You are in the right place if you or someone you know are interested in becoming a physician, physician assistant, physical therapist, dentist, pharmacist or other health care professional.
The planning and preparation needed to successfully apply to health professional schools is a unique journey for each applicant. It is more important than ever for pre-health students to have accurate and timely information. Oakland University provides the following resources for students considering health care careers:
- OU Pre-Health Info Announcements ̶ Oakland University students, faculty and staff can sign-up to receive campus-wide messages about important pre-health information using your Oakland University email. Go to your MySAIL page and log in. Under "Campus Life" you will find "GrizzOrgs". This will take you to a portal of Oakland University student organizations and departments. Look for OU Pre-Professional Advising in Grizzorgs.
- Pre-Health Quick Question Sessions ̶ Get your questions answered in-person during group advising sessions. No appointment needed. During Fall and Winter semesters, Quick Questions are on most Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays between 2:00 and 4:00 in room 201 Hannah Hall. Look for dates and times on the Pre-Health Events page or in GrizzOrgs: OU Pre-Professional Advising.
- Pre-Health Workshops ̶ Presentations will cover key topics such as exploring health careers, admission exams, application strategies, letters of evaluation, interviewing and more. Details can be found on the Pre-Health Events page on in GrizzOrgs: OU Pre-Professional Advising.
Stay on track with your degree plans by connecting with your Faculty Adviser(s) and your unit Academic Adviser(s) too. Use the find my academic adviser tool to help direct you to your specific unit Adviser(s).
Your pre-health years should involve much more than simply checking off a “to do” list on your way to applying to health professional schools. Think of these years as a unique journey rather than steps to complete a checklist. Yes, there are things you will be expected to experience along the way, but you should make your own choices, follow your own passions and determine your own path whenever possible. You will be expected to know why you have made your choices and to be able to explain these choices to others. After all, you need to know how to make choices yourself before you can help your patients make important decisions.
Successfully applying to health professional schools and being ready to attend them is about much more than coursework and admission exams. You should spend a considerable amount of time exploring your health care field(s) of interest through shadowing, patient contact and exposure to different populations, etc. Done well, this exploration can help you understand not only a great deal about the field you are considering, but also help determine if you are on a path that is a good fit for you! Consider also finding ways to participate in non-medical volunteer opportunities. Admission committees look for individuals who will not only be a leaders in their field, but also leaders in their future communities. It is equally important for you to develop ongoing relationships with peers, faculty and mentors.
As early as possible, start investigating the health professional schools. Read the schools’ mission statements and learn as much as you can about each individual school. Do your interests match what you learn about the schools? Are you are the type of applicant a school may be looking for? You are much more likely to move forward in the admission process if there is a good “fit” between you and your target schools. You are also likely to enjoy your time in graduate school more if you have chosen schools that match your interests and learning style.
Prepare well for any interviews and realize that subjective evaluations of you can be as important as grades and exam scores. Personality traits and qualities play a huge role in WHO IS, and WHO IS NOT, accepted to health professional schools. Your positive personality traits need to come through clearly in your application, letters of evaluation and interviews. Keep in mind that admission committees are choosing individuals for their incoming class, future alum and health care colleagues. They are also looking for ethical individuals they would trust in the future with a family member’s care. So, it is important for all of your application to accurately and positively represent who you are!
The reward of a successful pre-health journey is acceptance into a long sought-after program or programs. It is the culmination of years of hard work and effort. Acceptance is a time to congratulate you -- a future health care provider and celebrate your success!
As you work towards your pre-health goals, it’s important to keep the “big picture” in mind. Two handouts that can help you do this are What Should I Know if I am a Pre-Health Student? and The Pre-Health Journey Flowchart. As you review these handouts, think about what areas you are already strong in and what areas you might consider strengthening? Bring these handouts to your OU advising appointments so you can discuss any questions with your advisers.
Be sure to review additional pages of this website and consider attending pre-health events to learn more!