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tennessee technological university

Pre-Professional Health Sciences Program

There are three essential areas that pre-professional students must address prior to applying to professional school:

  1. Academic Excellence
  2. Health Care Experience
  3. Extra-Curricular, Service, and Leadership Activities

To prepare for admissions into a health sciences graduate program, one should consult the following timeline during each stage of their undergraduate career:


  • Academic Excellence:

    • Join the pre-health listserv in order to receive information from the pre-professional health sciences advisors.
    • Begin the coursework for your area of health sciences interest.
    • Establish good study habits. Academics come first!
    • Interact with the pre-professional advisors and guest speakers during UNPP 1020 in the fall semester.
    • Attend an evening advising session with the pre-professional advisors during academic advisement time.
    • READ! Extensive reading in both science and non-science areas will help to develop your vocabulary, speed, and comprehension.
  • Healthcare Experience:

    • Gather information on all healthcare professions. is a great resource.
    • Consider healthcare-related experience such as volunteer work or job shadowing.
    • The summer can be an excellent time to begin or continue to get meaningful healthcare experience. Volunteer, job shadow, or consider an EMT training course, etc.
    • Keep a diary of your health profession and related activities.
  • Extra-Curricular, Service, and Leadership Activities

    • Begin attending ChemMed Club meetings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month in FH 233 at 11 am. The club invites tremendous guest speakers from all different areas of the health sciences.
    • Attend visits from health professional program admissions staff hosted by the pre-professional advisors. This is your chance to network with members of the admissions committees at the professional schools.
    • Participate in activities that you enjoy and are meaningful to you. This can include clubs, sports, community service activities, hobbies, etc.
    • Fine-tune your time management and interpersonal skills by getting involved and learning to balance your academic and non-academic activities.


  • Academic Excellence:

    • Continue taking the pre-requisites for your health sciences program.
    • Work on study habits and time-management skills that will allow your grades to improve even as courses get more challenging.
    • Research health professional programs to learn about specific requirements.
    • Continue to interact with the pre-professional advisors during ChemMed Club meetings, and advisement sessions.
    • Get to know faculty. Ask questions in class and visit during office hours. Faculty are a great resource for major/career information and for future letters of recommendation.
    • Begin to put together a resume if you don't have one already. The Career Center can be a great resource for resume writing.
    • Begin to explore research opportunities, especially if MD/Ph.D. is an interest.
    • Continue to read! This will help you to prepare for the MCAT, PCAT, DAT, GRE, etc.
  • Healthcare Experience:

    • Continue to gain meaningful healthcare experience. Experiences that allow for direct patient contact tend to be most meaningful.
    • Investigate opportunities for healthcare programs in the summer and on breaks from school.
    • Think Quality over Quantity during the school year. Job shadow a local pharmacist or dental hygienist for a few afternoons during the semester.
  • Extra-Curricular, Service, and Leadership Activities:

    • Continue attending ChemMed Club meetings and professional school visits.
    • Expand your involvement with student clubs and groups and community service or volunteer programs.
    • Regular participation in extra-curricular activities shows commitment, and these activities will help you develop good time management and interpersonal skills.
    • Take on a small leadership role within a club or group to increase your involvement.


  • Academic Excellence:

    • Continue to excel in your academic coursework.
    • In the spring, meet with the pre-professional health sciences administrative associate to learn about the process to interview and be evaluated by the pre-health advisory committee.
    • Discuss letters of recommendation with faculty who know you well.
    • Prepare a study plan for your MCAT, PCAT, DAT, OAT, or GRE.
    • Plan to take the MCAT, PCAT, DAT, OAT, or GRE as early as the spring of junior year.
    • Draft, revise, and edit your personal statement.
  • Healthcare Experience:

    • Continue and expand your involvement in healthcare-related activities. Professional schools are looking for students with a depth and breadth of experience in healthcare.
    • Seek out a part-time job in a health care setting.
  • Extra-Curricular, Service, and Leadership Activities:

    • Continue attending ChemMed Club meetings and professional school visits.
    • Continue and expand your involvement with student groups and community service and volunteer programs.
    • Consider a larger leadership role within a group or organization.


  • Begin primary applications to professional schools. Most health professions have a common application online. Applications generally open in May, June, or July.
  • Perfect your personal statement.
  • Complete secondary applications and have letters of recommendation sent.


  • Fine tune your interviewing skills.
  • Go on professional school interviews.
  • Graduate!