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Applying to a health profession program can be a daunting process. One of the best ways to allay your fears is to understand how the admission process works. This section will provide you with resources to help you determine whether you are ready to apply and, when you are, how to submit your application. An application cycle for many health profession schools lasts more than 18 months, so be sure to meet with your health professions adviser well in advance of your anticipated application date.

How to Get Started

  1. Read the recommendations in “Are You Ready to Apply?” and refer to this website for FAQs.
  2. For committee letter applicants, review the timeline and deadlines under Requesting Committee Letters. Applicants requesting a committee letter are required to meet with the HPA Director at least once during the year prior to the start of each application cycle.
  3. Applicants not requesting a committee letter should discuss their individual application preparation and timeline to apply with the HPA Director.
  4. Stay in touch with members of the Board of Health Professions Advisers. We are available to advise current students and alumnae.
  5. Resources regarding formatting resumes, mock interviews, and related information are available at the Lazarus Center for Career Development.

Factors to Consider

Is your GPA competitive for the profession you wish to enter? Do you have any particularly low grades? What story does your transcript tell about you? (For example, do your grades show an upward trend? A challenging transfer to Smith from another school?) Admission offices evaluate your academic record to assess whether an applicant can handle the rigors of professional school and be competitive on the exams required for licensure. A competitive candidate will have an above average GPA and entrance exam score. Any academic missteps, such as an F (E on your Smith transcript), incomplete, or other conditional grades should be discussed with a health professions adviser.

Entrance examination scores strongly influence the likelihood of admission to a health profession school. Though the entrance examination is just one part of your application, do not believe that other qualifications will compensate for poor scores. Similarly, do not believe that excellent scores will compensate for weak qualifications in other important areas.

How have you investigated your field of choice? Admission committees require evidence that you know why you are choosing this career path and are confident that it is the right fit. Evidence may include experience shadowing practitioners, conducting research, attending clinical internships, or volunteering in a healthcare setting.

Health care is ultimately about caring for others, whether people or—in the case of veterinarians—animals. How have your experiences demonstrated this passion? Perhaps through substantive student activities, volunteer work, internships or post-graduation employment.

Have your experiences allowed you to develop the qualities necessary to interact with people in need? Reflect upon whether you have cultivated patience and an open mind for serving diverse populations. Because you will work with a larger care team, admission committees also seek evidence of organizational and leadership skills, motivation to work both independently and as part of a team, and strong written and oral communication skills. Aspiring veterinarians: This applies to you, as well! Your ability to interact with an animal's owner or caretaker will be critical to your success in this field.

Health care workers may face ethically and morally ambiguous decisions. Admission committees seek evidence of good judgment, even-handedness, integrity, and maturity. How have you developed these skills? Also evaluate your professionalism. Does your public persona raise questions? Admission officials do check social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and inappropriate or questionable content could jeopardize your chances of admission. Your email address and voicemail greeting should similarly be professional and mature.

Any academic or legal misconduct (including any violation of Smith's Honor Code, large or small) should be confidentially discussed with the Director of the Health Professions Advising Program before you decide to continue with your application. You will be required to enter this information on your professional school application, and serious infractions may disqualify you for consideration at your chosen health profession schools.

How have your experiences prepared you to practice innovative health care? Many health profession schools consider research the primary mechanism for improving standards of patient care, and thus a necessary part of what it means to be a health care professional. Research should be considered broadly and does not need to be confined to laboratory work. Many successful applicants conduct research in the social sciences, arts and humanities. All independent research ultimately demonstrates responsibility, initiative, innovation, the ability to self-monitor and self-motivate, and critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Bear in mind that each health profession school has its own personality. If your goal is to attend a school that has a strong focus in scientific research, you should have demonstrated a sustained interest in learning what it means to be a scientist by working in a lab, attending a summer internship, or completing a senior thesis project. Moreover, most health profession schools will want to see that you have developed strong laboratory skills, whether or not this connects directly to your independent research experience.

All of your experiences are particularly valuable if you have demonstrated leadership in creating, sustaining, or reviving an area of your interest. Pursuing the experiences about which you are most passionate will help your leadership skills to grow and shine.

An otherwise qualified applicant will receive little consideration by health profession schools without strong supporting letters of recommendation. In order for a reference to write an outstanding letter, you, the applicant, must put in the effort to help your potential letter writers get to know you. Actively participate in your classes, visit office hours and speak with your professors about your interests and career goals. Employ similar relationship-building strategies with supervisors and mentors, and you will receive rich and detailed recommendation letters that can set you apart from other applicants.

