency programs, clinics, and doctors' offices. Clinical training sites are located in Tallahassee, Pensacola, Orlando, Sarasota, Daytona Beach, Ft. Pierce, several Family Medicine Residency Programs, Marianna, Immokalee, and several other rural communities. Students are connected to the College of Medicine and the respective regional campuses through Internet access, videoconferencing and hand–held data units. Through these units, students can access medical information, communicate with the College of Medicine main campus, and record and evaluate their clerkship and preceptorship experiences.

The John E. Thrasher Building at the College of Medicine houses the educational program. It serves as the hub for the extensive electronic network connecting all faculty and students at several locations throughout Florida. Basic medical science and clinical training courses that utilize state-of-the-art technology and nationally recognized academicians and clinicians at The Florida State University College of Medicine and at clinical sites elsewhere in Florida have been established.

The Medical Library

The Florida State University Charlotte Edwards Maguire Medical Library was developed as a twenty-first century library with over ninety-five percent of its resources delivered in electronic format for access twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week from desktops, laptops, or PDAs anywhere the student or faculty member is located. FSU students and faculty have access to over 2,100 MEDLINE journals and other medical journals specifically selected by faculty. These subscribed journals provide access to 6.2 million full-text articles appearing in PubMed. Approximately 400 electronic medical reference and textbooks are licensed both for the College of Medicine and the University. New and emerging evidence-based medicine Websites and PDA products are especially suited to the electronic environment because they are continually updated and summarize the latest medical treatments and protocols. To name a few, the library licenses InfoRetriever, DynaMed, ePocrates, Clinical Evidence, ACP Pier, PepID, and the Cochrane databases. The physical facility of the Maguire Medical Library is located in the John E. Thrasher Building at the College of Medicine. The library holds a small core collection of print reference and textbooks and provides ample individual study space for students. As part of a larger university system, the students and faculty of the College of Medicine also have access to a broad range of electronic resources that support disciplines related to the medical curriculum and research interests of the college, such as psychology, health policy, aging studies, nutrition, exercise, and sports medicine. These resources include databases as well as large collections of e-books and e-journals. Overall, 48,000 electronic serial titles and approximately 400,000 e-books are available to COM students and faculty for both on-campus and remote access.

Medical students also have access to the Paul M. Dirac Library and the Robert Manning Strozier Library of Florida State University.

The Clinical Learning Center

The Clinical Learning Center, located in the John E. Thrasher Building at the College of Medicine, is a state-of-the-art teaching and assessment center that provides opportunities for medical students to learn clinical skills in a simulated clinical setting. Students learn and practice hands-on clinical skills in a supportive environment that incorporates the latest and best innovations in interactive medical technology and education. Fourteen examination rooms and two consultation rooms are equipped with audio-visual resources to record student-patient interactions for teaching and evaluation. Using standardized patients trained to portray an actual patient by simulating an illness or other physical findings, the Clinical Learning Center provides support for faculty in small group sessions to help teach students communication and physical exam skills.

The Office of Advising and Outreach

The Office of Advising and Outreach, located in the John E. Thrasher Building at the College of Medicine, provides pre-health advising and counseling to all Florida State University students who are interested in pursuing careers in the health sciences. The Advising Office sponsors pre-professional organizations that provide essential information and experiences for undergraduates interested in specific health science careers including allopathic and osteopathic medicine, pre-dental, pre-veterinary medicine, pre-optometry, pre-physician assistant, physical and occupational therapy, and pre-pharmacy.

Outreach Programs at the FSU College of Medicine include an in-school and after school pre-college program called Science Students Together Reaching Instructional Diversity and Excellence (SSTRIDE©) located in Gadsden, Sarasota, Collier, and Okaloosa Counties. Agreements with these school systems help provide enhanced educational experiences in the areas of science, technology, mathematics, and medicine to rural and inner-city youth. Pre-medical students, graduate students, and medical students participate in the program by providing mentorship to middle and high school students in the program. In addition, these students are provided services and opportunities through our undergraduate outreach program called USSTRIDE (Undergraduate SSTRIDE). The services include, but are not limited to, mentoring, test prep, clinical training, biweekly meetings, medical student and physician panels, health professional panels, volunteer opportunities, and study groups.

