COVID Updates

In alignment with county, city and campus recommendations, Health Professions Advising will be working remotely by offering phone appointments and workshops via Zoom. To schedule an appointment with an advisor, visit Please visit our the Upcoming Events Page for Announcement and Updates and Facebook page to learn more. If you have any questions, please email

COVID-19 Updates

Welcome pre-health students! We created this page in order to help further break down key information, from pre-reqs to updates for the 2020 - 2021 application cycle. We hope to update this page regularly with the most accurate information, but given how often things may change we would appreciate it if you email us about any out-of-date information at

HPA is continuing to operate remotely with scheduled 30 minute phone appointments, zoom drop-in advising, and continuously hosting workshops and events to support our applicants. Please visit our Upcoming Events page and Facebook events page to stay connected and view our full calendar of events. If you want to stay updated follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

Updated: 8/31/2020

Pre-reqs and Experiences FAQ

  • Will online coursework and labs be accepted for pre-reqs?
  • Yes, while online coursework is not typically accepted for many prerequisites, during COVID impacted quarters, they will be accepted.
  • Can I take a non-prerequisite class P/NP? 
  • First read major, minor, and/or degree requirements regarding P/NP. Most health professional schools do not factor non-prerequisite classes heavily. But we do recommend keeping P/NP classes to a minimum.
  • Can I take a prerequisite class P/NP?
  • First read major, minor, and/or degree requirements regarding P/NP. Schools typically interpret a P as C grade or below, so if you are receiving a C or higher it is beneficial to maintain letter grading. Currently there is not a consensus among health professional schools regarding whether P/NP grades will be accepted in place of letter grades. Each health professional school will most likely make these decisions individually. If possible, we strongly recommend taking classes for a letter grade in order to meet the requirements for as many schools as possible. For more details on health professional schools updates on P/NP and other factors, visit this website that is continuously updated by the National Association of Advisors for Health Professions.
  • I was planning on doing __ this summer, what can I do instead?
  • Unfortunately many opportunities and experiences have been postponed or cancelled. But you can still be involved in the community, remotely or in person. For a list of potential experiences, visit here. This document is updated and maintained by the National Association of Advisors for Health Professions.

    Now is a great time to attend health professional schools and programs webinars or exhibitor fairs. These can be found on individual school’s website, health association websites, and we advertise them on our Facebook and Newsletter.
  • I was planning on shadowing or doing clinical related experiences during this time, what can I do instead?
  • We recommend scheduling an appointment with an advisor on how to contact and connect with health professionals via informational interviewing.

Interview Preparation

  • HPA Resources and Preparation
  • Mock Interview Drop-In Advising
    Join us via Zoom on Tuesdays from 2 - 3 pm here! (Please note that you will need to create an account and download Zoom before joining. Meeting ID: 949 5148 6977Passcode: 608970) A waiting room will be enabled, students will tell an advisor what health profession they are interested in and what they would like to discuss, and then the student will be added to a breakout session with an advisor. Students will be served on a first come first serve basis. Appointments will be limited to 15 minutes. 

    Mock Interview Drop-In Advising Wednesdays 2-3 pm via Zoom

    2020 Interview Week Video Links

    We highly recommend watching all of our Interview Week videos in order to prepare for interviews. These videos will be here temporarily until they are able to be posted on Facebook and other platforms. Stay connected on our Facebook page and newsletter to stay updated.

    Preparing for Interviews
    Preparing for Your Virtual Interviews
    Situational Judgement and Traditional Behavioral Interviews
    Preparing for MMIs

    Asynchronous Interview (eg. AAMC VITA) Sample Questions and Advice to PrepareInterview Submissions Sample Questions and Types List for full description download the available pdfList of AAMC Core Competencies and description of importance for pre-medical and all pre-health professional applicants to incorporate throughout their application including personal statement, experiences, interview prep and more. Full description available in downloadable pdfInterview Submissions Event Best Practices and Tips. For the full description go to the downloadable PDF
    Click here to download Question Samples and AAMC Core Competencies and Descriptions Info Sheet
    Click here to download the Best Practices Info Sheet

  • Medical School Applicants: AAMC VITA
  • Prepare today by submitting videos to our Interview Prep Video Submissions and Feedback Event! Submissions Close Thursday, August 27th. For details and the form to submit click here.

