Gap Years

Gap years – also known as glide years, growth years, or enrichment years – refer to time taken between graduation from a college or university and enrolling in a health professions school. This is becoming an increasingly common practice, and in many cases can be advantageous to an applicant.

8 Reasons Why You May Want to Consider One or More Gap Years:

  • More time to study for standardized exams outside of the traditional academic year
  • Opportunities to solidify or improve your academic metrics, either during your senior year or through post-baccalaureate coursework in a formal program or selected courses from a local college or university
  • Time to get finances in order by working full time, making payments on loans, and/or saving money for application fees and other future expenses
  • More time to focus on the preparations required to apply, including researching schools, drafting application essays, and articulating your career interests on paper and aloud
  • Gain more experience to confirm your decision to pursue a healthcare career, demonstrate to admissions committees that you understand what you are about to undertake, and continue building skills and competencies valued by the profession
  • “Everyone else is doing it” and additional life experience in the “real world” may allow you to compete more favorably against other applicants
  • Life is short; once health professions school begins, it is difficult to take time off for other pursuits, such as traveling or engaging in service or work opportunities only available to recent graduates
  • Your brain could use the break; temporarily stepping away from academics is beneficial to some before committing to the rigor of a health professions program

Trying to determine whether a gap year makes sense for you? Please reach out to the Health Professions Pathways Program or other trusted advisors.

Adopted from the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions