University of Wisconsin–Madison

What We Do

The Center for Pre-Health Advising (CPHA) is dedicated to inclusive, ongoing, personalized, and holistic relationships with advisees — wherever you are in the process of discovering your potential to serve others as a health care professional! We are here to support your successful pursuit of a career in a health care profession. Learn more about resources we offer:

  • Pre-Health Orientation

    “Preparing for Professional Programs in Health Care” is our most highly trafficked advising interface with first-year students. It is a great introduction to all things pre-health. We designed the pre-health orientation with first-year students in mind, but we encourage anyone with interest in a health profession to enroll at any point in your preparation. Look for it in your Canvas course library after you sign up. Please sign up for the pre-health orientation here.

  • CPHA Newsletter

    The Center for Pre-Health Advising sends a bimonthly newsletter to pre-health students. Get information about pre-health events, opportunities, resources, and recommended reading. Look for it the second and fourth Thursday every month during fall and spring semesters and once a month during winter and summer breaks. Please sign-up here.

  • First-Year Advising

    Welcome to UW-Madison! We are eager to work with you. Mike Hill is our first-year pre-health student specialist. He facilitates our pre-health orientation (“Preparing for Professional Programs in Health Care”), meets with first-year students every Friday morning for drop-in advising during fall and spring semesters (“First Year Fridays”) and also runs four-year planning workshops for first-year students. In addition, as a first-year student, you have access to pre-health advisors five days a week (Monday-Friday) via email at Please make use of all our first-year student resources:

    • Preparing for Professional Programs in Health Care (sign up here)
    • First-Year Fridays every Friday during fall and spring semesters (9-12 at CPHA, Suite 205 in the Middleton Building)
    • Four-Year Planning Workshops (look for announcements in the CPHA newsletter)
    • Quick question? Please email us at!

    And please make an appointment to have a longer conversation with a CPHA advisor after your first year on campus!

  • Appointment Advising

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

    If you are an alum, please call (608.263.6614) or email (, and we will help you arrange an appointment. If you are not living in Madison, we are still very happy to meet with you by phone or Skype. Just let us know your preference. Please know that there is no time limit to your access to our services. We’re here to support you for as long as you want to work with us.

    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. New to Starfish?

    1. Log in to your MyUW
    2. Search for Starfish
    3. Click Add to home to add Starfish to your dashboard
    4. Open the Starfish app
    5. Search for the Center for Pre-Health Advising
    6. Select an advisor’s name and find a date and time
    7. If you have any questions, more help can be found here.

    If you are an alum and cannot find an appointment at a time you are free to meet, please call our office (608.263.6614) or email us (, and we will help you arrange an appointment. Also, we are happy to do phone or Skype appointments if you want to meet with us when you are not in Madison. 


    Please make an hour-long appointment to go over your application statement(s) with an advisor. These can be your personal statement or your individual experience description statements.

    * The number of drafts of application statements we review is up to the individual advisor. Advisors may choose to review two or three drafts of application statements. We recommend that you have a complete draft to work on with an advisor. It does not need to be perfect before meeting to talk about it. * Please email your statement to your advisor at least 24 hours before your appointment. And regarding secondaries, please pick one to three that you want to focus on in your appointment, tell us what these are, and email them to your advisor at least 24 hours before your appointment.

  • Drop-In Advising

    Drop-In Advising at the Center for Pre-Health Advising: Please find us in Suite 205 of the Middleton Building.

    Spring 2020 drop-ins for first year students
    • Fridays, 9 am-12 pm
    Spring 2020 drop-ins for second year students and up
    • Mondays, 9 am-12 pm
    • Tuesdays, 1-3:30 pm
    • Wednesdays, 1-3:30 pm
  • Alumni Advising

    As a UW-Madison alum, you have access to all the advising services that The Center for Pre-Health Advising offers for as long as you want to use them. We are eager to work with you as you continue to take steps toward a health profession. Please get in touch with us!

    • To make an appointment, please call (608.263.6614) or email (, and we will help you arrange a meeting with an advisor. If you are not living in Madison, we are still very happy to meet with you by phone or Skype. Just let us know your preference.
    • Come to drop-in advising.
    • Write to our questions box at
    • Enroll in an application course. Ask about this by email ( or in an appointment!
    • Sign up for the pre-health orientation, if health care is a new interest!
  • Health Professions Shadowing Program

    The Health Professions Shadowing Program (HPSP) is a two-week residential program for students from groups who are underrepresented in health care. Students accepted into the program spend over thirty hours shadowing providers at UW Health and affiliated area clinics, visiting healthcare facilities and learning about current trends in health care from providers in the community. The program supports students who are first generation, ethnic and racial minorities, from rural areas or socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. HPSP takes place each year in the first two weeks of August.

  • Application Courses

    The Center for Pre-Health Advising offers Canvas courses for applicants. They are resource libraries that give guidance on every dimension of applications to health professions programs that we could think of. Dr. Dija Selimi has written and runs these courses. Please talk with a CPHA advisor about being enrolled. You can also email us at to inquire. We currently offer the following:

    Applying to Dental Programs
    Applying to Medical Programs (MD & DO)
    Applying to Physician Assistant Programs
    Applying to Physical Therapy Programs

    And we are developing:

    Applying to Occupational Therapy Programs
  • Pre-Health Workshops
    Four Year Planning Workshops for First Year Students

    Are you a first year pre-health student looking to make a four-year plan? Come and do that at one of CPHA’s Four Year Planning Workshops. Hear a brief presentation from Mike Hill, the CPHA First Year Specialist, and then work on your plan with him and other pre-health advisors. These workshops give you time to begin to think through and learn about pre-health courses and co-curriculars (e.g., volunteering, shadowing, research, and student org involvement) with the support of pre-health advisors in the room.

    • Tuesday, March 24 (3:30-5 pm)
    • Wednesday, March 25 (3:30-5 pm)
    • Tuesday, April 7 (3:30-5 pm)
    • Wednesday, April 8 (3:30-5 pm)  
    MCAT Study Prep Workshops

    Offered by CPHA and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) Office of MD Admissions, this workshop series is designed to support CPHA and SMPH’s shared vision of increasing equity and diversity in healthcare. This means that all students are encouraged to apply, and in addition, that priority is given to those who are from communities that are historically underrepresented and underserved in healthcare, including underrepresented students of color as well as students from first-generation, rural, and low-income backgrounds. Students must also have a minimum GPA of a 3.0 or be on track to have a 3.0 GPA by the end of the year in which they participate in the workshops. The content of this workshop series focuses on the nature of the MCAT and resources available for MCAT study. The goal is for students who attend the workshops to prepare individualized study plans for the MCAT.

    Please fill out this form to apply for a workshop series.
    Each one includes two weekday evenings (two Tuesdays or two Wednesdays).

    • Tuesday night series – February 18 & 25 (5:30-7:30 pm) in Ingraham 115
    • Wednesday night series – February 19 & 26 (5:30-7:30 pm) in Ingraham 115
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.