    The following information on VITA has been gathered from their website and their webinars.

    What is the AAMC VITA?
    The AAMC Video Interview Tool for Admissions is a one-time, online, unidirectional interview. Six questions are presented in text prompts, and applicants record an audio/video response; there is no human interviewer. You will have one minute to read and reflect on each written question and up to three minutes to record a response. You may complete all six questions in one sitting, or you may complete any number of questions you choose, as long as all questions are completed by the required medical school deadline. The break between questions may be as long as you choose.

    What Does the AAMC VITA Interview Measure?
    The AAMC VITA interview is designed to provide admissions officers with information about your journey to medical school and five of the core competencies for entering medical students (including: Social Skills, Cultural Competence, Teamwork, Reliability and Dependability, and Resilience and Adaptability). For more details visit this page.

    Which schools are participating?
    There are over 40 Allopathic Medical Schools participating in the AAMC VITA Program this cycle including: California Northstate University, Wayne State University School of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, UCLA/Drew Medical Education Program, UCI School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and more. See here for the full list of participating medical schools.

    How do I prepare?
    Join HPA for our upcoming Interview Week, for more details visit our Upcoming Events page and our Facebook. Also be on the look for our sessions specifically on VITA, coming to the calendar soon. Applicants can also schedule appointments with advisors to practice interviewing.

    Read the AAMC Video Interview Tool for Admissions: Essentials for the 2021 Application Cycle
    Read the AAMC VITA: Applicant Preparation Guide
    Applicants will have the opportunity to practice using VITA in early August!

    How are medical schools integrating this into their admissions process?
    VITA has been designed to compliment the interview process and was not meant to replace live virtual interviews. Most medical schools are still determining how they want this to factor into their process. As more updates develop, we will post it here and discuss during our workshops.

    For more details on VITA, including practice questions, FAQ, and more, please visit the AAMC VITA homepage.

  • Medical School Applicants: AACOMAS
  • July 08, 2020
    AACOM News: Interviews for Admission into the 2021 Entering Class

    "AACOM encourages all COMs to provide applicants with a virtual interview, in place of the in-person interview, throughout the entire 2020-2021 application cycle. We encourage that on campus visits happen asynchronously from the interview process when your local authorities and campuses permit and are ready to allow them....

    We understand that in-person visits and interview days have been used as a part of the decision process by COMs to gauge the enthusiasm of an applicant for the COM. AACOM encourages schools to provide both virtual and in-person opportunities for applicants to show their commitment to and enthusiasm for attending your COM, and suggest that you consider some or all of the following activities when safe and appropriate:
    • A virtual tour or in person tour
    • Virtual information sessions with peer to peer interactions
    • In person, if available without travel, or virtual sit down with current students or alumni
    • A second look day, virtual and/or in person
    • Multiple, ongoing, accepted student days to allow for accepted student/current student interactions either virtually or in person"

    See here for the full announcement.

  • Dental School Applicants
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many dental schools are conducting interviews virtually. This new resource, created by the dental school admissions officers, will help applicants prepare for before, during and after virtual interviews! Please pass on this valuable resource to the applicants in your network.

    Virtual Dental Schools Interview Dos and Don’ts

    For additional information about the application process, please direct applicants to

    Announcement from ADEA August 17, 2020.

  • All Health Professional Applicants
  • Prepare for your asynchronous interview today by submitting videos to our Interview Prep Video Submissions and Feedback Event! Submissions Close Thursday, August 27th. For details and the form to submit click here.

