Fulbright Futures

Fulbright Futures is an overarching set of collaborative initiatives aimed at ensuring that our Fulbright College undergraduate students maximize their potential, both as a student and after graduation.


Create your Future

In Fulbright College we have high expectations.  Our graduates are thoughtful decision-makers, transformational leaders, innovative researchers, and creative thinkers. Every student wants a bright future with a good job and great salary. A Fulbright Future, however, is much more. Senator J. William Fulbright, after whom the arts and sciences college at the University of Arkansas is named, dedicated his life to peace and education. His ideas continue to influence millions of people across the globe. He was an educator, a leader, a philosopher, and a humanitarian. Most importantly, he developed and used his own abilities and ideas to positively influence as many people as he could. THAT is a Fulbright Future.

Fulbright Futures is an overarching set of collaborative initiatives aimed at ensuring that our Fulbright College undergraduate students maximize their potential, both as a student and after graduation.  At the center of Fulbright Futures is a strong partnership between the Fulbright College Advising Center, the Career Development Center, Fulbright Faculty, prospective employers, and our alumni.  That means you have an entire team of experts working together to ensure that you can create your own Fulbright Future!

Careers in the Arts and Sciences

As you know, employers are looking to hire people who have the right skills. Check out the top six of the most recent Forbes list of skills that employers valued most in 2015: 

work in a team structure, make decisions and solve problems, communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization, plan, organize and prioritize work, obtain and process information, analyze quantitative data.  

Lucky for you, ALL of Fulbright College’s 50+ majors and minors will empower you with these skills if you take full advantage of the educational opportunities in front of you. Our alumni lead powerful corporations, hold influential public offices, work on the front lines of health care, create mesmerizing pieces of art, discover science breakthroughs and generate new ways of thinking. Fulbright College creates some of the best CEOs, artists, professors, entrepreneurs, scientists, doctors, attorneys, writers, journalists, senators, ambassadors, teachers, researchers, managers, directors, small business owners, health care providers, social workers and change leaders in the world ... just to name a few. 

Career Communities

Career Communities offer a unique way of narrowing down your career possibilities to those that build on a particular combination of skills. With the help of your Fulbright College Academic Advisor, this will allow you to do a lot of important things:

  • Identify a broad group of occupations based on your own interests, abilities, desires and purpose
  • Select major(s) and minor(s) that align with your career goals
  • Use your major, minor, electives and personal development activities to develop focus on skills most vital to your career community
  • Connect with other students, mentors and potential employers within your field
  • Make the most of your Fulbright College experience to create the future you envision 

Check out our career communities 


Careers in Health and Law:

Two career communities that have always been central to the mission of Fulbright College are Health and Law.  With the help of the Fulbright College Advising Center, Fulbright's Liebolt Premedical Program, and Fulbright's Pre-Dental Program, our undergraduates have been exceedingly successful in gaining admission to some of the most competitive programs in the nation.  Click on your specific field for more information.

Dentistry


Mentorship:

In addition to your Fulbright College Academic Advisor, professional mentorship is offered to pre-dentistry students by:

The Fulbright Pre-Dentistry Program
Jerry Rose, Ph.D. - Director
Professor, Department of Anthropology

Students may contact him by stopping by the Anthropology Department in MAIN 330 to make an appointment.  Students who are committed to a career as a dentist will receive guidance on academic planning, admission criteria, and professional experience. 

Student Organization and Listserv:

Any student that is interested in a career as an dentist should join the Pre-Dental Club by emailing: tpgarret@uark.edu.  This will sign you up for the student organization and the pre-dentistry email listserv.  Both provide vital information and networking opportunities for students. 

Fast Facts

Dentistry is defined as the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment (nonsurgical, surgical or related procedures) of diseases, disorders and/or conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and/or the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body; provided by a dentist, within the scope of his/her education, training and experience, in accordance with the ethics of the profession and applicable law. (As adopted by the 1997 ADA House of Delegates)

  • Undergraduate Degree: While a student is expected to excel in the natural and social sciences, most programs do not require a specific major.  Students are free to choose the major they prefer, even one outside of the sciences, however the number of math and sciences courses required do lead most pre-dentistry students to choose a major in the natural sciences.
  • Prerequisite Coursework:  Every program will differ in the prerequisite coursework required.  Common prerequisites include English Composition, General Biology, Microbiology, Cell Biology, General Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II,  and Physics I & II
  • Entrance Exams: Dental Admission Test (DAT)
  • Application System: American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS)
  • List of Programs: ada.org>Find a Program
  • Professional Organizations: American Dental Association (ADA), American Dental Education Association (ADEA)

Is Dentistry your Fulbright Future?

If you are serious about your future, and you are ready to get started, then beginning to create your professional portfolio is the next step:

  • Research and understand this field
  • Use your own system of organization to understand your requirements
  • Create a step-by-step plan that fits your career goals, major(s), and minor(s)
  • Prepare before meeting with your advisor and/or professional mentor
  • Your portfolio will continue to build until eventually you use it to apply to professional schools. 

DIRECTIONS:  Use whichever means you are comfortable with to answer the following questions.  Create your own document with each question clearly labeled along with your answers.  Feel free to add your own notes or extra information - this is the beginning of your own personal professional portfolio that will, in just a few years, become your application to dentistry school.  Make it your own!

The Basics

Dentists perform a unique and vital role within our healthcare system.  There are several resources online that provide an overview of the profession, including the American Dental Association (ADA), American Dental Education Association (ADEA), American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS), ExploringHealthCareers.org, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Use these resources, along with any others you may find, to answer the following questions:

  • In your own words, describe what you will do on a daily basis as an dentist.  Provide at least a paragraph. 
  • Describe the settings in which optometrists typically work (clinics, hospitals, etc.).  Which is your preferred setting?
  • List the other factors that are important to you about the field.  What is a typical work schedule? What is the average salary? What does the job market look like?  

