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.

In the meantime, we welcome you watch “What to Expect Your First Year”, explore our robust website, and dive into the frequently asked questions below to learn more about pre-health opportunities at UW-Madison.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What does it mean to be Pre-Health at UW-Madison?

There is no pre-health “major” at UW-Madison. Instead, students have the flexibility to choose a major that most interests them and they complete coursework for a health professions program alongside that major. The Center for Pre-Health Advising is here to help you do that! 

CPHA exists to guide students and alumni who are interested in pursuing a graduate level health professions program. From Four Year Planning workshops for first-year students to graduate program application material review for applicants, our office is staffed with advisors dedicated to supporting your success and stacked with resources you’ll need along your journey. We continue to support and advise UW-Madison alumni, regardless of how much time has elapsed since your graduation. 

CPHA shares office space with the Center for Pre-Law Advising (CPLA). We share a director, pre-professional expertise, and missions of increasing access and equity in healthcare and law careers. Our advisors help you prepare for your career while your major advisor will help you navigate degree requirements.

Is there a preferred major for health professions graduate programs?

There isn’t a preferred major that health professions programs look for in applications. Health professions seek candidates with diverse interests and backgrounds. We encourage students to think about what they most want to learn and do while they are in college.

Health professions programs establish course requirements and view this work as sufficient evidence of your academic preparation. Some majors at UW-Madison have courses that overlap with requirements for health professions programs. For additional information on the breadth of academic opportunities available to you as a pre-health student at UW-Madison, explore majors by theme or see full list of majors.

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

No, CPHA only provides 1:1 advising and other resources for current UW-Madison students, admitted transfer students, and all alumni interested in pursuing careers in healthcare.

What happens once I’m admitted?

Attend a SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration session! This is your first step as a UW-Madison student. 

To connect with the Center for Pre-Health Advising, we recommend that you:

  • Sign up for our Pre-Health Newsletter to learn more about opportunities on our campus and beyond, health careers, and related topics.
  • Follow us on Instagram @uwprehealthcenter!
  • Sign up for our orientation course 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!

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.

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

As a reminder, our advising services are not limited to students pursuing medical school; we are here to support students pursuing a variety of healthcare careers. See our Exploring Healthcare Careers page to learn more about the careers students can pursue.

Around 500 UW-Madison students apply to medical schools across the country 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 programs 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!