Applying to Health Schools

There are many components and factors to consider when applying to health professions schools. Explore Center advisor and Career Services staff are here to help you with every step- from researching schools to preparing for interviews.

Timeline for Applying to Health Professions School

Researching Professional Schools

Start researching possible health schools early. Consider how each professional school will be able to help you develop your specific interests, talents, and career goals. Some questions to consider:

  • What is the average GPA, science GPA, and entrance exam score of accepted applicants?
  • What was their acceptance rate for the most recent year? (number of acceptances vs. number of applications)
  • Do they accept out of state applicants? Do they accept international students?
  • How many/what kind of letters of recommendation do they need?
  • What are the preference factors in admission? (state of residence, Bachelor's degree, mission statement, etc.)
  • What is the cost of application?
  • What is the cost of tuition?
  • What financial aid or scholarships are available?
  • What is their employment or placement rate?

Attend an Explore Center workshop about this topic

Letters of Recommendation

Most health professional programs require letters of recommendation (usually around 3) as a part of the application, but you should check with the schools you are applying to in order to confirm the number of letters required. Most commonly, letters from faculty members are required; some schools may ask for additional letters from a professional you shadowed or a volunteer coordinator with whom you worked.

Additionally, some health schools give students the option of submitting letters from pre-health advisors or pre-health committees. Please note that UNL does not have a pre-health committee. Therefore, we encourage you to seek recommendation letters from faculty members instead.

Applications may ask for "Letters of Evaluation (LOEs)" or "Letters of Recommendation," but they are essentially the same thing.

Review additional information (pdf) Attend an Explore Center workshop about this topic

Personal Statements

Professional schools generally require applicants to write a personal statement or essay, either as part of, or in addition to, their application. Typically, a personal statement gives you the opportunity to make an impression on an admissions officer or committee by describing the personal significance of your experiences, rather than merely summarizing course work, previous jobs, and related experience.

The presentation below explores the components of writing effective professional school essays including information concerning:

  • Purpose of the essay
  • Maximizing communication
  • Addendums
  • Special considerations
  • Themes
  • Suggestions for getting started
  • Helpful resources

Preparing for Entrance Exams

Some professional schools will require standardized entrance examinations. Examinations will vary based on each health profession (refer to specific program pages within this website for more information).

The presentation below outlines options and recommendations for preparing for entrance exams including information concerning:

  • The completion of content related course work
  • Study tips
  • Practice exams
  • Registration
  • Timing
  • Fees
  • Scoring
  • Helpful resources

Attend an Explore Center workshop about this topic


Some health professions schools will require an admissions interview. The format and process for interviews will likely vary with each specific health school. For example, you may participate in individual or group interviews that involve faculty, admission representatives, and/or current students.

The presentation below explores the components of effective interviewing for the health sciences including information concerning:

  • Purpose of the interview
  • Structure of an interview day
  • Types of interviews (panel, one-on-one, multiple-mini-interview, group, etc.)
  • Interview tips
  • Appearance tips
  • Value of practice or "mock" interviews
  • Helpful resources

Sign up for a mock interview

Attend an Explore Center workshop about this topic

Health School Visitors (Professional School Visitors)

Many of the requirements for a professional school application depend on which school you are applying to. If you are planning to apply to a health professions school you should start talking with professional schools early so that you can learn more about the schools’ programs, admissions requirements, and how to become a competitive applicant. Visitors will be available throughout the year in the Explore Center (Love South 127) and signing up for a 20 minute time slot is just a click away!

Schedule an Appointment

Pre-Health Programs

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