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Application Timeline

The following is a generic timeline for students planning an application to the health professions. You should plan to meet with a Health Professions advisor once a semester to help plan your course loads and your individual application timeline.

Detailed Timelines

First and Second Year Timeline PDF

Second and Third Year Timeline PDF

Fall Semester, First Year

  • Meet with your Pre-Health advisor to introduce yourself, discuss the best way to sequence your classes and get acquainted with campus resources for pre-health students.
  • Attend an pre-health new student workshop (see the Division of Health Professions website for more information: http://cas.usf.edu/healthprofessions/workshops/)
  • Meet with your academic advisor to plan your class schedule for spring & remove your AA hold.  
  • Begin to shadow, volunteer or work in medical settings. We recommend sticking with each quality activity/location for a minimum of 4 months to ensure a “complete” experience. 
  • Begin logging your experiences using one of the methods found here: http://www.cas.usf.edu/healthprofessions/involvement/portfolios/
  • Seek opportunities to get involved in student organizations, community service, undergraduate research and/or leadership related activities.
  • Begin reading interesting books about your intended profession and/or speaking with current professionals. Be sure to also read newspapers and magazines to stay abreast of current events, especially those related to healthcare.
  • Maintain an excellent grade point average while taking two science classes.

Spring Semester, First Year

  • Follow up with your Pre-Health advisor regarding the initiatives discussed in Fall.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to plan your class schedule for summer/fall and remove your second (and final) AA hold.
  • Continue to shadow, volunteer or work in medical settings and log these activities.
  • Continue to seek involvement in student organizations, community service, undergraduate research and/or leadership related activities and log these activities.
  • Continue researching about your intended profession and reading newspapers & magazines about current events.
  • Maintain your excellent grade point average in a minimum of 2 science courses.
  • Plan for the summer- identify summer volunteer, paid, research and leadership opportunities. A GREAT resource is here: http://www.cas.usf.edu/healthprofessions/involvement/enrichment/. 
  • Begin to build relationships with professors- you will need to foster these relationships to request letters of recommendation at a later date.

Fall Semester, Second Year

  • Meet with your Pre-Health advisor to discuss your progress and determine your intended application date (what summer will your application be competitive??)
  • Continue to shadow, volunteer or work in medical settings and log these activities.
  • Continue to seek involvement in student organizations, community service, undergraduate research and/or leadership related activities and log these activities.
  • Attend the Second Year Workshop (http://www.cas.usf.edu/healthprofessions/workshops/)
  • Continue researching about your intended profession and determine your backup career option.
  • Continue reading books, newspapers & magazines about current events.
  • Meet with your academic advisor regarding degree progression and course recommendations for Spring.  
  • Maintain your excellent grade point average in a minimum of 8 credits of science.
  • Start looking at individual schools requirements. Determine your rationale for applying to that individual school.
  • Continue building relationships with professors!

Spring Semester, Second Year

  • Meet with your Pre-Health advisor to discuss your progress.
  • Continue to shadow, volunteer or work in medical settings and log these activities.
  • Continue to seek involvement in student organizations, community service, undergraduate research and/or leadership related activities and log these activities.
  • Attend the Application Year Workshop (http://www.cas.usf.edu/healthprofessions/workshops/)
  • Continue researching about your intended profession and determine your backup career option.
  • Continue reading books, newspapers & magazines about current events.
  • Meet with your academic advisor regarding degree progression and course recommendations for Summer and Fall.
  • Maintain your excellent grade point average in a minimum of 8 credits of science.
  • Continue exploring individual schools requirements.
  • Plan for the summer- identify summer volunteer, paid, research and leadership opportunities. A GREAT resource is here: http://www.cas.usf.edu/healthprofessions/involvement/enrichment/. 
  • Continue building relationships with professors!
  • Begin looking at MCAT, DAT, PCAT, OAT or GRE preparation to begin in the summer.

Fall Semester, Third Year

  • Meet with your Pre-Health advisor to discuss your progress.
  • Continue to shadow, volunteer or work in medical settings and log these activities.
  • Continue to seek involvement in student organizations, community service, undergraduate research and/or leadership related activities and log these activities.
  • Continue researching about your intended profession and reviewing current events.
  • Meet with your academic advisor regarding degree progression and course recommendations for Spring.  
  • Stay involved with the student organizations, research, leadership opportunities.
  • Continue MCAT, DAT, PCAT, OAT or GRE preparation.
  • Maintain your excellent grade point average in a minimum of 8 credits of science.
  • Begin working on your application- see the Health Professions website for templates.
  • Begin narrowing down what school you will apply to.
  • Begin working on your personal statement.
  • Start determining who will write your letters of recommendation/evaluation (consider Interfolio).

Spring Semester, Third Year

  • Meet with your Pre-Health advisor to discuss your progress.
  • Continue to shadow, volunteer or work in medical settings and log these activities.
  • Continue to seek involvement in student organizations, community service, undergraduate research and/or leadership related activities and log these activities.
  • Continue researching about your intended profession and reviewing current events.
  • Meet with your academic advisor regarding degree progression and course recommendations for Summer and Fall.
  • Maintain your excellent grade point average in a minimum of 8 credits of science.
  • Finalize what schools you want to apply to. Be sure you can provide your rationale for selecting these programs.
  • Continue serious MCAT, DAT, PCAT, OAT or GRE preparation. Apply to take the exams.
  • Finalize personal statement.
  • Confirm who will write your letters of recommendation/evaluation (consider Interfolio)
  • Continue working on your application- see the Health Professions Advisor for template. Remember, most applications open in May, June and July.

Other points to Remember:

  • Not all students will follow this timeline exactly. Depending on your major and your course load each semester, you may end up slightly ahead or slightly behind of this schedule. Prospective Pharmacy students who plan to transfer to pharmacy school after completing their requirements should meet with an advisor to plan their individual timeline.
  • Besides GPA and your test scores, all programs require letters of recommendation from at least two professors. Start establishing relationships with your faculty now so you can ask for letters of recommendation later.