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-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 Friday every month during fall and spring semesters and at the mid-point of each month in the summer.

    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 also have access to pre-health advisors five days a week (Monday-Friday) via email at

    Please make use of all these 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!

  • Alumni Advising

    As a UW-Madison alum, you have access to all the advising services The Center for Pre-Health Advising offers for as long as you need 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!
  • Drop-In Advising

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

    Fall 2019 drop-ins for first year students
    • Fridays, 9 am-12 pm
    Fall 2019 drop-ins for second year students and up
    • Mondays, 9 am-12 pm
    • Tuesdays, 1-3:30 pm
    • Wednesdays, 1-3:30 pm
  • 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. 


    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. To make the most of these appointments, we recommend that you have a complete draft to work on with an advisor. You do not need to make it perfect before meeting to talk about it, but the more time you spend working on it before coming to us, the better use we can make of the appointment.

    We ask that you email the statements you want to review with an advisor at least 24 hours before your appointment. And regarding secondaries, we ask that you pick one to three that you want to focus on in your appointment, and that you tell us what these are in the email you send with your drafts in advance of your appointment.

  • Pre-Health Workshops
    Four-Year Planning for First-Year Students
    What To Do During a Gap Year
    Preparing for the MCAT
  • Book Groups

    Every spring the Center for Pre-Health Advising invites interested students to read with us about important issues in health care. Spring 2019 will be the third book group we hold.

    • Spring 2018   The Death Gap — How Inequality Kills by Dr. David Ansell, MD.
    • Spring 2017   Black Man in a White Coat by Dr. Damon Tweedy, MD. In conjunction with the book discussions this year, we also watched the critically acclaimed documentary The Waiting Room. (24 hours. 241 patients. One stretched ER.)
    • Spring 2019   9 Pints — by Rose George

    Sign up to receive the CPHA newsletter to find out what the CPHA book group be reading next year. 

  • 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
  • Health Professional Program Information Sessions

    Health professional programs are eager to come to our campus to tell interested students about their programs and answer any questions you might have about what sets their program apart from others — and how to make yourself stand out to them as an applicant. The Center for Pre-Health Advising shares information about their visits in our newsletter.

    Sign up to receive the CPHA newsletter to keep informed about who is coming when.

  • 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.