Community Letter Review Process (CLP)

Pre-Med & Pre-Health Advising

Stay in the loop:

  • Join the Health Professions Interest Group (HPIG) through Handshake
  • Visit the HPIG website and check out the Events, Jobs, & Resources feeds
  • Subscribe to the Pre-Health listserv
  • Join a UVM pre-health professions Student Club

Get information:

  • Browse the resources on this website
  • Bring your questions to HPIG Drop-Ins Monday 1:00pm – 5:00 pm at The Hub, Davis Center
    • Extra drop-Ins for 1st year students with HPIG Peer Leaders are on Thursdays 9:00am – 10:00am & 1:00pm – 3:00pm at The Hub, Davis Center
  • For issues requiring additional time, Schedule an appointment through Handshake by clicking on the Health Professions Category then choose:
    • “Pre-Med Advising” appointment type for clinical career paths
    • “Plan for Grad/Professional school” appointment type for public health and other health careers

Considering application to medical/dental school in the upcoming cycle?

Use Application Support page to find information about the Health Professions Portfolio (HPP) and Committee Letter Process (CLP). Enrollment begins in October.
Get hands-on application support at the HPP / CLP Labs, starting in November on Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 12 -1:30 @ The Hub

First year students:

  • Work with your academic advisor to plan your course of study, taking into account the prerequisite courses relevant to your career choice
  • Pre-medical advising is available at HPIG Drop-In Hours and with HPIG Peer Leaders (see above)
  • Self-schedule general career advising appointments through Handshake
  • Consider applying to the Pre-Medical Enhancement Program.

For MD & DO

Many students enter college with the goal of becoming a physician.
If that describes you:

  1. Don’t limit your options: Explore other careers that center on patient-care, including many that require doctoral-level training (e.g., advanced practice nursing, dentistry, occupational therapy, optometry, physical therapy, podiatric surgery). Medical school may not end up being the path best suited to your evolving skills, interests and life goals. By fully investigating the wide array of career options in the health care industry, you are more likely to find the right field for you AND make choices that enhance your likelihood of success and fulfillment.
  2. Expand your definition of “physician” to include osteopathic and podiatric physician
  3. Read our Tips on Pre-Med @ UVM and see other recommendations below.

All students considering a career in clinical medicine should fully investigate the allopathic (M.D. degree) and osteopathic medicine (D.O. degree) pathways. The pre-requisite requirements are nearly identical, both require the MCAT as part of the application process, and both degrees lead to eligibility for licensing as a physician in all states. By 2020, there will be a unified accreditation system (ACGME) for residency training for all MD and DO graduates.

Learn more about the MD / DO pathways by exploring the websites and admission guides created by the professional organizations representing ~ 140 allopathic (AAMC) and ~34 osteopathic (AACOM) schools.

  1. Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
  2. American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)

Hardcopies of the information guides can be viewed in waiting area of The Career Center.

Dentistry as a Career:

Dentistry is an excellent profession for those individuals who aspire to a career with direct patient care responsibilities and who also possess a unique combination of talents: interpersonal skill, business acumen and outstanding manual dexterity. There are two equivalent degrees offered by dental schools: DDS or DMD degree. Many dental school graduates move directly from professional school into general dentistry practice. Others go on to residency and/or fellowship training. Dental specialties include: Pediatrics; Endodontics, Orthodontics Periodontics, Prosthodontics, Pubic Health and Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Pathology or Radiology. Learn more about the DDS / DMD pathways:

Learn More About the Path to Dental School:

Academic Requirements

Health professions schools require demonstration of competency in specific academic areas prior to application. The courses that must be taken (or are highly recommended) are listed on each program’s website. Even within the same profession, the exact requirements vary between schools. It is important to look periodically at the specific websites for programs that are of potential interest to you. Choose several schools to view (including all of the ones in your home region) and create a spreadsheet indicating the requirements and your progress toward completion. Use the following links to find our general recommendations for the health professions listed:

Academic preparation is important no matter what health career pathway you choose to follow. But there are many other necessary steps to take to increase your knowledge about the profession; stoke your commitment and passion for your chosen field; and help enhance your own intellectual and character development.

