Pre-Health is an advising category for students preparing to enter a professional health school. Pre-Health areas are not majors, and therefore, do not grant students baccalaureate degrees. You can choose any major offered at Nebraska while still studying any of the 18 Pre-Health areas. Start your journey toward a health profession with the resources below and visit us in the Explore Center for individual advising.
Download this Pre-Health Guide to learn more about how to be a successful Pre-Health student.
Volunteering in the community is a great way to gain experiences and demonstrates your commitment to helping others.
Shadowing healthcare professionals allows you to explore health related careers and build connections with health professionals. Most professional health schools expect students to have multiple shadowing experiences. Talk to a Pre-Health advisor for more information.
Research is a great way for you to learn more about your specific areas of interest, engage with faculty members, and develop analytical skill sets. Approach a faculty member about options for research or apply for the UNL UCARE program.
Student organizations are a great way to connect with others who share your academic, social, or service interests and can provide volunteering and leadership opportunities. UNL offers several Pre-Health organizations.
Gaining practical work or internship experience in any field helps you develop professional skills, clarify career interests, strengthen self-confidence, build leadership skills, and establish professional contacts. Some examples of healthcare work experience include but are not limited to:
- CNA, Medication Aide, EMT, or phlebotomy certification
- Employment as a pharmacy technician, optician, physical therapy technician, or occupational therapy assistant
- Teaching Assistant or Lab Assistant for a science course
- Entry-level positions in hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices, or other healthcare clinics
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Pre-Health
The Explore Center is committed to providing UNL pre-health students with opportunities to learn about and engage with topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion within healthcare. Below are some examples of how we and our partners provide these opportunities to pre-health students:
- Instruct a pop-up pre-health course (starting Spring 2023) aimed at assisting first generation students navigate the academic and extracurricular expectations of applying to and being competitive for Pre-Health pathways and professional schools.
- Host and consistently promote events related to diversity and healthcare, such as a screening and panel discussion about the documentary “Black Men in White Coats” in partnership with UNMC faculty and staff.
- Plan a yearly healthcare exploration trip to UNMC with priority given to students from groups underrepresented in healthcare.
- Work closely with the Minority Pre-Health Association to share resources, connections, and opportunities to pre-health students involved in MPHA.
- Provide a regular pre-health case study workshop on topics that engage pre-health students with the issues they will face regarding healthcare disparities, diversity, and cultural competence in their future careers.
- Create a cohort based Future Health Leaders community whose members are chosen based on their need for connections within healthcare, a desire to help the underserved in their community, and academic factors. The Future Health Leaders participate in sessions and activities related to healthcare disparities.
- Teach a module in CASC 150: Introduction to Health Professions on healthcare disparities and a case study to engage students in what issues they may face in their future healthcare career.
To learn more or get connected, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take advantage of additional opportunities outside the classroom.
Applying to Health Schools
Start researching professional health schools early. Consider how each school could help you develop your interests, talents, and career goals.
Letters of Recommendation
Most professional health schools require letters of recommendation as a part of the application. Make sure to check with the schools to which you are applying to confirm the number of letters required.
Professional health schools generally require applicants to write a personal statement or essay as a part of the application process. Personal statements allow you to describe the significance of your experiences and go beyond summarizing coursework and extracurricular activities.
Some professional health schools will require standardized entrance examinations. Examinations will vary based on each health profession. Talk to a Pre-Health advisor to learn more.
Some health professions schools will require an admissions interview. The format and process for interviews will likely vary with each specific health school.
Professional School Visitors
If you are planning to apply to a professional health school, talking with school representatives early allows you to learn more about the schools’ programs, admissions requirements, and how to become a competitive applicant.
Explore Health Careers
With so many different health careers out there to choose from, it is important to explore which field is the right for you. Start exploring health professions using the resources and suggestions below.