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. Understanding that often students choose a timeline that results in a transition year (or "gap year"), PPHA is available to support JMU students and alumni up to 4 years after graduation (i.e., class of 2020 for 2025 matriculation).

Alumni who are planning to apply to Medical or Dental School for future application cycles and are seeking letter packet services from PPHA should request access to join the Applicant & Alumni Canvas page by emailing The Applicant & Alumni Canvas page will provide access to all required forms and instructions to ensure eligibility for Letter Packet services. 

We encourage alumni to contact the PPHA office to schedule a time to speak with an advisor ( or 540-568-6652). You may also schedule an appointment on your own with an advisor in your area of interest using the alumni-accessible scheduling links: 

Dr. Sharon Babcock (Pre-Med, Pre-Dent)
Katie Fisher (Pre-Med, Pre-PA, Pre-Vet Med)
Kelly Schuhmann (Pre-OT, Pre-PT)
Janina Peachey (Pre-AT, Pre-PT)
Mary Hildebrand (Pre-Pharm)
Dr. Jeff Andre (Pre-Optometry)

Current students: please use MyMadison Connect to schedule a meeting with a PPH advisor.

Stay in the loop with Pre-Professional Health Advising by providing us with your contact information. Communications from the PPH office will include updates regarding alumni advising services, upcoming seminars, alumni networking events, etc. 

Letter Packet Services for Pre-Medicine and Pre-Dentistry Alumni

The PPHA office provides Letter Packet services for JMU students and alumni preparing their application to Medical or Dental School. The Letter Packet is a preferred method of delivery for letters of recommendation by medical and dental school admissions. 

PPHA will collect individual letters of recommendation and prepare a formal letter packet (to include a cover page and advisor summary) to be submmitted on behalf of the applicant. 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 2020 for 2025 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 Review (PAR)
  • The applicant must meet all paperwork deadlines (see below)
The Letter Packet process and Pre-Application Review (PAR) Timeline

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 Review (PAR), feed into the overall application process. Here is a summary of the timeline of events and deadlines: 

October-December, prior to the intended application year: 

  1. Request access to the Applicant/Alumni Canvas page by emailing
  2. Meet with a PPH Pre-Med ror Pre-Dent Advisor to discuss and review your application timeline. 

January - February of the intended application year:

  1. Decide who you will ask for letters of recommendation, and make appointments with faculty/mentors in order to ask in person. 
  2. Attend the Winter/Spring Pre-Application Workshops 
  3. Complete the Applicant (or Re-Applicant) Intent to Apply Form and submit in the Applicant/Alumni Canvas page by February 1, 2024. This is our indication that you plan to apply for the 2025 Application cycle. 
  4. Begin drafting your Pre-Application Review (PAR) Materials accessible in the Applicant/Alumni Canvas Page.
March - July of the intended application year:
  1. Set up your PrivateFolio account and send official letter request to letter writers.
  2. Schedule a Pre-Application Review (PAR) session with the PPHA office (offered between March and June of the application year). 
  3. Complete your PAR materials and attend PAR session.
  4. Submit your application to AMCAS/AACOMAS/AADSAS.

Important Dates:

February 1, 2024: Deadline to submit your Intent to Apply Form, notifying PPHA of your intentions to particiate in the Letter Packet process.  

June 1, 2024: Final Deadline to schedule your PAR. If you have not scheduled your PAR, PPHA will not be able to provde Letter Packet Services on your behalf.

July 1, 2024: Final Deadline to complete the PAR meeting with your assigned advisor.


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