Uw premed

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The Center for Pre-Health Advising sends a bimonthly newsletter to pre-health students. Get information about pre-health events, opportunities, resources, and recommended reading. Look for it the second and fourth Thursday every month during fall and spring semesters and once a month during winter and summer breaks.

  • Please sign-up to receive the CPHA newsletter here.
  • And check out our latest newsletter here.

“Pre-Health ” is a great place to begin learning about all things pre-health. It is the most common way that CPHA &#;meets&#; with first year students. This online orientation (available to you as a Canvas course) introduces you to exploring healthcare careers, pre-health coursework, building experience outside the classroom, and possible timelines to health professional school exams and applications.

We designed the pre-health orientation with first year students in mind, but we encourage anyone with interest in a health profession to enroll at any point in your preparation. It is a great resource for everyone. Look for it in your Canvas course library after you sign up, which you can dohere. 

We are committed to first year students! And Mike Hill is our first year student specialist. He writes and runs the online pre-health student orientation (“Pre-Health ”), offers virtual drop-in advising for first year students every Friday during fall and spring semesters, participates in the UW Major Discovery Week, and runs Four Year (and More!) Planning workshops for first year students.

Please use all the resources we offer first year students:

  • Pre-Health This online orientation is a great introduction to all things pre-health. Sign up today!
  • First Year Fridays are drop-in hours for first year students only. Virtual (all Fall) every Friday (9 am to 12 pm). The CPHA Drop-In Advising Sign-Up form will open minutes before each drop-in session begins, and it will close at the end of the session. PLEASE NOTE: The form may close prior to the very end of the session, if the number of advisees in the queue reach capacity for the session.
  • Four Year (and More!) Planning Workshops are offered fall and spring semesters as well. This is a time for you to begin planning your pre-health coursework and co-curricular experiences with the direct support of Mike and other pre-health advisors. Learn more.
  • Quick question? Please email us at [email protected]!

First year student? Please see the First Year Advising tab for advising options.

If you are a second year, third year, fourth year, fifth year student (including new transfer students), please make an appointment to talk with us about your pre-health interests and plans using Starfish. All appointments are 45 minutes. Please monitor your email as you wait for your appointment to begin.

Applying to health professional programs this cycle? Please also see our Applicant Advising information.

If you are an alum, please email us at [email protected], and we will help you arrange an appointment. We look forward to meeting with you remotely (by phone, Zoom, MS Teams, etc.) or in-person. Please also continue to remember that there is no time limit in our services to you. We will be here to support you for as long as you want to work with us.

If you want to talk with us about your application to health professional programs, please read all the information below.

First, if you are planning to apply to a health professional program in the coming year, please sign up for a CPHA Application Course. These are Canvas courses that serve as resource libraries. Each one introduces you to the ins-and-outs of applying to programs.

Common Applicant Advising Conversations:

  • We will help you plan the timing of your application and reflect on what experiences you need to build before you apply.
  • Application Statements
    • We will meet with applicants two times to talk about your personal statement, two times to talk about work/activity statements, and two times to talk about secondaries. Please do not schedule more than two appointments with us about any one of these kinds of statements. We need to distribute our time to advisees as equally as we can. See below for opportunities to work with other writing specialists on your application statements.
    • Please send us the statement(s) you want to work on at least 24 hours before your appointment.
    • If you want to talk about work/activity/experience statements or school-specific secondaries/supplemental essays, please choose three to five that you want to work on and send us only those essays at least 24 hours before your appointment.
  • Mock Interviews
    • We offer applicants two mock interviews — one for you to practice the traditional interview format and a second for you to practice the multi-mini interview format.
    • Please only make mock interview appointments after you have been invited to interview at a health professional program. When you make a mock interview appointment, please specify in your appointment note the school(s) for which you want to practice.
    • If you are applying to medical school and want to practice the new VITA interview, AAMC gives you unlimited opportunities to practice. Please learn more. We are also happy to talk with you about preparing for the VITA.