Education

To become an dentist, you must first complete an undergraduate degree (or at a minimum, complete the required prerequisite coursework for specific program) and then complete a graduate-level dentist program.  These programs are typically four years and result in a doctor of dentistry.  You will most likely apply to these programs during your senior year.  Admission to dentistry programs is very competitive and is based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Overall Grade Point Average
  • Science Grade Point Average
  • Prerequisite Coursework
  • Dental Admission Test (DAT) Scores
  • Observation Hours
  • Other Health Care and Volunteer Experience
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Essay
  • In-Person Interviews

Use the same resources from above, along with the websites of specific dentistry programs in which you are interested, to answer the following questions:

  • Name at least three specific dentistry programs in which you are interested.  Use the dentistry program directory found at ada.org if you need help finding programs.  NOTE: For public institutions, the schools at which you might pay “in-state” tuition will be within your permanent state of residence (only Arkansas if you are from Arkansas).  Private institutions do not offer “in-state” or “out-of-state” tuition.
  • An undergraduate degree is typically required, however your undergraduate major is up to you.  The major you choose is not an admissions factor.  Rather, it should be a major or major(s) that fit you, your interests, and your goals.  With that in mind, please name at least three majors you might consider, even if you have already chosen one.  
  • Dentistry programs do require very specific coursework in areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, english, etc. While there are definitely similarities, each program requires its own unique set of prerequisites.  For each of the programs you’ve listed for question #4, list the prerequisites along with the appropriate UA course numbers.
  • As a pre-dentistry student, you will take the DAT.  Name the general content of the DAT, including the specific sections of the exam.  Which UA courses might help you prepare for the DAT? When do you plan on taking the exam?
  • Letters of recommendation are another critical part of your application.  You will most likely use the committee letter process led by Dr. Rose, which involves a number of different individuals giving input on your strengths, abilities, character, and maturity.  Describe three individuals you would want participating in this process, or, if you are unsure at this point, describe the type of individuals you hope will will participate in this process as well as how you might go about connecting with such individuals in the coming years.  You will want to give recommenders plenty of time to thoughtfully write a great letter.  With that in mind, when do you plan on asking them to write a letter for you (month/year)?
  • Several parts of the admission process, including the personal essay, letters of recommendation, and other experiences are designed to measure your maturity and familiarity with the field.  Describe the ways in which you will become more familiar with the dentistry field and health care in general.  In addition, describe the ways in which you will increase your general leadership and maturity.  

Application

  • Most dentistry programs use the AADSAS website.  Create a login and password for AADSAS and become familiar with the website.  Do all of the programs you listed for question #4 use AADSAS? When do you think you will submit your application (month/year) based on what you’ve read on AADSAS and program websites?

License

  • Name the actual license you need to become an dentist.  
  • What examination must you take to get that license?
  • What is the appropriate abbreviation for a licensed dentist (the letters after your name)? 

Your Action Plan

With all that you now know what goes into a career as an dentist, how will you prepare.  As best you can, describe everything you will do (or have done) during each of the following years to prepare to apply to dentist programs.  Be as detailed as possible, and include things such as coursework, student organizations, DAT prep, direct patient care hours, mentorship, etc:

Freshman Year?

Sophomore Year?

Junior Year?

Senior Year?

Gap Year (if applicable)? 

Law


Student Organization and Listserv:

Any student that is interested in a career as an attorney should join the Pre-Law Club by emailing: tpgarret@uark.edu.  This will sign you up for the student organization and the pre-law email listserv.  Both provide vital information and networking opportunities for students. 

Fast Facts

Overview: There is no single path that will prepare you for a legal education. Students who are successful in law school, and who become accomplished professionals, come from many walks of life and educational backgrounds. Some law students enter law school directly from their undergraduate studies without having had any post-baccalaureate work experience. Others begin their legal education significantly later in life, and they bring to their law school education the insights and perspectives gained from those life experiences. Legal education welcomes and values diversity and you will benefit from the exchange of ideas and different points of view that your colleagues will bring to the classroom. 

Typical Admission Requirements
: Please check with individual schools for specific admission requirements, but criteria that may be considered are: 

  • Undergraduate GPA
  • LSAT score
  • Letters of recommendation/evaluations
  • Personal statement or essay

Prerequisite Coursework: Prelaw advisor can be helpful in selecting courses that can help you achieve your goal.

Core Skills and Values:

  • Analytic / Problem Solving Skills
  • Critical Reading
  • Writing Skills
  • Oral Communication / Listening Abilities
  • General Research Skills
  • Task Organization / Management Skills
  • Public Service and Promotion of Justice

Undergraduate Degree: The ABA does not recommend any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education. Students are admitted to law school from almost every academic discipline. You may choose to major in subjects that are considered to be traditional preparation for law school, such as history, English, philosophy, political science, economics or business, or you may focus your undergraduate studies in areas as diverse as art, music, science and mathematics, computer science, engineering, nursing or education. Whatever major you select, you are encouraged to pursue an area of study that interests and challenges you, while taking advantage of opportunities to develop your research and writing skills. Taking a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors is excellent preparation for legal education.

A sound legal education will build upon and further refine the skills, values and knowledge that you already possess. The student who comes to law school lacking a broad range of basic skills and knowledge will face a difficult challenge.

Entrance Exam
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Application System
Law School Admission Council (LSAC) 

List of Programs

Professional Organizations
Law School Admission Council
Association for Legal Career Professionals
American Bar Association

Helpful Links

Occupational Outlook Handbook
Law School Admission Council
Bar Admission Requirements

Medicine


The Liebolt Pre-Medical Program

In addition to your Fulbright College Academic Advisor, pre-medical students can seek professional mentorship by attending a Liebolt Pre-Medical Group Advising Session.

Freshmen and Sophomore Group Sessions Fall 2016

Juniors and Seniors: Contact Neil Allison.

