Faculty Lead: Kevin Measor
Staff Lead: Katherine Brackmann
The Health Professions Pathways Program (H3P) is a non-academic program that provides comprehensive resources and a support network for students interested in pursuing a career and graduate study in the health professions (Dentistry, Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Public Health, Veterinary Medicine, and other health professions). The Health Professions Pathways Program works collaboratively with various academic departments, faculty advisors, and with offices such as Career & Professional Development and Academic Advising & Assistance to ensure that students have the appropriate advising for their academic, co-curricular, and application needs. Resources available through the Health Professions Pathways Program include:
- Individualized support through 1:1 appointments
- Workshops and other events to help students gain knowledge about health professions
- Resources and connections for gaining experience in the health care field
- Tips for preparing for admission to graduate school programs in the health professions
- Engagement with the pre-health community at Gonzaga
- Mentorship opportunities within the Gonzaga alumni network
- Committee letters of recommendation for graduate and professional school
Along with the Health Profession Pathways Program, students are encouraged to engage and find support with one of the many pre-health or science-related student organizations on campus including the Health Sciences Club, Human Physiology Club, Pre-Dental Club, Gonzaga Science Scholars, Gonzaga Women in Medicine, Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, and Health Equity Circle.
Most health professions graduate programs do not require specific undergraduate majors. Students are encouraged to choose a major that they are genuinely interested in studying. This will increase the likelihood of academic success, which is often a big factor in graduate school admissions.
Health professions programs each determine their own admissions prerequisite coursework, but most require a strong foundation in the basic sciences along with coursework in the humanities, which can be found in the University Core Curriculum. In consultation with their academic advisors, students can expect to complete a basic science curriculum that includes Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math. Additional science courses may be necessary based on specific program requirements.
Admission to health professions graduate programs is competitive. Schools look for candidates that have distinguished themselves in their academics, leadership, and service and gained the skills necessary to be effective members of their professions. Health professions graduate programs assess cognitive abilities primarily through GPA and standardized admission tests. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to their chosen field and highlight personal attributes and experiences by submitting an application, writing several essay questions, requesting letters of recommendation, and participating in interviews. Hands-on experience in healthcare settings is vital to both the preparation and admission processes. This clinical experience exposes students to the complex duties expected of today’s healthcare professionals and enables them to make informed career decisions.
At Gonzaga, students interested in pursuing a career in the health professions are encouraged to focus their academics, interests, co-curricular activities toward proficiency in six core competencies. These competencies reflect the qualities that health professions programs look for in candidates and embody the values of Gonzaga’s Jesuit and humanistic tradition. The Gonzaga University Health Professions Pathways Program Core Competencies are: Application & Integration of Science, Healthcare, and Behavior; Critical Thought & Creative Inquiry; Cultivation of Collaborative Networks; Effective & Professional Communication; Inclusive & Ethical Service to Others and Reflective Commitment to Growth.
As part of the Health Professions Pathways Program, the Committee on Health Science Careers provides committee letters as a service to eligible students and alumni seeking admission to health professions programs, most commonly medical and dental schools. While not required by Gonzaga University applicants, the committee letter is highly recommended as it serves as a holistic evaluation of the candidate’s proficiency in the core competencies. The committee letter often fulfills multiple letters of recommendation requirements for admission, but it is important for applicants to confirm requirements for each school to which they apply.
Students may take the following course to assist them in their application to health professions graduate programs:
UNIV 421 Health Professions Preparation 1 credit