Other application statement writing specialists: the UW-Madison Writing Center

  • In lieu of an in-person workshop, the Writing Center has made their Personal Statements for Graduate Health Professions Programs workshop (with attendant materials) available online.
  • The Writing Center also offers peer feedback groups for current students and alumni. Please sign up here.
  • In addition, the Writing Center offers minute appointments for current UW-Madison students for you to work on your personal statement with them. This may be done via email or video chat. Please learn more and sign up here.
  • The Writing Center also offers a list of proofreaders and editors who are all graduate students or recent PhDs. They charge very low rates for their service. Check them out.
  • And for alumni, Madison Writing Assistance offers individual remote appointments for you to work on your personal statement with a writing specialist.

The CPHA Drop-In Advising Sign-Up form will open minutes before each drop-in session begins, and it will close at the end of the session. PLEASE NOTE: The form may close prior to the very end of the session, if the number of advisees in the queue reach capacity for the session.

Please read the instructions in the form carefully, keep your email open, and have a great conversation with an advisor when it is your turn to talk!

FALL Drop-ins will be virtual for the duration of fall semester. This is to prevent a crowded waiting area in our office during drop-in hours.


Fall Drop-In Hours:


  • Tuesdays (1 to pm)
  • Wednesdays (1 to pm)


Drop-in conversations are usually limited to minutes, and you are welcome to come more than once!

Sours: https://prehealth.wisc.edu/


Chemical engineering is a broad major that can prepare students for a wide variety of careers. Some of our alumni have pursued health professions such as medicine or pharmacy after completing the B.S. ChemE. Many students following in this path decide they are interested in health professions after beginning their ChemE degree. In this case, an extra year of supplementary coursework may be required to complete pre-health prerequisites and apply to professional schools. However, students who know that they are interested in both ChemE and medical school early in their studies can complete the degree and all pre-requisites within four years. It is a challenging path requiring planning, but ChemE can be an excellent preparation for the health professions.

Why ChemE and pre-Health?

Many of our alumni have gone onto professional school in the health professions, each with a different reason for choosing studying a combination of chemical engineering and pre-health. For some, it was enough that they were interested in both engineering and medicine. Others wanted to keep their options open and plan ahead knowing that engineering and medicine were both of individual high interest. Others wanted to study chemical engineering and, after getting involved in biomedical related research, found a passion for the health professions that they had not realized before.

Whether you come to the combination purposefully or through a meandering path, it's clear that ChemE can provide an excellent and unique preparation for a variety of health professions. The B.S. ChemE degree trains you to break down a system into its fundamental components, analyze and evaluate these fundamentals, then build back up to a whole system-level understanding. This is an excellent and valuable approach to medicine, where treating disease requires an awareness of the collective system (the body) and the underlying principles that influence its health.  

When you eventually apply to professional school, you'll need to explain how your path through chemical engineering prepared you to be an excellent doctor, pharmacist, or other health professional. There isn't just one right answer, and you don't necessarily need a clear idea before starting your B.S. ChemE degree.

Planning for the B.S. ChemE and Pre-Health 

Pursuing graduate study in a pre-health professional school is a major decision that requires planning and a substantial commitment of time, energy, and eventually money. ChemE Faculty Mentor Elizabeth Nance and the undergraduate advisers are here to help! 

Volunteering & Shadowing

All students considering this path, including students who are clear on their goals, should seek opportunities to volunteer and shadow professionals as early as possible. Many professional schools require this kind of activity, but it can also be far more valuable than simply another requirement or recommendation. Exposure to the real, daily life of someone in a professional role helps students to collect valuable information about the field and their interests, test their predictions about their futures, and prepare more thoroughly for those futures. 

