Pre-Professional Studies

Sara Sheeley serves as the pre-professional advisor for students interested in the health sciences at UIU. Her job is to help students prepare for admission to professional schools as they earn a bachelor’s degree at UIU. This includes, but is not limited to, training in medical, chiropractic, physician assistant, pharmacy, dental, optometry, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. General information for students interested in these fields is available via the links in the menu on this page.

How do you become a competitive candidate?

  • A very solid academic performance, while you should aim for high grades in all courses, science pre-requisite courses play a large role. Many schools look for students with at least a 3.5 GPA.
  • Scoring highly on health professions admissions tests (MCAT, DAT, PCAT, GRE, etc.). This not only demonstrates command of the subject material, but also indicates ability to succeed on tests “down the road,” including professional licensing examinations.
  • Volunteer experience, including a substantial amount of exposure to the profession of interest. Professional schools expect or require this! In general, experiences should show that you work well with a wide variety of people (leadership is good), you like to help people (philanthropies), and you have learned about the profession through clinical experience with patient contact, informational interviews with practitioners, etc.
  • Excellent letters of reference. It is important early on to make genuine connections with your professors, and advisors.
  • Well-prepared applications, including essays.
  • Apply Early and be mindful of deadlines! Make sure to look into specifics because they vary between programs and schools.
  • Being well-prepared during interviews.