Fast Facts

Physicians diagnose and care for people of all ages who are ill or have been injured. They take medical histories, perform physical examinations, conduct diagnostic tests, recommend and provide treatment, and advise patients on their overall health and well-being. While there are several different types of physicians, they can usually be divided into three broad categories:

  • Primary care physicians are the doctors patients usually visit most frequently. They treat a wide range of illnesses and regularly provide preventive care, and they also enjoy long-term relationships with their patients. Pediatricians, family practitioners, and general internists are primary care physicians. 
  • Surgeons perform operations to treat diseases and repair injuries.
  • Specialists have expertise related to specific diseases, age groups, and bodily organs. Cardiologists, psychiatrists, geriatricians, and ophthalmologists are examples of specialists (AAMC).
  • Undergraduate Degree: While a student is expected to excel in the natural and social sciences, most programs do not require a specific major.  Students are free to choose the major they prefer, even one outside of the sciences.
  • Prerequisite Coursework:  Every program may differ in the prerequisite coursework required.  Common prerequisites include English Composition, Psychology, Sociology, Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics, General Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II,  Biochemistry, and Physics I & II
  • Entrance Exams: Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • Application System: American Medical College Application Service(AMCAS) or American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS)

Is Medicine your Fulbright Future?

If you are serious about your future, and you are ready to get started, then beginning to create your professional portfolio is the next step:

  • Research and understand this field
  • Use your own system of organization to understand your requirements
  • Create a step-by-step plan that fits your career goals, major(s), and minor(s)
  • Prepare before meeting with your advisor and/or professional mentor
  • Your portfolio will continue to build until eventually you use it to apply to professional schools.

DIRECTIONS:  Use whichever means you are comfortable with to answer the following questions.  Create your own document with each question clearly labeled along with your answers.  Feel free to add your own notes or extra information - this is the beginning of your own personal professional portfolio that will, in just a few years, become your application to medicine school.  Make it your own!

The Basics

Physicians  perform a unique and vital role within our healthcare system.  There are several resources online that provide an overview of the profession, including the Liebolt Premedical Program (premed.uark.edu), ExploringHealthCareers.org, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Use these resources, along with any others you may find, to answer the following questions:

  • In your own words, describe what you will do on a daily basis as an physician .  Provide at least a paragraph.  
  • Describe the settings in which optometrists typically work (clinics, hospitals, etc.).  Which is your preferred setting?
  • List the other factors that are important to you about the field.  What is a typical work schedule? What is the average salary? What does the job market look like?  

Education

Use the same resources from above, along with the websites of specific medicine programs in which you are interested, to answer the following questions:

  • Name at least three specific medicine programs in which you are interested.  Use the medicine program directory found at ada.org if you need help finding programs.  NOTE: For public institutions, the schools at which you might pay “in-state” tuition will be within your permanent state of residence (only Arkansas if you are from Arkansas).  Private institutions do not offer “in-state” or “out-of-state” tuition.
  • An undergraduate degree is typically required, however your undergraduate major is up to you.  The major you choose is not an admissions factor.  Rather, it should be a major or major(s) that fit you, your interests, and your goals.  With that in mind, please name at least three majors you might consider, even if you have already chosen one.  
  • Medical programs do require very specific coursework in areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, english, etc. While there are definitely similarities, each program requires its own unique set of prerequisites.  For each of the programs you’ve listed for question #4, list the prerequisites along with the appropriate UA course numbers.
  • As a pre-medical student, you will take the MCAT.  Name the general content of the MCAT, including the specific sections of the exam.  Which UA courses might help you prepare for the MCAT? When do you plan on taking the exam?
  • Go to the Liebolt Premedical Program website (premed.uark.edu) to learn about the many other factors involved in medical school admissions such as letters of recommendation, medical school interviews, health profession experience, volunteer experience, etc. Name the specific activities that you can do to excel in each of these areas.
  • Several parts of the admission process, including the personal essay, letters of recommendation, and other experiences are designed to measure your maturity and familiarity with the field.  Describe the ways in which you will become more familiar with the medicine field and health care in general.  In addition, describe the ways in which you will increase your general leadership and maturity.  

Application

  • Most medical programs use the AMCAS or AACOMAS website.  Create a login and password for AMCAS or AACOMAS and become familiar with the website.  Do all of the programs you listed for question #4 use AMCAS or AACOMAS? When do you think you will submit your application (month/year) based on what you’ve read on AMCAS or AACOMAS and program websites?

License

  • Name the actual license you need to become an physician.  
  • What examination must you take to get that license?
  • What is the appropriate abbreviation for a licensed physician (the letters after your name)? 

Your Action Plan

With all that you now know what goes into a career as an physician , how will you prepare.  As best you can, describe everything you will do (or have done) during each of the following years to prepare to apply to physician  programs.  Be as detailed as possible, and include things such as coursework, student organizations, MCAT prep, heath care experience, volunteer experience, mentorship, etc:

Freshman Year?

Sophomore Year?

Junior Year?

Senior Year?

Gap Year (if applicable)? 

Occupational Therapy


Mentorship:

In addition to your Fulbright College Academic Advisor, professional mentorship is offered to Pre-OT students by:

Shane Barker, Ed. D.
Director of Advising
Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

Students may contact Dr. Barker at: sxb028@uark.edu.  Students who are committed to a career as a OT will receive guidance on academic planning, admission criteria, and professional experience. 

Student Organization and Listserv:

Any student that is interested in a career as a occupational therapist should join the Pre-Occupational Therapy Club by emailing: tpgarret@uark.edu.  This will sign you up for the student organization and the Pre-OT email listserv.  Both provide vital information and networking opportunities for students. 

Fast Facts

In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals, customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, andan outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan. Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team (AOTA.org).

  • Undergraduate Degree: While a student is expected to excel in the natural and social sciences, most programs do not require a specific major. Students are free to choose the major they prefer, even one outside of the sciences.
  • Prerequisite Coursework:  Every program will differ in the prerequisite coursework required.  Common prerequisites include General Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, General Chemistry I & II, Physics, Statistics, and multiple social sciences including upper-level Psychology courses.
  • Entrance Exams: Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Application System: Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS)
  • List of Programs: AOTA.org > Education & Careers > Find a School
  • Professional Organizations: American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

Is Occupational Therapy your Fulbright Future?

If you are serious about your future, and you are ready to get started, then beginning to create your professional portfolio is the next step:

  • Research and understand this field
  • Use your own system of organization to understand your requirements
  • Create a step-by-step plan that fits your career goals, major(s), and minor(s)
  • Prepare before meeting with your advisor and/or professional mentor
  • Your portfolio will continue to build until eventually you use it to apply to professional schools.