Plan of Study

As both pre-health studies and the bachelor’s degree in ChemE have a lot of requirements, completing both will require extensive planning and hard work, as well as possibly an additional year of post-graduate study. This Plan of Study is designed to help communicate how students might fit all the requirements into the structure of the B.S. ChemE degree. Since students have such a wide variety of starting points and constraints, any student considering an application to a health professional school should see a ChemE academic adviser or the ChemE Faculty Mentor for assistance in planning a personalized plan of study. 


Courses listed in bold are required for a ChemE degree. The required CHEM E courses are offered only in the quarters listed. If you have any questions about your plans, please contact a departmental advisor. For course names, please see our curriculum page. Transfer students from Washington State Community colleges can use the Equivalency Guide to determine equivalency.

We have listed sample engineering electives and other credits so it is possible to see just one potential path. We expect most students will adapt this sample plan to account for a different starting placement, different other credits and electives, and different needs. Some students find this plan of study quite challenging and choose to complete some pre-health requirements after graduation, prior to applying to professional schools, in order to manage the courseload more effectively. 

Year One

Autumn QtrWinter Qtr1Spring QtrSummer Qtr
MATH (5)*MATH (5)*MATH (5)*CHEM (4)
CHEM  (5)*CHEM  (5)*CHEM (5)*PHYS (5)
ENGL (5)C LIT (5)**PHYS  (5)* 
Autumn Qtr Winter Qrt2 Spring QtrSummer Qtr
MATH (3)MATH (3)CHEM E (4)CHEM (4)**
CHEM (4)*AMATH (4)CHEM (3)CHEM (3)**
PHYS (5)*BIOL (5)**BIOL (5)** 
BIOL (5)**   


Year Three 

Autumn QtrWinter Qtr1Spring QtrSummer Qtr
CHEM E (4)CHEM E (4)CHEM E (3) 
CHEM E (5)CHEM E (4)CHEM E (3) 
BIOC (4)**BIOC (4)**CHEM E (3) and CHEM E (2)** 
 ENGR (3)  

Year Four

Autumn Qrt (cr)Winter Qrt (cr)Spring Qrt (cr)Summer Qtr
CHEM E (4)CHEM E (3)CHEM E (5) or M E (4) 
CHEM E (4)CHEM E (4)

CHEM E (3) or

CHEM E (3)***

M E (3)**CHEM E (4)**Electives and/or Research** 
BION (3)**M E (3)**  

Year Five

While completing the B.S. ChemE degree and applying to medical school is possible in 4 years, most students take 5 in order to have time for all the pre-professional activities and coursework

Autumn Qrt (cr)Winter Qrt (cr)Spring Qrt (cr)Summer Qtr
IND E  or STAT (4)CHEM (3)**  
SOC (5)**B H (3)**


PSYCH (5)**GENOME (3)**  
**Electives and/or Research****Electives and/or Research**  

*The Honors sections of these courses can be substituted. Additionally, students can take the accelerated CHEM series (CHEM and ) in lieu of the full general chemistry series and the accelerated organic chemistry series (CHEM and ) in lieu of CHEM and  

**Other credits may be engineering electives (16 credits are required); VLPA (humanities) and I&S (social sciences) (24 credits required, at least 10 in each category); or other courses. For a list of all courses and credits required for the degree, see the Department of Chemical Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements.

***Students may use CHEM E or CHEM E to satisfy the the Molecular and Nano Engineering requirement. CHEM E is offered spring quarters only and CHEM E is offered autumn and spring quarter.  

Note: Schools have differing policies for accepting AP, IB or CLEP credits to meet program prerequisites. Students should contact the schools to which they would like to apply to find out that school's policy. Since most students will not know what schools they will apply to when they are planning their schedules, many students choose to retake the science prerequisites or take the honors version of the course. The decision should be made on an individual basis and it is recommended that students speak to an adviser when making this choice.

