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Pre-Professional Advising

201 Hannah Hall
244 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , MI 48309-4451
(248) 370-4936
preprofadvising@oakland.edu

Pre-Professional Advising

201 Hannah Hall
244 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , MI 48309-4451
(248) 370-4936
preprofadvising@oakland.edu

Students sitting at benches set into the wall in a common space at Oakland University.

Application Preparation

Health applications are very extensive and require a lot of detail. It is important to get organized before you start inputting information. Here is a list of the different areas of the application and tips on how to be successful.

Timeline
  • 4 year - Sample Timeline
  • Application Timeline
    • Year of Your Application
      • Winter - Ask for Letters of Recommendation
      • May of Junior Year - Start Completing Primary Application
      • June of Junior Year - Submit Primary Application
      • Summer After - Submit Secondary Applications
Application

Primary Application
General information sent to multiple schools you apply to. The information will include:

  • Personal Information
  • List of Courses and Grades
  • Transcript 
  • Personal Statement
  • Experiences
  • Letters of Recommendation

Supplemental/Secondary
Applications are sent to you from all the schools where you meet the requirements. There are typically 3 to 5 questions that you answer in essay form. They are specific to the school and look to see if you match their school's philosophy.

Tips:

  • Review the school’s website to see what they are looking for in an applicant.
  • Return the essays within 2 weeks of receiving them.
  • Tailor your answers to specific schools and answer the questions given.
  • For Medical Schools, you can start Secondary Applications early at this website.
Personal Statement

A personal statement is for you to express your motivation and desire to become a healthcare professional and what makes you unique as an applicant. This statement is sent to all the schools you apply to, so you don’t want to direct it to a specific school.

Tips:

  • It should be more of a story, not a resume and should not list experiences again (see Experience Section).
  • There is usually a character limit, so make sure you know the character limit before you start.

Resources:

  • Writing Center - For additional help on how to write a Personal Statement, contact the Writing Center at 248-370-3120 or ouwc@oakland.edu.
  • For additional help with writing a personal statement, contact the Pre-Professional Advising Office at 248-370-4464 or preprofadvising@oakland.edu.
Experiences

Experiences help schools understand who you are as a person and what is important to you. Quality of experiences is typically more important than quantity of experiences. Schools want to see that you have explored the field and that you care about others. Examples of experiences that can be used:

  • Shadowing
  • Community Service (urban/rural and health/non-health)
  • Volunteering (health/non-health)
  • Research
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Diversity/Work with Health Under-Served Populations
  • Paid Employment (some programs require)
  • Teaching/Teaching Assistant
  • Publication
  • Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Honors/Awards/Recognition

Tips:

  • Required to have shadowing and community service (urban/rural)
  • Keep track of:
    • Date/s
    • Length of experience
    • Supervisor
    • Supervisor contact info
    • What you did and what you learned
  • Pick things that interest you and are important to you.
  • Not a checklist! Use this as a way to explore different areas you are interested in.
  • Longevity of experience is important, but they are looking for quality not quantity.
  • Non-medical work (retail sales, etc) should not dominate your application, and still demonstrate your skills/abilities.

Resources:

Letters of Recommendation/Evaluation

3 to 5 Letters of Recommendation will be needed. Each school requires different types of individuals to write the letters. Examples: Professor, Supervisor, Individual Shadowed, etc.

Tips:

  • Get to know your professors.
    • Go to the professor’s Office Hours
    • Sit in the front and stay engaged
    • Do Research with faculty
    • Be a Teaching Assistant/SI
  • Ask when enrolled, volunteering, shadowing, etc., if they will write you a letter when you apply.
  • Give writer copy of resume and Guideline for Writing a Letter of Evaluation for Medical School Applicant (if MD applicant).
  • Ask people who can objectively assess your qualities and experiences (can’t be family)
  • Follow the specific instructions for each school.