DIRECTIONS:  Use whichever means you are comfortable with to answer the following questions.  Create your own document with each question clearly labeled along with your answers.  Feel free to add your own notes or extra information - this is the beginning of your own personal professional portfolio that will, in just a few years, become your application to occupational therapy school.  Make it your own!

The Basics

Occupational Therapists perform a unique and vital role within our healthcare system.  There are several resources online that provide an overview of the profession, including the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS), ExploringHealthCareers.org, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Use these resources, along with any others you may find, to answer the following questions:

  • In your own words, describe what you will do on a daily basis as a occupational therapist.  Provide at least a paragraph.  
  • Describe the settings in which occupational therapists typically work (clinics, hospitals, etc.).  Which is your preferred setting?
  • List the other factors that are important to you about the field.  What is a typical work schedule? What is the average salary? What does the job market look like?  

Education

To become a occupational therapist, you must first complete an undergraduate degree and then complete graduate-level occupational therapist program.  Currently, a slow transition is occurring from Master of Occupational Therapy programs to Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.  You will see both, and both varieties provide adequate training.  The MOT programs typically last 2-3 years while the DOT programs may last 3 or more years.  You will most likely apply to these programs during your senior year.  Admission to occupational therapist programs is very competitive and is based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Overall Grade Point Average
  • Science Grade Point Average
  • Prerequisite Coursework
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
  • Observation Hours
  • Other Health Care and Volunteer Experience
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Essay
  • In-Person Interview 

Use the same resources from above, along with the websites of specific occupational therapist programs in which you are interested, to answer the following questions:

  • Name at least three specific occupational therapy programs in which you are interested.  Use the OT Programs Directory found at OTCAS.org if you need help finding programs.  NOTE: For public institutions, the schools at which you might pay “in-state” tuition will be within your permanent state of residence (only Arkansas if you are from Arkansas).  Private institutions do not offer “in-state” or “out-of-state” tuition.
  • An undergraduate degree is typically required, although many “early-entry” programs that would allow you begin an occupational therapy program without a bachelor’s degree do still exist.   Your undergraduate major is up to you.  The major you choose is not an admissions factor.  Rather, it should be a major or major(s) that fit you, your interests, and your goals.  With that in mind, please name at least three majors you might consider, even if you have already chosen one.  
  • OT programs do require very specific coursework in areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, statistics, psychology, sociology/anthropology, etc. While there are definitely similarities, each program requires its own unique set of prerequisites.  For the each of the programs you’ve listed for question #4, list the prerequisites along with the appropriate UA course numbers.
  • A minimum number of observation hours from multiple settings are typically required.  These vary greatly by program.  It is very important that you understand what is required by the programs you are interested in.  For each of the programs list for question #4, describe the observation hour requirement.  And remember, always do more than the minimum!
  • As a pre-OT student, you will take the GRE.  Name the general content of the GRE, including the specific sections of the exam.  Which UA courses might help you prepare for the GRE?  When do you plan on taking the exam?
  • Letters of recommendation are another critical part of your application.  In order to have great letters of recommendation, you need to connect with with faculty members and practitioners long enough to create meaningful relationships.  Describe three individuals that might write letters of recommendation for you, or, if you are unsure at this point, describe the type of individuals you hope will write your letters as well as how you might go about connecting with such individuals in the coming years.  You will want to give recommenders plenty of time to thoughtfully write a great letter.  With that in mind, when do you plan on asking them to write a letter for you (month/year)? 
  • Several parts of the admission process, including the personal essay, letters of recommendation, and other experiences are designed to measure your maturity and familiarity with the field.  Describe the ways in which you will become more familiar with the OT field and health care in general.  In addition, describe the ways in which you will increase your general leadership and maturity.  

Application

  • Most OT programs use the OTCAS website.  Create a login and password for OTCAS and become familiar with the website.  Do all of the programs you listed for question #4 use OTCAS? When do you think you will submit your application (month/year) based on what you’ve read on OTCAS?

License

  • Name the actual license you need to become a occupational therapist.  
  • What examination must you take to get that license?
  • What is the appropriate abbreviation for a licensed occupational therapist (the letters after your name)? 

Your Action Plan

With all that you now know what goes into a career as a occupational therapist, how will you prepare.  As best you can, describe everything you will do (or have done) during each of the following years to prepare to apply to occupational therapist programs.  Be as detailed as possible, and include things such as coursework, student organizations, GRE prep, direct patient care hours, mentorship, etc:

Freshman Year?

Sophomore Year?

Junior Year?

Senior Year?

Gap Year (if applicable)? 

Optometry


Mentorship:

In addition to your Fulbright College Academic Advisor, professional mentorship is offered to pre-optometry students by:

Shane Barker, Ed. D.
Director of Advising
Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

Students may contact Dr. Barker at: sxb028@uark.edu.  Students who are committed to a career as an optometrist will receive guidance on academic planning, admission criteria, and professional experience. 

Student Organization and Listserv: 

Any student that is interested in a career as an optometrist should join the Pre-Optometry Club by emailing: tpgarret@uark.edu.  This will sign you up for the student organization and the pre-optometry email listserv.  Both provide vital information and networking opportunities for students. 

Fast Facts

As primary eye care providers, doctors of optometry examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eyes and associated structures as well as diagnose related systemic conditions. Optometrists examine the internal and external structure of the eyes to diagnose eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and retinal disorders; systemic diseases like hypertension and diabetes; and vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. They also determine the patient's ability to focus and coordinate the eyes, to judge depth and to see color accurately.

They prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, low vision aids, vision therapy and medications to treat eye diseases as well as perform certain surgical procedures. Optometrists work in private practices, multidisciplinary medical practices, hospitals, teaching institutions, research positions, community health centers and the ophthalmic industry. Optometrists can also build successful careers in the military, public health or government service. There is a need for optometrists in all types of practice, particularly in the areas of pediatric and gerontological optometry. Practice opportunities exist throughout the U.S. with a particular need in rural areas (AOA).

