Informational Interviews

Request a brief meeting with health care professionals to learn about their career paths. Learn about their preparation, career choice, profession, and advice for you.

Observation and Job Shadowing

It is important to observe/shadow in different settings and with different types of patients. Watch how health care professionals interact with patients and learn how they make decisions. Start with practitioners who you know or complete an informational interview first. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology require observations. 

Registered Student Organizations

Get involved with an RSO. You can choose a club that is directly related to health professions, but you do not have to, you can also choose a club related to one of your interests. Start as a member and progress to leadership positions.

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Volunteer and Community Service

Giving back to your community can be a rewarding experience. It also displays your willingness to help others, which is a major component of being a health care professional. Find a community agency that interests you and get involved to demonstrate your initiative and service-oriented attitude.

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Having a job provides valuable skills such as customer service, communication, and critical thinking. These are skills health profession programs want in applicants. 

Undergraduate Research

Conducting undergraduate research is a great way to enhance critical thinking and analysis. However, it is not required for admission.

Summer Enrichment Opportunities

Looking for a summer experience related to health professions? Apply for a Summer Enrichment Opportunity. These programs are across the country and can provide opportunities for shadowing, research, practical application and academic instruction. 


Displaying leadership is an important skill to demonstrate to health professions programs. Gaining leadership can be done through RSOs, paid work, volunteering, the UIUC Leadership Center, etc.

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Clinical Experience

Exposure to clinical settings is vital experience for health professions. This may include earning a health care certification and practicing, such as CNA, EMT, CMA, Phlebotomist or becoming a Medical Scribe.