We know many of you have questions about how previous academics and activities during the COVID-19 pandemic will affect your future health professions applications. The following FAQs provide an overview to the most common questions we hear from students.
For an overview of coronavirus information and resources for Johns Hopkins University, please click HERE.
For a list of relevant COVID-19 experiences, please check out our Word Document: Ideas-for-Prehealth-Students-During-COVID-19.2023
Will medical, dental, and other health professions schools accept prerequisites that were taken S/U at Hopkins during the pandemic?
In spring 2020, fall 2020, and spring 2021, Johns Hopkins University implemented special grading policies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Health professions schools will accept spring 2020 S/U coursework, including pre-medical/pre-dental prerequisites, since S/U grading was the universal policy of Johns Hopkins University.
- For fall 2020 and spring 2021, undergraduates were permitted to opt into letter grading for each enrolled course, except for courses that were offered exclusively on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis; students were encouraged to take courses for a grade, especially pre-health prerequisite coursework. Therefore, pre-health prerequisite courses taken S/U might need to be retaken for a grade before applying to medical or dental school. If you took prerequisite courses S/U in fall 2020 or spring 2021, please discuss your situation with a Pre-Professional advisor.
Post-pandemic, students should take prerequisites in-person and for a letter grade.
Medical and dental schools were aware of changes to your learning environment during COVID, and as a result, they have been flexible and understanding when reviewing applicants’ grades from that time period. In addition, many schools have added COVID-specific questions to their secondary applications, whereupon you can explain if the pandemic affected your academic, personal, or professional plans in any way. Remember, graduate schools experienced similar challenges with their own students and procedures, so they are acutely aware of the hurdles you may have faced.
In closing, medical and dental school admissions committees know the personal and professional challenges students faced during the pandemic. However, when reviewing applications, they expect to see continued academic success in spite of changes that occurred to the learning environment. They also expect to see something in your activities that demonstrated cultural awareness, compassion, leadership, and strong communication skills during the pandemic. COVID-19 presented all of us with unexpected challenges, but it was also an opportunity to be creative, work hard, and persevere, and demonstrate to schools and programs that you are adaptable, resilient, and flexible. Although many activities and organizations are back to operating as they did pre-COVID, we recognize the landscape could change again in the future, so we will do our best to be prepared with adaptable advising and resources if necessary.