  • Undergraduate Degree: While a student is expected to excel in the natural and social sciences, most programs do not require a specific major. Students are free to choose the major they prefer, even one outside of the sciences.
  • Prerequisite Coursework:  Every program will differ in the prerequisite coursework required.  Common prerequisites include English Composition, General Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, General Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Calculus, Physics I & II, Statistics, and multiple social sciences including upper-level Psychology courses.
  • Entrance Exams: Optometry Admission Test (OAT)
  • Application System: Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS)
  • List of Programs: opted.org 
  • Professional Organizations: American Optometric Association (AOA), Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)

Is Optometry your Fulbright Future?

If you are serious about your future, and you are ready to get started, then beginning to create your professional portfolio is the next step:

  • Research and understand this field
  • Use your own system of organization to understand your requirements
  • Create a step-by-step plan that fits your career goals, major(s), and minor(s)
  • Prepare before meeting with your advisor and/or professional mentor
  • Your portfolio will continue to build until eventually you use it to apply to professional schools.

DIRECTIONS:  Use whichever means you are comfortable with to answer the following questions.  Create your own document or spreadsheet with each question clearly labeled along with your answers.  Feel free to add your own notes or extra information - this is the beginning of your own personal professional portfolio that will, in just a few years, become your application to optometry school.  Make it your own!

The Basics

Optometrists perform a unique and vital role within our healthcare system.  There are several resources online that provide an overview of the profession, including the American Optometric Association (AOA), Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS), ExploringHealthCareers.org, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Use these resources, along with any others you may find, to answer the following questions: 

  • In your own words, describe what you will do on a daily basis as an optometrist.  Provide at least a paragraph.  
  • Describe the settings in which optometrists typically work (clinics, hospitals, etc.).  Which is your preferred setting?
  • List the other factors that are important to you about the field.  What is a typical work schedule? What is the average salary? What does the job market look like?  

Education

To become an optometrist, you must first complete an undergraduate degree and then complete graduate-level optometrist program.  These programs are typically four years and result in a doctor of optometry.  You will most likely apply to these programs during your senior year.  Admission to optometry programs is very competitive and is based on a variety of factors, including: 

  • Overall Grade Point Average
  • Science Grade Point Average
  • Prerequisite Coursework
  • Optometry Admission Test (OAT) Scores
  • Observation Hours
  • Other Health Care and Volunteer Experience
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Essay
  • In-Person Interviews

Use the same resources from above, along with the websites of specific optometry programs in which you are interested, to answer the following questions:

  • Name at least three specific optometry programs in which you are interested.  Use the optometry program directory found at opted.org if you need help finding programs.  NOTE: For public institutions, the schools at which you might pay “in-state” tuition will be within your permanent state of residence (only Arkansas if you are from Arkansas).  Private institutions do not offer “in-state” or “out-of-state” tuition.
  • An undergraduate degree is typically required, however your undergraduate major is up to you.  The major you choose is not an admissions factor.  Rather, it should be a major or major(s) that fit you, your interests, and your goals.  With that in mind, please name at least three majors you might consider, even if you have already chosen one.  
  • Optometry programs do require very specific coursework in areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, social sciences, etc. While there are definitely similarities, each program requires its own unique set of prerequisites.  For the each of the programs you’ve listed for question #4, list the prerequisites along with the appropriate UA course numbers.
  • A minimum number of observation hours from multiple settings are typically required.  These vary greatly by program.  It is very important that you understand what is required by the programs you are interested in.  For each of the programs list for question #4, describe the observation hour requirement.  And remember, always do more than the minimum!
  • As a pre-optometry student, you will take the OAT.  Name the general content of the GRE, including the specific sections of the exam.  Which UA courses might help you prepare for the OAT? When do you plan on taking the exam?
  • Letters of recommendation are another critical part of your application.  In order to have great letters of recommendation, you need to connect with with faculty members and practitioners long enough to create meaningful relationships.  Describe three individuals that might write letters of recommendation for you, or, if you are unsure at this point, describe the type of individuals you hope will write your letters as well as how you might go about connecting with such individuals in the coming years.  You will want to give recommenders plenty of time to thoughtfully write a great letter.  With that in mind, when do you plan on asking them to write a letter for you (month/year)? 
  • Several parts of the admission process, including the personal essay, letters of recommendation, and other experiences are designed to measure your maturity and familiarity with the field.  Describe the ways in which you will become more familiar with the optometry field and health care in general.  In addition, describe the ways in which you will increase your general leadership and maturity.  

Application

  • Most optometry programs use the OptomCAS website.  Create a login and password for OptomCAS and become familiar with the website.  Do all of the programs you listed for question #4 use OptomCAS? When do you think you will submit your application (month/year) based on what you’ve read on OptomCAS and program websites?

License

  • Name the actual license you need to become an optometrist.  
  • What examination must you take to get that license?
  • What is the appropriate abbreviation for a licensed optometrist (the letters after your name)? 

Your Action Plan

With all that you now know what goes into a career as an optometrist, how will you prepare.  As best you can, describe everything you will do (or have done) during each of the following years to prepare to apply to optometrist programs.  Be as detailed as possible, and include things such as coursework, student organizations, OAT prep, direct patient care hours, mentorship, etc:

Freshman Year?

Sophomore Year?

Junior Year?

Senior Year?

Gap Year (if applicable)? 

Pharmacy


Mentorship:

Professional mentorship is offered to pre-pharmacy students by:

Lorraine Brewer, MS
Instructor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemsitry

Students may contact her at: lobrewer@uark.  Students who are committed to a career as an pharmacist will receive guidance on academic planning, admission criteria, and professional experience. 

Student Organization and Listserv:

Any student that is interested in a career as an pharmacist should join the Pre-Pharmacy Club by emailing: tpgarret@uark.edu.  This will sign you up for the student organization and the pre-pharmacy email listserv.  Both provide vital information and networking opportunities for students. 

Fast Facts

Pharmacy is a licensed health profession in which pharmacists provide information regarding medication to consumers and health care professionals. Pharmacists are "medication experts," concerned with disease state management and safe guarding the public's health in matters relating to medication distribution and use.

