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TIPS FOR BECOMING A COMPETITIVE APPLICANT FOR PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL

  1. Do well in your classes.  In order to be a competitive applicant, you must make more A’s than B’s in your classes.  This includes your non-science classes.  Not only is it important to do well in your classes, you also want to make sure you have a solid foundation before moving on to the next course in the sequence.  This will help prepare you for the upper level classes you will experience at Auburn University and in professional school.
  2. Get involved!  Your academics only make up part of your college experience.  The rest involves involvement in organizations and clubs.  It’s a great idea to join organizations that fit your personality and interests.  Don’t just join a lot of organizations, be selective in what you pick and take a leadership role within those organizations.   When you get to Auburn University, make sure you join AED, our pre-health student organization.  AED connects you with other pre-health students while offering you access to resources and contacts that will be helpful during the application process.
  3. Volunteer.  If you’re thinking about entering the healthcare field, it’s important to have a desire to give back to others.  The best way to do this is to give your time to an organization or event that helps others.  Volunteering at the food bank, visiting with the elderly, and assisting in community service events are all great ways to give back.  When you’re looking for ways to volunteer, think about the impact you will have on others and find a cause or an event that you are passionate about.
  4. Start shadowing in the professional field you’re interested in.   If you’re interested in becoming a doctor then make arrangements to shadow your family doctor.  It can be helpful to see what a day is like in the career path you have chosen.  Shadowing is a great opportunity to see if you enjoy the profession.  While shadowing, keep track of your hours and the experiences you have.  It can also be helpful to shadow different types of paths within each discipline.  For example, shadow different types of doctors in different environments.  This not only exposes you to a variety of different specialties, it also shows you the difference between each environment.
  5. Do your research early.  Be thinking about where you want to apply for professional school and know what it takes to get there (i.e. pre-requisites, GPA, test scores, supplemental information).  Go ahead and get familiar with the application process and any resources available to help you become competitive for professional school.  Practice filling out an AAMCAS application if you’re thinking about applying to medical school so you can be familiar with the process.  Take practice DAT, MCAT, or PCAT tests to get an idea of how prepared you are academically.  Check out websites like aspiringdocs.org and explorehealthcareers.org to get an idea about your options within various health-care professions.
  6. Join the AED listserv once you have your Auburn e-mail address.   This allows you to stay informed of pre-health announcements.  You can join the AED mailing list by going to the AED website at www.auburn.edu/aed.
  7. It’s never too early to start practicing your interview skills.  If possible, sign up for a mock interview or practice in front of a mirror, a family member, or a friend. 


Last Updated: 06/08/2016