The Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) mentors Pre-Health students on several levels. The committee works closely with the Associate Director of Pre-Health Professions 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.
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
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 2019 semester.
5. Must have firsthand experience in your professional field of interest (minimum of 50 hours suggested) at the time of application submission. Examples include: clinical volunteering, shadowing, missions trips, employment at a clinic, hospital, or health professional's office.
6. Need to have participated in an average of three events per year (sponsored by HPAC or the Pre-Health Professions Office) since entering St. Edward's University, and prior to the application year. It is worth noting that your application will receive more serious consideration if you have attended more events, especially if you have attended ten or more. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
7. Must have attended an HPAC evaluation application workshop in your application cycle.
8. Must have engaged in campus and/or community service/volunteerism (minimum of 30 hours suggested) at the time of application submission.
9. 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 be accepted in two forms: PDF and hard copy. PDF letters must be emailed directly from the letter writer to jasond [at] stedwards.edu. Hard copy letters should be delivered in a sealed envelope with a signature across the seal, to Jason De La Rosa in Moody Hall 155 or campus mail 1035, in care of the Pre-Health Professions Office.
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, November 1, 2019.
10. 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, November 1, 2019. 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.
2019-2020 Evaluation Timeline
- HPAC Evaluation Applications will become available on September 6, 2019.
- HPAC Evaluation Applications are due by 5pm on November 1, 2019.
- Selected candidates will be interviewed by the committee between the beginning of January and end of February of 2020.
- 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 of 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, 2020, regardless of application service.
- All secondary applications must be submitted within two weeks of the time they become available to students.
Returning Applicants and Alumni Policies
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, Jason De La Rosa, of your intent to apply to your respective health professions program. You must notify him by 5pm on March 6, 2020.
- 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.
Are you an alumni 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
- Jason De La Rosa, HPAC Chair, Interim Director of Career & Pre-Professional Programs
- Dr. Jessica Boyette-Davis, HPAC Faculty Liaison, Associate Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience
- Dr. Lisa Goering, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
- Dr. Jack Musselman, Associate Professor of Philosophy
- Dr. Santiago Toledo Carrion, Associate Professor and Chair of Chemistry