Engineering Electives

Students planning a career in health professions may want to consider particular engineering electives to tailor their educational experience toward those interests. Recommended engineering electives include: 

CHEM E (3)Biological Frameworks for Engineers
CHEM E (3)Biochemical Engineering 
BIOENG (4)Computational Protein Design
CHEM E (3)Engr. Materials for Biomedical Appls. 
CHEM E (3)Controlled Release Systems
CHEM E (3)Surface Analysis
CHEM E (3)Advanced Surface Analysis
CHEM E (3)Physiology & Nanomedicine
M E (3), M E (3), and M E ()

Engineering Innovation and Medicine and Mechanical Engineering Design Series
(M E replaces CHEM E )

Other Coursework

In addition to tailoring engineering electives, pre-health students should plan to complete all other requirements for the target professional schools. Students should confirm the requirements for their specific target health professional schools when planning their class schedules. These courses often include some combination of the following: 

  • Organic Chemistry: 1 additional quarter of lecture and both organic chemistry labs
  • Biology: 1 full year of biology with labs
  • Biochemistry: 2 quarters
  • Genetics: 1 course
  • English: courses
  • Courses in behavioral sciences, such as psychology and sociology, and social sciences and humanities, including a health disparities course. 

Careful planning allows students to use many of these courses to count toward VLPA, I&S, and DIV requirements. Students are also encouraged to take GEN ST H - Applying to Health Professional School during the year they are applying to health professional programs. Class time includes group work, short lectures, and visits from experts, including admissions officials and health professionals. 

Sours: https://www.cheme.washington.edu/undergraduate_students/curriculum/pre-health
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Applications for the Neurological Surgery Summer Student Program (NSSSP) will be accepted starting Monday, November 1st,

Students should apply if they have an interest in the neurosciences and desire lab experience in neurological biomedical research.

Applicants chosen to participate …

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Sours: https://careers.uw.edu/channels/health/
Premed Majors TIER LIST - What's meta, viable, and not recommended?

Students are encouraged to complement their coursework with clinical exposure every quarter. We encourage students to think about clinical experience in two categories of professional-facing (shadowing) and patient-facing. It is recommended to get a good balance of both and this can be done in many different ways. Here is a link to volunteer programs around the region. The UW School of Medicine also provides some helpful guidelines for shadowing on their website here. Students are also encouraged to view our short video on “Getting Great Clinical Exposure”.

Students are encouraged to build a schedule each quarter that includes coursework for their major, general education requirements, and health professional school, as well as co-curricular activities including clubs, clinical exposure, and research. Community service is a great opportunity to get involved on campus/greater community, practice leadership skills, and complement coursework. We encourage students to get started as soon as they can and to be mindful of what their schedule allows them to do.

To start, students can get involved with The Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity, Undergraduate Community Based Internships (UCBI), Service Learning, and Registered Student Organizations (RSOs).

Here is a list of pre-health related RSOs (under ‘Health-related organizations and opportunities’ tab) that students can explore.

Other opportunities can also include volunteering in your local community in causes students are interested/passionate about or working part-time to build soft and professional skills.

Students are encouraged to explore this list of clinical volunteer opportunities as a great way to get started. Students should also reach out to their networks to identify other opportunities for clinical exposure. The Career & Internship Center website has a host of helpful resources, including job and internship postings on Handshake as well as templates for conducting a career conversation with a health professional.

Students can also check Northwest Health Career Path (a site and map search tool) to find other opportunities in the area.

We encourage students to think creatively and take initiative in all of their volunteering work. Volunteering in a hospital can be a valuable and exciting experience when a student embraces the opportunity as so. In addition to hospitals, there are many other places that students can volunteer at and we encourage them to explore them here.

If their schedule allows, students can take balance working part-time to gain clinical experience. Some of these jobs include Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Medical Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Medical Scribe and Phlebotomist.

Students can also get experience through Health related Registered Student Organizations such as UW Healthcare Alternative Spring Break where students spend their spring break in rural or underserved areas of Washington State shadowing healthcare professionals. We also encourage students to subscribe to the ‘News & Events’ section of the UW Pre-Health website to stay updated on various opportunities.

