Exam Pass Rates
Most health profession graduate programs are followed by a national and/or state board examination to prove your competency on the profession after graduation. The exam pass rates are a great way to determine the quality of education at a prospected school. You should aim for schools with near 100% pass rates to ensure you are paying for a quality education. Pass rates may be affected by unexpected circumstances of the students and should not be the only factor when choosing the right school for you.
Online Application Portals
Many health profession programs use online application services for students to apply to their program. This service allows you to apply to multiple schools by only filling out one application. Not all programs participate in the service, but many do. A fee is required to apply depending on the number of schools you are applying to. Examples of health professions application portals include CASPA for physician assistant programs, PTCAS for physical therapy programs, AMCAS for MD programs and so on. Schools may require that your application be verified by the application deadline which can take up to 6 weeks after all application materials have been submitted. It is highly recommended that you turn in all application materials 6 weeks prior to the application deadline for your desired program. Each portal service is explained within the individual profession pages.
Specialized Entrance Exams
Many health professions require a different degree of health and science backgrounds. This variation leads different health profession programs to require a specialized entrance exam for different types of programs. There are a variety of entrance exams for various professions that are summarized below:
Why is it important to choose an accredited university's program?
Depending on the type of program you are applying to, you will most likely be required to complete observation/volunteer hours, clinical experiences, or both. Clinical experiences are usually defined in terms of hands-on experience. Many times these are paid-work positions such as Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs), Medical Scribes, phlebotomists, etc. Most of these hands-on experiences require a certification that is not too intensive for full-time students to obtain. These experiences are very valuable for health profession admissions. Observation and volunteer experiences do not usually allow hands-on patient care but can still involve patient interaction and valuable experiences in the healthcare field. Both types of clinical experiences are recommended for successful graduate program applicants.
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Undergraduate Bachelor's Prerequisites
Many programs require that you earn your Bachelor's degree before matriculation into a masters or other specialized program. Not all programs, though, require you to have a Bachelor's before starting the program, they may require that you just have 60 credits completed. For example, many pharmacy programs do not require you to complete your bachelor's degree, some only require 60 credits. It is suggested that you look into your program of interest and look at these factors so you can make the best educated decision.
Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credits are commonly used to replace college classes in undergraduate programs but are many times not accepted as prerequisites for graduate school. Make sure you check the program you are interested in applying to and see if they accept all of your credits. In they do not, make room in your schedule to take those classes again in college or a higher level course of the same subject.