PRE-HEALTH TOPICS

EXPLORE VARIOUS HEALTHCARE CAREERS

Texas Graduate & Professional Schools

GETTING EXPERIENCE

PRE-HEALTH TIMELINE

Whether you are hoping to matriculate into a professional school immediately after graduation or several years later, you should plan to start the application process 18 months prior to the time you wish to begin your program. Most people underestimate the time involved in this process. If you are applying to medical school it is advantageous to plan ahead for early completion of your application since most medical schools have rolling admissions.

For those of you hoping to start your programs immediately after graduation, you should begin this process by the spring of your junior year. A recommended timeline for undergraduates with this goal in mind follows. Although the time frame will change for each applicant, the sequential guidelines remain roughly the same.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

Letters of recommendation are usually required of all applicants by professional school admissions committees. All letters of recommendation are carefully read by the admission committee, but they have a varying influence depending upon the realism and depth of insight into the candidate provided by the letters. The most meaningful letters are from those professionals who have known the applicant well as a student, or those who have supervised the applicant and have a basis of comparison to other pre-professional students.

Obtaining Letters of Recommendation 

UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARS SERVICES

Students interested in those professional areas for which the University of Houston may not offer a specific undergraduate or terminal degree can still find a solid start here at UH. Undergraduate Scholars at UH will guide you through the primary academic requirements to set you on the road to success in the fields of law, medicine, dentistry, nursing, other allied health professions, veterinary medicine, and more.

Please visit the Undergraduate Scholars Department website  for more information. 

WRITING PERSONAL STATEMENTS

Most professional school applications ask for some form of personal statement. The AMCAS personal comments essay allows 5,300 characters, the TMDSAS allows 62 lines for your personal essay, and the statements for most other professional programs are a little shorter.

Your statement is an important first impression! Most of your readers will be admissions committee members, often professional school faculty. If your GPA and test scores are marginal, your statement may make the difference between whether or not you get an interview. When you do interview, some of your questions will likely be drawn from your essay.

You will have other places in your application to list your education and courses, volunteer and paid experiences, extracurricular activities, awards and honors, etc. Your statement should therefore become much more than yet another list. The statement gives you an opportunity to integrate, describe, explain, and share the meaning you attach to your activities. There is not one preferred format, but many ways of relating who you are to your interest in becoming a health care professional.

PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL ADMISSIONS INTERVIEW

The admission interview is where final selections are made in the professional school admission process. The interview allows the admissions committee to assess whether or not you have the characteristics and traits to make a good health professional. This is your opportunity to leave a positive impression on your application, and your opportunity to interview the prospective school.

Steps in preparing for your interview include:

  1. Assessing yourself
  2. Researching the school and the specific program to which you are applying
  3. Practicing interview skills

Applicants should be prepared to discuss all aspects of their application, including their specific interest in the school that they are interviewing with. University Career Services recommends that applicants participate in a mock interview. Click "request an appointment" under the menu bar to schedule a mock interview with the Pre-Health Counselor.