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Co-Curricular Opportunities

In addition to your GPA and admission test scores (MCAT, DAT, etc.), professional health school admission officers are interested in applicants who show their care and concern for others, leadership, diversity of interests, motivation and commitment.

Participation in co-curricular activities that include experience in the health care field, community service, leadership, and research experiences are a critical part of becoming a competitive applicant to professional health schools.

Volunteer Opportunities

MSU Center for Community Engaged Learning: Service-learning students contribute their time, energy, and unique talents to nonprofit organizations, schools, hospitals, health care facilities, government agencies, and advocacy groups in ways that help to meet community needs. The service may be connected to a specific MSU course or academic major, or may simply be related to a personal passion.

MSU Pre-Health & Health-Related Student Organizations:
Students involved in MSU's pre-health and health-related RSO's are leaders in community service. Each organization is involved in service at a local, regional, national and/or international level.

VolunteerMatch: Explore a variety of volunteer opportunities in your local area using the VolunteerMatch database.

Shadowing Opportunities

Job shadowing is an opportunity to observe a healthcare practitioner in a particular job of interest. During a job shadowing experience, you will spend time following the individual around to see what a day of work looks like in that career. It's recommended that you dress professionally, bring a list of prepared questions, and carry a notepad and pen or pencil to take notes. 

Finding a Job Shadowing Opportunity 

To locate a shadowing opportunity, consider speaking with practitioners you have connected with in the past or search for various practices in the local area and contact their offices directly. We recommend reviewing this blog post on finding job shadowing opportunities and the information below: 

Location ideas by profession:

  • Physician – Hospital, urgent care, out-patient, private/family practice
  • Physician Assistant – Hospital, medical practice (surgical center, dermatology, general practice), urgent care
  • Dental/Chiropractic/Podiatrist – Private practice in local area
  • Optometry - Private practice or large retailer (Walmart, Meijer, Costco)
  • Pharmacist – Hospital, Meijer, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Central Pharmacy
  • Physical/Occupational Therapy – Private practice, hospital, rehabilitation facility, nursing homes

Other items to consider:

  • Private and small practices, such as those involved in dental, physical or occupation therapy, should be considered when trying to obtain shadowing experience. Hospitals and larger institutions often offer volunteering over shadowing
  • Call directly to see what opportunities are available.
  • Confirm what forms provided by the shadowing site, if any, need to be completed by you in order to shadow.

Preparing for Job Shadowing

To assist you in preparing for a job shadowing experience, please download this job shadowing guide.

Research Opportunities

Research can be done in any subject matter, whether its biochemistry, theater, or psychology. You will develop skills in data collection, critical thinking, problem solving, time management, and more. Explore the information below to locate research experience. 

College and Departmental Websites

The only requirement is your interest, so make sure to check out different college/departmental websites for opportunities.

Internship Opportunities

Michigan Department of Community HealthLooking for talented, dedicated, innovative students and graduates that want to gain the experience and knowledge of public service.

American Public Health Association Internships: A variety of internships for undergrad and grad students are available.

Center for Disease ControlA variety of hands-on training programs for undergraduate students.

MHealthy Intern: Summer internship opportunities for undergraduate students in the areas of community health, fitness center management, health education, nutrition, tobacco cessation, and marketing.

Van Andel Education Institute Summer Internship ProgramsThe goal of these programs is to expose aspiring researchers and clinicians to exciting advances in biomedical sciences that will help define their career paths.

College of Natural Science InternshipsInformation on internships for College of Natural Science majors.

Summer Opportunities

The Association of American Medical Colleges:

National Institute of HealthThe NIH provides a plethora of summer opportunities for students at all levels.

National Science FoundationNSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists 
of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution.

Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP): The SHPEP program offers freshmen and sophomore students a variety of academic and career experiences that will support their dental and medical school career preparation.

Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP): The Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) is a gateway to graduate education at Council on Institutional Cooperation universities.



Osteopathic Medicine:

Public Health:

Michigan State University:

University of Michigan:

Wayne State University School of Medicine:

International Opportunities

Before embarking on a health-related international experience, please review:

AAMC Guidelines for Premedical and Medical Students Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad

ADEA Guidelines for Predental Students Providing Patient Care [PDF]

Study Abroad:

Atlantis Project: The Atlantis Project Fellowship immerses pre-med and pre-health undergraduates in small hospitals in Europe. Successful applicants spend a few intense weeks observing the daily life of doctors in various specialties.

Child Family Health International (CFHI): CFHI provides community-based Global Health Education Programs for health science students and institutions.

International Service Learning (ISL): ISL enlists medical and educational volunteer teams for the provision of services to under-served populations in Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Pre-Health Advisors

Request Pre-Health Tracking Code

Contact for Current Students 

Undergraduate Academic
Student Affairs
Natural Science Building
288 Farm Lane, Room 108
East Lansing, MI 48824

Email: natsci.prehealth@msu.edu
Phone: (517) 355-4470

Schedule an Appointment

Contact for Alumni and MSU Graduates

Please call (517) 355-4470 to schedule a Pre-Health Appointment

Follow us on Instagram @msu_prehealth and visit the Pre-Health Student Blog!

Contact for Prospective Students

Gabby Wahla, M.A.
Undergraduate Recruitment Coordinator
Email: natsci.explore@msu.edu  
Phone: 517-355-4470