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Applying to health professions schools requires strong time management, attention to detail, and focus. The Pre-Professional Health Advising office is dedicated to guiding students through the processes of deciding when to apply, completing a timely and comprehensive application, as well as navigating the (sometimes) complex admissions cycle. 

Deciding when to apply is a critical first step. If students aim to begin health professions school directly after graduation, they may begin the process as early as the Fall semester of junior year. While others (and often the majority) may decide to take one or more "gap" years between undergraduate and graduate school.

PPHA is available to support JMU students and alumni up to 4 years after graduation. Current students declared in one of the 8 minor programs should reach out to their assigned advisor and refer to the program's Canvas page for extensive resources. JMU alumni are encouraged to contact the PPHA office directly and refer to the page for Alumni Resources. 

The Letter Packet Process - Medical and Dental School Applicants

For JMU students and alumni prearping their application to Medical or Dental School, PPHA offers Letter Packet Services. If you are applying to a different health profession, we can still support you! Please contact the PPHA office or your assigned program advisor. 

PPHA will collect individual letters of recommendation on their behalf, and send a packet of the individual letters out to schools with a brief cover letter. For allopathic (MD), osteopathic (DO), and dental schools, letter packets are sent through AMCAS, AACOMAS, and AADSAS letter writer services, respectively. You need only to designate that you’re receiving a letter packet and do not include each individual letter writer separately.

Eligibility for a Letter Packet for New and Re-Applicants

  • The applicant must have graduated no more than four years prior to time of application (i.e., class of 2016 for 2021 matriculation). 
  • The applicant or re-applicant must submit the Intent to Apply Form.
  • The applicant must sign up for and participate in a Pre-Application Interview (PAI).
  • The applicant must meet all paperwork deadlines (see below)
The Letter Packet Process: Pre-Application Interview (PAI)

The process through which you’ll work with PPHA at JMU will help you prepare your application materials. This process also helps PPH advisors get to know you better. All of the materials you are asked to provide, along with the Pre-Application Interview (PAI), feed into the overall application process. Here is a summary of should be done prior to your Pre-Application Interview (PAI): 

Fall Semester

  1. Attend the Applicant Kickoff Seminar. This workshop is offered at various dates/times. 
  2. Complete the Applicant (or Re-Applicant) Intent to Apply Form and submit as one PDF document to: pphletters@jmu.edu. This is our indication that you plan to apply for the current cycle. 
  3. ALUMNI: upon receipt of your intent to apply form, you will be provided the PAI material packet and subsequent instruction. 

Spring Semester

  1. Decide who you will ask for letters of recommendation, and make appointments with them in order to ask in person. 
  2. Set up your VeCollect account and send official request to letter writers.
  3. Schedule a Pre-Application Interview (PAI) with the PPHA office.
  4. Work on your PAI Materials and submit 7 days prior to your scheduled PAI. One PDF document should be sent to: pphletters@jmu.edu.
    1. Autobiography,
    2. Short essay answers,
    3. Activities/Meaningful experiences
    4. Personal statement draft
    5. Preliminary school list
    6. At least one week (7 days) prior 

Important Dates:

February 1, 2020: Deadline to submit your Intent to Apply Form for timely Pre-Application preparation. 

June 15, 2020: Final Deadline to schedule your PAI. If you have not scheduled your PAI, PPHA will not be able to provde Letter Packet Services on your behalf.

August 15, 2020: Final Deadline by which students must submit a PDF version of AMCAS/AACOMAS/TMDSAS/AADSAS verified application to receice a lettter packet (priority deadline is June 15, 2020). 



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