Are you financially, emotionally, and physically ready to attend a rigorous training program? The application process is expensive, time consuming, and emotionally draining. Once in school you will need money for living expenses in addition to your tuition, so think carefully about how to fund your education. Also consider whether you are mentally prepared for the stress that can accompany a fast-paced academic program. Finally, if you have any health concerns, consider how you might prepare for the physical rigors of school.

Improving your qualifications and building a "Plan B"

Building evidence of qualifications takes time. For those who need to strengthen one or more elements of their application, the wisest path is often to summon patience and apply in the following cycle. Even the most qualified individuals will need to think about what they will do over the course of the application cycle to continue improving the weaker areas of their application, while also developing a backup plan in case they are not accepted the first time.

"I will apply and see what happens"

This is a common sentiment, and it rarely serves the applicant well. In most cases, we hear this from applicants who recognize that they are not yet fully qualified. We cannot stress enough the importance of working with the Board of Health Professions Advisors to assess your qualifications and determine the optimum timeline for applying. We will be honest and inform you if we believe you need additional time for preparations. Certainly, we cannot predict who will be admitted to a health profession school, but we can predict with a good deal of accuracy who will not gain admission. We urge you to take our advice seriously.

Application Materials


If applying through a central application service, carefully follow the service's instructions about transcripts. After sending your transcript(s) to the application service, check on the verification process early and often. Follow up if your transcripts are not received in a timely manner. Applicants not using a central application service should follow the instructions given by individual schools.

You should have an extra copy of your official transcript(s) sent to you so that you can check for errors and to refer to when filling out your online application.

Please note: The Board of Health Professions Advisers cannot request a transcript for you; only you can request official copies of your transcript. Follow instructions for requesting your official Smith College transcript.

Make Requests Early

It can take up to a month for a transcript request to be processed. Transcripts should be sent directly to your health profession's application service before you submit your primary application so that the service can begin verifying your courses and grades immediately after you submit.

Problems Getting a non-Smith Transcript

If an institution you attended does not provide transcripts, you may need to submit a letter from them to the application service or individual programs.

If an institution you attended is no longer operational, you may be able to procure an archived transcript through the U.S. Department of Education.

Committee Letter Applicants

You are required to submit unofficial copies of all transcripts as part of your preapplication. Transcripts from all of the tertiary-level institutions you attended should be uploaded to the preapplication in one PDF document.

Résumés & Curriculum Vitae

A résumé or a curriculum vitae (CV) is included as one of the preapplication documents supplied by applicants requesting a committee letter from the Board of Health Professions Advisors. We recommend that non-committee letter applicants also develop one. Résumés and CVs may be helpful during an interview and can be referenced when completing centralized applications.


Students may wish to build a résumé or a CV depending on their experience and their profession of interest. Primary differences between these two documents include length, content and the document's purpose.

A résumé is typically one or two pages and summarizes your education, experiences and skills. A résumé may be used for a variety of purposes including applications to jobs, graduate schools or fellowships.

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a more detailed document which may include topics such as educational background, research, publications, presentations, posters, teaching, awards and honors, professional affiliations, conferences and other details. A CV is often used for academic, research, scientific and similar pursuits.


The Lazarus Center for Career Development offers a guide for building your CV and résumé as well as a handout with sample science and technical resumes. Career advisers and peer advisers in the center are available to provide feedback on your work.

Many health professions schools require standardized test scores as part of the application requirements. These tests target academic topics that have been covered in your undergraduate studies and also measure your ability to study appropriately and do well in a test-taking scenario. The most common entrance exams required for admission to health profession schools are listed below. The Lazarus Center has partnered with The Princeton Review to offer discounted MCAT, DAT, GRE and other exam preparation classes for Smith students and alumnae.


Medical College Admission Test, required for admission to any medical or podiatry school within the United States. MCAT scores are also accepted by some physician assistant programs.

Preparation resources from Khan Academy

Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR)

Osteopathic Medical College Information Book


Graduate Record Examination general test, required or accepted for admission to veterinary medicine, public health, physical therapy, chiropractic, nursing, occupational therapy, and physician assistant programs.

Practice GRE Material


Dental Admission Test, required for admission to dental schools.

ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools


Pharmacy College Admissions Test, required for some applicants to pharmacy programs.

Practice PCAT Material

AACP Pharmacy School Admission Requirements


Optometry Admission Test, required for admission to optometry schools.

