Pre-Professional Health & Law Support Services
Pre-Health Advisory Committee (PAC)
Traditionally, many medical or dental programs across the country encourage a "committee letter" of evaluation. At OSU, this is known as the Pre-Health Advisory Committee (PAC) Interview and Letter of Evaluation service. While not required for a professional application, a PAC evaluation and letter is highly recommended for many professional school applications in medicine (specifically physician) or dentistry. Please plan accordingly for your appropriate application cycle based upon the PAC eligibility requirements.
PAC applications are now open for OSU candidates planning to apply to medical or dental school in summer of 2024 for 2025 program entry. OSU students planning to apply to medical or dental school professional programs may apply for an interview and letter of evaluation through OSU's PAC process if they meet the following minimum requirements for consideration:
- Intend to apply for the 2024 summer application cycle/2025 program entry in medicine (specifically physician) or dentistry.
- Minimum of 50 hours of experience in a health-related setting.
- 3.0 minimum overall science GPA (BCPM: Biology, Chemistry, Physics & Math).
- 3.0 minimum: cumulative GPA.
- Completed a minimum of 24 semester credit hours at OSU.
Minimal requirements and resources.
I am applying to medical or dental school. Am I required to do the OSU PAC process?
- No. Often it is not "required" for a professional application. However, a committee letter (OSU PAC) is highly recommended by most medical (specifically physician) and dental professional school admissions programs.
- Alternatively, you can also seek appropriate individual letters of recommendation from your mentors that may also meet your individual professional school admissions requirements.
- Review our pre-health preparation resources area of your specific health care field area (pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, etc.) labeled “Letters of Recommendation” for full resources to assist you.
I am pursuing another health care field role which is not a physician or dentist.
Should I do the PAC process?
- No. National trends indicate that a committee letter process (PAC at OSU) is primarily focused on by physician and dentistry specific admissions committees.
- If you are pursuing another health care field and need individual letters of recommendation, we can still help.
- Review our pre-health preparation resources area of your specific health care field (pre-optometry, pre-physician assistant, etc.) labeled “Letters of Recommendation” for full resources to assist you.
My overall (cumulative) and/or overall science GPA's are below a 3.0. Can I participate
in PAC at OSU?
- No, not at this time. National data demonstrates that average professional medical and dental school applicant’s GPA’s and matriculants (those accepted) are much higher GPA ranges and trends than our minimum PAC GPA requirements.
- We review your PAC application holistically but have minimum GPA standards in place. Consider reviewing national data resources below for general reference:
The PAC application requires 50 hours of health-related experience minimally to apply.
What is considered “health-related” experience?
- Both paid and unpaid work/public service in a health or health-related field where you are not directly responsible for a patient’s care but may still have patient interaction.
- For example: filling prescriptions, performing clerical work, delivering patient food, cleaning patients and/or their rooms, administering food or medication, taking vitals or other record keeping information, working as a scribe, CNA, medical assistant, dental assistant, patient care tech, phlebotomist, pharmacy technician, EMT, etc.
- Shadowing, clinical research and/or any direct observation or participation in patient care in a clinic, hospital or with a physician or dentist is considered acceptable.
- (Clinical research is defined as the study of health/illness in people, commonly observational studies, clinical trials, etc. Examples include that you might work with medical/patient data, medications, medical devices, procedures, or other patient care topics to work to solve or formulate a hypothesis laid out by the precepting physician, dentist, healthcare provider or research team.)
- Virtual shadowing with a physician or dentist might be considered on a case-by-case basis if there is specific, warranted context explaining why you were not able to participate in person.
- The PAC committee prefers a demonstration of direct, hands-on patient care experience in your candidacy.
- I am a Pre-Eligible OSU-COM 3+1 Program candidate and preparing for the OSU PAC process.
Does my GPA need to be a 3.0?
- No, your pre-eligibility for the PAC process as an OSU-COM 3+1 Program candidate have higher standards for consideration.
- Review our OSU-COM 3+1 Program for full resources to assist you to ensure you are pre-eligible before you fully prepare for the PAC process and application.
- Do I have to attend the workshops or mock interviews to apply to the OSU PAC process?
- No, you are only required to meet the minimum requirements listed above.
- Workshops and mock interviews are optional opportunities to strengthen your application, and are recommended, but not required.
- I am an OSU alumnus. Am I eligible to complete the PAC process?
- Yes, but it might/might not be your best option to pursue the PAC process, depending on various factors.
