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

Advising at CPHA

Due to COVID-19, CPHA will be operating remotely through spring 2021. We look forward to being able to meet again in person. Until then, we look forward to continuing to have great conversations with you remotely. We know this time brings questions and uncertainties, and also that you are all continuing to take great steps forward toward your future careers. We are here for you as you do this.

We also know that many of you are looking for opportunities to be involved and working to use time well during the pandemic. Please find our suggestions here.

Thank you for adjusting to this situation along with us — and for doing everything you can to protect people who are most vulnerable to this virus!

We are committed to providing excellent support to first year students. Mike Hill is our first year student specialist. He writes and runs the online pre-health student orientation (“Preparing for Professional Programs in Health Care”), offers drop-in advising for first year students every Friday during fall and spring semesters, and also runs Four Year (and More!) Planning workshops for first year students.

Please continue to use all of the resources that we offer first year students:

  • Preparing for Professional Programs in Health Care (sign up here). This orientation is a great introduction to all things pre-health.
  • First Year Fridays are drop-in hours dedicated entirely to first year students. Come and talk with Mike and other pre-health advisors 9 am to 12 pm every Friday morning during fall and spring semesters! The CPHA Drop-In Advising Sign-Up form will open 10-15 minutes before each drop-in session begins, and it will close at the end of the session. The form may close prior to the very end of the session, if the number students and alumni waiting in the queue require until the end of the session to be seen. Please read the instructions in the form carefully, keep your email open, and have a great conversation with an advisor when it is your turn to talk!
  • 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.
  • Quick question? Please email us at questions@prehealth.wisc.edu!

We look forward to meeting you in-person again when it is safe to do so! Stay well and protect the health of people around you.

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

If you are a second year, third year, fourth year, fifth year and or transfer student, 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. FYI: all CPHA advisors are transitioning in Fall 2020 to 45-minute appointments.

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

If you are an alum, please email us at questions@prehealth.wisc.edu, 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 to 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. It is important that you understand how we work with applicants and the information we need from you when you make an appointment to meet with us to talk about your application.

First, if you are planning to apply to dental, medical, physical therapy, or physician assistant programs, 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 these programs. We hope to add to this list of application courses in coming years. Please stay tuned!

And if you want to meet with us to talk about your application:

  • 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.
    • If you are applying to medical school and want to practice the new VITA interview, AAMC gives you unlimited opportunities to practice. Please learn more. We are also happy to talk with you about preparing for the VITA.

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.

The CPHA Drop-In Advising Sign-Up form will open 10-15 minutes before each drop-in session begins, and it will close at the end of the session. The form may close prior to the very end of the session, if the number students and alumni waiting in the queue require until the end of the session to be seen.

Please read the instructions in the form carefully, keep your email open, and have a great conversation with an advisor when it is your turn to talk!

  • For first year students: FIRST YEAR FRIDAYS — Fridays, 9 am to 12 pm
  • For second year (including transfer) students and up:
    • Tuesdays, 1-3:30 pm
    • Wednesdays, 1-3:30 pm
  • FINANCIAL AID FRIDAYS. Drop-in advising with financial aid advisors who can provide guidance re: budgeting, savings, loans, financing a graduate health professional program, and all of your financial aid questions! When? 8 am – 12 pm the second Friday of every month. Please join Financial Aid Fridays here.

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, pre-professional expertise, and missions of increasing access and equity in healthcare and law careers. Want to learn more? Please have a look at this overview of Pre-Professional Advising at UW-Madison and meet our very own Molly Reinhard.

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.

  • Wear a face covering wherever you go, unless you have an accommodation.
  • Practice physical distancing of 6 feet or greater, on and off campus, inside and outside, and even while wearing a face covering.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Refrain from touching your face.
  • Minimize time with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Monitor symptoms via the Health Screen tool.
  • Do not attend gatherings.
  • Respond in a timely way to phone calls about contact tracing.

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 the proliferation of 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 them 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. 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.