The Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) mentors Pre-Health students on several levels. The committee works closely with the Director of Career and Professional Development to provide guidance for strategically becoming a competitive applicant, as well as guidance for the application and interview process. Many Pre-Health professional programs strongly encourage students to receive an evaluation from their institution's HPAC. Students may acquire a letter of evaluation from HPAC to accompany their application. Students typically begin their application process for professional school in their junior year. However, national trends indicate that students are delaying their application to professional school until their senior year of college or later, after they have gained firsthand experience in their field of interest.
Accepted Health Professions
The following health professions will be considered for evaluation: Medical, Dental, Veterinary, Physician Assistant, Optometry, and Pharmacy. If you are not applying to any of the preceding fields, there is no need to complete an application.
Evaluation Criteria and Application
Please note: the minimum qualifications for acceptance into HPAC are truly the minimum standards expected for acceptance into a professional program. These minimums are far below the average level seen in candidates who successfully matriculate into their chosen program. Strong candidates will exceed these minimum requirements.
HPAC Letter of Evaluation Requirements
To be considered for a letter of evaluation from HPAC, students must meet the following requirements:
1. Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 at the time of application submission (if your cumulative GPA drops below this requirement during the evaluation process, you will no longer be considered for evaluation).
2. Must have a BCPM (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math) GPA of 3.25 at the time of application submission (if your BCPM GPA drops below this requirement during the evaluation process, you will no longer be considered for evaluation).
3. Must have earned at least 60 credit hours of college credit at the time of application submission.
4. Must have completed one full semester at St. Edward's University (minimum of 15 credit hours) by the end of the Spring 2023 semester.
5. Must have firsthand experience in your professional field of interest (minimum of 50 hours required) at the time of application submission. Examples include: clinical volunteering, shadowing, missions trips, employment at a clinic, hospital, or health professional's office. We are also willing to consider some forms of live virtual shadowing, but we will not consider pre-recorded YouTube videos.
6. [PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENTS REQUIREMENT IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED. Involvement in the pre-health community on campus is still encouraged; see below for ways to be involved.] Need to have participated in an average of four events per year (sponsored by HPAC or Pre-Health Professions) since entering St. Edward's University, and prior to the application year. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
7. Must have engaged in campus and/or community service/volunteerism (minimum of 30 hours required) at the time of application submission.
8. Must submit a letter of evaluation. Evaluators should know an applicant well enough to evaluate him/her, and can come from a variety of sources. Potential evaluators may include work or volunteer supervisors, health care professionals that you shadowed, university faculty or staff, etc.
Current HPAC members cannot provide this evaluation. Letters will only be accepted via PDF for the Fall 2023 application cycle. PDF letters must be emailed directly from the letter writer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter writers should refer to page 2 of the AAMC Letter Writing Guidelines and pay special attention to the competencies listed (Thinking & Reasoning, Science, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal).
Letters must be received by 5pm on Friday, October 27, 2023.
9. If HPAC becomes aware of any unprofessional or unethical conduct during the evaluation process, we reserve the right to eliminate a candidate from the process.
Students must submit the completed application no later than 5pm on Friday, October 27, 2023. We encourage you to start working on the essays immediately in a Microsoft Word document, which can be pasted into the application. Keep in mind that this is an evaluative process, and a completed application does not guarantee interviews or a letter of evaluation.
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that all members of the Health Professions Advisory Committee are mandatory Title IX reporters. As such, we will be required to report to St. Edward's University any information in your application materials regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, dating/relationship or domestic violence, or hate crimes based on gender or gender expression.
Please keep in mind that this disclaimer will also apply to your committee interviews if selected to interview.
2023-2024 Evaluation Timeline
- HPAC Evaluation Applications will become available by Friday, September 8, 2023 .
- HPAC Evaluation Applications are due by 5pm on October 27, 2023.
- Selected candidates will be interviewed by the committee between the beginning of January and end of February of 2024.
- The committee meets in late-February/early-March to assess and evaluate all candidates.
- The HPAC Chair and Faculty Liaison will meet with each student to relay areas for improvement before the letter writing process begins.
- Throughout the spring semester, students are expected to write and edit multiple drafts of their personal statements. During this time, students are also expected to take their admissions exams.
- Applications for professional programs typically open in early May or June in most cases.
- If a student plans on using the HPAC letter of evaluation, he or she must submit their professional program applications no later than June 30, 2024, regardless of application service.
- All secondary applications must be submitted within two weeks of the time they become available to students.
Policies for Returning Applicants and Alumni
Alumni seeking an evaluation from HPAC will be considered according to these guidelines:
Have you previously completed the HPAC evaluation process, including application and interviews with the committee?
- If so, you must contact the current HPAC Chair, Katy Goldey (email@example.com), with your intent to apply to your respective health professions program. You must notify the chair by 5pm on December 1, 2023.
- If warranted, you may be asked to re-interview with the committee. If you did not interview with any current HPAC members, this will be required. It is at the discretion of the Chair as to whether or not you will be asked to re-interview in other situations.
- You may also request to be re-interviewed, even if you formerly interviewed with current HPAC members. This is advisable if you have made substantial changes that increase your competitiveness for your program.
- You must also submit an updated resume, and a 1 page description of your activities since leaving St. Edward's University.
- Returning applicants will be considered for up to 5 years after graduation.
Are you an alum who did not apply for an evaluation from HPAC when you were a student?
- If so, you can submit an evaluation application to HPAC for interview consideration for up to 5 years after graduation.
- Be mindful that your application must follow the exact same requirements, criteria, and deadlines as current students who are applying.
Current Committee Members
- Katy Goldey, HPAC Chair, Associate Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience
- Lisa Goering, HPAC Faculty Liaison, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
- Becca Thompson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
- Jack Musselman, Associate Professor of Philosophy
- Claire Edwards, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
- Rob Morris, Director for Career and Professional Development
St. Edward's Pre-Health Community
Involvement in the St. Edward's pre-health community is strongly encouraged and can strengthen your preparedness for health professions programs. Resources for becoming involved include:
- Career and Professional Development
- St. Edward's chapter of the American Medical Student Association
- Attending relevant seminars/talks held by your academic department