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Premedicine Major

Health Sciences
Pre-Professional Advising Committee


The Prehealth Advising Office is excited to begin offering an E-Portfolio for our students considering entering a health profession. This portfolio will serve as a space for students to both track their coursework and activities, and reflect on their personal journey. Through this system, we can provide  targeted guidance to help each applicant enhance their collegiate preparation, better understand the strength of their candidacy, and make informed choices when deciding to apply to health professions programs. We encourage students at all stages of their preparation to create and begin contributing to their portfolio. As this is a new system, we advise you to be in touch if you encounter any difficulties.


To request access to the e-portfolio system, current Penn State students and Penn State alumni should complete this form. Please allow 7 business days to be added to the e-portfolio. Current students will have access to the portfolio through their Penn State Office 365 One Note App. Alumni may need to download One Note (a free app) to use the portfolio. One Note can be used on computers, tablets, and phones.



Timeline for Penn State Applicants* to Medical, Dental, Podiatry and Optometry Programs


Internal Timeline

• October 5, 2020 – Health Professions Portfolio Opens

• October 20, 2020 – Personal Statement Review Opens

• November 2, 2020 – veCollect Opens

• January 22, 2021 – Priority Portfolio Deadline for Comprehensive Interview Before Application Submission

• April 15, 2021 – Regular Portfolio Deadline for Comprehensive Interview Before June 10

• June 1, 2021 – Final Portfolio Deadline for Comprehensive Interview Before August 15

• August 15, 2021 – Comprehensive Interviews Close


Timelines for Application Systems

• April 30 – CASPA opens


• June – OPTOMCAS Opens

• July – AACPMAS Opens



*Note To All Other Health Professions Applicants

Applicants to other health professions programs are still encouraged to complete the portfolio and to schedule advising sessions with prehealth advisers, keeping the opening date of their respective application in mind. For example, pre-PA applicants should schedule an appointment with us before April 30 if they wish to discuss their candidacy before CASPA application opens. We will re-evaluate being able to offer Comprehensive Interviews for other professional programs in the future.


We encourage all applicants to join our Applicant Networking Canvas page for more resources and faster responses to questions you may have. This page has resources for applicants to many health professions programs. Prehealth students at any stage of their journey are encouraged to join our Prehealth Group Advising Canvas page for announcements, resources, and access to recorded Group Advising Sessions. Prehealth advising appointments can still be made via our main office staff:  814-865-7620 or 814-863-3889. Currently, these appointments are being conducted remotely via Zoom.



Health Pre-professions Advising Committee

The Health Pre-professions Advising Committee is designed for undergraduate students at Penn State and alumni of Penn State preparing for application to medical, dental, podiatry, and optometry schools.

The committee, composed of numerous faculty and advisors from various colleges within the University, assist in conducting Comprehensive Interviews for students applying to health profession schools. Within this interview, applicants can expect to receive valuable, specific feedback on their candidacy to both develop their weaknesses and highlight their strengths. This interview will also serve as a mock interview for health professions programs. It is not required by Penn State that students use this committee, but most students find the process helpful to developing a competitive application.


Our committee will also collect and validate authenticity of letters of recommendation from evaluators. These letters will then be sent as a letter packet to the selected centralized application service along with a cover letter describing our process at Penn State.


Dr. Ronald A. Markle is the chair of the Health Pre-professions Advising Committee. For additional information on the operation of this committee, download the packet below with instructions and forms.



Obtaining a Comprehensive Interview and Letter Packet

To obtain a Comprehensive Interview to review your candidacy, you must complete the following FOUR steps:

  1. Complete the E-portfolio.

 To best understand your full candidacy, it is imperative that you complete the e-portfolio. There is a checklist within the shared documents section of the Health Professions portfolio. You can use this to guide your completion of the sections. Once you have completed everything that needs to be finished, you can complete the Health Professions Comprehensive Interview Checklist (forms will not be evaluated until January 22, 2021). The following deadlines will determine when you will be able to schedule your comprehensive interview.


January 22, 2021 – Priority Portfolio Deadline

Applicants completing the Health Professions Portfolio prior to this deadline will be given first priority in scheduling a Comprehensive Interview before they submit their application.


April 15, 2021 - Regular Portfolio Deadline

Applicants completing the Health Professions Portfolio prior to this deadline will be scheduled for a Comprehensive Interview before June 10.


June 1, 2021 – Final Portfolio Deadline

Applicants completing the Health Professions Portfolio prior to this deadline will be scheduled for a Comprehensive Interview before before August 15, but not necessarily before they submit their application.


  1. Complete FERPA statement.

Each applicant must sign a FERPA statement allowing us to collect and release letters of recommendation for health professions programs. This FERPA statement also allows letter writers to release information about you to health professions programs. When completing this form, it is highly recommended that students BOTH allow us to collect and release your letters AND waive their right to view the letters of recommendation. If you have questions or concerns about this process, please contact a prehealth adviser. Following the FERPA release, you will be redirected to a payment page (see step 3 below).


  1. Pay for veCollect account (see link below). Our office will then create a veCollect account for you.

To establish a veCollect account to store your letters of recommendation with us, you will need to pay a $50 processing fee (in addition to the signed FERPA statement allowing us to collect and release letters of recommendation for health professional programs). Returning applicants will need to pay this fee again, as it is associated with maintaining an active account each year.


Our office will create and activate your veCollect account once you have paid the fee and signed the FERPA statement. Please wait 1-7 days for your account to open. Please do not create a veCollect account by accessing the company's website directly. This will only result in a delay in establishing your account, as we will need to delete that account to establish an account associated with our office. 


Please note that the $50 processing fee is NON-REFUNDABLE. Even if you choose not to apply, or you choose to withdraw your application, refunds will not be offered, and cannot be transferred to another year.


To sign the FERPA statement and pay online with a credit card,  follow this link to our Consent for Release Form and Payment Page. Please be sure to enter your name and the cardholder's name accurately, especially if you are using a credit card that does not match your name. This allows us to match your name to your payment and prevents delays.  Note: only VISA or Mastercard are accepted.


Once your account has been created, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access your account and change your password. 

*Please also view the information below for important instructions on establishing and maintaining a veCollect account, collecting letters of evaluation, and obtaining a comprehensive interview and letter packet. 


  1. Collect 3 letters addressing your pre-professional competencies within veCollect. 

 January 22, 2021 – Priority Portfolio Deadline

Applicants must have any 3 letters of recommendation. Students are encouraged to have 2 science faculty letters and 1 non-science faculty letters.*


April 15, 2021 - Regular Portfolio Deadline

Applicants must have any 2 letters of recommendation. At least one of these letters should be from a science faculty member.*


June 1, 2021 – Final Portfolio Deadline

Applicants must have at least 2 science faculty, 1 non-science faculty letter.*


*For a final application, candidates must have 2 science faculty letters, 1 non-science faculty letter and up to 3 additional letters. Please see the portfolio for further suggestions.



Instructions for Obtaining a Cover Letter and Collecting Letters Addressing your Pre-Professional Competencies 

To view instructions on how to obtain a cover letter, letters of evaluation, and use veCollect, please view the Guide to Obtaining a Letter Packet, Letters of Evaluation, and veCollect document below. The guide will detail instructions for applicants planning to matriculate into a health professional program in 2022 (applying summer 2021). Please note: all veCollect accounts are deleted annually mid-October. Please only collect letters if you are planning to apply in the current cycle (2022 matriculation).



Thank you for supporting our Penn State candidates for medical/dental/optometry/podiatry programs. Please refer to this guide for more information and instructions on how to use veCollect.

Updated: 11/5/2020