Honors Medical Scholars Program

The FSU College of Medicine, in conjunction with the FSU Honors Office, has established a program that is open annually to qualified students. The program allows eligible FSU honors students to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree of their choice while also participating in the Honors Medical Scholars Program, mentorship program, and required pre-medical courses and experiences. Students participating in the program may be eligible for early admission to the FSU College of Medicine upon completion of pre-med requirements. Applications and program details are available from the FSU Honors Office at (850) 644-1841.

Degree Requirements

Doctor of Medicine (MD) Degree

The four-year curriculum consists of courses in the biomedical sciences, medical humanities, and social sciences; a doctoring curriculum that teaches clinical skills; preceptorships; community-based health care experiences; and clerkships in applied clinical medicine.

The pre-clerkship coursework (years one and two) takes place on the Florida State University main campus and is designed to provide students with essential basic science and general clinical information necessary for their clinical training in years three and four. Students study a core curriculum to help develop an understanding of the structure and function of the human system. The structure and function of the healthy human is studied in the first year. During the second year, emphasis is placed on microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and general therapeutic principles for the "sick" human. The basic science and clinical instructors use a combination of small group and lecture-based instruction.

The third and fourth years are devoted to required and elective clinical clerkship rotations of two to eight weeks, most of which take place at one of the College of Medicine Regional Medical School campuses. Hospitals, physicians' offices, neighborhood clinics, residency programs, and public health units are used as training sites in which students actively participate in the clinical setting. Up to twenty-four weeks (minimum sixteen weeks) in the fourth year are devoted to student electives in which students are able to choose among select rotations including subspecialty rotations. Twelve weeks must be spent in FSUCOM sponsored electives at any of the College of Medicine sites. The remaining twelve weeks can be spent in an elective study at any accredited medical school or approved clinical setting in the United States. In select cases, consideration may be given to limited international electives with prior approval.

The FSU College of Medicine trains students in allopathic medicine, which includes diagnosing, managing, and treating disease. The college confers upon its graduates the degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD). Upon completion of the four-year MD educational program, these physicians pursue graduate medical education (internship, residency, and sometimes fellowships), which is necessary for eventual licensure. Training in residency programs may take from three to nine additional years after completion of medical school.

To earn the MD degree a student must complete all required coursework and clerkships in years one through four, including a minimum of sixteen weeks of electives in the fourth year; complete all required surveys and evaluations; pass the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS; pass an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) at the end of the third year clerkship rotations (graduation OSCE); complete all requirements in the procedures log; remain in good standing and maintain a passing grade in each course or clerkship. Further information may be found in the online College of Medicine Student Handbook at

As part of the academic and clinical curriculum, the College of Medicine emphasizes the importance of the professional and ethical development of all medical students. The College of Medicine expects professional behavior of physicians in training in all academic activities and when interacting with patients, colleagues, faculty, and staff. Professional behavior encompasses understanding of and adherence to all aspects of the academic honor code, as well as altruism, accountability, caring, compassion, devotion to duty, the practice of excellent medical care, and respect for others. These qualities and behaviors are evaluated throughout the student's four years at the College of Medicine. In conferring the Doctor of Medicine degree, the Florida State University College of Medicine certifies that the student is competent, knowledgeable, and possesses those personal traits essential to practicing the art and science of medicine.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biomedical Sciences Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biomedical Sciences Program is designed to prepare the next generation of health scientists for medical research and teaching in an era of increasing coordination and integration of traditional disciplines. The College of Medicine grants the PhD in Biomedical Sciences through an interdisciplinary program with the goal of training students to conduct research in the broad area of the molecular basis of human disease, including the function of the human genome in development, neurobiology, aging, cancer, and other disease. Undergraduate majors in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, microbiology, or other life sciences are suitable for graduate studies in biomedical sciences.

The curriculum for the Biomedical Sciences degree includes core courses in statistics and ethics in research, as well as specialized biomedical coursework and laboratory research. Laboratory rotation in at least two laboratories during the first year is a degree requirement. The direction and supervision of graduate work at the doctoral level resides primarily with the major professor and supervisory committee, which is comprised of four faculty members. Research rotations during the first year allow students to make informed choices regarding the research area and major professor with whom they will conduct their PhD work. A core curriculum of the fundamentals, the choice of electives from other departments, and intellectual interaction with faculty and postdoctoral fellows encourage graduate students to mature into independent scientists.

To be considered for graduation from the FSUCOM with the PhD in Biomedical Sciences, the student must successfully complete all course requirements within five calendar years from the time the student gains admittance to candidacy by passing the preliminary exam. Other requirements for graduation include attending the Health Science Seminar Series, successfully completing the preliminary doctoral examination, submitting a doctoral research proposal approved by the major professor and the supervisory committee after admission to doctoral candidacy, registering for a minimum of twenty-four semester hours of dissertation credit, and submitting, publicly presenting, and successfully defending a dissertation.

Additional details are available at

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Practice

The Florida State University Physician Assistant Practice (PA) program is a seven semester (27 months), 111 credit hour program designed to train students to practice medicine as physician assistants as part of the Physician-PA Team. Upon completion, our graduates will receive the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Practice degree. The PA Program at FSU is extremely challenging with a strong emphasis in the biomedical sciences, simulation, and procedural skills. Although challenging, students will find a welcoming environment and an unrivaled network of support provided by an inter-professional team that is committed to students' academic and professional success. Upon successful completion, students will be eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) exam.

Academic Policies

All academic policies of the College of Medicine can be found in the College of Medicine Student Handbook, which is made available online to all students who enter the college at

The four-year Florida State University College of Medicine is a full-time allopathic medical school in accordance with the standards set by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association. The minimum credit hour load requirement for each cohort is designed to ensure that medical students will complete their medical studies within a four-year period of time. The first year is a twelve-month curriculum. The second year is nine months. The third and fourth years are eleven months each. All basic science courses and clerkships are mandatory for all students.

Authorization for less than the full-time status will be granted by the Dean of the College of Medicine upon the recommendation of the Student Evaluation and Promotion Committee (SEPC) and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. A recommendation of an extension of attendance time by the SEPC will be based on a compelling need as presented by the student.

Admission Requirements

Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program

Admission to the College of Medicine is a highly competitive process with between 1500 and 2500 applications reviewed to select the students admitted. A number of academic and personal factors are considered by the admissions office and the College of Medicine selection committee when admitting students to medical school.

The FSU College of Medicine employs a holistic approach during the admissions process. Regarding admission to the regular M.D. program, the College evaluates all the following:

  • Course load and undergraduate rigor
  • Post-baccalaureate course work
  • Service and volunteer record
  • Shadowing and knowledge of the medical field
  • Research activities
  • Likelihood of practicing within the State of Florida
  • Undergraduate grade point average
  • MCAT score
  • And the degree of the candidate's fit with respect to the College's unique mission statement.

The Admission Committee is especially interest in applicants who have demonstrated through their lifestyle consistent motivation for service to others. Applicants from underrepresented minority groups, applicants from rural and inner-city backgrounds, women, and non-traditional applicants are of particular interest.

To apply to the College of Medicine at Florida State University, an applicant will complete a primary application through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), submit an official Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score that is no more than five (5) years old at the time of application, submit at least three (3), but no more than six (6) letters of recommendation, complete the FSU Secondary Application and pay the $30 non-refundable application fee. All applicants who are US Citizens or Permanent Residents in possession of a green card, who submit a complete, verified primary application through AMCAS, will receive an invitation to complete the secondary application. A bachelor's degree is required by the time of admission to medical school. If an applicant is currently enrolled in a degree program, the program must be completed and transcripts provided to the College of Medicine admissions office prior to the beginning of classes in late May/early June. All required prerequisite coursework must be completed prior to matriculating to the FSU College of Medicine. A list of these required courses can be found on the College of Medicine website:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biomedical Sciences Program

To apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biomedical Sciences Program, students should contact the College of Medicine's Office of Research and Graduate Programs at (850) 645-6420 or check the program website ( for other contact information. Admission requirements for the PhD in Biomedical Sciences Program are as follows: a prospective candidate must

  1. have or be a candidate for a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and be in good standing at the last institution attended,
  2. have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), and
  3. have a minimum combined verbal and quantitative score of 1000 on the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).