Beyond the classroom, we recommend you:

Application Support for Health Professions Graduate Programs

The UVM Post-Baccalaureate Premedical (PBPM) Program and Masters of Medical Science Program each provide application support for their students. Those who are enrolled in, or have completed, those programs should consult Program advisors for all information related to their application process.

MCATs must be completed by January 31st, 2020 for those seeking a Committee Letter for application to medical school in June 2020. Dental school applicants will need to complete the DAT by March 15th.

UVM undergraduate students and alums are eligible for group and 1:1 pre-professional advising regarding their path to a graduate program in any health profession. The Committee Letter Process (CLP) is specifically designed to provide eligible candidates with an institutional letter of recommendation (i.e., a Committee Letter) for submission as part of their application to:

  1. Medical school (M.D. / D.O.)
  2. Dental school (D.D.S. / D.M.D.)
  3. Podiatric medical school (D.P.M.)
  4. Optometry school (O.D.)

A Committee Letter is recommended by most medical and dental schools, and required* by some (including Larner College of Medicine). It is important to note that participation in the CLP does not guarantee a favorable Letter.

Optometry and podiatric medical schools also value Committee Letters, though rarely require them. Applicants to optometry or podiatric medical school who would like to request a Committee Letter should meet with the Health Professions Advisor to review program-specific eligibility and to design an appropriate timeline (deadlines will be later than they are for medical/dental school).

To receive a Committee Letter, candidates must meet GPA, MCAT & other eligibility requirements. Medical schools do not look unfavorably at applicants without a Committee Letter if the applicant was ineligible for a Letter due to graduation date. In such cases, the Health Professions Advisor can provide a statement indicating why the candidate was ineligible.

Regardless of your path or CLP eligibility, we encourage all applicants to complete the following steps, starting in the fall PRIOR to your year of anticipated application:

Create a Health Professions Portfolio (HPP) on Blackboard

  • Open to juniors, seniors and alums, between October and December
  • Participate in a Readiness Assessment Discussion (RAD) with the Health Professions Advisor following submission of the first draft of the HPP
  • If you intend to apply to medical, dental, podiatric or optometry school within the next 1-2 years, please familiarize yourself with all of the information on this site.

    Application Support

    Identities Underrepresented in Medical Professions

    All of the health professions have expressed a commitment to better reflect the diversity in the U.S by increasing enrollment of students from underrepresented minority and identity groups and those who have otherwise been educationally and/or economically disadvantaged. Research shows that improving the diversity of providers is likely to improve overall patient satisfaction and follow-through and to increase access to appropriate care for the entire population. Here is an article in The New York Times reviewing a recent study that addresses this issue: The Secret to Keeping Black Men Healthy? Maybe Black Doctors (by Gina Kolata).

    We have compiled information about experiential learning opportunities (clinical and research) for pre-health students with identities underrepresented in medicine (URiM). The definition of this term has been adapted over time, and will continue to be amended to reflect changing demographics of the professions and the population. Note that each program defines the term uniquely. Almost all programs listed include categories based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and first-generation college status. Diversity based on ability, geography, sexual orientation, gender identity and other issues are highlighted by some of the programs listed.

    If you identify with an underrepresented group, we encourage you to explore the clinical and biomedical research opportunities highlighted below. Many programs have strong mentoring components which add additional and lasting value to the experiential learning experience. We have included additional information about professional organizations within the various professions that connect underrepresented practitioners with each other and also serve as important national platforms to advocate for equity in the health care environment.

    URiM Summer Programs and Mentoring Resources

  • Biomedical Research Opportunities
  • Post-Baccalaureate Programs