While responsibilities vary among the different areas of pharmacy practice, the bottom line is that pharmacists help patients get well. Pharmacist responsibilities include a range of care for patients, from dispensing medications to monitoring patient health and progress to maximize their response to the medication. Pharmacists also educate consumers and patients on the use of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, and advise physicians, nurses and other health professionals on drug decisions. Pharmacists also provide expertise about the composition of drugs, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties and their manufacture and use. They ensure drug purity and strength and make sure that drugs do not interact in a harmful way (AACP).

  • Undergraduate Degree: While a student is expected to excel in the natural and social sciences, most programs do not require a specific major. In fact, a bachelor’s degree is not always required.  Students are free to choose the major they prefer, even one outside of the sciences, however the number of math and sciences courses required do lead most pre-pharmacy students to choose a major in the natural sciences.
  • Prerequisite Coursework:  Every program will differ in the prerequisite coursework required.  Common prerequisites include English Composition, Public Speaking, Accounting or Economics, General Biology, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Genetics, General Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II, Biochemistry, Calculus, and Physics 
  • Entrance Exams: Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)
  • Application System: Pharmacy Centralized Application Service (PharmCAS)
  • List of Programs: pharmcas.org > School Directory 
  • Professional Organizations: American Pharmacists Association (APA), American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)

Is Pharmacy your Fulbright Future?

If you are serious about your future, and you are ready to get started, then beginning to create your professional portfolio is the next step:

  • Research and understand this field
  • Use your own system of organization to understand your requirements
  • Create a step-by-step plan that fits your career goals, major(s), and minor(s)
  • Prepare before meeting with your advisor and/or professional mentor
  • Your portfolio will continue to build until eventually you use it to apply to professional schools.

DIRECTIONS:  Use whichever means you are comfortable with to answer the following questions.  Create your own document with each question clearly labeled along with your answers.  Feel free to add your own notes or extra information - this is the beginning of your own personal professional portfolio that will, in just a few years, become your application to pharmacy school.  Make it your own!

The Basics

Pharmacists perform a unique and vital role within our healthcare system.  There are several resources online that provide an overview of the profession, including the American Pharmacists Association (APA), American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the Pharmacy Centralized Application Service (PharmCAS), ExploringHealthCareers.org, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Use these resources, along with any others you may find, to answer the following questions:

  • In your own words, describe what you will do on a daily basis as an pharmacist.  Provide at least a paragraph.  
  • Describe the settings in which optometrists typically work (clinics, hospitals, etc.).  Which is your preferred setting?
  • List the other factors that are important to you about the field.  What is a typical work schedule? What is the average salary? What does the job market look like?  

Education

To become an pharmacist, you must first complete an undergraduate degree (or at a minimum, complete the required prerequisite coursework for specific program) and then complete a graduate-level pharmacist program.  These programs are typically four years and result in a doctor of pharmacy.  You will most likely apply to these programs during your senior year.  Admission to pharmacy programs is very competitive and is based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Overall Grade Point Average
  • Science Grade Point Average
  • Prerequisite Coursework
  • Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) Scores
  • Observation Hours
  • Other Health Care and Volunteer Experience
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Essay
  • In-Person Interviews

Use the same resources from above, along with the websites of specific pharmacy programs in which you are interested, to answer the following questions:

  • Name at least three specific pharmacy programs in which you are interested.  Use the pharmacy program directory found at pharmcas.org if you need help finding programs.  NOTE: For public institutions, the schools at which you might pay “in-state” tuition will be within your permanent state of residence (only Arkansas if you are from Arkansas).  Private institutions do not offer “in-state” or “out-of-state” tuition.
  • An undergraduate degree is not always required, however a majority of successful applicants complete one.  Your undergraduate major is up to you.  The major you choose is not an admissions factor.  Rather, it should be a major or major(s) that fit you, your interests, and your goals.  With that in mind, please name at least three majors you might consider, even if you have already chosen one. 
  • Pharmacy programs do require very specific coursework in areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, communication, humanities etc. While there are definitely similarities, each program requires its own unique set of prerequisites.  For each of the programs you’ve listed for question #4, list the prerequisites along with the appropriate UA course numbers.
  • As a pre-pharmacy student, you will take the PCAT.  Name the general content of the PCAT, including the specific sections of the exam.  Which UA courses might help you prepare for the PCAT? When do you plan on taking the exam?
  • Letters of recommendation are another critical part of your application.  In order to have great letters of recommendation, you need to connect with with faculty members and practitioners long enough to create meaningful relationships.  Describe three individuals that might write letters of recommendation for you, or, if you are unsure at this point, describe the type of individuals you hope will write your letters as well as how you might go about connecting with such individuals in the coming years.  You will want to give recommenders plenty of time to thoughtfully write a great letter.  With that in mind, when do you plan on asking them to write a letter for you (month/year)? 
  • Several parts of the admission process, including the personal essay, letters of recommendation, and other experiences are designed to measure your maturity and familiarity with the field.  Describe the ways in which you will become more familiar with the pharmacy field and health care in general.  In addition, describe the ways in which you will increase your general leadership and maturity.  

Application

  • Most pharmacy programs use the PharmCAS website.  Create a login and password for PharmCAS and become familiar with the website.  Do all of the programs you listed for question #4 use PharmCAS? When do you think you will submit your application (month/year) based on what you’ve read on PharmCAS and program websites?

License

  • Name the actual license you need to become an pharmacist.  
  • What examination must you take to get that license?
  • What is the appropriate abbreviation for a licensed pharmacist (the letters after your name)? 

Your Action Plan

With all that you now know what goes into a career as an pharmacist, how will you prepare.  As best you can, describe everything you will do (or have done) during each of the following years to prepare to apply to pharmacist programs.  Be as detailed as possible, and include things such as coursework, student organizations, PCAT prep, direct patient care hours, mentorship, etc:

Freshman Year?

Sophomore Year?

Junior Year?

Senior Year?

Gap Year (if applicable)?  

