Selecting Schools

When you think about where to apply, think about what you want learning and life more broadly to be like during a health professions program:

  • Where do you want to live? Close to family? A particular region of the country? A place that’s urban, rural, something in between?
  • What kind of learning community do you want to be part of? Large? Small? Diverse? Service-oriented?
  • Do the mission and goals of the school align with yours?
  • Are there special programs schools offer that you’re interested in?
  • How is curriculum organized?
  • When and where will you do rotations? Early or late in the program? In one or many locations? Somewhere private (where people usually have good health insurance) or public (where you might see more people from underserved communities)?
  • Who are the faculty, and what kind of relationship do students have with them?

Also think about important contingencies:

  • In what state are you a resident? (You will have an advantage applying to public schools in that state.)
  • What is the cost of the program?
  • How long is the program?

You want to take a lot of time to research specific schools: learn the mission, goals, special programs, and curriculum of each. Call schools and speak with advisors for prospective students, ask if they might connect you with current students, and talk with current students about their experiences. Below are links to resources to help you begin your process of researching schools:

Chiropractic: Association of Chiropractic Colleges
Dentistry: American Dental Education Association
Medicine (MD): Medical School Admissions Requirements, US News & World Report Medical Schools Rankings, Medical Education Social Mission Rankings
Medicine (DO): Choose DO Explorer, US Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, US News & World Report Medical Schools Rankings, Medical Education Social Mission Rankings
Nursing: American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Best Nursing Schools in Wisconsin
Occupational Therapy: OTCAS Occupational Therapy Programs, American Occupational Therapy Association
Optometry: Association of Schools & Colleges of Optometry
Pharmacy: American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
Physical Therapy: American Physical Therapy Association, PTCAS Physical Therapy Program Directory
Physician Assistant: Physicians Assistant Education Association
Podiatry: American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine
Public Health: Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health
Veterinary Medicine: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Start Class Veterinary Program Directory

Want to learn more about applying to health professional programs? 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.