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Pre-Health Professions Checklist

What Schools Seek in Applicants


Prior to application to a health profession school, the student should establish a strong academic record as shown by:

  • Mastery of the basic science requirements;
  • Broad and successful exposure to the humanities and social sciences;
  • Ability to read and understand sophisticated material in the humanities, natural and social sciences (especially important for those taking a test like the MCAT);
  • Commitment to being a lifelong learner and “mature and independent scholarship”, (e.g., in an independent study or honors project);
  • Personal relationship with at least three faculty members (or in the case of fields like veterinary medicine or physical therapy, some professionals in the field) who know me well enough to write a comprehensive letter of evaluation about me.


A firm and clear motivation for the health professions as shown by:

  • Commitment to fellow human beings and their welfare;
  • Understanding the role of a DDS, MD, DO, OD, ND, DC, PT, OT, RN, PharmD, DVM, etc. from direct personal experience.

Outstanding Personal Qualities:

  • Character traits such as maturity, stability, integrity, responsibility, dependability, honesty, perseverance, enthusiasm, etc.;
  • Succeeding in some personal endeavor and showing leadership abilities;
  • Skills and abilities which will allow contribution to the life of health professions school and intended profession;
  • The ability to carry out a sophisticated interview;
  • Use of another language and to deal effectively and sensitively with those of different cultural backgrounds.