Health Professional Schools – Apply Now for Fall 2013

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During times of economic distress in America, students often migrate to health professions. Not only does attending professional school afford students more time before entering the job market, but the health industry is typically more stable than other industries.  A larger applicant pool means it has become even more competitive to gain acceptance into a health professional school. The good news is the Office of Pre-Health Advising (OPHA) at Georgia Tech can help students gain the competitive edge they need. Students with an interest in pursuing a health-related profession are strongly encouraged to visit our office as early as possible.

Did you know that there are more than 1,300 pre-health students at Georgia Tech? These are students interested in becoming doctors, dentists, pharmacists, or physician assistants, among others. On average, 200 Tech students apply to medical school every year. Georgia Tech boasts a 53 percent acceptance rate to medical school; the national acceptance rate is about 42 percent. For Tech students who coordinate their efforts with the Office of Pre-Health Advising, the acceptance rate can climb to 90 percent!

One of the most notable differences between health professional school applications and other graduate programs is rolling admissions. Students interested in attending health professional school in the fall of 2013 need to begin the application process this spring — a full year and a half before the start date. When students submit their application materials early, they stand a greater chance of being offered an interview spot which may lead to a possible acceptance. To demonstrate, Emory School of Medicine has more than 6,400 applications for about 700 interview spots and 137 admission openings. Students who submit their materials early have a better chance of getting an interview offer. If your student is planning on attending professional school in fall 2013, we strongly advise your student to start the application process now.

The following tips and timeline will help ensure a successful application process for students who want to start professional school in the fall of 2013.

  • Attend the Letter of Evaluation Workshop (February).
  • Prepare the Personal Statement (March).
  • Attend Application Workshops (April).
  • Make sure their Letter of Evaluation file is complete in the Office of Pre-Health Advising by the end of the spring 2012 semester.
  • Take the admissions test (MCAT, DAT, PCAT, etc.) in late spring/early summer of 2012.
  • Be patient and focused - the rolling admissions process means that the summer of 2012 will be spent applying for professional school.
  • Apply to the appropriate schools. Most state schools can only accept residents of the state.
  • Attend an interview workshop (fall 2012) and sign up for a mock interview – it really helps!
  •  Have a “Plan B” in the event that the initial application process does not yield the desired results.

However, not all students are ready to embark upon this process just yet. For those students, we encourage them to:

  • Register for the Office of Pre-Health Advising listserv by going to to keep up with the latest pre-health issues and required workshops. In addition, the Office of Pre-Health T-Square site is full of tips on how to be competitive for a health profession school.
  • Get to know their professors!  Students will need strong letters of evaluation when they apply to a health profession school.
  • Ensure a strong academic history. It is important to take a healthy combination of courses each semester and major in a subject that is truly interesting. It is also important that a student’s academic record does not reflect a lot of “W” grades or grade substitutions. Professional schools cannot accept grades below “C” in the pre-requisite courses for professional school. In addition, some schools cannot accept AP credit for the pre-requisites. Students are encouraged to contact me directly at to discuss their situation.
  • Remember that professional schools do not place emphasis on high school activities. Students need to demonstrate healthcare experience, long-term volunteer work, in-depth leadership skills, research experiences, and “uniqueness factors” while at Tech.
  • Attend all pre-health events (school visits, etc.) and become a member of the appropriate pre-professional club. We have AMSA for pre-med and other health professions, a Pre-Dental Society, and a Pre-Pharmacy Student Association.
  • Do some career exploration. Students need to develop a strong and differentiated rationale for attending that specific health profession school.
  • Recognize that getting accepted to a professional school is highly challenging and competitive.

For more information on planning for health professional school, visit the OPHA website We are located in 205 Clough Commons for students who seek help on the application process. Parents and students are also encouraged to contact me directly with questions and concerns at or 404.385.2475. We also invite parents who work in a health profession or closely related industry to contact the OPHA for information on joining the Georgia Tech Health Professions Affinity Group.  This Georgia Tech Alumni Association is open to Tech graduates and friends of Tech.


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    Rachael Pocklington
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    Fletcher Moore
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