Beyond Academics (Health)


Participation in volunteer and shadow opportunities gives you the chance to gain good experience outside of the classroom. Most professional schools will expect that you have completed multiple shadow/volunteer experiences and emphasize the importance of these experiences because they allow you to:

  • Explore different health related fields and careers and determine which field best matches your interests
  • Gain both knowledge and experience about the field you hope to enter
  • Demonstrate your commitment to helping others
  • Network with professionals who can help you discover other career or internship opportunities

Check out these resources and suggestions for getting started with volunteer and shadowing experience.


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. The UCARE program supports undergraduate research with faculty members engaged in research and creative activities at UNL.

Student Organizations

Student organizations provide you with a great way to connect with students who share your academic, social, or service interests. They also allow you opportunities to network, volunteer, and take on leadership roles. Many health-related student organizations feature speakers who are professionals in the field, arrange tours of health facilities and professional schools, assemble panel presentations with current students studying at health schools, and/or develop specialized programs concerning financial aid, application processes, etc.

We encourage you to check out both pre-health related organizations (see some examples below) and non-health organizations of interest. For a full list of organizations, president contact information, and organization descriptions, review the list of Student Organizations at UNL.

Explore UNL Student Organizations

Work Experience Or Internships

Gaining practical work or internship experience in any kind of field helps you to develop professional skills, clarify career interests, strengthen self-confidence, build leadership skills, and establish references/professional contacts.

Consider the following opportunities for students interested in health careers:

  • Obtain CNA, Medication Aide, EMT or phlebotomy certification and training so that you can work in a local healthcare facility.
  • Look for employment opportunities as pharmacy technicians, opticians, physical therapy technicians, or occupational therapy assistants.
  • Contact professors or academic departments at UNL for paid research jobs.
  • Cosider applying to be a Teaching Assistant or Lab Assistant for a science course and learn to teach the concepts from your science courses to other students.
  • Look for any entry-level positions within hospitals, nursing home facilities, dental offices, or clinics that will allow you to be in a clinical setting.
  • Review Career Service's Gaining Experience Guide or visit Husker Hire Link to find Jobs and Internships

Summer Opportunities

Summer is a great time to expand your horizons and develop your skill sets! Check out some unique opportunities below.

Cedar Point Biological Station
Cedar Point Biological Station (CPBS) is a University of Nebraska field research facility and experiential classroom in western Nebraska. We are located near Lake McConaughy and the city of Ogallala. The success of the Cedar Point Experience draws on the wide variety of local habitats with an abundance and diversity of flora and fauna. CPBS is the focus of an excellent research and learning environment with a diverse summer community of students and researchers. The station is in the heart of the western high plains at about 1000m altitude; near the juncture of tall grass and short grass prairie, on the south edge of the Sandhills, and in the North Platte River valley.
Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)
The Summer Health ProfessionsEducation Program (SHPEP) is a FREE (full tuition, housing, and meals) six-week summer academic enrichment program that offers freshman and sophomore college students intensive and personalized health school preparation.
Summer Undergraduate Research Program
The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) is an academic health science center with a major focus on research. The UNMC Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is a loose collaboration between UNMC departments, institutes, colleges, student services, and graduate specialty areas to provide summer opportunities for undergraduate students to become members of research teams and discover first-hand the broad spectrum of research activities occurring at UNMC.
Education Abroad
Spend time studying, researching, volunteering, or interning overseas!

National Summer Pre-Health Programs

Search the AAMC database or visit professional organization websites for summer opportunities related to each healthcare field. Opportunities range from research experiences and pre-health internship programs to shadowing and academic preparation. Visit our Pre-Health Program pages for links to the professional organizations for each health care field.

Pre-Health Programs

Pre-Chiropractic Pre-Chiropractic Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science Pre-Clinical Perfusion Science Pre-Clinical Perfusion Science Pre-Cytotechnology Pre-Cytotechnology Pre-Dental Hygiene Pre-Dental Hygiene Pre-Dentistry Pre-Dentistry Pre-Medicine Pre-Medicine Pre-Mortuary Science Pre-Mortuary Science Pre-Nursing Pre-Nursing Pre-Occupational Therapy Pre-Occupational Therapy Pre-Optometry Pre-Optometry Pre-Pharmacy Pre-Pharmacy Pre-Physical Therapy Pre-Physical Therapy Pre-Physician Assistant Pre-Physician Assistant Pre-Public Health Pre-Public Health Pre-Radiation Science Pre-Radiation Science