ASCO Admission Requirements Handbook for Optometry Schools and Colleges


Chiropractic College Aptitude Test, required for some applicants to chiropractic schools.

Please note: Schools for acupuncture and Oriental medicine and naturopathic medicine do not require an entrance exam.

Preparing For Your Entrance Examination

Studying for a standardized test should not be taken lightly. Re-taking your examination after a poor score requires time and resources that might otherwise be used to polish your application. In addition, it is not helpful to have multiple scores on file, as most admission committees review all available test results.

Take a Diagnostic Test

A good start is taking a diagnostic test to determine your baseline score. Then plan an appropriate study regimen that targets your weaker areas. Consider test prep to be like a challenging basic science course: the amount of time you would typically devote to that class is roughly the amount of time you should devote to studying. Be sure to track your progress and adjust your study habits as needed.

Research Study Materials

Many applicants consider purchasing supplementary study materials from companies or taking test preparation classes. The Board of Health Professions Advisers neither advocates nor discourages use of these resources. The best way to study is what will work most effectively for the individual learner. Free or less expensive resources do exist, including online preparation materials (be sure they are from a reputable source!) and secondhand prep books. The Lazarus Center has partnered with The Princeton Review to offer discounted MCAT, DAT, GRE and other exam preparation classes for Smith students and alumnae.

Time Yourself

Your standardized test will be timed and computer-based. Many are several hours long and will test your cognitive endurance. As you prepare, practice passages or tests under the same conditions, including at the same time of day when you will take the actual exam. At a minimum, always time yourself while working through problems. Test producers offer full-length practice tests. Taking these periodically will allow you to authentically track your score while enabling you to replicate 'test day' circumstances. Limit yourself to the same break schedule that will be allowed on test day.

Fuel Up

Be sure to prepare for the details of test day. Gather the appropriate ID and snacks, and make sure you know where the test is held. Consider developing a sleep routine that is consistent with when you need to be awake on test day.

Assess Your Financial Preparedness

Be financially prepared for your entrance exam! Registration is expensive, although fee assistance programs may be available for applicants with demonstrated financial need.

Timing of the Entrance Exam

Take it Early

We strongly recommend that you take the admission test early enough to permit you to know your test scores before you apply and, if necessary, to retake the test. The Board of Health Profession Advisors recommends that applicants know their entrance exam score prior to submitting a primary application. It is also critical that you have completed, or be completing, courses covering topics included in the exam content by the time you take the test. 

For applicants to medical/dental/optometry/podiatry school who will not receive a committee letter from Smith (i.e. those who have not participated in the preapplication process), we still do not recommend taking a late test. Most health professions schools have rolling admissions, and it is in your best interest to submit an early application (no later than July 1) with your test score. This requires adhering to the same test schedule as we have outlined for applicants receiving a committee letter.

For applicants to other health profession schools, the timing of your test will vary depending on your application deadline(s) and whether the schools to which you are applying use a system of rolling admissions. If it is rolling, you would be wise to submit your application, with your test score, as early as possible in the admission cycle.

Retaking the Test

You should not retake the admission test unless it is necessary to be competitive for your schools and you are absolutely positive that you can improve. Retaking the test and not improving may cause health profession schools to question your judgment and time management skills. If you are unsure whether re-taking the test is in your best interest, please arrange an appointment with a health professions adviser.

Application Essays

A strong application essay is an interview on paper. Above all, an essay must effectively respond to the prompt provided. Application essays may also express who you are and how you see yourself contributing to your field; give insight into your personality, motivation and passions; discuss how you are unique; highlight your values; and/or show your capacities to make a difference.

Personal Statements and Other Primary Application Essays

Most health profession schools require that you complete a personal statement. This essay not only shows your ability to communicate effectively but also helps distinguish you from the competition. Applicants to dual-degree programs (e.g., M.D.-Ph.D.) will complete additional essays on their primary application.


Secondary Application Essays

Some health profession schools that use a central application service will require applicants to complete a secondary application. These secondary applications often include additional essay prompts, offering you the opportunity to share more about yourself and personalize your interest in an individual school. School-specific prompts vary only slightly from year to year and are sometimes found online. While waiting for your primary application to be verified, you may wish to draft secondary essays. Note that some institutions only ask certain applicants to submit a secondary.