For more information, please visit the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) webpage on Getting Experience.

Common jobs that students get while in school or after graduating during gap years include (and are not limited to): Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Medical Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Medical Scribe, Phlebotomist, Dental Assistant, Dental Hygienist, Physical Therapy Assistant/Aide, and Pharmacy Technician to name a few.

Scribing Opportunities: Handshake & Indeed
Bellevue College Allied Health Certificate Options
Certified Nursing Assistant Classes and Training Programs in Seattle
Emergency Medical Technician Courses offered in King County
Dental Hygiene Schools in Washington State
Physical Therapy Aide Programs in Washington State
Pharmacy Technician Schools and Programs in Washington State

While research experience is not a requirement for most health professional schools, they provide students the opportunity to explore the intersection of research and medicine, to confirm which career is the best fit with their skills and interests. Research experience may add an extra layer to a student’s application if the institutions where they are applying have a research focus, or if the student is particularly interested in research. While many students think that lab research is most important, experience with social science research is just as fascinating and valuable.

Visit the UW Undergraduate Research Program and attend an Undergraduate Research Info Session to learn more about research opportunities at UW.

Even though an applicant’s GPA is important to health professional schools, admissions committees consider many factors in their selection processes.

Admissions committees look for upward trends in applicants’ grades during their college career, as it is expected that a student’s performance improve as they build their skills and knowledge in the classroom. Inconsistent academic performance (variable grades, frequent withdrawals) may indicate to admissions officials that an applicant may not be able to handle the rigors of health professional school.

Students should be sure to prioritize self-care along with their studies and co-curricular activities – their academic success should not determine their self-worth.

The importance of GPA varies from school to school so we encourage students to do their research by attending information sessions and getting to know a school’s admission process. GPA is one of many factors in the admission process. We encourage students to research schools they are interested in and take note of not only the average GPA, but the range (10th -- 90th percentiles) in which students are accepted.

Students should review the course planning guidelines here and meet with an academic adviser to identify next steps in terms of coursework for their intended major(s) and general education requirements. Students are encouraged to contact the admissions office at their target schools to learn more about their specific expectations regarding prerequisite coursework.

If you are considering retaking a class, we encourage you to first consider:

1). What will change (study habits, time management) if you do retake the course again?

2). Do you understand that you will be expected to do better the second time around?

3). What are the opportunity cost(s) of retaking the class? (ie. student cannot take other classes or does not have time for gaining clinical experience).

4). How much will your grade go up by? And, will this make a significant impact on your GPA?

This is a case-by-case situation and we advise students to discuss this with their adviser and career coach to assess if it will be beneficial for a student to retake a class.

Regardless of where a student takes their prerequisite classes, we encourage students to complete the entire series at one institution. Starting and finishing a series (chemistry, biology, physics) at different institutions can present many problems as these courses are taught differently.

For example, a common course that students take at community college is the combined anatomy & physiology Course.

There is no need for students to rush complete all of their prerequisite coursework before graduation. Whereas in the past it was common for students to apply to health professional school before their senior year, it is increasingly common for applicants to take multiple “gap years” after graduation to gain more clinical experience, prepare for exams, travel and prepare for application.

Health professional schools are looking for evidence of maturity in a strong application, and older applicants have more life experience which usually translates into more maturity. Taking extra time to finish college will not negatively affect an application, and may even strengthen it.

Students who want to complete all of their prerequisite coursework before they graduate are encouraged to work closely with general and departmental advisers to ensure that they are completing all of their graduation requirements along the way. Finishing all requirements before graduating will require a relentless focus on time management to ensure balance in completing coursework, gaining clinical/research/leadership experience and prioritizing self-care.

There is no need to rush and try to get all requirements completed in the first two years. Students have four years to complete them and can even take some or all of the requirements after graduating college. Although traditionally students begin applying to health graduate schools during junior year, many applicants in recent years have waited until senior year and beyond.

