The Office of Health Professions Advising provides support to Princeton students and alumni by many means as they consider careers in and prepare for admission to medical, dental, veterinary, and other health professions schools. As you weigh the options for your college career as a prehealth student, here are some of the highlights of our prehealth resources and services at Princeton
Princeton Prehealth, By the Numbers
- Three professional advisers
- ~15 HPA Peer Advisers & Jock Docs
- 20+ student organizations with a health/medicine focus
- 30+ local civic engagement opportunities
- 120-150 applicants to medical school per year (more than 75% of whom take one or more glide/gap years between Princeton and medical school)
- 85-95% of applicants accepted to health professions school annually
- Hundreds of internship, research & study abroad opportunities
- Thousands of alumni health professionals in the Tiger network
Over the years, premedical/prehealth students have completed majors in every department at the University. Exploration of all intellectual interests is encouraged by health professional schools at the undergraduate level. About half of our accepted applicants each year major outside of the science disciplines.
- Office of the Dean of the College: Making Major Choices: Study What You Love
- HPA Majors Choices Information
- Individual advising is available to any student through drop-in hours and by appointment at the Office of Health Professions Advising (HPA).
- Group information sessions are provided for students new to prehealth and to students who are beginning the process of applying to medical school or other health professions training programs.
- A number of workshops and events are offered throughout the academic year. Workshop topics include: alumni and health professions school visits, personal statement writing, and interviewing.
- The HPA Library is a lending library with resources relating to a wide range of health professions, including medical fiction and non-fiction, standardized test prep materials, and brochures from health professions schools.
- Peer Advisers are prehealth and trained to work with first-year students.
- When students apply to health professions school, a committee letter of recommendation is prepared on their behalf. This letter is preferred by health professions schools as one means of evaluating candidates, and summarizes students’ academics, activities, recommendation letters, and interaction with HPA, as established through individual contact and an interview.
- Finally the HPA website features a variety of helpful information and resources, including extensive Frequently Asked Questions.
A Brief Summary of What to Expect as a Princeton Prehealth Student
- Learn more about what Princeton has to offer its prehealth students! Good luck with your college decisions!
- Read your Preparing for a Career in Health Professions guide!
- Establish your support group. Meet the HPA staff, and get on HPA email listservs, as available. Meet your residential college deans. Make friends.
- Strive to do well in your classes – go to tutors, join study groups, attend office hours, and get to know faculty.
- Develop and improve your time management and study skills, and spending habits (schools may request your credit report, plus, applying to health professions schools is expensive).
- Create a resume, journal, or other way to track all of your activities, awards, and accomplishments.
- Over the summer, pursue an internship, volunteer position, or research opportunity in your profession of interest.
- Investigate potential health professions schools and their entrance requirements and plan classes accordingly.
- Find balance between co-curricular activities and (academics come first, but take care of yourself and find good stress relievers)!
- Declare your concentration, develop a graduation timeline.
- Reflect on your continuing motivation to become a health professional – you’ll have to articulate your reasons in your personal statement and it’s never too early to refine them.
- Meet with HPA to talk about strengths and areas for improvement in your candidacy.
- Continue summer involvement in employment, research, volunteering, and personal enrichment activities.
- Look into standardized test (MCAT, DAT, etc) prep. Register to take the exam in the spring (if direct entry) or over the summer (if taking a glide year).
- Check in with HPA to assess your strengths and areas to improve as a candidate.
- Continue to gain leadership and clinical experience.
- Foster strong relationships with faculty -- you'll need letters of recommendation soon!
- Come to an Applicant Workshop in the fall to get a sense of the application process, if desired.
- If applying direct entry: Prepare pre-application materials, ask for letters of recommendation, and have pre-application interview. Apply in June.
- Look into fellowships with early fall deadlines (e.g., Fulbright, Rhodes).
- Apply for fellowships, post-bac programs, or other glide year activities.
- Come to an Applicant Workshop in the fall.
- Schedule an Applicant Intake appointment to discuss candidacy.
- If taking one "glide year": Prepare pre-application materials, ask for letters of recommendation, and have pre-application interview. Apply in June.
- Come to Applicant Seminars in the spring, apply in the early summer.
- Medical school applicants submit the primary application in June for matriculation about 15 months later. The majority of applicants (from Princeton and nationally) take one or more "glide" or "gap" years between graduation and medical school).
- Alums stay connected with HPA for advising and to mentor younger students throughout their careers.