The William S. Middleton Building
Center for Pre-Health Advising

Advising at CPHA

The Center for Pre-Health Advising (CPHA) is a resource for UW-Madison students and alumni (no time limit!) who are exploring, preparing, and applying to health professional programs. We are here to support you — wherever you are on your path to serving others in health care. We have the most expertise in advising toward dental, medical, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and physician assistant careers. We also advise toward careers in allied health professions, chiropractic medicine, optometry, podiatry, public health, and veterinary medicine.  Please scroll down to learn more about what we do and for information on pathways to health professions (i.e., information about courses, applications, and careers).

CPHA is co-located with the Center for Pre-Law Advising (CPLA) in suite 205 Middleton Building on Campus.

Questions? Contact us at

Welcome to CPHA!

  • We are here for you in-person in Suite 205 Middleton Building and virtually.
  • Quick question? Email us! is monitored daily by advisors.
  • Want to meet 1:1? Attend drop-ins and, if you are a 2nd year student and up (including alums!), schedule full-length appointment.
    • Drop-ins for First Year students are every Friday of Fall and spring semester from 9am-12noon. Information about other extensive resources for First Years can be found here.
    • Drop-ins for 2nd Years and up, including alumni, are held multiple times per week.
    • Appointments (in-person and virtual) are released every Wednesday via Starfish!
    • Need a mock interview and can’t find an opening in Starfish? Email us at!
  • Check out this page for an overview of many other resources and ways we support Pre-Health advisees.

Note: every year during the month of May, appointments and drop-ins are reserved for those actively applying to health professional programs in the current cycle.

Not a current applicant, but have pre-health questions during the month of May? We’re still here for you. Our website,, has an abundance of information to help you wherever you’re at in your pre-health journey.

We are committed to first year students! And Mike Hill is our first year student specialist. He writes and runs the online pre-health student orientation (“Pre-Health 101”), offers virtual drop-in advising for first year students every Friday during fall and spring semesters, participates in the UW Major Discovery Week, and runs Four Year (and More!) Planning workshops for first year students.

Please use all the resources we offer first year students:

  • Pre-Health 101. This online orientation is a great introduction to all things pre-health. Sign up for Pre-Health 101 today!
  • First Year Fridays are drop-in hours for first year students only. They take place every Friday of fall and spring semester from 9 am to 12 pm.
  • Four Year (and More!) Planning Workshops are offered fall and spring semesters as well. This is a time for you to begin planning your pre-health coursework and co-curricular experiences with the direct support of Mike and other pre-health advisors. Learn more.
  • Quick question? Please email us at!

First year student? Please see the First Year Advising tab for advising options.

Second year students and up, including all transfer students: Please make an appointment to talk with us about your pre-health interests and plans using Starfish. And please monitor your email as you wait for your appointment to begin. All appointments are 45 minutes.

Appointments (in-person and virtual) are released every Wednesday via Starfish!

Applying to health professional programs soon? Please also see our Applicant Advising information.

If you are an alum, please email us at, and we will help you arrange an appointment. We look forward to meeting with you remotely (by phone, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet/Hangouts, or Skype). Please also continue to remember that there is no time limit in our services to you. We will be here to support you for as long as you want to work with us.

If you want to talk with us about your application to health professional programs, please read all the information below.

First, if you are planning to apply to a health professional program in the coming year, please sign up for a CPHA Application Course. These are Canvas courses that serve as resource libraries. Each one introduces you to the ins-and-outs of applying to programs.

Common Applicant Advising Conversations:

  • We will help you plan the timing of your application and reflect on what experiences you need to build before you apply.
  • Application Statements
    • We will meet with applicants two times to talk about your personal statement, two times to talk about work/activity statements, and two times to talk about secondaries. Please do not schedule more than two appointments with us about any one of these kinds of statements. We need to distribute our time to advisees as equally as we can. See below for opportunities to work with other writing specialists on your application statements.
    • Please send us the statement(s) you want to work on at least 24 hours before your appointment.
    • If you want to talk about work/activity/experience statements or school-specific secondaries/supplemental essays, please choose three to five that you want to work on and send us only those essays at least 24 hours before your appointment.
  • Mock Interviews
    • We offer applicants two mock interviews — one for you to practice the traditional interview format and a second for you to practice the multi-mini interview format.
    • Please only make mock interview appointments after you have been invited to interview at a health professional program. When you make a mock interview appointment, please specify in your appointment note the school(s) for which you want to practice.
    • Need a mock interview and can’t find an opening in Starfish? Email us at!

