CSD Admission FAQ

You can contact the Office of Student Affairs in the College of Health Sciences (859-323-1100 Ext. 80473), or you can email the CSD Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Richard Andreatta.

The application packet and instructions are made available by late October each year. The application is completed mostly online, with a few items (such as transcripts) that will need to be physically mailed to the Office of Student Affairs in the College. Visit the CSD Website for detailed information on requirements, prerequisites and procedures for application to the CSD undergraduate program.

Minimum requirements for application include:

  • 42 earned credit hours by the time of application.
  • Completion of Intro to Psychology or equivalent general psychology course.
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • ACT of 21, or SAT (Old Scale) = 980 – 1,010 or SAT (New scale) = 1,500


The vast majority of students apply to the program during their sophomore year. Preparation of all application materials should occur during the Fall semester of your sophomore year with submission of your materials during the month of January to meet the Feb 1st deadline.

The application consists of basically 5 parts: your cumulative GPA, ACT or SAT scores, 3 letters of recommendation, descriptions of personal and community-based experiences, and lastly a personal essay.

  • Yes, CSD is a selective major: The CSD undergrad program is considered a selective major because we require a formal application in order to be classified as a major. We are selective because of the pre-professional nature of our program and the reality of limited resources to accommodated large numbers of students.
  • Yes, CSD is a competitive major: Our major only accepts 45 students per academic year (there have been some exceptions though in past years). The total number of applications each year varies considerably, so the percentage of students who are not accepted also fluctuates.
  • Generally speaking, the faculty evaluate all components of a given application (See FAQ #5) and work to select a cohort of students for admission who have the best overall set of component scores and evaluation ratings.
  • The faculty’s first procedure is to use the quantitative components of the application (GPA and ACT/SAT) to produce a "first ordering" of all the applicants. Students who do not meet the stated minimum requirements (See FAQ #3) for application are eliminated from the pool of applicants. This initial procedure helps us organize the entire pool of applicants so we can proceed with a more detailed discussion on the qualitative aspects of each application (personal essay, letters of rec, & personal/community experiences).
  • To make the evaluation of the personal essay and letters of rec more quantitative, we judge and rate the quality of each essay and letter of rec and assign them a numerical ranking (1 to 5).
  • Finally, the personal/community service factors are judged in terms of experience type, quality and frequency of service.
  • When all applications have been completely evaluated, 40 students who possess the best overall set of rankings and scores are selected for admission. The evaluation process is not an exact science, but the faculty does try to balance all aspects of the application materials in order to arrive at a selection for admission.

For the past several years, the average GPA of students accepted in to the CSD program has been approximately a 3.5 to 3.75.

For the past several years, the average ACT of students accepted in to the CSD program has been approximately 25 to 28.

No, they are wrong. We do not ONLY use the cumulative GPA to decide on admission. During deliberations, the faculty weigh the applicant’s GPA and ACT along with all the other parts of the application (See FAQ #3 & #5 above). The only time GPA and ACT scores are used alone is to eliminate applicants from consideration whose scores fall below the stated program standards (See FAQ #3).

Absolutely you have a chance because our choices for admission are based on ALL application components balanced together, not just on GPA and ACT scores (except for the meeting of minimum program requirements).

Personal experiences are those experiences related to observation of CSD professionals out in the field, volunteering for health care related organizations, or working in CSD related areas. In the past, accepted majors have had at least 3 different personal experience listed on their applications.

There really is no set number of hours that are needed for application. Instead, what we consider to be more important is the quality of your experiences and an indication that you have committed a good amount of time to each. For example, spending two or three weeks observing one site is probably a better experience than spending 1 hour and 3 different locations.

For community service, these are typically experiences that are unrelated to healthcare or CSD, such as participation in UK Fusion, or DanceBlue, or volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, mission trips, working as a resident assistant, or any other experience that demonstrates your leadership and personal relation skills.

  • The personal essay is VERY important. The personal essay is the one place where the faculty get to read about your personal journey directly from you. The personal essay should be a well crafted and well written personal accounting of who you are as an individual, what led you to select CSD as a career path, and any other unique and interesting aspects of your life story that would provide compelling evidence for admission in to the program.
  • The personal essay also functions as an important indicator of the quality of your writing skills.
    • Ideally, letters of rec should come from professors who can discuss the quality of your academic performance in courses or who have advised you personally.
    • Letters may also come from employers or professionals that you have shadowed.
    • Avoid letters of rec from family members or relatives, and personal friends.
    • Generally speaking, your letter writer should be made aware of the competitive nature of the program and thus be instructed to provide honest opinions and concrete examples of your work ethic, integrity, academic performance, promise as a health care professional, and/or any other personal quality they see has beneficial toward a successful career in CSD.
    • The more specific your letter writer can be the better. Generic and vague letters of rec are not useful for our deliberations.

    Yes. You can apply to our program without having to be a current UK student. Applying to our program is completely separate from the transfer process to UK. If accepted into the CSD program, you would transfer into UK in the same way that any other transfer student would. It is best to transfer to UK after you have heard of our admission decision.

    Each year the pool of applicants is treated independent of any past applications. Nonetheless, the faculty do take into consideration 2nd time applicants. Students who plan to re-apply, should proactively make every effort to distinguish themselves and make marked improvements to their application packet. To this end, it will be important that 2nd time applicants meet personally with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to discuss where improvements can be made and if reapplication is a realistic goal.

    No. The CSD major is structured sequentially with completion of specific classes first in order to be prepared to take later occurring courses.

    No, unfortunately this is not allowed because of the class size limitations that our program has. Only accepted majors are allowed into CSD courses.

    In short, the GPA is not the sole factor in admissions. It is quite possible that a high GPA is offset by lower rankings on other components of the application packet. We have had several cases in the past of students who were not accepted in to our program even though they had excellent GPA’s. The reason that they were not accepted, even though they had strong GPA’s included the following: a low ACT score, lackluster letters of rec, or a weakly written personal essay. We cannot emphasize enough that our decision process for admissions takes ALL parts of a student’s application into account.

    We generally rely on the cumulative GPA as a general indicator of you academic progress to date. That being said, we do inspect transcripts for the rigor of the courses and/or previous majors that you have taken. Please feel free to highlight any extenuating circumstance regarding your own GPA in the personal essay if you feel that this is warranted.