Editing Tips

  • Understand your audience.
  • Coordinate your personal statement and primary and secondary application responses to avoid redundancy.
  • Use an 'active' voice.
  • Answer the question that was asked.
  • Support your statements with concrete, detailed examples.
  • Avoid clichés and generalities.
  • Ask different people (professors, family, friends, people who don't know you that well) to read your essay and provide feedback.
  • If you struggle to describe yourself, ask the opinion of someone who knows you well.
  • Explore how the qualities you describe translate to your future self as a healthcare provider.
  • If you get stuck, put the essay aside and come back to it later.

Acuity Insights / Casper & Duet

The Acuity Insights suite of assessments includes Casper and Duet. Applicants must confirm if their selected schools require one or more of these assessments.

Casper® is a uni-directional, online, situational judgement test. It presents a series of 15 hypothetical situations to which an applicant provides typewritten responses (9 scenarios) and video responses (6 scenarions) over the course of 100 - 120 minutes. Casper assesses applicants for behavioral tendencies and characteristics such as empathy, professionalism, resilience, and self-awareness among others. The assessment offers applicants a chance to demonstrate their people skills in addition to their academic and experiential qualifications and to do so early in the application review process. Snapshot is a 10-15 minute video assessment of a candidate's communication skills. Applicants convey their reasons for choosing a career in medicine. Duet focuses on applicants' values and interests in terms of choosing medical schools.

The AAMC PREview Professional Readiness Exam (formerly known as the AAMC Situational Judgement Test (SJT))

The AAMC PREview is an online standardized exam that presents a series of hypothetical scenarios students may encounter in medical school and asks examinees to evaluate the effectiveness of a series of behavioral responses to each scenario.

Learn more about the AAMC PREview and the list of participating medical schools.

KIRA Talent Assessment

Kira Talent is an online interviewing platform. Admissions committees use responses to evaluate qualities in applicants such as leadership, verbal and written communication, professionalism and motivation for pursuing their chosen health care profession. Participation is by invitation only. Applicants will complete either an asynchronous, unidirectional assessment of either 1). video and/or written responses, or 2). a live two-way interview. 

Visit the Kira Talent website to learn more about the platform and FAQs.

We are providing general information about letters of recommendation for health profession school applicants. Keep in mind that specific requirements will vary. Carefully read all application instructions, both for individual institutions and application services.

Types of Letters

Individual letters are written by a single letter writer and are either sent individually or compiled by your health profession advisor into a letter packet or committee letter. A letter packet includes a brief cover letter, while a committee letter is a lengthy, narrative evaluation of your qualifications. Most applicants to medical, dental, optometry and podiatry schools will request a committee letter from the Board of Health Professions Advisers. Applicants to all health profession schools will request individual letters.

A Note on Confidentiality

You have the option to choose confidential or open letters of recommendation; however, health profession schools prefer confidential letters.

Committee Letters

All applicants receiving a committee letter must create an Interfolio account where individual letters of reference will be held. Your account must be affiliated with the "Smith College Pre-Health" institutional account; this requires that you use a specially generated link to create your account. If you have already submitted your preapplication, the link is included in the post-submission email you received. If you have not yet completed the preapplication, please contact the HPA Director to request the link.

Number of Letters

Unless otherwise specified, applicants typically include four to six individual letters of reference, which will be appended to the committee letter.

Letter to Recommenders

You must provide letter writers with the Letter to Recommenders (PDF) handout.

Interfolio Document Request Form

You will need to grant your letter writers the ability to upload letters to your Interfolio account by sending them the Interfolio Document Request Form. Your recommenders must attach their letter to the form and either mail or e-mail it to Interfolio. It is not necessary to send a request form for the committee letter.

No Committee Letter

If you are not receiving a committee letter, consult the application instructions of your programs to determine the letter collection criteria. Programs that do not receive letters of recommendation through a centralized application service will have explicit instructions about requesting letters of reference, and may have instructions or questionnaires for letter writers. It is your responsibility to ensure that your programs of interest receive letters of reference.

Some applicants may find it useful to create an Interfolio account for the confidential storing of individual letters of recommendation.

Whom You Should Ask

Unless explicitly indicated otherwise, letters are written by professors, employers, supervisors and those who have a working relationship with you. Letters should not be written by family, friends or acquaintances.

A strong letter is written by those who have known you a long time, think highly of you and have supervised you in the classroom, laboratory or a clinical setting. The writer should know details about your major accomplishments. A strong letter of recommendation is dated no more than three years prior to your application to a health profession school, but ideally will be more recent to reflect your current capabilities.

