Professional School Linkage Agreements

While all of our students enter the program with the goal of entering a medical, veterinary, or dental program, the path to their next school may vary based on their background, goals, interests, and other opportunities.

Linkage agreements

For students who wish to accelerate their enrollment in professional school, the Pre-Health Programs team has partnered with some of the best medical schools in the country to provide linkage arrangements. Through these linkages, highly qualified students have the opportunity to eliminate the year between Pre-Health coursework completion and entrance into medical school.

The Pre-Health Core Studies Program currently participates in three linkage agreements, including:

  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine
  • The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Specialized Studies students are eligible for linkages to:

  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine

These admissions are very selective, and each school determines the eligibility criteria and timeline of the nomination process.

To learn more about the opportunities available through our linkage partnerships, please contact us.

Glide year

Many students wish to take advantage of opportunities in the year between completing the Pre-Health Program and entering professional school. This year is referred to as the “glide year,” “gap year,” or “application year.” Many of our students use the year to enrich their academic and professional experiences to make themselves even more compelling applicants. The advising team will work with you to determine how you can use the year productively to enhance your preparation for professional school, whether it be through employment, additional coursework, volunteer work, research, or graduate studies.

The following positions are a sampling of what our Pre-Health students have completed during their glide year:

  • Clinical Research Assistant at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania in the Division of Gastroenterology
  • Research Assistant at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Academic Associate at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Emergency
  • Teaching Assistant for biology course at University of Pennsylvania
  • Research Assistant for testicular cancer at University of Pennsylvania 
  • Ophthalmic Scribe at Scheie Eye Institute, the Department of Ophthalmology for the University of Pennsylvania Health System
  • Clinical Resource Coordinator in the Division of Hematology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Level IV Mental Health Technician at the Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead, NJ
  • Technical Services at Epic (the country’s largest electronic medical record company) ;in Madison, WI
  • Research Assistant in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Volunteer as part of the Academic Associate Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, screening and recruiting patients for clinical studies
  • Instructor for Teach for America in Camden, NJ
  • Worked with Dr. Tiffani Johnson, of Penn Medicine, on a "Disparities in Pediatric Emergency Care" study
  • Harrison Surgical Scholar at Penn Medicine, Department of Surgery
  • Presenter of glide year research at two national surgical meetings (Chicago and Salt Lake City)
  • Earned Master of Bioethics degree from Penn's Perelman School of Medicine
  • Took additional Penn courses beyond the core program
 Application Overview

Ready to apply?

See Pre-Health Programs application deadlines, review our application materials checklist, and get ready to apply.

Experience is essential

Experience is essential

Penn has numerous opportunities for volunteering, community service, shadowing and research experiences in healthcare.

Your personal advisor

A member of the Pre-Health Programs team will assist in your personal and career development, through course selection, application preparation and interviewing.

Student & alumni stories

"I still reach out to my advisors for advice on my medical school applications. They always tell me that I have their support as long as I need it."
- Dominique Alexis, Pre-Health Specialized Studies ’17