How COVID Changed Applying to Professional School

Professional programs made numerous changes to their application processes during COVID (2019-2021). Some schools have reverted to their pre-Covid practices while others have maintained a mix of practices. Certain practices have proven to be more efficient or practical and institutions have decided to keep them.

What this means for you as a student is that you will find a variety of practices at schools when it comes to required experiences and applications. For example:

  • Course Requirements: Will schools still accept online courses/labs?
  • Shadowing and volunteering: Are programs accepting virtual work or allowing for the difficulty of gaining experiences?
  • Interviews: Are they virtual or in-person?
  • Applications: Do schools offer an opportunity for you to explain how the pandemic impacted you?

All of this adds a new aspect for you to track as part of your application since each program may vary in their requirements.

As we learn information and about resources that will help, we will post that information here.

Can/should I take my classes P/NP? (For both pre-healthcare and pre-law students)

Schools did allow this for a short time during 2019-2020. Now schools expect students to report a grade for required courses.

Health professions programs typically don't accept online courses--especially labs. What happens with my lab classes this semester?

Schools did allow this for several years. Now we are seeing that many schools are returning to normal expectations of in-person labs. We would encourage you to NOT take courses with online labs unless you have spoken to every school at which you intend to apply to ensure they will accept those credits.

I was not able to volunteer anywhere or shadow because of COVID restrictions.

That was true for a couple of years. For the most part, those restrictions have been lifted. Keep trying. Keep asking. Try different places. Think broadly about where you are trying to volunteer and shadow. If you are only asking to shadow a pediatric surgeon then maybe it is time to see if you can volunteer at a nursing home. Start there. Try something different. Eventually you may work your way to the one thing you first wanted to try.

It has been really difficult to get to know faculty since some of my classes were online and other classes were really large. Will schools take this into account?

Probably not. We have been in person for a couple of years now. At this point, schools will no longer accept the notion that you were not able to get to know your letter writers. This is the one thing that is really on you as a student. There is no way around the idea that they expect you to get to know your letter writers and to find ways to let them get to know you as a person. This means developing a relationship outside of the classroom, lab, volunteer situation, etc. You need to have conversations with that person. Have real human communication with them. Remember that most of your work in healthcare/law will be about walking into a room with a person in there that you don't know and getting that person to talk to you about very personal things. These fields are all about your ability to talk to people. This is great practice!





Appointments-Why are we still doing virtual appointments?

Please continue to make appointments through BoilerConnect. Pre-Professional Advisors started holding remote appointments during the pandemic. We found they actually work well for our students since so much of what we need to communicate with you about is resources that are online. Instead of having to turn our monitors around we can share our screens and actually show you how to navigate to resources. You can then save those resources directly onto your computer. This works better for us and for you. 

If you would prefer to meet in person, simply send the advisor you want to see an email and we can arrange a time to meet in person. We will be happy to meet with you in person if this is your preference.

Our online appointments are scheduled through BoilerConnect. The advisor your appointment is with will contact you via email ahead of the appointment to establish the best way to meet (WebEx, Zoom, Teams, or phone). We are always happy to answer questions over email as well:

Personal Statements Reviews

Submit your personal statements to and one of us will read and comment on your personal statement and send comments back to you. If you have questions AFTER you receive the comments, you can schedule an appointment then. Please keep in mind that we have a high volume of personal statements and it does take time for us to return them. We review them as quickly as possible.


Sign up for our e-newsletter (on our homepage) to stay informed. We send it out once a month so we are NOT spamming your email with a lot of extra email.

Interview Prep

As interview season is gearing up, remember we can help you prepare for your interviews.

  • First, make sure you keep up with current events and health news in your area.
  • Email a pre-professional advisor for lists of practice questions.
  • Practice online with Big Interview.
  • Set up a mock interview once you have an interview scheduled. Our graduate assistant works with you on these.

For more information on online practice and mock interviews, please follow the interview practice information in the Interview section of our website. You can also find tips on virtual interviews in this section.