Health Professions Advising Office (HPAO)
University of Mississippi

High School Students

How can you prepare for college success and for a health profession while in high school?


Take more science and math courses in high school or through AP/dual enrollment opportunities.

You may want to consider taking more science and math courses to help prepare you for classes you will encounter as requirements for a health related profession.  Having more than the minimum preparation in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics will help you better adjust to the rigor of college level sciences.  In particular, many college freshmen have not had biology for three years, making the foundational biology courses even more difficult in their first year at the university.


Learn to study smarter.  A group of three students sitting around a table with lots of papers and talking wtih each other

Get in the habit of studying and preparing for your classes as this is imperative when you come to college.  Health related professional schools are VERY COMPETITIVE!  Learn to study in high school and learn what works for you so that once you are in college you will be ready for your classes, especially your science and math courses.  Additionally, get in the habit of interacting with your teachers and using your resources effectively.  The main goal is to study smarter, not harder.  At the University of Mississippi, we have the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, with free assistance in study skills among other key skills for success.  Meanwhile, there are many free resources out there to help you learn how to learn such as:


Read.A young woman is sitting on a couch and reading a book

You can read anything!  This is very important because it will help you with your classes and standardized tests. The amount of reading increases in college, and you will need the skills for quick, effective reading in all your classes, from reading textbooks and scientific journals to novels and exam questions.



Get involved!

Be involved in your community, volunteer, or join an organization. These are all important aspects that you will want to have on your resume. Health related professional programs desire students who have great grades but are also involved on campus and in their community. Start being involved in high school and it will make your transition to being involved in college easier. In fact, these professional programs do not want to see students getting involved with community service at the tail end of their undergraduate years (just before application), but want to see a rich history of increasing involvement in activities that shape your interests and your character.


Keep a journal.A close-up photo of a female hand writing with a pin in a journal

Write down all your activities, all community service, and awards. Get in the habit of writing down all the things you do, especially activities and events that impact you, and all the awards you may receive. In college, your clock starts over, but showing prolonged and/or increasing involvement through causes you are passionate about resonates with professional schools. When you apply to health-related professional programs, all these things will be asked and are important, so get in the habit now and continue keeping a journal in your college career.


Additional Information


High School Preparation for Career in Medicine

5 Reasons to Go to Med School and 5 to Not

High School Preparation for Career in Dentistry

UM Pre-College Programs: Pre-Health Professions Track

Get2College: How to plan, pay for, apply to, and succeed in college

Mississippi Office of State Financial Aid: To apply for Mississippi based financial aid