Getting into a professional school.
Professional schools rarely prescribe a particular undergraduate major, so you should select one that best suits your personal interests. However, while satisfying Lipscomb’s graduation requirements, you will also need to plan your class schedules so they include the courses that are required by the professional school of your choice.
Once you have decided upon the area of health care you want to pursue, you must position yourself to be admitted to an appropriate professional school. What must you do to be accepted into a professional school?
- Learn which courses are prerequisites for admission to the professional schools of your choice. The Health Professions Advisory Office has lists of required courses for many area schools. Program requirements can also be found on institutional websites or by contacting schools directly.
- Study and do well in your courses—learn the material rather than just memorizing for exam performances. This will also help you prepare for professional school admissions tests.
- Get to know your professors well. Go to their offices, introduce yourself, tell them what your interests are and why. When you apply for professional school, you will need recommendations from some of your professors. And they need to know enough about you to write a letter that accurately portrays you as a student and potential health care professional.
- Observe, volunteer, and/or work in your chosen area. Professional schools expect you to have a reasonable knowledge of what is expected of those who serve in a particular profession. There are several ways to obtain this experience. One way is to contact your personal physician, dentist, pharmacist, or other health care professionals and ask them if you can work or volunteer in their offices. If this is not possible, they may allow you to observe or shadow them at work for a week or so. Area hospitals all have offices where you can apply for volunteer work.
- Involve yourself in activities other than academics and studying. Social, athletic, and service activities can all be valuable experiences. Lipscomb offers many opportunities to participate in social clubs, intramural sports, service projects, theater, international studies abroad, multicultural activities, student government, and so on. A student who is capable of maintaining a good grade point average while being actively involved outside the classroom is a student who will be able to handle the rigors of a professional school program.
- Be a servant. Professional schools do not want to see your application state that you want “to help people” but then see no evidence to support that statement. Become involved in your community through volunteering in programs such as blood drives, health screenings, Special Olympics, neighborhood clean-ups, etc.
- Keep your personal record clean. Obey rules and laws. Professional schools demand high ethical standards and most now perform background checks on applicants.