Tap into all the resources UCLA has to offer – course planning support, career exploration & planning, student organizations, research opportunities, help with your health school applications, and more.  No matter where you are in your journey, we’ve got you covered!

Pre-Health at UCLA Checklist

A guide to planning your UCLA experience to prepare yourself for entry into a health profession.  This checklist applies broadly to all health professions.  For additional information specific to your profession of interest, click on the appropriate profession in the menu on the left.

Preparing to apply to health school is a journey with many steps and experiences along the way.  It is never too late to decide to pursue a health profession.

Where to Start (3+ Years Before You Plan to Attend Health School)

  • Learn about campus resources and organizations for pre-health students at prehealth.ucla.edu.
  • Attend pre-health events, join student organizations of interest, subscribe to campus newsletters and social media updates.
    • Follow the Pre-Health at UCLA Facebook page for updates on events, deadlines, student org information, and more.
    • Subscribe to the bi-weekly Pre-Health at UCLA Newsletter by indicating “Healthcare” as an Industry Interest in your Handshake profile.
  • Explore your career options by taking the FOCUS-2 career assessments in your Handshake account.
  • Learn about various health professions at explorehealthcareers.org and by attending pre-health events on campus.  Consider enrolling in LS 110: Career Exploration in Life Sciences to explore your options while receiving academic credit.
  • Connect with alumni and professionals to set up informational interviews to learn more about the health profession(s) that you are interested in.
  • Utilize UCLA One and LinkedIn to make connections and find potential mentors or shadowing opportunities.
  • Make an appointment with an academic advisor to introduce yourself, finalize your classes, and discuss how to sequence your classes moving forward to ensure you can meet your major requirements and fulfill as many pre-requisite courses as possible prior to graduation.
  • Learn about healthcare-related internships and employment opportunities by searching on Handshake as well as by visiting the Gain Experience page.  Gain medically related work or volunteer experiences during the school year and/or summer.  Consider enrolling in the Community Engagement & Social Change Minor to gain community experiences for academic credit.
  • Seek out opportunities to shadow a doctor or other health care professional.
  • If interested, identify potential research opportunities. Consider enrolling in the Biomedical Research Minor to gain research experience for academic credit.
  • Develop relationships with faculty, advisors, and mentors on campus. This will be helpful for finding volunteer, shadow, and research opportunities and for your letters of evaluation.  Potential letter writers may include faculty (especially science faculty), PI at a research lab, supervisor, health practitioner, or others who know you well and can speak passionately to your potential to excel as a professional school student and/or future health professional.
  • Keep a journal to reflect on meaningful and/or challenging experiences in various settings (clinical, research, student group, etc.).  This will help you when developing your personal statement, essays, and interview responses throughout the application and selection process.
  • Consider participating in summer enrichment or summer undergraduate research programs.

2 Years Before You Plan to Attend Health School

  • Schedule a Pre-Health Advising appointment at the Career Center to:
    • Strategize about your application timeline
    • Determine if you’ll apply to enroll immediately following graduation or after one or more gap years
    • Discuss whether a post-bacc program makes sense for you
    • Consider when it’s best for you to take the entrance exam
    • Discuss letters of evaluation.  Please note that UCLA does not offer committee letters
  • If you are considering a gap year, investigate a meaningful paid or volunteer medically related experience to complete during that time.
  • Meet with an academic counselor to discuss your schedule for completing remaining coursework and other school-specific degree requirements.
  • Identify, pursue, or continue leadership opportunities within the pre-health organizations on your campus.
  • Think about which faculty, advisors, and mentors you’ll approach to write letters of evaluation for your applications.  Ask them at least 3 months in advance, but earlier is better.  See Prepare to Apply for more tips.
  • Continue participating in meaningful clinical experiences, other medically related activities, volunteer work, research, and/or leadership roles on campus; if possible, take on a more substantial role.
  • When you’re prepared and ready, register for and take the appropriate entrance exam.
  • Develop a list of schools you’re interested in applying to.  If available, apply to your favorite schools’ pipeline programs.
  • Interact with admissions representatives and students at your schools of interest by attending the Health School Fair at UCLA (typically each April), attending the Career Center’s JumpStart programs, other pre-health workshops and networking events, as well as information sessions.  See Handshake for current schedule.
  • Sign up for and attend campus visit days for local health schools of interest.

The Year Before You Plan to Attend Health School

For application process and timeline information specific to your profession of interest, click on the appropriate profession in the menu on the left.

  • Gather Letters of Recommendation.
  • Continue with your volunteer, work or research activities.  Seek out opportunities to develop your leadership skills by initiating new ideas, programs, and leading others toward a common goal.
  • Prepare for the entrance exam (varies by profession).
  • Attend relevant pre-health events including pre-health workshops, Information Sessions and the Health School Fair (April) to meet representatives from your schools of interest. Follow @PreHealthUCLA on Facebook and check Handshake for details.
  • Determine each school’s prerequisites.  If you need help with your academic planning, meet with an academic advisor.
  • Order and collect official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities that you have attended.
  • Begin writing your personal statement.

Career Center

http://career.ucla.edu

The UCLA Career Center provides Pre-Health Advising appointments, programs, and resources for all UCLA students.  NOTE: The Career Center does NOT advise regarding course requirements.  See Plan Your Courses to determine which department(s) can support you with your academic plan.

