Pre-Health for Transfer Students

Welcome to the University of Virginia community of Pre-Health Hoos!

Transferring from one institution to another is a big transition. Upon matriculation to UVA, our Pre-Health Advisors are here to assist you in your overall preparation for a health professional career as well as support you in your transition to UVA as a whole. Pre-Health Advising is tailored to the individual needs of each student to guide you in each step toward your healthcare career.

We look forward to working with you! In the meantime, we encourage you to review the information below and browse the pre-health web tools in preparation for your pre-health experience at UVA.

How do I get connected to pre-health opportunities at UVA and in the Charlottesville community?

As with anywhere, connection and acclimation to a large place like UVA takes time. Here are several select resources to help you get started:

Find additional resources under Pre-Health Advising: Gain Experience.

Do I need to major in a science?

No. Many students find that a science major tends to cover the pre-health pre-requisite courses, however it often also involves a heavy and compact course load. We recommend finding a major you enjoy, but that also allows for a manageable course load. Your chosen major is part of your story, so select a major that suits you well!

Will grades from my former institution still count in my GPA?

While your GPA at UVA will only be calculated based on completion of UVA coursework, all grades from all attended institutions will be calculated together upon application to a health professional program. We suggest you make it a regular habit to manually keep track of your cumulative science and overall GPA’s based on all of your coursework. Use this GPA calculator to help you do so!

Do I need to finish all my pre-requisites and entrance exam in my third year so I can apply “on time?”

Guess what? Health professional programs do not expect you to apply right after your 3rd year. Here are some figures to support that assertion:

  • The average age of a matriculant to health professional programs ranges from age 24 – 28, not 22 (the average age of a UVA graduate).
  • In the last three application cycles, ~70% of successful UVA medical school applicants completed 1 or more bridge years between graduating from UVA and starting medical school.

You should not feel rushed to apply to a health professional program at the end of your third year, especially if you just transferred into a new institution. The decision of when to apply to your health professional program is an individual one, based on each student’s unique preparedness.

What if I completed the majority of my pre-health pre-requisite courses at a 2-year institution?

Health professional programs have different pre-requisite policies on accepting 2-year institution coursework. It is important to research the schools you are interested in and review their specific requirements. Please see the “Requirements and Involvement” page for your profession of interest for resources on finding school-specific requirements.

If all of the schools I’m interested in accept 2-year institution credit, am I all set? Will 2-year institution science courses alone provide evidence of the academic performance schools want to see?

As a general rule, no, 2-year institution science courses will not be enough to demonstrate your readiness for a health professional program. If you completed pre-health pre-requisite coursework prior to your transfer to UVA, we encourage you to supplement that coursework with relevant upper level coursework. Overall, you should aim to demonstrate a pattern of success in science courses at a 4-year institution before applying for admission to a health professional program.  A pattern is typically established over about two years.

In general, health professional programs are looking for the following:

  • Evidence of readiness for a rigorous health professional program curriculum focused heavily on sciences but involving other subject areas as well.
  • Consistent evidence of proficiency in biology, chemistry, and foundation courses expected of entering health professional program students.
  • Many schools indicate a preference for completion of at least 2 – 3 semesters of strong science coursework while maintaining or increasing the GPA from the community college.

I want to accomplish a lot in my first semester at UVA. Is it a good idea to enroll in 3 – 4 science and math courses in my first semester?

No. It is important to take a cautious approach as you begin your academic career at UVA. There will be many adjustments and transitions in your first semester – academically, socially, and logistically. We strongly encourage you to begin your coursework here in a slow and steady fashion which may include 1 – 2 science and math courses. Make sure to discuss your course plan with your academic advisor as well as a Pre-Health Advisor.

*Adapted in part from Weill Cornell Medical College admissions guidelines for transfer students.

More to Explore

Schedule an appointment today in Handshake!

Learn more about Pre-Law events, courses, and opportunities available!  

Check out the Pre-Health Advising Blog for the latest news and announcements.