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Should I apply if my GPA falls slightly below the minimum requirements?

Each program site considers a variety of factors during the admissions process. Students who have a GPA that is slightly lower than 2.5, but have demonstrated a strong interest in a health profession, are encouraged to apply.

I am a high school student who has earned college credits. Can I apply?

SHPEP applicants  must have earned a high school diploma or GED at the time of their application submission to be eligible for the program.

Can I participate if I am a community college student?

Community college students are eligible for the program if they have not exceeded 60 earned college credits.

Can I participate in SHPEP if I am a junior or senior in college?

SHPEP is exclusively for freshman and sophomore college students, i.e. students with a maximum of 60 earned college credits at the time of their application submission. Advanced Placement (AP) credits are not counted toward the 60 earned college credits. Please check our Resources page for other enrichment program opportunities if you are not eligible for SHPEP.

Can I participate in SHPEP more than once?

Students can only participate in the program once.


Can my official transcript be faxed or emailed to the National Program Office?

That National Program Office will only accept a paper copy of an official transcript mailed by an institution’s registrar’s office.

I am a freshman and have not received my grades yet. Can I submit my high school transcript?

High school transcripts are not accepted. If you are a freshman and you have not received your first semester grades, please allow them to be finalized before you submit your transcripts.

Do I need to submit my transcripts again if I applied last year?

The SHPEP program requires current transcripts for each application year.

Although I have attended several colleges, all of my coursework appears on my transcript from my current college. Do I still need to send transcripts from all of my previous colleges?

Yes. An official transcript is required from each U.S., U.S. territorial, and Canadian institution at which you have attempted coursework.


Can the recommendation be submitted by a previous employer or high school teacher?

If a recommendation cannot be submitted by a pre-health advisor or college professor within your major, the National Program Office will accept one from an employer that is within a health professions field or from a science high school teacher.

Can a recommendation be written for me by a teaching assistant?

The National Program office will accept a recommendation from your teaching assistant if they are acting as your instructor.

How can a pre-health advisor assist me?

A pre-health advisor can help you identify course requirements, help you seek enrichment programs and clinical experiences, prepare for application to a health professions school, write letters of recommendation, and assess the most appropriate career path for you. If you are unable to identify a pre-health advisor at your institution, contact the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions.

Application Process

The certification and submission section prevents me from completing the application. What should I do?

Please review each section of the application to identify any required fields you may have missed. The Schools Attended section is typically where applicants fail to select a response to the degree question or do not select the “I have entered all the colleges I attended” statement.

How do I know if my materials been received by the SHPEP National Program Office?

It can take up to 10 business days for the National Program Office to process application materials once they have been received. Please log into your application to check the Application Status for updates. However, the processing time is different if the application is submitted after the materials have been received. In this instance, it can take up to two business days to process materials and update the status in the application dashboard.

How do I know that the program site(s) I designated have received my application?

Program sites automatically receive applications once the National Program Office completes your application by processing all of your application materials.

How can I tell if I’ve successfully submitted my application?

The right side of your application dashboard will display the “Submitted” status.

Can I change my designated site(s) after my application is submitted?

Designated program sites cannot be changed once you submit your application.

My college/university does not calculate GPA. How do I complete the application?

All students must enter a GPA to proceed with the application. Please enter 2.50 for the GPA and email shpep@aamc.org once you have submitted your application. The SHPEP National Program Office will then inform your designated program(s) of your actual GPA status.

Admissions Process

How many students are accepted into the program each year? 

Each program site selects approximately 80 applicants.

Will SHPEP help me prepare for the MCAT, DAT, or other standardized admissions test?

SHPEP does not have an admissions test preparatory component. However, the program’s basic science curriculum covers content that is included on such tests.