Year-by-Year Calendar of Activity

First Year Students - Fall Semester

  • Attend Health Professions meeting during Orientation.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to discuss a tentative four-year academic plan.  This is especially important if you are considering study abroad.
  • Get to know your professors—and let them know you. On-going conferences with your professors can assist you in refining your study habits and improving your academic record. Be open and make these people your allies in reaching your goals!
  • Make use of Hamilton's academic resources: the Writing Center, Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) Center, departmental tutoring services, class review sessions.
  • Participate  in service-related extra-curricular activities (HAVOC volunteer activities, COOP, tutoring, etc.)
  • Speak to your science professors by January to explore the possibility of a summer research grant.
  • Discuss spring course choices with your academic advisor before pre-registration in November.
  • Investigate "Alternative Break". It's both fun and a great service opportunity!
  • Consider shadowing a healthcare professional or volunteering during winter break. Check out the Career Center's shadowing program

First Year Students - Spring Semester

  • Visit Career Center between November and February to explore opportunities for research or health-care-related experience over summer break.  Write or update resume.
  • Consider adding or subtracting campus activities. Investigate new opportunities.
  • Discuss schedule with advisor before pre-registration in April. See Leslie Bell if additional guidance would be helpful.
  • If considering a semester or year abroad, schedule a meeting with the Office of Off-Campus Study in CJ.
  • Attend relevant programs on health-related topics.
  • Honestly evaluate your academic performance. How are you doing? How can you improve? Can you challenge yourself more? See your academic advisor to discuss making adjustments.

Summer After First Year

  • Engage in a health-care-related experience or research position, if possible. If these are unavailable, plan some volunteer work in a healthcare setting in addition to a paid job.
  • Consider the possibility of EMT or CNA course at home, if available.

Sophomore Students - Fall Semester

  • Evaluate campus involvement. Health professions schools are interested in the extracurricular experiences that are meaningful to you. Are you spending your time on activities that reflect your values?
  • Think of how to use upcoming breaks to take steps to further your understanding or preparation for your intended health career (e.g. conduct an informational interview, shadow a healthcare professional, research potential internships, etc.)
  • Investigate a wide range of health professions. Attend advertised meetings with professional school representatives who visit campus.
  • Investigate clinical opportunities listed on Handshake.

Sophomore Students - Spring Semester

  • Declare major.
  • Discuss your plans with the health professions advisor.
  • Continue to evaluate your extracurricular commitments.
  • Finalize summer plans for pertinent research, service, or clinical position.
  • Finalize study abroad plans.

Junior Students - Fall Semester

  • Make plans to take MCAT/DAT/GRE. Decide whether to apply to professional school after your junior year, your senior year, or at some point further on. Discuss plan with health professions advisor.
  • Consider accepting leadership positions in campus or service activities.
  • Make plans for substantive summer experience. Consult Career Center and discuss research opportunities with faculty and health professions advisor.
  • Use winter break for MCAT/DAT/GRE study or spend a few days on appropriate volunteer work or shadowing.
  • Begin research of potential professional schools.
  • Continue to attend health professions programs.
  • Consider applying for the "Day in the Life of a Resident" shadowing program in January with St. Elizabeth's Family Medicine Residency Program.

Junior Students - Spring Semester

If making application to medical or dental school after junior year:

  • Attend campus meetings on the application process for professional school you wish to attend (separate meetings for medical, dental, and vet candidates.) 
  • Finalize plans for responsible health-related summer position.
  • Continue test preparation.
  • Consider the benefits of applying for a postgraduate fellowship (Fulbright, Watson, Bristol Fellowship) and visit with the Student Fellowship Coordinator (Virginia Dosch) to discuss your candidacy. In recent years, Hamilton students have deferred entry to medical school to accept a Fulbright, Bristol or other post-baccalaureate fellowship.

Summer of Whatever Year You Plan To Apply

  • Complete AMCAS/AACOMAS/AADSAS/VMCAS etc. applications. Medical and dental school admission is "rolling."
    Those who apply early will have an advantage in the process. After you submit your online application, it can take 4-6 weeks before your application is "verified" and sent to the schools. Then there will be supplemental applications to complete.  Aim to complete the primary application and submit by mid-July.
  • Leslie Bell will be happy to advise you on your essays and look over your application.
  • Buy an all-season interview suit.

Senior Students - Fall Semester


  • If you plan to work for a year or two before applying to professional school, update resume and begin process of looking at potential jobs.
  • Prepare for interviews by practicing with both Leslie Bell and Leslie Bell in the Career Center. Even if you don't plan to apply until later, use this resource while it is easily available to you.
  • Consider applying for the "Day in the Life of a Resident" program at St. Elizabeth Medical Center (on HamNet)
  • Make time for interviews! Keep up-to-date with your academic work and plan to make up work you missed when you are away for interviews.

Senior Students - Spring Semester

  • File FAFSA.
  • Stay in contact with Leslie Bell throughout the application process.
  • Develop a strong "Plan B" and consider the benefit of additional work and/or academic experience while waiting to hear from professional schools.
  • Make time for "Second Look" days at schools where you have been admitted

Contact Information

Leslie Bell

Director of Health Professions Advising
315-859-4338 lbell@hamilton.edu
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