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Holistic Co-Curricular Activities


Keeping a journal will help you periodically pause and reflect to gain understanding and meaning from your experiences both in the classroom and through co-curricular activities.

Contact your advisor for helpful tips and hints about your activity journal.

High grades and test scores are not always enough for admission to health professional schools or graduate programs. Applicants should invest time outside of the classroom for learning about and researching patient care and other areas in the profession. These activities will assist in determining whether the healthcare industry is right for you, along with assessing your commitment to pursuing this career path.

Job Shadowing

Shadowing, or following/observing a practitioner, is one of the most effective ways to understand what professionals do on a daily basis. You can also target practitioners with different specialties to solidify your own interests in the healthcare industry. Through shadowing, you will become accustom to business practices such as:

  • Health professionals’ daily activities
  • Interactions with patients and related issues
  • Day-to-day challenges
  • How health professionals work with colleagues
  • Their pursuits to stay in their current field

And much more!

For more information on job shadowing, such as what to wear, how to find a job shadow opportunity, asking for a letter of recommendation, or job shadowing hours, contact Ms. Haley Briggs. You can also contact Ms. Briggs for access to the online resources for Tarleton's Health Pre-Professional programs.

Volunteering in Clinical Settings

Clinical volunteer work is similar to job shadowing in several aspects; the key difference is interaction with patients who are undergoing treatments and/or living with illness and injuries. Be sure to research specific requirements and/or guidelines in your desired area of health professions, as they vary across programs and institutions.

Health profession programs advises you not to participate in treatment or caregiving activities in which you are not trained, certified, or licensed. It is your responsibility to make wise decisions.

Examples of clinical settings for volunteer work are:

  • Hospice Service
  • Hospitals
  • EMT Service
  • Home Healthcare
  • Health Clinics
  • Health Education Assisted Living Centers
  • The Make a Wish Foundation
  • First Responders
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Skilled Nursing & Rehab Centers

And more.

Community Service

Healthcare is a “helping” field, and admissions committees value your experiences that show how you enjoy helping others. Many applicants will say “I just want to help people,” but the best way to demonstrate your willingness to help is to be actively involved in assisting organizations with their activities. It is important to participate in meaningful volunteer and community service opportunities that reflect your personal passions and interests.

When choosing community service activities, you should consider the following:

  • What is meaningful to me? (Feeding the poor, cancer research, building homes, etc.)
  • Who is meaningful to me? (Children, adults, animals, cancer survivors, etc.)
  • How much time can I commit?
  • Where can I donate my time?

Research and Study Abroad

Pre-health students should consider participating in study abroad or research programs. While these are not required for admission to a health professional school, both can be extremely rewarding and beneficial in professional and personal aspects of life.


Faculty and Students at Tarleton are actively engaged in a wide range of research areas including biotechnology, ecology, genetics, physiology, and systematics. Research faculty serve as mentors for both undergraduate and graduate students. Motivated students are encouraged to meet with faculty members to explore available research opportunities, such as:

Study Abroad

Study abroad programs give students a better understanding of different cultures and diversity. Like research, Study Abroad is not require but is encouraged. Learn more about Study Abroad programs.

Student Organizations and Associations

Alpha Epsilon Delta

AED is the national honor society and service organization for health pre-professionals. It is dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of excellence in pre-professional health studies. The society welcomes all pre-health students, offers opportunities to meet health professionals, provide professional development, and offers a forum for students with common interests. For more information, visit the national AED website.