Skip to content

Extracurricular Ideas


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.


Community Service

Bennion Community Service Center

Community service opportunities and Bennion Scholars program


Hinckley Institute

Internships, Journal, Student Groups

Career and Professional Development Center

Internships or job experience


Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU)

Campus Connect

Over 600 student organizations at the U

Center for Equity and Student Belonging (CESB)

Student Advisory Committee (SAC) in your major department. Contact your departmental advisor.


Office of Undergraduate Research

Talk to your departmental advisor or faculty about research opportunities in your major.


Community Service

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.


Lowell Bennion Community Service Center

Nationally recognized center for community engagement on campus. Bennion Scholar designation can also be earned.

Child & Family Support

Camp Kostopulos

The Family Support Center

A local child abuse prevention organization with numerous programs focused on strengthening families and communication.

Salt Lake County Aging Service

Assisting seniors with transportation, shopping, activities, etc.


American Lung Association

Public education programs, Children's Asthma Camp.

American Cancer Society

Public education, service and rehabilitation help for cancer patients.

Planned Parenthood

Utah AIDS Foundation

Child Family Health International

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

Junior League of Salt Lake

Student PIRG Internship

LGBT Resource Center

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)

Rape Recovery Center

Apply for training program (36-40 hours required). Must commit 20 hours per month as volunteer.

The Road Home

Support shelter for overcoming homelessness

Volunteers of America

Special Olympics

Leadership & Student Organizations

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.

American Medical Women's Association(AMWA)

Empower, educate, and support women to advance within medicine.

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.

Future Women Dentists (FWD)

Encourages dentistry as a career among women and provides a support network.

Operation Smile

Organizes service projects and raises funds for all countries to receive oral surgeries.  

Students for Smiles

Provides dental treatment to people in the Salt Lake Valley who aren't able to afford treatment.

Other PreHealth

PrePhysician Assistant Student Organization (PrePASO)

PreVeterinary Student Club

Future Health Professionals (HOSA)

For any medical profession: doctors, nurses, veterinarians, forensic pathologists, psychiatry, etc. 

General On-Campus

Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU)

Campus Connect

Over 600 student organizations at the U

Departmental Student Advisory Committee (SAC)

Contact your departmental advisor to get involved.

Union Programming Council

Career and Professional Development Center

Women's Resource Center


Advancement of Chicano and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

Organization of Women in Science

Opportunities for networking, volunteering, guest lectures, and science based activities.

Society of Women Engineers

Stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders.

Patient Exposure

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. 

Job Opportunities

Career Services

Intermountain Healthcare Job Search

University Hospital Job Search

Limited part-time clinical jobs available. Most jobs require previous training.

Other Patient Care


Hospice for the homeless population

EMT Training

H EDU 5950 (certification) or H EDU 5960 (non-certification) 9 credit hours

The Student Emergency Medical Services (SEMS)

A student group that provides EMS response for the University campus. Recruiting EMT licensed students, but all students welcome.

Summer Camps

Camp Hobé

Summer Camp for kids with cancer and their siblings.

Muscular Dystrophy Association Summer Camp

Contact Health Care Service Coordinator: 801-278-6200


International experiences, while valuable, will not substitute for experience with the US healthcare system and patients.

International Service Learning

Travel abroad to serve in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, or Peru.

Humanitarian Aid Relief Team 

Volunteer opportunities include raising funds, gathering/organizing medical supplies, education, and research.

Skill Building

Below is a changing collection of guides and trainings for working with a variety of patient populations to help you develop your skills, compassion, and empathy.

Sexual Orientation, Sex, and Gender:  Healthcare Essentials for PreHealth Students


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

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

University Human Resources Office

Part-time job listings for lower campus and med center.

Honors College

Research Project and Thesis in major required for Honors degree. 

Research in Specialty Areas

Pediatrics Academic Associates

A clinical research-based class sequence which trains students in research. Can lead to a minor in Pediatric Clinical Research.

Bioscience Undergraduate Research Program

For biology majors, contact Theresa Nydam.

U of U Hospital Emergency Department

UC Davis Veterinary School Summer Enrichment Program

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.

Before Shadowing

HIPAA Training

Some medical facilities ask you to be HIPAA certified before you shadow any doctors or PAs.

Read “Avoid 4 Physician Shadowing Mistakes” 


Tips for Shadowing

AAMC's Shadowing a Doctor

ProspectiveDoctors's Tips for Shadowing

Formal Programs

Primary Children's Medical Center Shadowing Program

Must be actively applying to medical school within the next 12 months to qualify.

University Health Shadowing Program

Experiences in Primary and Urgent Care.

Last Updated: 12/13/23