Pre-Health Preparation

Health professional schools are searching for well-rounded students who have demonstrated high academic ability and who lead fulfilling lives including an engaged commitment to the community.

As a pre-health student, you should be concerned with the following:

Academics - manage your time well and study an average of three-four hours for every hour you spend in class. You must make high grades to show how important this career goal is to you.  Students accepted to health professional programs generally have a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.5 or higher.  Academics should be your number one priority!

Are you struggling with a particular course or maintaining good study habits?  The following resources are available to help you:

Motivation - develop the ability to clearly express your reasons for choosing a health-related career path.  This means being able to discuss why you want to pursue a career in the health professions in a mature, articulate way.  You will also need to develop the skill to write about your motivations was well; each of the applications to health professional school includes a “personal essay” section.

  • Need help getting started on your personal essay or resume?  Try visiting Career Services.

Exposure to the field - whether paid or volunteer, it is important to obtain some experience observing and/or assisting professionals who are already in the field in which you hope to practice.  This means you should volunteer, job shadow, and/or gain paid employment in a health care setting.

UAlbany students routinely gain health care experience through the following:

Community Service - participating in community activity is important to admissions committees in all of the professional health care fields. Medicine is a service profession, and committees want to be sure that candidates have demonstrated their commitment to the less fortunate in our society.

Extra-curricular activity - music, sports, theater, clubs, work, hobbies/crafts, etc.  Pursue activities that are meaningful to you.  Build interpersonal skills, demonstrate commitment, and shape leadership skills while enthusiastically participating in activities that you enjoy.

  • UAlbany pre-health students often participate in the pre-med club, Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity, pre-dental club, pre-optometry club, and others.
  • Learn about the 200+ student organizations on campus by visiting MyInvolvement.

Research - very important if interested in MD/PhD programs.  Medical schools differ in emphasis placed on research.  Research is valuable to do, especially if it leads to publication.

Exam Scores - MCAT, DAT, OAT, GRE etc. - do not wait until 3 months before the exam to begin studying! Learn as much science and non-science vocabulary as possible before the exam.

Reading - last but not least - read novels and newspapers to develop your vocabulary, speed and comprehension and to keep up on current events and health-care issues.