Extracurricular activities supplement a strong academic record. Admissions committees like to see
- an orientation toward service,
- the ability to work with all kinds of people,
- leadership and teamwork stills,
- and an understanding of your chosen profession.
However, activities will not substitute for poor grades, so don’t sacrifice study time.
You are not limited to activities on these lists. They provide a sample of opportunities at the U of U and in the community. Follow your interests and passions, but also find ways to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone.
MUSE Project (My U Signature Experience)
Prelaw Student Society (PLSS)
Community service opportunities and Bennion Scholars program
Internships, Journal, Student Groups
Internships or job experience
Over 600 student organizations at the U
Student Advisory Committee (SAC) in your major department. Contact your departmental advisor.
Because you are preparing for a humanitarian profession, it is important to have volunteer learning experiences which demonstrate a commitment to service and experience working with a variety of people who are different from yourself. This should be ongoing throughout your college years prior to application for admission.
Nationally recognized center for community engagement on campus. Bennion Scholar designation can also be earned.
Child & Family Support
A local child abuse prevention organization with numerous programs focused on strengthening families and communication.
Assisting seniors with transportation, shopping, activities, etc.
Public education programs, Children's Asthma Camp.
Public education, service and rehabilitation help for cancer patients.
Global Health Education Programs that place students in clinics and public health facilities with local health professionals.
- Has 20+ programs in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, South Africa, Uganda
- Offers scholarship funding for their programs
Public Interest & Social Justice
Contact them with your hours and the type of volunteering you would like to do (i.e., office help, Safe Zone trainings, speaking on panels, tabling, mentoring, or planning events)
A non-profit organization providing rural Ecuadorian communities with sustainable and safe water solutions.
Apply for training program (36-40 hours required). Must commit 20 hours per month as volunteer.
Support shelter for overcoming homelessness
As a healthcare provider, you will be a leader and team member in many ways – with your patients, your staff, your colleagues, and your community. Examples include:
- offices held in organizations
- committee work
- leadership in church activities
- coordinating a project
- managing, training, supervising at work or in other activities
- teaching experience of any kind
- peer counseling or mentoring
Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED)
Opportunities and experiences to become a more dynamic medical school applicant. AEDUtah@gmail.com
Empower, educate, and support women to advance within medicine. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre Student Osteopathic Medical Association (Pre-SOMA)
Health Opportunities for Everyone (HOPE)
International Health Scholars
PreDental Society (PDS)
Establishes social networks and helps students get into dental school. Opportunities for community service. email@example.com
Future Women Dentists (FWD)
Encourages dentistry as a career among women and provides a support network. firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizes service projects and raises funds for all countries to receive oral surgeries. email@example.com
Students for Smiles
Provides dental treatment to people in the Salt Lake Valley who aren't able to afford treatment. firstname.lastname@example.org
PrePhysician Assistant Student Organization (PrePASO)
PreVeterinary Student Club
Future Health Professionals (HOSA)
For any medical profession: doctors, nurses, veterinarians, forensic pathologists, psychiatry, etc. email@example.com
Over 600 student organizations at the U
Departmental Student Advisory Committee (SAC)
Contact your departmental advisor to get involved.
Organization of Women in Science
Opportunities for networking, volunteering, guest lectures, and science based activities. firstname.lastname@example.org
Society of Women Engineers
Stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders. email@example.com
Interacting well with patients is a key indicator of a successful future healthcare provider, so exposure to your intended health profession is crucial to your preparation and decision to pursue this career. Experience should include observing health professionals and patient contact. It can be either paid or unpaid, and may or may not require certification depending on the program.
Limited part-time clinical jobs available. Most jobs require previous training.
Clinics & Hospitals
Other Patient Care
Hospice for the homeless population
A student group that provides EMS response for the University campus. Recruiting EMT licensed students, but all students welcome.
Summer Camp for kids with cancer and their siblings.
Contact Health Care Service Coordinator: 801-278-6200
International experiences, while valuable, won't substitute for experience with the US healthcare system and patients.
Travel abroad to serve in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, or Peru.
Volunteer opportunities include raising funds, gathering/organizing medical supplies, education, and research.
Research is the foundation of medical knowledge, and you will learn from and participate in research during professional school. Medical schools generally require, and most professional schools highly recommend, participation in independent, hypothesis-based research using the scientific method. The U's School of Medicine, and School of Dentistry, both require it.
Your research experience can be from many different areas – it does not have to be medically related or in a lab.
General Research Opportunities
Part-time job listings for lower campus and med center.
Research Project and Thesis in major required for Honors degree.
Research in Specialty Areas
A clinical research-based class sequence which trains students in research. Can lead to a minor in Pediatric Clinical Research.
For biology majors, contact Theresa Nydam.
For underrepresented students
Observing a healthcare provider in action will help you gather the information you need to fully commit to the profession you have chosen and to learn about a variety of specialties within that profession.
How to Find Shadowing Opportunities
There are very few formal programs for shadowing. Most students find their opportunities through networking, both with healthcare professionals where they volunteer or work, or through other preprofessional students and student groups.
- Make an list of all the medical professionals you know
- Consider talking to your own primary care doctor, or any specialists you see for your own care: your dentist, your vet, your optometrist, etc.
- These contacts may not be willing to allow you to shadow them, due to privacy or other concerns, but often they know another doctor who you can contact who will not have the same issues.
- Cold call doctor's offices
- While not the most enjoyable method, it's the way most people find shadowing opportunities, particularly in the specialties.
- FIND A DO doctor: Use the AOA's website to look for a DO in an area or specialty that interests you.
- Volunteer or work a hospital setting (e.g., PEDS 5900 clinical shifts)
- An excellent way to meet and get to know doctors.
- Doctors in one department know colleagues in a variety of specialties and can be a good resource to find others to shadow.
Some medical facilities ask you to be HIPAA certified before you shadow any doctors or PAs.
Must be actively applying to medical school within the next 12 months to qualify.
Experiences in Primary and Urgent Care.
This program is on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.