Pre-Health Advising Appointments

Schedule an appointment through Handshake for support on the following topics:

  • Exploring career options
  • Application process and timeline planning
  • Personal statement development and review
  • Mock interviews
  • Assistance applying for clinical, research, service, and educational opportunities

Pre-Health Events

Pre-Health at UCLA Facebook Page– Follow to stay in the loop about pre-health events on campus, organized by a variety of campus departments and organizations. 

  • Student orgs: Add @PreHealthUCLA as a co-host to any of your health-related Facebook events that are open to all students for increased visibility.

Handshake – View and register for upcoming Career Center events.  Throughout the year, the Career Center offers workshops on such topics as: Pre-Med Journey, Pre-Med, Now What?, Hands-On Healthcare, Acing the Health School Interview, MCAT and GRE Strategy Sessions and Practice Tests, Finding Research at UCLA, and much more.

JumpStart Series – Each quarter, we offer JumpStart programs on two or more health professions (see Handshake for upcoming events), which feature presentations from relevant on-campus programs, admissions representatives from professional schools, a panel of practitioners, networking, raffle prizes, and pizza!

Pre-Health Conference & Health School Fair – Each April, we host a conference for pre-health students featuring networking opportunities, skill-building and exploratory sessions related to a wide variety of health professions.  In addition, meet admissions representatives from your schools of choice at the concurrent Health School Fair; ask in-depth questions about their programs, financial aid options, and selection processes.

Admit UCLA: Graduate & Professional School Fair – Each October, we host over 100 graduate and professional schools from around the world in all fields and disciplines, including health and medicine.  Attend to meet admissions representatives from your schools of choice and ask in-depth questions about their programs, financial aid options, and selection processes.

Pre-Health Student Group Council – A council of Pre-Health Student Groups that meet regularly in order to collaborate on health-related programs and initiatives.  If your student organization is interested in joining, please email Krisztina Kecskei at kkecskei@career.ucla.edu.

Academic Counseling and Advising

UCLA provides pre-health students with a multitude of resources in advising for program planning and the admissions process. Advisors in the College and in the respective Academic Departments, are available to support students, including:

College Academic Advisors
Visit your College advising unit for assistance with: major exploration, course planning and requirements, career exploration in pre-med and pre-health fields, research and volunteer opportunities, and making the most of your UCLA experience.

Not a STEM* major? Your College Advisor can help you design a program plan to fit in your major and pre-health requirements.

Where is my College advising unit?

Departmental Academic Advisors

  • STEM Major? Visit your Department Advisor for help navigating your major requirements with pre-health requirements and applying to professional school.
  • Not a STEM Major? Visit Inna Gergel, Physiological Sciences Department Advisor, for advice about applying to medical school.

For department advisor contact information, click here.

College Academic Mentors (CAMs)
CAMs are graduate students at UCLA who are trained on College academic policies and pre-health requirements. Schedule an appointment with a CAM for help with course planning to fulfill pre-health requirements.

For more information about the CAMs, click here.

ASK Peer Counselors
ASK Peer Counselors are undergraduate students at UCLA who are trained to assist and support students with questions regarding College academic policies and pre-health requirements. Throughout the academic year, the ASK Peer Counselors organize and facilitate Pre-Med workshops that are open to all students. Students can register for the pre-med workshops through MyUCLA (Academics > Workshops).

For more information about the ASK Peer Counselors, click here.

Academic Advancement Program Graduate Mentoring and Research Programs (AAP GMRP)

http://www.aap.ucla.edu/graduate-mentoring-and-research-programs/
Free and available to AAP Students AND Alumni.

Pre-Graduate and Professional School Mentoring:

(schedule an individual appointment in 1202 Campbell Hall or (310) 794-4186 9am-5pm)

  • Graduate and professional school exploration
  • Discuss application process, requirements, and timeline
  • Personal statement and state of purpose development and review
  • CV and resume review for graduate and professional school
  • Discuss test preparation options and plan
  • Discuss how to fund graduate and professional school
  • Discover research and internship opportunities to prepare for graduate and professional school

Workshops:

(schedule and RSVP on MyUCLA Events or check schedule outside 1202 Campbell Hall)

  • Nuts and bolts of applying to graduate school
  • Writing a strong statement of purpose/personal statement
  • Preparation strategies for the GRE
  • Resume vs.CV – Curriculum Vita (academic resume)
  • How to prepare a CV – Curriculum Vita
  • How to get letters of recommendation
  • How to fund graduate and professional school
  • Graduate student and faculty panels in different fields

Plus many more!

Undergraduate Writing Center

http://wp.ucla.edu/wc

The Undergraduate Writing Center can review your Personal Statement, Supplemental Application Essays, Activities Descriptions, or any other written application materials for grammar, spelling and syntax.

Pre-Health at UCLA Facebook Page

http://facebook.com/PreHealthUCLA

Follow to stay in the loop about pre-health events on campus, organized by a variety of campus departments and organizations. 

  • Student orgs: Add @PreHealthUCLA as a co-host to any of your health-related Facebook events that are open to all students for increased visibility.