    With most to all interviews expected to be virtual, HPA recommends preparing for this format of interviews by attending our Interview Week workshop series, attending our drop-in advising, and scheduling 30 minute appointments with an advisor. Popular platforms that we have heard schools will use include, Zoom, WebEx, and Kira Talent. For access to videos from Interview Week visit our Upcoming Events page and our Facebook. For more details on drop-in advising, see below. 
  • CASPer Snapshot
  • Prepare today by submitting videos to our Interview Prep Video Submissions and Feedback Event! Submissions Close Thursday, August 27th. For details and the form to submit click here.

    Key Features
    - It’s free
    - Only programs that require Casper can see
           - It will be up to individual school's discretion to require or recommend Snapshot to applicants
    - It does NOT make an applicant’s application incomplete if they do not do it.

    What is CASPer Snapshot and How Can it Help My Application?
    CASPer Snapshot is a video response tool that mimics an informal interview. Altus Assessments will ask all CASPer test takers to complete Snapshot this admissions cycle (2020-2021). The intention of Snapshot is to allow programs to learn more about you. 

    CASPer Snapshot will allow you to demonstrate your communication skills and even some of your personal attributes to the programs you are applying to – especially during this time where face-to-face communication is difficult. There will be no additional fee to complete Snapshot this admissions cycle (2020-2021) and should only take you about 10 minutes total. Snapshot consists of three questions that are similar to questions you would be asked in an interview about yourself, and your future profession. You will respond through video and audio, using your webcam. All responses are capped at two minutes in length, so as to provide programs with a “snapshot” of you! 

    Additionally, Snapshot can provide programs with a unique look into your communication skills, helping strengthen your application. Depending on when in the admissions process they review your Snapshot, it could also help increase your chances of landing an interview spot.

    Snapshot may or may not replace virtual or in-person interviews for some programs, but at the very least will provide an additional piece of information to complement your application this admissions cycle. You will still need to complete the CASPer Test on your reserved test date and time, but can complete Snapshot at any point before your programs’ CASPer Test deadline dates. If the CASPer test / distribution deadline has passed for your program(s) and you have not yet taken Casper Snapshot, your application will not be considered incomplete, but please complete it as soon as possible.

    Access Snapshot through your account, and be sure to complete the practice questions before starting to help you prepare!

    For more information on Snapshot and for tips on preparing, please visit the Casper Snapshot: Applicant Information Kit. 

General FAQ

  • What resources do UC Davis students have during these times?
  • Updates on the campus, student resources, and more for UC Davis are located here.
  • Is HPA open?
  • HPA is operating remotely for phone appointments and Zoom workshops and drop-in advising. HPA serves all current students and alumni. Schedule a 30 minute appointment with an advisor here. See our full calendar of events and Zoom links here. See below for more details on drop-in advising.
  • Is HPA offering drop-in advising?
  • Yes, we offer Zoom Drop-In Advising Tuesdays from 2-3 pm. Upon joining zoom, an advisor will assess your questions in the waiting room before assigning you to a breakout session with a separate advisor. Students will be served on a first come first serve basis. Appointments will be limited to 15 minutes. All questions are welcome, from pre-reqs to application materials!

    Please visit the Upcoming Events page for the Zoom Link. Please note that you will need to create an account and download Zoom before joining.
  • How do I attend workshops/events?
  • Our workshops and events will be hosted via Zoom during Summer and Fall Quarters. Zoom links will be available on our Upcoming Events page. For most of our workshops, you can join via the link at the time of the workshop. (It will be clear if registration is required to attend an event.) 

    The transition to Zoom has been challenging for many. In order to increase engagement with our students, we encourage everyone to have their camera on and unmute/type in the chat for questions! All questions are welcome.

    Workshops and events are open to all UC Davis students and alumni. We encourage our students to attend any workshop that interests them or if they think they have not yet been able to hear that information. 

    Please note that Zoom may require you to download their app before viewing any content.