Apply to Graduate School
Beyond intelligence and cognitive abilities, medical and health profession school admission committees value many non-academic qualities. These include integrity, motivation, service, commitment, compassion, character, and resilience. Engaging in research experience, volunteer activities, and community service will help you develop and demonstrate these qualities. Evidence of these experiences is critical in addition to your GPA and MCAT scores.
Research experience is a must if you are interested in an MD/PhD program and/or in an academic or research career. While it is not required for clinical medicine, it will increase your knowledge and confidence.
Engage in a research activity as early as freshman year and continue doing research throughout the application process.
- Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) – Resource to find research opportunities. The office is located in 20B-140, 253-7306.
- MIT ICAN – Connect with MIT alumni who may be conducting research that interests you and explore career opportunities through them.
- AAMC List of Summer Undergraduate Research Programs and MDPhD Summer Undergraduate Research Programs
Volunteering for organizations such as homeless shelters, soup kitchens, nursing homes, Teach for America - to name a few, will help you gain insight and demonstrate your commitment to community service. In particular, clinical exposure will help you answer the most frequently asked questions from medical schools: Why do you want to be a doctor/dentist/other health care provider?
Engage in volunteer work and related activities starting in the freshman year and continue throughout the application process.
Search Engines for volunteer opportunities:
Examples of MIT Opportunities:
Examples of Non-MIT Opportunities
- Boston Hospital List/Spreadsheet
- Boston Medical Reserve Corps
- Community Health Worker Initiative of Boston
- Hepatitis B Initiative
- Medical Interpreter Training
- Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
Engaging in work experiences—whether they are health related or not—will provide you with opportunities to learn about a particular field. Internships may be with companies, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, universities, research organizations, and advocacy groups, among others. Such positions give you a chance to find out what it’s like to work in certain occupations and industries and may help you in confirming your interest in a health profession. These will also help you establish a network of professional contacts that may prove valuable when you are looking for networking, letters of recommendations, and more.
Participate in internships as early as freshmen year during IAP, summer, and beyond.