Ohio University

Timeline for Preparing for Professional School

This timeline for preparing for professional schools is applicable to pre-medicine, pre-denistry, etc.

First Year

  • Connect with an academic adviser for your major.
  • Locate the pre-health advising resources on your campus and discuss how to include pre-professional courses and experiences in your college plan.
  • Join a student club, perhaps one affiliated with your career interest.
  • Look into shadowing, volunteering, or research related to your career interest.
  • Make summer plans: apply to an internship or research fellowship, find a doctor to shadow, take summer courses, or pin down employment or enrichment plans.

Sophomore Year

  • Continue with courses for your major and career interest.
  • Obtain clinical experience through shadowing, volunteering, or employment. Begin to build a network of professionals who could write recommendation letters for you in the future.
  • Make summer plans: apply to an internship or research fellowship, find a doctor to shadow, take summer courses, or pin down employment or enrichment plans.

Junior Year

  • Evaluate your readiness for application and determine when to take the entrance exam for professional school. If you plan to begin professional school during the fall after graduation, the entrance exam is typically taken sometime between winter break of junior year and the beginning of senior year.
  • Most professional programs open the online application cycle during spring semester. Be sure to consult with the PreProfessional Advising Office for info on essay writing, sending transcripts, and obtaining recommendation letters.

Senior Year

  • Prepare for interviews. The PreProfessional Advising Office and the Career Leadership and Development Center can assist with mock interviews and interview preparation. For students with financial need, the CDLC Career Closet may be able to provide professional clothing at no cost. Plan ahead for the cost of travel, and discuss class absence policies with professors.
  • Complete degree requirements and obtain a graduate check through your college. Apply to graduate by February.

What If You?re Considering a Gap Year?

Many students take a gap year (or multiple) between undergraduate and professional school. This may allow students to solidify future plans, gain clinical experience, or prepare for entrance exams. Discuss with your pre-health adviser whether this is right for you.