In general, you can classify most criteria needed for being competitive for health professions programs into the following areas.
- GPA—Health Professions Programs look at your overall and science GPAs, as well as the GPA trend. 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. Clinical Experience can be employment, volunteer experience, or shadowing/observation. We encourage opportunities that provide direct patient contact.
- 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 to 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 a health professional through the application and interview process.
- Letters of Evaluation—The purpose is to provide an evaluation that provides a holistic view of the applicant. The HPA Office provides a Letter Packet service for students and alumni applying to medical, dental, and optometry schools. We also help students applying to other health professions programs to identify appropriate letter writers.