A GRE Subject Test is strongly recommended and may include Biochemistry and Cell Biology, General Biology, Chemistry, or Physics. Applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not received a degree from an English language institution are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), receiving a minimum score of 80 for the Internet based (IB) test or 550 for the paper test. Special admission consideration may be requested for students with disabilities.

Applicants must also submit the required material to the University Admissions Office through their Website at

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Practice (PA) Program

The Florida State University PA program participates in the CASPA (Centralized Application System for Physician Assistants). To apply, all applicants must submit a completed CASPA application in addition to completing the FSU supplemental application. The CASPA application will be available May 1. The deadline for submission of the CASPA, including supplemental application questions, and payment of supplemental application fee is October 1. Applications will not be considered without the following:

  1. Verified CASPA application with supplemental questions,
  2. Official GRE scores, and
  3. Payment of supplemental application fee.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

GPA: Minimum cumulative GPA 3.0 and a minimum prerequisite math and science GPA of 3.0. A candidate that has a completed graduate degree with at least 30 credit hours may submit a written request to the PA admissions coordinator to replace the undergraduate cumulative GPA with the higher graduate GPA if the cumulative graduate GPA is higher.

GRE: Applicants must submit GRE scores taken within the last 3 years. We do not accept the MCAT or other substitutes. There is no minimum score and students will be evaluated on a competitive basis. CASPA's Code is 2122.

Transcripts are not required until an official offer of admission has been made. At that time applicants must submit an OFFICIAL copy of all transcripts from each University/College attended directly to the FSU College of Medicine Admissions Office. International transfer credit is awarded for coursework completed at an accredited (recognized) institution of higher learning. No credit is awarded for technical, vocational, or below-college-level coursework, or courses completed with grades below "C." "C–" will not be accepted. An official course-by-course evaluation is required for all academic records from non-U.S. institutions. We recommend the evaluation be done by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services ( or the International Education Credential Services provided by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (

English Language Proficiency: Official English Language Proficiency results are required of all international applicants whose native language is not English. The following are the minimum scores required for admission to the Physician Assistant Program: Internet based TOEFL (IBTOEFL): 88; Paper based TOEFL (TOEFL): 570; and International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 7.0. These scores are considered official only when they are sent directly to the Office of Admissions from the testing agency and are not valid after two years.

A minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience is required with additional experience recommended. Direct care is defined as "hands on" patient contact that involves interaction with patients. Examples of experience that qualify: nursing assistant, EMT, paramedic, nurse (LPN, RN, BSN, NP, CRNA), patient care attendant, athletic trainer, physical therapist, respiratory therapist, x-ray technician, medical assistant, military medical technician/corpsman, international medical graduates, chiropractor, licensed massage therapist, optometrist, and pharmacist. Additional examples can be found in the FAQ section of the PA program website. Examples of experiences that do not qualify for the purposes of admission to the FSU PA Program are: hours obtained by shadowing, experience obtained as student in a healthcare profession, pharmaceutical representative, lifeguard, police officer, firefighter, medical scribe, unit clerk, or medical secretary. Applicants must document experiences on the Direct Patient Care Experience Form. All hours must be completed before May 1 of the matriculation year. Experiences can be full-time, part-time, or volunteer. Applicants who do not believe they can achieve the minimum 500 hours prior to the time of application can take PAS 2054, "Introduction to the Physician Assistant Profession" at the FSU campus. This course is an exploration of the PA profession. It satisfies the 500-hour requirement but does not eliminate the need for some patient care experience. For more information, please see the section of the PA program website.

Applicants must submit at least 3 (three) letters of recommendation and no more than 5 (five). It is suggested that at least one reference should be from a healthcare provider and one should be from a science faculty member who taught the applicant. These letters should be from people who have worked with and know the applicant. References from family members or friends will not be accepted.

Citizenship: All applicants must be US citizens or Permanent Resident Aliens in possession of a "green card."