Applicants receiving a committee letter will discuss the selection of their individual letters of reference with the HPA Directore during the initial preapplication review meeting. Applicants who will not receive a committee letter are also encouraged to seek advice from members of the Board of Health Professions Advisors if they are unsure of the best collection of letters.

When to Ask

Request letters of reference at least two to three months before you will need them. It is a good idea to request a letter relatively soon after you've taken a class or finished an internship, as that is the time that your writer will most clearly remember what you achieved.

Committee Letter Deadline

All individual letters of reference for a committee letter are due in Interfolio no later than May 25. See Committee Letter Timeline and Key Deadlines.

How to Ask

Don’t Be Presumptuous

Make your request for a letter in person before sending any official requests through a third party letter organizer (such as Interfolio), central application service or individual schools' online application systems.

Do Be Formal

Writing a letter of reference is hard work and time consuming, so make your request carefully and respectfully. Don't request a letter of reference while passing in the hallway or by sending a quick email. Instead, stop by during a professor's office hours or request a meeting with a current supervisor.

If you are geographically distant from a potential recommender, a professional email may be an acceptable first contact, but always offer to follow up with a phone or video call.

Provide Résumé and Goals

Once an individual has agreed to support you with a recommendation letter, provide the writer with a short explanation of your goals, a list of "talking points," a copy of your personal statement and a current résumé. 

Letter Format

All individual letters of recommendation should be written in a formal style. They should be written on letterhead from the letter writer's place of employment and should be signed before submitting. Ensure that your recommenders understand this, and if necessary, direct them to their department's administrative assistant (if at Smith) for technical support in this area. Letters that do not follow the format described above will not be accepted.

Selecting Schools

For applicants to medical school, you will want to focus on 15 to 20 schools. Applicants applying to MD and DO programs may end up with a combined total of 20 to 25 schools. Applicants to most other health professions apply to a smaller number of schools, usually 8 to 12 programs.

Research average grade point averages and entrance exam scores of admitted students at different schools. You do not need to fall at or above the median numbers for all of your schools, but you should certainly fall within a given school's ranges in these areas. If you are in the lower ends of a school's ranges, you should have stellar qualifications in other areas.

Be sure a school matches your interests. Look at the philosophies of schools where you may be a qualified applicant. Read mission statements. Investigate what the school's current students and alumni/ae are doing and how the school is (or is not) integrated into the surrounding community. Ascertain the general campus climate around any religious, political or social issues about which you feel strongly. Does what you find resonate with your values and career goals?

At the same time, be flexible! Your choices may change dramatically as you interview. Most students report feeling the right fit—or not!—after they have visited a school.

Geographic preferences are important, but some flexibility in this area will allow you to select from a broader range of schools. Remember that your time in professional school is only a few years, not the rest of your career.

There is no way of knowing the cost of your professional school education until you have been given an offer of admission with a financial aid package. If you are interested in a school but concerned about the costs, carefully research the financial aid available, and then determine whether you feel it is worth the cost of your application. It is important to note that while public institutions generally have lower tuition than private ones, private institutions may have greater financial resources to offer scholarships to eligible students.

Selecting both public and private schools is usually in the best interest of most applicants. Above all, do include schools in your home state or region. Many schools give preference to in-state residents, and tuition for in-state residents is often much less than that for private school.

Do not apply to any school that you would not be happy attending if it is the only school that makes an offer of admission.

The following resources provide concise overviews of admission requirements for individual schools based on profession.


Congratulations! Your primary and secondary applications have been received well by schools, and you have been offered an interview. This is a good sign; it means that the admission committee believes that you have the potential to succeed within that program. For most admission committees, an interview is an opportunity to get to know the individual presented in the application materials. For applicants, the interview is a chance to assess whether the institution is the right match and to demonstrate your interest.

The Health Professions team uses Hireflix, an industry-standard asynchronous mock interview platform, to help you practice your interview skills. Hireflix allows you to record your answers to interview sets created by your adviser. No account is needed and interviews can be completed on any computer or phone with a camera.

You can access pre-made mock interviews on your own time. Lazarus Center advisers are also happy to meet with you for interview practice. Schedule an appointment via Handshake or call 413-585-2582.

Interviewing is stressful, and you will be most relaxed and 'yourself' if you feel well prepared. Make sure to book flights as soon as possible to avoid rising fares and consider student hosts if your school offers them. You can also contact Smith alumnae in that area using the Stay with a Smithie Facebook group.

