Preparing Your Candidacy for Prehealth Juniors

Students who planned activities carefully and did well academically may strong enough candidates to apply for health professional school as juniors to matriculate directly after graduation. Most of our applicants, however, apply senior year and take a “glide” or “gap” year between Princeton and professional school for a variety of reasons.

Juniors should carefully consider whether or not their candidacy, holistically, is strong enough to help them reach their goals. Remember, if you apply "direct entry," this is the last year of grades that will appear on your transcript, the last set of faculty whom you can approach for letters. You will navigate standardized test preparation during the spring as you complete junior independent work, so careful time management is critical.

As a junior, continue gaining leadership experience, fostering relationships with faculty and others who will write letters of recommendation, and ensuring that medicine is truly right for you, through clinical experience, self-reflection, and talking with mentors about your plans. By now, older peers you may have known at Princeton may be in health professions school or in the application process – be sure to talk with them about their experiences!

Any student considering applying should attend an HPA Applicant Info Session in the fall semester. Dates will be announced via Vitals and on Facebook.

Juniors To Do List

  • Look into standardized test (MCAT, DAT, etc.) prep, dates, and registration information.

  • Meet with an HPA adviser 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 Info Session for an overview of the application process.

  • Look into fellowships with early senior fall deadlines (e.g., Fulbright, Rhodes).

Highlighted Resources

Deciding When to Apply

Assess whether your candidacy is strong enough to reach your goals.

Glide Year Considerations

Over 80% of Princeton applicants take time between graduation and professional school matriculation. These resources help you navigate glide year decisions.

The Application Process

An overview of the two-year process of preparing for, applying to, interviewing with, and matriculating at health professions school.