Prospective Students

We’re excited you’re considering UW-Madison for your college career. Pre-health advisors in CPHA look forward to working with you after you join the university!

Want to learn more about what it means to be Pre-Health at UW-Madison? Dive into our robust website.

Please also see our answers to frequently asked questions below.

How do we fit into the overall advising landscape? 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, office space, pre-professional expertise, and missions of increasing access and equity in healthcare and law careers. In addition to specific advising resources to help you pursue your goal of pursuing graduate level health professional programs or law school, all undergraduates have an assigned academic advisor in their school/college or major(s) and a wide range of broader career services.

frequently asked questions

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I am not a current UW-Madison student. Can I still be advised by CPHA?

CPHA provides extensive 1:1 advising and other resources for current UW-Madison students, admitted transfer students, and all alumni interested in pursuing careers in healthcare. We understand that the transfer process can be very complex, so we also encourage prospective transfer students to email with pre-health specific questions or concerns.

If you are a prospective or admitted first-year student (AKA freshman) we are excited to start working with you more directly after you attend Orientation (SOAR). Whether you are waiting to attend your SOAR session or are just starting to consider attending UW-Madison for undergrad, we encourage you to access pre-health advising information through CPHA’s website and to follow us on Instagram @uwprehealthcenter. We also recommend:

How can I visit campus?

UW-Madison looks forward to seeing you!

There are a range of in-person and virtual opportunities to get to know the UW-Madison campus and our community members. Please review the Visit Bucky page on the UW-Madison Admissions website for details.

Where can I find information about applying to UW-Madison?

For specific applications and deadlines visit the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

If you are a returning student looking to complete prerequisite courses at UW-Madison, please note that you will need to apply to be a University Special student through the Adult Career and Special Student Services Office.

What happens once I'm admitted?

SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration) will be your first step as a UW-Madison student. Once you are enrolled as a UW-Madison student, we also encourage you to sign-up for our online orientation designed to help you navigate your experience on this campus as a pre-health student. The orientation is called “Pre-Health 101.”

Please also learn about all the support that CPHA offers to first year students. We look forward to working with you!

Is there a preferred major for health professions graduate programs?

Not at all. Health professional schools seek candidates with diverse interests and backgrounds. We encourage you to think about what you most want to learn and do while you are in college.

Health professional programs view the work you do in the prerequisite courses they require as sufficient evidence of your academic preparation for the coursework they require. Some majors at UW-Madison require courses that health professional programs also require. This leads some students to choose one of these majors. However, depending on time and financial constraints, you can major in any area of interest! One way to diversify your coursework and pursue academic interests outside your major is to get a certificate (what many institutions call a minor).

For additional information on the breadth of academic opportunities available to you as a pre-health student at UW-Madison, check out the resources below.

Explore Majors by Theme See Full Major List

How many UW-Madison students apply to medical school every year?

Great question. Around 500 UW-Madison students apply to medical school every year. This total includes students and alumni who apply to MD and DO programs. As an office, we gather data on all types of medical school applications. So, breaking this down further, we find that around 400 students apply to MD programs, around 200 apply to DO programs, and around 100 apply to both these types of program every year.

Keep in mind as you research acceptance data presented by schools that many report data on their website from the AAMC (American Association of Medical Colleges). This data includes only the number of students who get into MD programs, not DO. It also does not represent the full picture of acceptance rates nor the wide variety of academic, personal, and professional experiences that can help increase your competitiveness for admission. We’re here to help you navigate the process!

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