Physical Therapy


Mentorship:

In addition to your Fulbright College Academic Advisor, professional mentorship is offered to Pre-PT students by:

Shane Barker, Ed. D.
Director of Advising
Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

Students who have met with their academic advisor and have created their Fulbright PRO Portfolio (see below) may contact Dr. Barker at: sxb028@uark.edu.  Students who are committed to a career as a PT will receive guidance on academic planning, admission criteria, and professional experience. 

Student Organization and Listserv:

Any student that is interested in a career as a physical therapist should join the Pre-Physical Therapy Club by emailing: tpgarret@uark.edu.  This will sign you up for the student organization and the Pre-PT email listserv.  Both provide vital information and networking opportunities for students. 

Fast Facts

Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles (APTA.org)

  • Undergraduate Degree: While a student is expected to excel in the natural and social sciences, most programs do not require a specific major. Students are free to choose the major they prefer, even one outside of the sciences.
  • Prerequisite Coursework:  Every program will differ in the prerequisite coursework required.  Common prerequisites include General Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, General Chemistry I & II, Physics I & II, Statistics, and multiple upper-level Psychology courses.
  • Entrance Exams: Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Application System: Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS)
  • List of Programs: PTCAS.org > Program Directory
  • Professional Organizations: American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT)

Is Physical Therapy your Fulbright Future?

  • If you are serious about your future, and you are ready to get started, then beginning to create your professional portfolio is the next step:

    • Research and understand this field
    • Use your own system of organization to understand your requirements
    • Create a step-by-step plan that fits your career goals, major(s), and minor(s)
    • Prepare before meeting with your advisor and/or professional mentor
    • Your portfolio will continue to build until eventually you use it to apply to professional schools.
     

DIRECTIONS:  Use whichever means you are comfortable with to answer the following questions.  Create your own document with each question clearly labeled along with your answers.  Feel free to add your own notes or extra information - this is the beginning of your own personal professional portfolio that will, in just a few years, become your application to physical therapy school.  Make it your own!

The Basics

Physical Therapists perform a unique and vital role within our healthcare system.  There are several resources online that provide an overview of the profession, including the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS), ExploringHealthCareers.org, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Use these resources, along with any others you may find, to answer the following questions:

  • In your own words, describe what you will do on a daily basis as a physical therapist.  Provide at least a paragraph.  
  • Describe the settings in which physical therapists typically work (clinics, hospitals, etc.).  Which is your preferred setting?
  • List the other factors that are important to you about the field.  What is a typical work schedule? What is the average salary? What does the job market look like?  

Education

To become a physical therapist, you must first complete an undergraduate degree and then complete graduate-level physical therapist program.  Most of these programs last between three years and result in a Doctor of Physical Therapy.  You will most likely apply to these programs during your senior year.  Admission to physical therapist programs is very competitive and is based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Overall Grade Point Average
  • Science Grade Point Average
  • Prerequisite Coursework
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
  • Observation Hours
  • Other Health Care and Volunteer Experience
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Essay
  • In-Person Interviews

Use the same resources from above, along with the websites of specific physical therapist programs in which you are interested, to answer the following questions:

  • Name at least three specific physical therapy programs in which you are interested.  Use the PT Programs Directory found at PTCAS.org if you need help finding programs.  NOTE: For public institutions, the schools at which you might pay “in-state” tuition will be within your permanent state of residence (only Arkansas if you are from Arkansas).  Private institutions do not offer “in-state” or “out-of-state” tuition.
  • While an undergraduate degree is required, the major is up to you.  The major you choose is not an admissions factor.  Rather, it should be a major or major(s) that fit you, your interests, and your goals.  With that in mind, please name at least three majors you might consider, even if you have already chosen one.  
  • PT programs do require very specific coursework in areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, statistics, psychology, etc. While there are definitely similarities, each program requires its own unique set of prerequisites.  For the each of the programs you’ve listed for question #4, list the prerequisites along with the appropriate UA course numbers.
  • A minimum number of observation hours from multiple settings are typically required.  These vary greatly by program.  It is very important that you understand what is required by the programs you are interested in.  For each of the programs list for question #4, describe the observation hour requirement.  And remember, always do more than the minimum!
  • As a pre-PT student, you will take the GRE.  Name the general content of the GRE, including the specific sections of the exam.  Which UA courses might help you prepare for the GRE? When do you plan on taking the exam?
  • Letters of recommendation are another critical part of your application.  In order to have great letters of recommendation, you need to connect with with faculty members and practitioners long enough to create meaningful relationships.  Describe three individuals that might write letters of recommendation for you, or, if you are unsure at this point, describe the type of individuals you hope will write your letters as well as how you might go about connecting with such individuals in the coming years.  You will want to give recommenders plenty of time to thoughtfully write a great letter.  With that in mind, when do you plan on asking them to write a letter for you (month/year)?
  • Several parts of the admission process, including the personal essay, letters of recommendation, and other experiences are designed to measure your maturity and familiarity with the field.  Describe the ways in which you will become more familiar with the PT field and health care in general.  In addition, describe the ways in which you will increase your general leadership and maturity.  

Application

  • Most PT programs use the PTCAS website.  Create a login and password for PTCAS and become familiar with the website.  Do all of the programs you listed for question #4 use PTCAS? When do you think you will submit your application (month/year) based on what you’ve read on PTCAS?

License

  • Name the actual license you need to become a physical therapist.  
  • What examination must you take to get that license?
  • What is the appropriate abbreviation for a licensed physical therapist (the letters after your name)? 

Your Action Plan

With all that you now know what goes into a career as a physical therapist, how will you prepare.  As best you can, describe everything you will do (or have done) during each of the following years to prepare to apply to physical therapist programs.  Be as detailed as possible, and include things such as coursework, student organizations, GRE prep, direct patient care hours, mentorship, etc:

Freshman Year?

Sophomore Year?

Junior Year?

Senior Year?

Gap Year (if applicable)? 

Physician Assistant


Mentorship:

Professional mentorship is offered to Pre-PA students by:

Shane Barker, Ed. D.
Director of Advising
Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

Students contact Dr. Barker at: sxb028@uark.edu.  Students who are committed to a career as a PA will receive guidance on academic planning, admission criteria, and professional experience. 