Other application statement writing specialists: the UW-Madison Writing Center

  • In lieu of an in-person workshop, the Writing Center has made their Personal Statements for Graduate Health Professions Programs workshop (with attendant materials) available online.
  • The Writing Center also offers peer feedback groups for current students and alumni. Please sign up here.
  • In addition, the Writing Center offers 45-minute appointments for current UW-Madison students for you to work on your personal statement with them. This may be done via email or video chat. Please learn more and sign up here.
  • The Writing Center also offers a list of proofreaders and editors who are all graduate students or recent PhDs. They charge very low rates for their service. Check them out.
  • And for alumniMadison Writing Assistance offers individual remote appointments for you to work on your personal statement with a writing specialist.

CPHA is committed to making drop-ins as accessible as possible for all UW-Madison undergraduates and alumni. We look forward to seeing you in-person or virtually!

The drop-ins sign-up form  will open 10-15 minutes before the drop-in session begins, and it will close at the end of the session. To attend drop-ins in person or virtually, sign in using the sign-up form and follow the instructions on the form. Please read the instructions carefully and keep an eye on your email. Thank you!


Spring 2024 Drop-in Hours

2nd Year+ (including transfer students and alumni) Drop-in Advising 

  • Tuesdays 1:00 to 3:30 pm
  • Wednesdays 1:00 to 3:30 pm

First Year Drop-in Advising (First Year Fridays)

  • Fridays 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

CPHA is one of two Pre-Professional Advising offices at UW-Madison. The Center for Pre-Law Advising (CPLA) is the other. We share a director (Molly Reinhard), office space in suite 205 Middleton Building on campus, pre-professional expertise, and missions of helping to increase access, equity, and diversity in health and law.

COVID, Public Health, & Pre-Professional Advising

Guidelines and campus policies continue to evolve. Masks are always welcome in our space.

Advisors will continue to offer virtual and in-person appointments. You’re welcome to choose the option that works best for you!

All of us need to be mindful of our impact on others. Please prioritize public health and stay up-to-date on information that UW-Madison shares out regarding campus operations. We all have a part to play in protecting people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. It is critical that we all stay up to date with campus operations and observe UW-Madison guidelines.

  • Follow campus and community mask guidelines.
  • Practice physical distancing as appropriate.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Refrain from touching your face.
  • Minimize time with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

Campus Resources:

You are a unique group on campus — one that is made up of students and alumni who want to go into health professions. We encourage you to approach the current situation as you can imagine yourself responding as a credentialed health professional in the future. With COVID-19, we are seeing public health in action. We all need to know how to protect ourselves and others. Many of you work with vulnerable individuals, and we all interact with others in the commitments we keep in “normal” life. Let’s do everything we can to keep all of us healthy!

Advising & Confidentiality:

We are here to support you in reaching your goals, including navigating academic or personal challenges as they relate to pursuing professional programs after graduation. Your meetings and student records are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and waiving this right requires official documentation. If you would like a parent, partner, or friend to accompany you during a meeting, you must fill out this UW form consenting to the sharing of your information during the meeting. Submit the form to the Registrar’s Office as instructed, along with a copy to your advisor, prior to the meeting.

While our advisors are able to keep most conversations private in accordance with FERPA, sometimes information disclosed during advising or in personal statements requires us to communicate with other support offices on campus (such as the Dean of Students or the Title IX Coordinator).

Why are we required to discuss certain situations with other offices? Due to various federal, state, and UW policies, we are not Confidential Campus Resources when it comes to incidents such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, or sexual discrimination.

Two examples of Confidential Campus Resources are University Health Services and the McBurney Disability Resource Center. To learn more about efforts related to campus safety and expectations of faculty and staff, please speak with your advisors or visit the Title IX information page and Clery Act information page.

The goal of communication is to ensure a safe and healthy campus community, and to ensure that students receive the information they personally need to be safe and healthy. However, we understand that you may have questions or concerns about these policies. Please do not hesitate to bring these up with your advisor.