In general, you can classify most criteria needed for being competitive for health professions programs into following areas.
- GPA—both overall and science GPAs are used by professional schools. All of your coursework including AP, joint enrollment, and repeats are included in the calculation for HP program admissions.
- Admissions Test Scores—just as the SAT/ACT is important in the undergraduate admission process, the MCAT, PCAT, DAT, OAT, and GRE are important in the professional school process. Advanced preparation is required to be successful in your first attempt at taking the admissions exams.
- Knowledge of Profession—which is primarily demonstrated by your clinical experience (volunteer or paid). Sorry, but watching House and Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t count :-)
- Evidence of Service—let’s face it, health professions are helping professions! Schools want to see evidence that you really “like to help people.”
- Evidence of Leadership—in what ways have you had organize a group of people to do something? It can be through clubs/organizations, community involvement, etc
- Communication Skills (verbal and written) —the goal here is to be able to clearly articulate why you want to be health professional through the application and interview process.
- Composite Letter of Evaluation/Letters of Evaluation—the purpose is to provide a holistic evaluation of the applicant. This process is coordinated by the Health Professions Advising and Evaluation committee. The committee members include the HPA director and faculty members from Biology, Chemistry, Exercise Science, Psychology, and other areas.