Student Organization and Listserv:

Any student that is interested in a career as a physician assistant should join the Pre-Physician Assistant Society by emailing: tpgarret@uark.edu.  This will sign you up for the student organization and the Pre-PA email listserv.  Both provide vital information and networking opportunities for students. 

Fast Facts

A physician assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works as part of a team with a doctor. A PA is a graduate of an accredited PA educational program who is nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician. PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling and make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow PAs to practice and prescribe medications (AAPA.org)

  • Undergraduate Degree: While a student is expected to excel in the natural and social sciences, most programs do not require a specific major. Students are free to choose the major they prefer, even one outside of the sciences.
  • Prerequisite Coursework:  Every program will differ in the prerequisite coursework required.  Common prerequisites include General Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Genetics, General Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry, Statistics, and multiple upper-level Psychology courses.
  • Entrance Exams: Some programs may require applicants to submit GRE or MCAT scores
  • Application System: Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)
  • List of Programs: PAEAOnline.org > Resources > Physician Assistant Program by state
  • Professional Organizations: Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA),  American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)

Is Physician Assistant your Fulbright Future?

If you are serious about your future, and you are ready to get started, then beginning to create your professional portfolio is the next step:

  • Research and understand this field
  • Use your own system of organization to understand your requirements
  • Create a step-by-step plan that fits your career goals, major(s), and minor(s)
  • Prepare before meeting with your advisor and/or professional mentor
  • Your portfolio will continue to build until eventually you use it to apply to professional schools.

DIRECTIONS:  Use whichever means you are comfortable with to answer the following questions.  Create your own document with each question clearly labeled along with your answers.  Feel free to add your own notes or extra information - this is the beginning of your own personal professional portfolio that will, in just a few years, become your application to physician assistant school.  Make it your own!

The Basics

Physician Assistants perform a unique and vital role within our healthcare system.  There are several resources online that provide an overview of the profession, including the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), the Centralized Application for Schools of Physician Assistant (CASPA), ExploringHealthCareers.org, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Use these resources, along with any others you may find, to answer the following questions:

  • In your own words, describe what you will do on a daily basis as a physician assistant.  Provide at least a paragraph.  
  • Describe the settings in which physician assistants typically work (clinics, hospitals, etc.).  Which is your preferred setting?
  • List the other factors that are important to you about the field.  What is a typical work schedule? What is the average salary? What does the job market look like?  

Education

To become a physician assistant, you must first complete an undergraduate degree and then complete graduate-level physician assistant program.  Most of these programs last between two and three years and result in a master’s degree.  You will most likely apply to these programs during your senior year.  Admission to physician assistant programs is very competitive and is based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Overall Grade Point Average
  • Science Grade Point Average
  • Prerequisite Coursework
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
  • Direct Patient Care Hours
  • Other Health Care and Volunteer Experience
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Essay
  • In-Person Interviews

Use the same resources from above, along with the websites of specific physician assistant programs in which you are interested, to answer the following questions:

  • Name at least three specific physician assistant programs in which you are interested.  Use the PA Programs Directory found at PAEAonline.org (under the resources tab) if you need help finding programs.  NOTE: For public institutions, the schools at which you might pay “in-state” tuition will be within your permanent state of residence (only Arkansas if you are from Arkansas).  Private institutions do not offer “in-state” or “out-of-state” tuition.
  • While an undergraduate degree is required, the major is up to you.  The major you choose is not an admissions factor.  Rather, it should be a major or major(s) that fit you, your interests, and your goals.  With that in mind, please name at least three majors you might consider, even if you have already chosen one.  
  • PA programs do require very specific coursework in areas such as biology, chemistry, psychology, etc. While there are definitely similarities, each program requires its own unique set of prerequisites.  For the each of the programs you’ve listed for question #4, list the prerequisites along with the appropriate UA course numbers.
  • Direct Patient Care hours are requirement unique to the PA field.  More than just shadowing hours, you must gain significant experience directly influencing a patient’s health care.  Oftentimes, this may require you to gain an entry-level healthcare license such as Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or Phlebotomist.  Whether or not you have a license, great places to start include those health care facilities most in need such as nursing homes and hospice.  For the programs you’ve listed for question #4, how many hours are required.  In general, how do you plan on attaining enough hours by the time you apply (shoot for more than the minimum!)? 
  • As a pre-PA student, you will take the GRE.  Name general content of the GRE, including the specific sections of the exam.  Which UA courses might help you prepare for the GRE? When do you plan on taking the exam?
  • Letters of recommendation are another critical part of your application.  In order to have great letters of recommendation, you need to connect with with faculty members and practitioners long enough to create meaningful relationships.  Describe three individuals that might write letters of recommendation for you, or, if you are unsure at this point, describe the type of individuals you hope will write your letters as well as how you might go about connecting with them in the coming years.  You will want to give recommenders plenty of time to thoughtfully write a great letter.  With that in mind, when do you plan on asking them to write a letter for you (month/year)?
  • Several parts of the admission process, including the personal essay, letters of recommendation, and other experiences measure your maturity and familiarity with the field.  Describe the ways in which you will become more familiar with the PA field and health care in general.  In addition, describe the ways in which you will increase your general leadership and maturity.  

Application

  • Most PA programs use the CASPA website.  Create a login and password for CASPA and become familiar with the website.  Do all of the programs you listed for question #4 use CASPA? 
  • PA programs actually differ in that some begin in May, some in August, and others in January.  Accordingly, the application cycle differs by school.  For each of the programs you’ve listed for question #4, when does the application open and close?  

License

  • Name the actual license you need to become a physician assistant.  What is the appropriate abbreviation for the license (the letters after your name)?  What examination must you take to get that license? 

Your Action Plan

With all that you now know what goes into a career as a physician assistant, how will you prepare.  As best you can, describe everything you will do (or have done) during each of the following years to prepare to apply to physician assistant programs.  Be as detailed as possible, and include things such as coursework, student organizations, GRE prep, direct patient care hours, etc:

Freshman Year?

Sophomore Year?

Junior Year?

Senior Year?

Gap Year (if applicable)?