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Premedicine Major
PreHealth Advising

Science and PreHealth Advising Center
East Wing, 230 Ritenour Building
University Park, PA 16802
Tel: 814-865-7620

Prehealth and Health Professions Advising is available to any Penn State student who wants to explore, prepare, and apply for training in a health profession career.

Our office also provides health professions advising to any Penn State student who is interested in a career in a health profession, including medicine, podiatry, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, physician assistant, and other allied health professions.

Not all individuals elect to attend professional school directly after their undergraduate studies. Past PSU applicants have found that it can be extremely beneficial to take a "Gap Year" or more in order to finish prerequisite courses, gain essential experiences and exposures to health care, conduct research, participate in volunteer programs such as AmeriCorps or Peace Corps, or work full-time in another industry altogether. Alumni of Penn State are welcome to utilize the services of the Pre-Health Advising Center. We are happy to meet with alums through in-person appointments, over the phone, or via Skype to provide advice and support to individuals considering a health career. Alumni may also apply for a committee letter at any time after graduating from Penn State. If you are a graduate of Penn State and interested in applying to a Health Professions program, please email one of our Prehealth Advisers or call 814-865-7620 to schedule an appointment. If you are within the region, please know that informative evening group advising sessions are offered several times every semester to smoothly guide your planning and application processes. Our Health Professions Group Advising Sessions schedule can be found below. 

 

Goals

We want to assist students with understanding:

  • Information about health profession prerequisites and expectations.
  • The demands of a health professions degree.
  • The keys to being a successful health professional school applicant.
  • Relevant courses and experiences that strengthen their application.

 

 

Resources for Pre-health students during Spring 2020

Remote Opportunities

The NAAHP "clearinghouse page" for information from professional school associations regarding entrance exams and applications

COVID Responses from Health Professions Programs and Testing Centers

 

Committee Interview and Letter Process COVID-19 Response

Beginning June 1 – the Health Preprofessional Evaluation Committee Letter process is being modified.

The supporting Committee Letter process is being transitioned beginning June 1st in the wake of all functions of the Science College going to remote worksites. We believe the change described below will enable members of our committee to provide applicants with feedback on their candidacy as well as expedite their suite of supporting letters more quickly to the professional schools.

We will continue to offer an opportunity to make a 1-hour appointment (mock interview) to discuss one’s candidacy with a committee member, to identify strengths and areas of potential improvement to make one’s best application for 2021 admission. The principal change is that a non-evaluative committee cover letter will accompany letter sets to the professional schools in lieu of a composite, post-interview committee letter as before. The letter will also summarize the spring 2020 alternate grade system for which schools will need to be informed. This supporting letter model is not new, and should not negatively affect your candidacy. For example, a non-evaluative letter model has been in use by health pre-professions offices at Yale, Dartmouth, Northwestern University and Tulane for some time. For our Committee’s role at Penn State, with the transition to remote worksites, this is an appropriate shift of time resources to best assist our 250+ applicants in their post-graduate health professions aspirations.

We will provide the opportunity to schedule an optional  mock interview to discuss an applicant’s preparation, address questions and provide guidance on this process. Declining a mock interview does NOT compromise the committee cover letter for applicants – it will still be uploaded to veCollect. We will also continue to provide guidance on primary and secondary applications as we always have. We encourage you to join our Applicant Networking Canvas page for more resources and faster responses to questions you may have.

Appointment slots will still be made via our main office staff:  814-865-7620.

Advising Services

Committee Letter

For instructions how to obtain a committee letter or to receive an updated committee letter, please go here:

https://science.psu.edu/premed/applying-to-medical-school/committeeinfo

 

Personal Statement Reviews

We are no longer accepting personal statements for review, as our attention is now being directed to committee interviews and committee letter writing. You may still complete the modules within our Canvas course to gain a better understanding of how to write a personal statement. 

 

For instructions how to write a personal statement, and how to get it reviewed by a prehealth adviser, please go here:

 http://sites.psu.edu/sciadvising/prehealth-advising/personalstatement/

Walk-in advising is reserved for brief concerns that will take no longer than 10 minutes. If it becomes evident that you have more extensive questions or concerns than you realized, you will be asked to schedule a regular advising appointment. Examples of walk-in items include:

  • Reviews of current courses scheduled.
  • Clarification on a specific health profession requirement.
  • Discussion of whom you will ask to write letters of recommendation.

 

Spring 2020 Walk-in Hours:

Walk-in Hours, January 21- May 1:

Walk-ins will be held during specified days and times. All other times will need to be scheduled through Starfish.

In response to COVID-19 distance learning, these meetings will be held remotely. Please head to Starfish to check-in at the time you wish to meet (during the following days and times).

There will be walk-ins on the following days:

  • Monday 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM - Melissa Krajcovic, Joanna Maatta
  • Tuesday 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - John Moses
  • Wednesday 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM - Lucais Wallen and one of either Kimberly Johnson, Melissa Krajcovic, or John Moses
  • Thursday 1:30 - 3:30 PM - Lucais Wallen
  • Friday 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Carolyn Jensen, Kimberly Johnson

*** Our office will be conducting office-hours remotely. If it is during one of the times listed above, please go to Starfish, and schedule an appointment during the specified block (15 minutes only). Once you have scheduled your time, copy the link to the Zoom Room and paste it into your browser. You may then enter the Zoom Room. If your adviser is currently meeting with another student, you will be directed to the waiting room. Your adviser will be with you as soon as they are available. ***

 

SPECIAL WALK-INS

FOR DISCUSSIONS ABOUT LATE DROPPING A CLASS ONLY: Friday, April 10, 9:00-11:30am & 1:30-5:00pm

FOR WITHDRAWING FROM SPRING SEMESTER ONLY: Friday, May 1, 10:00am-12:00pm, 1:30-5:00pm

 

SPRING 2020 FINALS WEEK WALK-IN SCHEDULE 

Please email your adviser directly during this time. 

 

* Our office will be conducting office-hours remotely. Please schedule an appointment in Starfish in the same manner you always have, and you will receive instructions for connecting to our individual Zoom Room. If you have questions or concerns about how these remote meetings will work, please email us directly.

 

Current students, to schedule an appointment with an advisor:

  1. Log into Starfish (starfish.psu.edu) and click on “Services.”
  2. Search for “PreMed and PreHealth Advising” using the small search box (top right-hand side). To find a specific advisor, use the search box to search by name.
  3. Click on the Schedule Appointment link in the service description or scroll down to find a specific advisor’s calendar under the Service Members listed. The Service Calendar (left-hand side) will show dates with scheduled appointment slots. Bold-face dates are ones with available appointment slots.
  4. Click the + icon next to your preferred appointment slot.
  5. Select a reason for the appointment.
  6. Type a detailed description for the meeting to help the advisor best prepare for the meeting.
  7. Once you create the appointment, Starfish will send you an email confirming the appointment as well as a reminder email closer to the appointment date. Your new appointment will appear in your Starfish “Dashboard.”

To cancel an appointment: Click the “X” in the upper right of the appointment block on your Dashboard. If you cancel, please do so in advance and provide reasons for why the appointment is being cancelled.

 

Alum or prospective students, to schedule an appointment with an advisor:

Please call our office at 814-865-7620. Same-day appointments will not be made. Plan to schedule appointments at least two weeks in advance.

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, our advisers offer a series of prehealth advising sessions. Students considering medical, dental, podiatry, and physician assistant professions must attend a Med Prep or PA Prep group advising session prior to meeting one-on-one with PreHealth Advising.

No registration is required.

 

Med Prep

First-year and sophomore students exploring medicine, dentistry, and podiatry will be familiarized with the coursework, experiences, and skills these health profession schools require of their applicants.

  • Live sessions have ended for the semester. Please complete this form to view a previously recorded version of this session.

 

Medical Applications

Junior and senior students applying for medical, dental, or podiatry school will be introduced to application timelines and strategies needed to compete successfully in the current application cycle.

  • Live sessions have ended for the semester. Please complete this form to view a previously recorded version of this session.

 

PA Prep

First-year and sophomore students exploring physician assistant careers will be familiarized with the coursework, experiences, and skills needed to successfully apply to physician assistant programs.

  • Live sessions have ended for the semester. Please complete this form to view a previously recorded version of this session.

PA Applications

Junior and senior students applying for physician assistant programs will be introduced to application timelines and strategies needed to compete successfully in the current application cycle.

  • Live sessions have ended for the semester. Please complete this form to view a previously recorded version of this session.

 

Please see our "Other Group Advising Sessions" below for more sessions including Interviewing, Personal Statement, Gap Year and other sessions and workshops. 

Several sessions on special topics related to health professions are offered only once per semester or once per academic year. Topics may change from semester to semester.

Demystifying the MCAT

We recommend this workshop for those students who are planning to take the MCAT this year (2020). Here, we will discuss generalized preparation for the MCAT, how much it costs, resources available, when to take it, and tips from some Penn State students who performed well on the MCAT.

  • Check back for future dates in the fall!

     

    Health Professional School Interviewing

    Learn about different interview formats and practice your skills.

    We recommend this workshop for those students who are planning to interview for health professional schools during this current interview cycle (Fall 2019 semester). We will host an additional meeting at the beginning of the Spring semester. 

    • Check back for future dates in the fall!

     

    Personal Statement Workshop

    Strategies and tips for statement prompts - bring your writing tools!

    We recommend this workshop for those students who are currently beginning their process of applying to health professional schools.  

     

    Gap/Glide Year Seminar

    Options for how to spend your time before starting a health professional program

    • Check back for future dates in the fall!

     

    MCAT - A Winnable Exam!

    A Penn State grad will be visiting with us to share the strategies he used to do well on the MCAT!

    • Live sessions have ended for the semester. Please complete this form to view a previously recorded version of this session.

    Contact us!

    2nd Floor Ritenour, East Wing
    Science Advising: 814-863-3889
    PreHealth Advising: 814-865-7620