Program Overview

Year One

Most successful applicants to graduate and professional programs in the health sciences have spent several years in intentional and thoughtful preparation. As an undergraduate student, each Pre-Professional Health Science scholar is required to complete a series of courses and other activities.

Roadmap | Description

Year Two

During their sophomore year, SPU students take significant steps in their journey toward personal and professional growth. Our PPHS roadmap outlines the new and recurring responsibilities that allow students to advance.

Roadmap | Description

Year Three

Third-year students have numerous opportunities to further develop their professional preparation, including the ability to gain a deeper understanding of the American health care system.

Roadmap | Description

Year Four

Senior year marks a critical decision point for most students involved in SPU’s program. Pre-dental, pre-medical, and pre-veterinary students choose to either apply to a professional school or extend their preparation for an additional “gap year” or “enrichment period.” The PPHS advisors determine whether students are adequately prepared to undergo the “mock interview” or committee interview process.

Roadmap | Description

Gap Year

Pre-health advisors use the term “gap year” to describe the interval between the end of a student’s undergraduate education, as a senior, and their admission into professional school. Traditionally, students have spent the gap year (or years, depending on the student’s circumstances) filling in deficits in their preparation. Of late, admissions teams and pre-health advisors are reconsidering this terminology and mindset. In brief, advisors have begun to use terms such as “enrichment” or “growth” years to describe this post-baccalaureate period.

Roadmap | Description

Application Year

Any pre-medical (allopathic [MD] or osteopathic [DO]), pre-veterinary, or pre-dental student planning to apply to professional schools this year will need to schedule a committee interview that will culminate in a committee letter that will be submitted on the student’s behalf to the professional schools to which they are applying. All interviews are held during spring quarter. For a few students, the third year is also their application year, but most students choose to prepare applications during their fourth year or after one or more gap years.

Roadmap | Description


Questions about the PPHS program may be directed to