A note about contacting alumnae: Please use good judgment when reaching out to alumnae who you do not know, and avoid putting them on the spot. For example, it would not be appropriate to ask an alumna if she could provide you with accommodation. She may, however, be able to offer advice on local accommodation and transportation options. 

Practice Interviewing

Research the interview format of the school so you can prepare for the types of questions that may be asked. Read through commonly asked interview questions and practice articulating your answers. Prepare to discuss emerging issues in health care by reading current journal articles and forming your own questions and opinions. Above all, practice, practice, practice! You can practice interviewing with friends, family, co-workers, professors...anyone who is willing. We strongly recommend using Hireflix and to schedule a mock interview via your Handshake account.

Plan for the Day

Prepare for interview day by fulfilling any requests of the admission office. Plan professional attire for that day. At a minimum, applicants should wear dress pants and a blazer, or a dress or skirt with an appropriate jacket. Jewelry and makeup should be unremarkable. Conservative colors, such as grey, blue, or black are safe choices. Be sure to arrange enough time for a non-rushed arrival and departure, and know where to go. A pocket-sized notebook is useful for writing down names of people you will meet. A padfolio can be useful and professional.

‘Open File’ Interviews

The interviewer has access to your application information.

‘Blind’ or ‘Closed File’ Interviews

The interviewer has limited information about you and, at a minimum, does not know your test scores.

Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI)

A series of short, timed, sequential, scenario-based questions that assess a candidate's communication, logic, judgment, and interpersonal abilities. These are increasingly common among medical schools in the United States and Canada. If you get this type of interview, it is strongly advised that you review the process (more here) and practice a few scenarios.

Behavioral Event Interviews

A series of open-ended questions that require you to give evidence-based answers about how you work, communicate, and make decisions.

Stress Interviews

Questions that are increasing in difficulty, or that are uncomfortable, personal, or otherwise distressing. The purpose of this type of interview is to evaluate how you function under stress.

Arrive a few minutes early. Be friendly, professional and nice to everyone, including the other applicants! Do a brief review of your itinerary.

Listen and ask thoughtful questions. Take time to reflect on the school's values as the day progresses. What is the school proud of? Do their values fit your professional goals? Write down the names of everyone you meet. Use down time to note small details that you thought were interesting or unique. Maybe you witnessed a student helping someone who had dropped their books, or you connected with a faculty member over a shared interest.

M.D.-Ph.D. candidates should be prepared for at least one in-depth conversation about their research, with a faculty member who works in a similar field. Be confident but not presumptuous. Recognize that you do not have all of the answers. Practice for this portion of your interview with a current PI or other research mentor. Read current peer-reviewed publications in your area of research.

Do not be thrown off if an interview is not what you expect. Some faculty will ask formal questions, while others may simply wish to talk about the future of health care. If you have a group interview or exercise, you will be evaluated for your ability to work in a team. Respond thoughtfully to the ideas of others, and do not monopolize the conversation. Try to avoid the mindset that all questions have 'right' answers. Often, questions are asked to assess your ability to think logically and communicate clearly.

Be formal. Unless instructed otherwise, address faculty formally, using professor, doctor, Ms., Mr., etc. Thank your interviewers, tour guides, and the admissions office for inviting you to interview.

Turn off your phone. Your cell phone should be off or stowed throughout the day. Nothing conveys disinterest faster than consulting your cell phone during any part of the interview, including what you may perceive as 'down time.'

Smile! You will get far by showing enthusiasm for the school and a passion for health care.

Thank-You Notes

Send thank-you notes to those who interviewed you. Handwritten may be appreciated (provided your penmanship is legible), though an emailed note can be easier to add to your file. Be sure to include anything that you particularly liked or noticed throughout the day. Some schools have policies against applicants contacting interviewers directly. When this is the case, it is acceptable to send a thank-you to the general admissions office address.

Letter of Interest

You may also send a letter of interest (LOI). A letter of interest (LOI) is any letter sent to an admission committee that is not required as part of your application. The purpose of an LOI is to convey your continued interest in a particular school. There are no hard rules about submitting an LOI, but you should do your homework and send LOIs judiciously. Some admission committees discourage LOIs, while others welcome them. In almost all cases, an LOI is appropriate following an interview, but be aware of schools that have policies against contacting interviewers directly.

Notes About Difficult Experiences

Though rare, negative interview experiences do take place. If you encounter a bad experience, remember to keep your cool. You can report a poor experience and, if you choose, withdraw your application. Many schools ask for anonymous feedback. It may also be beneficial to discuss a poor, uncomfortable or confusing interview experience with your health professions adviser.