We understand that it is hard to balance academics, co-curricular, gaining clinical experience, and self-care all at once. We are here to help! Whether students are struggling with classes, time management, pressure, finding community, their mental health, or balancing their academic and personal lives, there are many resources available on campus to help.

Besides seeing an advisor (UAA/departmental/OMA&D) or a career coach at the C&IC, students can also:

Visit the Husky Health & Well-Being Website
Make an appointment with an Academic Success Coach with UW Academic Support Programs
Access CLUE drop-in tutoring and writing center
Come in for a drop-in counseling session with Let’s Talk
Visit the UW Counseling Center and explore their services
Visit the UW Hall Health Center and explore their services
Enroll in EDUC Wellness & Resilience for College & Beyond (5 credit class)

Read all Frequently Asked Questions

Sours: https://www.washington.edu/uaa/prehealth/stages/prepare/

Premed uw

Planning for a Career in Health care

If you’re hoping to go to medical school or pursue another health-related career, you are in good company! Hundreds of UW undergraduates identify as pre-med students when they arrive at the University. Here are something things to consider as you plan for your future.

1. Think beyond STEM majors.

Though certain courses in the natural sciences may be required for medical school, a student’s choice of undergraduate major is far more flexible than many realize. In fact, medical schools value students who have a well-rounded education. Last year humanities majors had a 48% acceptance rate for medical school—higher than the overall acceptance rate of 42%*.

*Source: Association of American Medical Colleges, 10/27/20

2. Explore health care through a different lens.

Beyond the obvious courses for a student interested in health care, try something less expected. Here's a small sample of health-related courses offered in the College of Arts & Sciences.

  • A Sociology course on racial and ethnic health disparities in the US (SOC )
  • A Philosophy course on medical ethics (PHIL )
  • An International Studies course on disability from a global/comparative perspective (JSIS B )
  • An Biological Anthropology course on plagues throughout history (BIO A )
  • A Comparative History of Ideas course on the future of biotechnology (CHID )
  • A History course that traces the roots of the modern global health movement (HSTCMP )

Undergraduate Academic Affairs has prepared a longer list of health-related courses. Or just explore the course catalog! You may spark a lifelong interest you hadn’t imagined.

3. Participate in research or clinical work.

Medical schools and other health care professions value individuals who demonstrate the initiative to gain hands-on experience, whether in a clinical or research setting. At the UW such opportunities abound, both in academic departments and at UW Medicine, Children’s Hospital, Harborview Medical Center, and other clinical and research facilities. Clinical and research opportunities are not limited to STEM majors! Students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences have great success as members of research or clinical teams. (A few examples are included below.)

4. Be proactive to find opportunities.

Interested in working with children? Contact Children’s Hospital about volunteer opportunities. Intrigued by specific faculty members’ research? Reach out by email to see if they are looking for undergrads to join their team. Or ask your professors for suggestions during office hours. Another great resource is the UW Undergraduate Research Program database, which lists hundreds of undergraduate research opportunities at the UW and its partner institutions, including Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. UW Medicine also offers a list of enrichment and research programs for pre-health students. 

5. Set on a specific medical school? Check requirements.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, medical school admission requirements vary from school to school. Some require applicants to complete certain premedical course requirements; others have moved to a competency-based admissions. At a minimum, students will likely be expected to complete one year each of biology, physics, and English, and two years of chemistry (through organic chemistry). To find school-specific requirements for U.S. and Canadian medical schools, see the Medical School Admission Requirement website. The UW Career & Internship Center's Pre-Med Exploration & Preparation Guide may also be helpful.

6. Be inspired by the experiences of others.

Here are four recent undergrads who shaped their UW experience with medical school in mind, without sacrificing their other interests. 

Sours: https://artsci.washington.edu/news//planning-career-health-care
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