Applying for Graduate School

Professional schools applications have many components and requirements. Most graduate professional school applications require:

  • Application
  • College/university transcripts
  • Admissions test scores
  • Letters of recommendation from faculty/committee and other professionals
  • Personal essay
  • Interview (if invited)

Application Services

  • AMCAS: American Medical College Application Service
  • AACOMAS: American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service
  • AADSAS: Associated American Dental Schools Application Service
  • OptomCAS: Optometry College Application Service
  • PharmCAS: Pharmacy College Application Service
  • CASPA: Central Application Service for Physician Assistant
  • AACPMAS: American Association of College of Podiatric Medicine Application Service
  • VMCAS: Veterinary Medical College Application Service

College/university transcripts

Your transcripts play a crucial role in your application and acceptance to professional school. You will be expected to provide copies of official transcripts to the application service in order to complete the application process. Be sure to request transcripts from the UNE Registrar's office in a timely manner, as well as any other colleges you have attended. You will need to provide proof of grades for all college-level work. This does not include Advanced Placement/IB courses.

Admissions Test Scores

Professional school admissions required admissions tests for the various programs. All are standardized, time test covering subject-specific topics depending on the medical field.

Letters of Recommendation

Strong letters of recommendation are critical to any application to professional or graduate school. It is important to carefully consider who you will be asking to write these letters. When beginning the letter of recommendation process, consider:

  • What aspects of your personality are most relevant/helpful to this particular application?
  • Which professors/supervisors/etc know me best and can paint an accurate picture?

Always allow letter writers ample time to craft a well-written, thoughtful letter. Provide stamped, addressed envelopes when necessary and provide a list of whom the letter should be addressed to, deadlines, and other pertinent information to your letter writer.

The Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee (PHPAC) major function is writing letters of evaluation for students applying to health professions schools. Many professional schools prefer a composite letter from the undergraduate Advisory Committee rather than several individual professors. (See the Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee (PHPAC) page for more information.)

Personal Essay

Health professions schools will require a personal statement along with your application. This personal essay is used in a number of ways by admissions committees and should be a well-written, well-prepared picture of who you are as an applicant and future doctor/dentist/veterinarian/etc. While the prompt itself is somewhat vague, topics to focus on include academics, extracurricular interests and achievements, and patient interactions. Connect with the Pre-Health Advisor for ideas on structuring your personal essay.


For many professional schools, the interview is the final step in the admissions process. Not all applicants are invited to campus for interviews and not all students interviewed are accepted. Professional schools use the interview as their opportunity to learn more about the applicant and have a feel for whether or not you have what it takes to not only make it through the program but succeed in the profession. Preparation for the graduate program interview is key. Career Advising as well as the Pre-Health Professions Advisor will help you prepare fully for your professional school interview.

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