Pre-Medical Program

Suggested Timeline for Pre-Professional Students

Freshman Year

  • Gather information on all health-care professions
  • Select major program
  • Meet regularly with your pre-professional and major advisors
  • Begin pre-professional core science courses
  • Begin professional observations and job-shadowing experiences
  • Consider health-related volunteer opportunities.
  • Establish good study skills. Academics come first!
  • Become familiar with the university and all of the resources available to you.
  • Read extensively in science and non-science areas.
  • Get to know faculty - they are a great resource for major/career information and for future references and letters of recommendation.

How to Spend Your Summer Vacation

There are numerous ways to spend your summers during your pre-professional studies.  It is highly recommended that you get involved in paid or volunteer experiences that relate to your chosen field.  By doing so you learn more about yourself, which will help you clarify your career goals.  Those with whom you interact in the experience can support your career development.  And the experience demonstrates to professional schools that you are focused, engaged and invested in your professional aspirations.

Another valuable way to spend your summer is to enroll in a summer enrichment program.  These programs, usually offered by colleges and universities, vary in cost, length, location and focus.  Visit AAMC’s Enrichment Programs and Summer Undergraduate Research Programs to learn more.  Many programs offer scholarships.  One highly acclaimed program, the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) is free.  Its goal is to help freshman and sophomore college students representing a wide range of cultural, racial and ethnically diverse backgrounds get into professional school.  It is implemented at 12 program sites across the nation.

Big summer plans start in the fall and winter, see Summer Service, Enrichment and Research for programs of interest.

Sophomore Year

  • Open letters of reference file through Interfolio or other credential management service and begin acquiring letters from faculty members. Letters of reference can help you when applying for scholarships, research positions and other competitive undergraduate opportunities.
  • Take the time to develop relationships with faculty members – they are a great resource for major/career information and for future references and letters of recommendation.
  • Research health professional schools you want to apply to and learn about specific admission requirements and unique opportunities the school may provide to undergraduates.
  • Meet regularly with your pre-professional and major advisors
  • Work on study habits and time-management skills that will allow you to improve your grades, or keep your grades at a high level in increasingly rigorous courses.
  • Start preparing for entrance exams by reviewing material covered in your introductory science courses.
  • Continue extracurricular activities that develop desirable personality traits and provide relevant experience.
  • Begin to explore research opportunities.
  • Continue to read extensively. It makes you more well-rounded and better prepared to respond to professional school interview questions.

Junior Year

  • Request application materials from the health professional schools to which you plan to apply. Visit or talk with admissions representatives at these schools.
  • Register for entrance exams (i.e. MCAT, DAT, OAT, GRE, PCAT, etc.)
  • Take entrance exam.
  • Begin to write your personal statement and refine interviewing skills.
  • Meet regularly with your pre-professional and major advisors.
  • Early summer: Download and print application instructions then complete primary application (provided through standardized service where application information is dispersed to schools of choice).
  • Late summer: Complete “secondary” applications, send letters of reference.
  • Continue and/or expand your involvement with student clubs/organizations and community activities/volunteer programs.

Senior Year

  • Meet regularly with your pre-professional and major advisors.
  • Refine your interviewing skills and set up a mock interview(s).
  • Fall semester: Go to interviews.
  • Graduate!