Applying to a Health Professional Program
What should you be majoring in?
If you are an undergraduate student that is interested in joining the health professional programs and want to know what major you should study, you came to the right place. A myth that many students fall to believe is that they should major in science because it is the “ideal major” and will be preferred by the admission committee. A competitive candidate can be a science or non-science major, as a student you must keep in mind that health professional programs look for students that have completed the pre-requisite courses and do well.
It is essential that you enjoy your undergraduate studies - choose a major that you are passionate about and can help you excel academically.
Starting your application early gives you time to decide what application service you want to use for your primary application and what their specific requirements are. Understanding and identifying what are the essential tools to convey you are a great candidate on your medical application helps you build a more competitive profile.
You will have enough time to write and rewrite your personal essays and receive as much feedback as possible.
The best way to prepare is by creating a timeline, a crucial step many students miss. By establishing a timeline you now have a detailed plan of your course schedule (waste no time), you will be able to incorporate clinical exposure, research opportunities, community service and leadership activities that will enrich your candidature.
How to create an effective, feasible and realistic timeline? Talk to your advisor.
- Choose the right course work
- Create a course plan with the right subjects that will help you ace the standardized admission exam
- Obtain Experience
- Shadow - gain as much clinical experience as possible
- Join and commit to a healthcare organization
- Decide what medical school and program you want to apply to
- Research and gain as much information as possible to pick the right program and school for you
- Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want to go to a small or large school?
- Where in the US do I want to study?
- What grades am I likely to achieve?
- Do I want to attend a commercial or holistic approach school?
- Am I interested in an early admission program?
- Establish a personal timeline (your Path to Success)
During the application review, medical schools will look meticulously at every element you decide to include. You must keep in mind that an application that has been prepared with time and has exceptional quality will make a difference. Below you will find a list of the essential tools you have to convey you are a perfect candidate on your application(s):
- Activity resume
- Recommendation letters
- Standardized Admission Exam Score
It is imperative to be aware that application services and health profession schools are very strict in their submission dates; they DO NOT ACCEPT and will reject any late submissions. You must identify the deadlines, each have their own deadlines and will make no exceptions. To avoid this type of situations get well informed and mark the dates on your calendar! As the TMDSAS Application Handbook says, “Don’t be tardy to the party.”
Letter of Recommendation:
According to TMDSAS, evaluators should know an applicant well enough to evaluate them both academically and personally. Your evaluators should preferably be current/former professors that can speak about your academic ability in the sciences.
How many letter or recommendations do I need?
The amount of required letter of recommendations vary between schools but it is recommended for students to have between 3-5 letters. These letters discuss the qualities and capabilities that you as a candidate exhibit and make you a good fit academically,
Who should you ask?
When thinking of whom you should ask for a LOR think about the following key points, the writer should be someone who:
- Can testify for your hard work and speak strongly positive about it
- Has given you a grade (professor), that can willingly testify and comment on your academic achievements and abilities
Releasing Data to Your Health Professions Advisor:
Checking the release data box will have no bearing on your application. However, releasing your data to the school’s pre-health advisor is essential for your advisor to be acquainted with your applicant profile and for you to obtain more assistance and formal tracking of your application.
Services provided by MPI to future, current or UTEP alumni are the following:
We meet with students in new and transfer student orientations, student organization meetings, and meetings with student participants in early admissions programs, advising as a group. Students can meet individually, even before attending UTEP and after graduating, with MPI staff for one-on-one advising.
For students applying to health profession program, we offer a comprehensive review of cover letters, scholarship and personal statements. Providing detailed personal feedback, proofreading, and suggested changes in order for students to create a strong personal essay or document.
Interview Preparation & Practice:
We offer students an opportunity to have mock interviews with trained faculty members, providing exposure to interview settings and personal feedback.
Scholarship Review & Recommendations:
Recruitment for Early Admissions Programs with Partner Institutions or Programs (JAMP) or Development of Enrichment Programs:
UTEP has partnered with several medical schools and one dental school in various early admission programs. These target beginning, qualified students, giving conditional acceptance to the partner schools and mentoring selected participants during summer internships at the professional school campuses, along with other support services.
Professional Development Mentoring:
Network and Coordinate with College Advising Offices:
When completing your primary application you will be asked to upload a photo. The photo requirement has to be a professionally taken photo, these DO NOT qualify:
- Group photo
- Pixelated close-up
- Non-professional attire
Keep these key points in mind, the “Do’s” of your photo:
- Do take a forward-facing photo
- Do wear professional and modest attire
- Do ensure good and clear lighting
UTEP’s University Career Center offers students and alumni an opportunity to obtain a professional headshot for your application, with two-week anticipation. Contact the UC office for more information.
Online Application Services:
An application service is a centralized primary application processing service that allows you to submit ONE online application for as many schools you would like to apply.
Each application services:
- Have different requirements
- Have varying application fees
- Have different deadlines
- Participate with different schools (E.g. The AMCAS participates with most US schools and the TMDSAS participates ONLY with Texas schools.)
- Include a number of school(s) with the initial application fee and can charge an additional amount for extra schools
- May offer fee waivers
You can find all the information on the individual application services' website. Get acquainted with the different application services that will allow you to generate your primary application. Here's a list of some of the application services you can use: