We’ve shared our thoughts freshman year directions and sophomore year directions for students who are planning on a health care career that requires graduate school. Now, it’s onto junior year!
Be sure to check out our senior year directions, as well as our general health care education overview guidance here.
During Junior Year
|Know your dates Decide when you will take your entrance exam. Give yourself enough time to study for the exam once you have decided when you will take it. Review the application process and check with your health professions advisor about the timelines for the schools you plan to apply to. Most health professions schools participate in a centralized application service so it’s likely you will only have to fill out one application. Meet with your advisor to find out how your school handles letters of evaluation. Some schools have a committee that will write a joint evaluation for you while others assemble letters you have requested from faculty. If you need to contact people to write letters for you, do that now and give them the details they need.|
|Start making decisions Start making decisions about the type of school you want to attend: location, size of school, composition of the student body, curriculum and program emphasis. View websites and talk with classmates and upper-class students who are now enrolled in the schools that you think will best meet your needs. Don’t rely on the centralized application service alone to research schools to which you want to apply. Depending on the profession, not all accredited programs participate in centralized application services. Register for and participate in online and in-person recruitment fairs.|
|Network. If admissions officers from the type of health professions school you will be attending are on campus, meet with them. If there are schools you want to visit, go. While you are visiting, make sure to talk to students and admissions officers. Don’t stop participating in your health professions clubs. That experience is good for your application to health professions school, and you can learn a lot from your participation and from your peers. Work or volunteer in a health care setting. If possible, obtain letters of recommendation that will discuss your contribution.|
|Don’t forget to celebrate. Once you get your exam results, take the time to celebrate your accomplishments! Or talk with your advisor to figure out if you should take the test again to see if you can improve your scores.|
During Summer Break Before Senior Year
|Gain Experience. If possible, work, volunteer or participate in a summer program at the type of health professions school you will attend.|
|Plan the details. Start putting together a financial plan for applying to health professions school. Take into consideration all the fees you will have to pay, including the entrance exams, application services and school-specific fees. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of travel to interviews.|
|Do your research. Submit your application(s) if you are applying now. If you need help with the application fee, ask. There is help available for students who can demonstrate financial need.|