- If you are 1-2 years after OSU graduation, the PAC process may still be a good fit.
- If it has been 3+ years since OSU graduation, you likely have more recent/relevant references (examples: graduate school faculty, healthcare work environments/providers/research supervisors, etc.).
- Before proceeding to pursue the PAC process, review your top professional medical/dental school(s) admissions requirements. Review what type(s) of letters of recommendation are required to apply. See if they require or prefer a committee letter.
- If you have other strong individual letters of recommendation which meet the admissions eligibility criteria, the PAC process might/might not be the best option for you to proceed with your application process.
- Overall, if you have never completed the PAC process before and meet all pre-eligibility, it might be a fit for you as an OSU alumnus. Schedule a meeting with our office to discuss your options and to gain support throughout the application process.
Tips and reminders.
Is attending the free OSU PAC Workshop in October mandatory to apply for PAC?
- No. However, the PAC Workshop event is highly encouraged to successfully prepare for your final PAC submission at the end of the fall semester.
- Students that attend the live PAC workshop event, are offered free:
- PAC application guidance.
- Personal statement workshop support event before you complete your PAC application.
- Pre-mock practice interview support events before your spring PAC committee official interview.
- Can my 50 minimum hours of health-related experience be in-progress after the official
PAC application deadline?
- No. Health-related experience hours cannot be in-progress after the official OSU PAC deadline to reach the minimum 50 hour requirement. No exceptions.
- Your health-related experience hours must be completed and fully documented on your OSU PAC application by the required deadline.
- We encourage all PAC candidates to continually document all additional new hours of healthcare (and non-healthcare) experiences after your PAC application is completed.
- Continual self-documentation is important to complete your official medical or dental school professional application in May/June.
- I noticed that a personal statement is required for the PAC application. What resources
are available to aid me in the process?
- OSU's Pre-Professional Health & Law Support Services office offers free personal statement professional school support resources for any OSU student to access on our preprofessional website, 24/7.
- Review our pre-health preparation resources area of your specific health care field area (pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, etc.) labeled “Personal Statements" for full resources to assist you.
- Within the PAC application "Authorization for Release of Confidential Information"
section, what does waiving your right versus retaining your right really mean?
- This is a choice that every applicant has for every individual letter of recommendation written on your behalf (PAC committee letter or other individuals writing letters).
- If you chose to retain your right (which means you wish to review or have access to the committee letter), then the PAC committee would also have to notate this on your official committee letter submission we later upload to your official professional medical or dental school application.
- This is seen by all professional schools you apply to when admissions begins to holistically review your official medical or dental school application.
- This typically indicates to a professional school admissions committee that the letter was written from a place in which the committee could not be fully honest in their entire holistic assessment of the applicant.
- Professional school admissions application reviewers often perceive retaining your right as a "red flag."
- It is not a positive sign if elect you retain your right versus waiving your right for any letter of recommendation, including your PAC committee letter.
Do I need a passport to turn in my PAC application required "passport size" photo?
- No. You are not required to have a “passport photo.”
- Specific size instructions to take your own self-photo are included in the official PAC application to assist you.
- Additional option(s): OSU Career Services typically offers periodic, free event(s) for a "Professional Headshots with Career Services" each semester. Search the OSU Career Services Career Fairs & Events calendar for periodic opportunities to get an updated free photo as an OSU student.
Do I need to have official or unofficial transcripts from each college/university
that I’ve attended for my PAC application?
- Yes. Unofficial or official transcripts from each individual college/university you’ve ever attended are required.
- We recognize that official transcripts often cost money, so unofficial transcripts that indicate your legal name, course information, hours and grades are acceptable.
- To access your OSU-Stillwater/Tulsa transcripts: Unofficial Transcripts | Oklahoma State University (okstate.edu)
- If you've attended other institutions other than OSU-Stillwater/Tulsa, you are required to attach all college/university transcripts in addition to your OSU-Stillwater/Tulsa transcript.
- How do I remove the PAC Canvas course if I am ineligible or no longer plan to apply
to PAC this year?
- The PAC Process application is now hosted on Canvas. If you have enrolled in the Canvas course and no longer wish to apply (or are ineligible), you can remove yourself from the course.
- Open the PAC Process course in Canvas, and look to the upper right of the screen for a "Drop this Course" button, typically found under the "View Course Stream" button. You will be dropped from the course and it will no longer appear on your Canvas dashboard.