Below is a general guideline for preparing for applications to health profession graduate programs while a student at Pomona. Keep in mind that about 15% of our students matriculate into medical or dental schools immediately after they graduate (i.e., applying after junior year)! The majority of US medical students take 1-2 gap years. Health professions admissions committees value life experience and mature applicants who have taken the time to determine that a medical career is the right path for them, AND have the maturity to reflect on that choice in their applications.
- Attend Prehealth orientation (saved video)
- Subscribe to the Prehealth Digest in Handshake
- Consider making a Prehealth Advising appointment
- Familiarize yourself with sections of the Prehealth website
- Explore career alternatives within healthcare
- Review the prehealth prerequisites
- Join a club or organization, related to prehealth or not!
- Seek meaningful health-related, volunteer, and/or research experiences
- Develop relationships with faculty, advisors, prehealth liaisons and mentors
- Identify summer enrichment, volunteer, paid, research, and/or leadership opportunities
- Pursue meaningful health-related, volunteer, and/or research experiences
- Plan to attend the Sophomore prehealth meeting in the fall
- Continue to develop relationships with faculty and mentors
- Use resources like the QSC and Writing Center
- Keep on track with the prehealth prerequisites
- Visit Study Abroad office if interested in studying abroad and attend panel on prehealth abroad
- Apply for or consider resuming summer enrichment, volunteer, paid, research, and/or leadership opportunities
- Consider when to take the MCAT, DAT, GRE, etc.
Junior / Senior Year
- Attend Prehealth Advising programs/meetings
- Continue participation in meaningful health-related, volunteer, and/or research experiences
- Identify which faculty, advisors, mentors, or supervisors you would like to ask to write you a letter of recommendation
- Keep on track with the prehealth prerequisites
- Register to take the MCAT, DAT, GRE, etc. and determine a study plan
- Review the Pomona Committee Letter Process timeline
Application Year (Jr, Sr, or post-grad)
- Attend the Applicant Kick-Off meeting in September
- Follow the Pomona Committee Letter Process timeline and make sure to meet all deadlines
- Familiarize yourself with the relevant centralized application service
- Research schools of interest
- Read all Prehealth Advising applicant update emails
- Explore the Prehealth website
- Follow @POMONAPREHEALTH on Instagram and/or Facebook
- Schedule Prehealth Advising appointment as needed
- Draft a resumé – visit the CDO for assistance
- Follow health news and read relevant articles
- Document volunteer, shadowing, research, etc. experiences (include start/end dates, patient interactions, and supervisor information)
- Connect with the Prehealth Liaisons
- Learn about PCIP, SURP, and other campus opportunities
Academic Year and Summer Plans
When and How to Develop Competencies
|Academic Year Plan
|Summer Plan (After)
|Chem, Bio (if you want), Learn to study and be successful in college, explore clubs. Start exploring research opportunities around campus; ask professors about their research and about joining their labs
|Shadow, clinical experience or research experience, summer camp
|Org chem, Intro Bio (If didn’t take first year), decide on major and take courses for major. Join club, volunteer at PVHMC or other extracurricular healthcare org, get EMS license with EMS club. Talk to study abroad office if you want to go abroad junior year.
|SURP to do research at Pomona, PCIP for volunteer work at clinic or service site, REU or enrichment programs elsewhere (apply in Dec-Feb). Useful certifications to get include EMS or CNA to work in health fields.
|Physics, BioChem. Continue volunteering at same place to build consistency, start to get leadership in clubs, orgs, or athletics. Develop relationships with letter writers by going to office hours, taking a second class with a prof, or working in their lab. Start thinking about thesis topic – if experimental STEM major you may want to start your research over the summer.
|Study for MCAT AND do part-time job, volunteer work or shadowing
OR: full-time opportunity for more research or healthcare work. Scribing can be a great way to have patient contact and a physician mentor. Summer research could be connected to senior thesis.
|Junior year for Direct Entry to Medical or Dental school
|Begin Pomona committee letter process in September and take MCAT or DAT in Spring
|Submit primary application in June and write secondary essays in July
|*if applying to MD/DO/DDS school, begin Pomona committee letter process. Finish pre-reqs, thesis. Continue volunteering, athletics, clubs.
**apply for gap year jobs or fellowships
|* submit primary application in June and write secondary essays in July
**graduate and celebrate!!
|Work, continue to do healthcare experiences
|Apply WHEN READY