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Premedicine Major

PreHealth Advising

Welcome to Prehealth Advising at Penn State

Prehealth and Health Professions Advising is available to any Penn State student who wants to explore, prepare, and apply for training in a health profession career.

Our office also provides health professions advising to any Penn State student who is interested in a career in a health profession, including medicine, podiatry, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, physician assistant, and other allied health professions.


We want to assist students with understanding:

  • Information about health profession prerequisites and expectations.
  • The demands of a health professions degree.
  • The keys to being a successful health professional school applicant.
  • Relevant courses and experiences that strengthen their application.

Advising Services

Drop-in advising is reserved for brief concerns that will take no longer than 10 minutes. If it becomes evident that you have more extensive questions or concerns than you realized, you will be asked to schedule a regular advising appointment.

Examples of drop-in items include:

  • Reviews of current courses scheduled.
  • Clarification on a specific health profession requirement.
  • Discussion of whom you will ask to write letters of recommendation.
  • Brief discussions with students who do not yet have a prehealth referral. (see "Scheduling One-On-One Appointments" to determine how to earn a prehealth referral)



Monday - Friday, 9:00AM-11:30AM AND 1:30-4:30PM each day

Drop-In Advising (JANUARY 17 - APRIL 29, 2022)

Virtual drop-in advising sessions will be held during the specified days and times below. All other times will need to be scheduled through Starfish.

Tuesdays, 1:30PM - 3:30PM EST

Fridays, 10:00AM -12:00PM EST

Join our virtual Kiosk! 

Please view Starfish for appointments with your prehealth adviser. You may also email an adviser for times to meet if you cannot find any available. 



FOR DISCUSSIONS ABOUT LATE DROPPING A CLASS ONLY: Friday, April 8, 9:00am-11:30pm, 1:30-4:30pm

FOR WITHDRAWING FROM FALL 2021 SEMESTER ONLY: Friday, April 29, 9:00am-11:30pm, 1:30-4:30pm

* Our office will be conducting office-hours remotely. Please schedule an appointment in Starfish in the same manner you always have, and you will receive instructions for connecting to our individual Zoom Room. If you have questions or concerns about how these remote meetings will work, please email us directly.

How to Gain Access to Prehealth Advising Appointments





To schedule an appointment with a Prehealth Adviser (outside of drop-in advising appointments), you must have a prehealth referral enabled in Starfish. To gain a prehealth referral, you can do one of two things:

1. Attend a live group advising session (via Zoom). See schedule in the "Health Professions Group Advising" tab below.

2. Join our "Prehealth Group Advising" Canvas module. Watch a pre-recorded session (preferably a Foundations Level presentation) and complete the "Post Presentation Reflection" short answer question.

After completing either of these activities, you will receive a prehealth referral in Starfish within a week. Please allow up to 5 business days for this to process. 


How to Schedule an Appointment with a Prehealth Adviser

Current students, to schedule an appointment with an advisor:

  1. Log into Starfish to find an appointment with any prehealth advisor.
  2. To find a specific advisor, and see our service page, click here.
  3. Click on the Schedule Appointment link in the service description or scroll down to find a specific advisor’s calendar under the Service Members listed. The Service Calendar (left-hand side) will show dates with scheduled appointment slots. Bold-face dates are ones with available appointment slots.
  4. Click the + icon next to your preferred appointment slot.
  5. Select a reason for the appointment.
  6. Type a detailed description for the meeting to help the advisor best prepare for the meeting.
  7. Once you create the appointment, Starfish will send you an email confirming the appointment as well as a reminder email closer to the appointment date. Your new appointment will appear in your Starfish “Dashboard.”

To cancel an appointment: Click the “X” in the upper right of the appointment block on your Dashboard. If you cancel, please do so in advance and provide reasons for why the appointment is being cancelled.

If you are unable to find a time available, please email to request an appointment. Only students with prehealth referrals will be able to schedule this way. 


Alum or prospective students, to schedule an appointment with an advisor:

Please call our office at 814-865-7620. Same-day appointments will not be made. Plan to schedule appointments at least two weeks in advance.

For more information on our Group Advising Sessions, please visit the following page:



Prehealth Group Advising Canvas Module

To gain a better understanding of how to prepare for a health professions program, we encourage our students to attend group advising sessions. Typically, these sessions are presented live and in person, but with changes to remote education, we have developed these modules to allow you to get the benefit of the sessions asynchronously.

Each candidate will need to request access to the module.


Canvas Health Professions School Applicants Networking Space 

It can be intimidating to apply to a health professions program, but you don’t have to go it alone!  Join other Penn State students and alumni to help guide and encourage one another through the process of applying to a health profession program. There will be dedicated space for each health profession – and we can always add more discussion boards if needed!

Each candidate will need to request access to the module


Personal Statement Reviews - Pre-Physician Assistant students 

We have opened the personal statement module in Canvas for Pre-PA students (and allied health fields) to begin working on their personal statement. Students may submit their personal statements for review between Nov1-12 and we will provide feedback shortly after that time period. You may complete the modules within our Canvas course to gain a better understanding of how to write a personal statement. 

For instructions on how to write a personal statement, and how to have it reviewed by a prehealth adviser, please request access to the module.


Health Professions Personal Statement Development

Personal Statements for medical, dental, optometry, and podiatry programs will be reviewed during the comprehensive interview process. Students interested in these professions may learn more about writing a personal statement and work through modules to think about how to write a personal statement in this Canvas course. 

For instructions and resources on how to write a personal statement, please request access to the module.


The Prehealth Advising Office is excited to begin offering an E-Portfolio for our students considering entering a health profession. This portfolio will serve as a space for students to both track their coursework and activities, and reflect on their personal journey. Through this system, we can provide  targeted guidance to help each applicant enhance their collegiate preparation, better understand the strength of their candidacy, and make informed choices when deciding to apply to health professions programs.


Please follow this link for more detailed information.


Applying to the health professions as an alum?

Past PSU applicants have found that it can be extremely beneficial to take a "Gap Year" or more in order to finish prerequisite courses, gain essential experiences and exposures to health care, conduct research, participate in volunteer programs, or work full-time in another industry altogether.

Alumni of Penn State are welcome to utilize the services of the Pre-Health Advising Center. We are happy to meet with alums through in-person appointments, over the phone, or via Zoom to provide advice and support to individuals considering a health career. Alumni may also use our e-portfolio and letter collection services, and apply for our letter packet at any time after graduating from Penn State.


We want to assist alumni with understanding:

  • Information about health profession prerequisites and expectations.
  • The demands of a health professions degree.
  • The keys to being a successful health professional school applicant.
  • Relevant courses and experiences that strengthen their application.
  • Application assistance and candidacy evaluation.
  • Comprehensive Interview and Cover Letter for health professions applicants.


If you are a graduate of Penn State and interested in applying to a Health Professions program, please email or call 814-865-7620 to schedule an appointment. You may also attend our virtual group advising sessions! View our Health Professions Group Advising Sessions schedule above to join in the live sessions. Alumni may also join any of our Prehealth Canvas Modules linked in the material above. This provides access to recorded sessions, health professions resources, timely announcements, and more.  

Contact us!

Science and PreHealth Advising Center
230 Ritenour Building
East Wing Second Floor
University Park, PA 16802
Tel: 814-865-7620