302-831-3030 CPHPS-FAQ@udel.edu

Health Professions Evaluation Committee

The Health Professions Evaluation Committee (HPEC) is a University Committee composed of University faculty and local physicians and dentists. HPEC evaluates students applying to dental, medical, optometry, and podiatry schools. The HPEC does not evaluate students applying to chiropractic, physician-assistant, occupational/physical therapy, public health, and other healthcare profession programs. However, the Center for Health Profession Studies will try to assist you by providing health profession advisement if you have an interest in pursuing one of these healthcare profession career tracks. Advisement of veterinary school applicants takes place in the University of Delaware College of Agriculture & Natural Resources.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, we are not permitted on campus. However, we are happy to answer questions and provide advising via Zoom. To ask a question, email us, or complete this form to schedule a virtual meeting.

The Committee evaluates the credentials of prospective candidates for professional school admission through interviews and assessment of the students’ dossier – which includes the students’ academic record (overall GPA, major GPA, and math/science GPA), letters of recommendation, volunteering statement, and the student’s personal statement. The Committee meets yearly in June, and Committee Decision/Recommendation Letters are mailed to students after the Committee has reviewed all students. The recommendations are:

  • Not Recommended (no letter of recommendation is forthcoming from the University)
  • Recommended (awarded to approximately 15% of applicants)
  • Recommend with enthusiasm (awarded to about 55% of applicants)
  • Highly recommended (awarded to about 15% of applicants)

You can begin your HPEC file as early as your freshman year; however, most students begin their HPEC file during their second year (and very rarely during their third year). Your HPEC file will be kept for five years after your official graduation date. All students planning to apply to medical or dental school should complete a file and be evaluated by the HPEC.*


1. Set up an initial meeting with a health profession advisor in the Center for Health Profession Studies to begin an HPEC file (usually sophomore year) and obtain the necessary forms. Use this form to Schedule a meeting or ask a question.

2. Complete the required courses: Applicants should complete a minimum of 5 of the required courses at The University of Delaware to be evaluated by the HPEC.

a.  BISC 207 & 208
b.  CHEM 103 or 107 & 104 or 108, 321/325, & 322/326
c.  PHYS 201 & 202
d.  MATH 221 or 241

e.  Recommended courses: The HPEC recommends, but does not require, a year of English courses (i.e., two ENGL courses on your transcript). Be aware that honors and second writing do not count here – the courses must have an ENGL designation. Many medical and dental schools do require a year of English so be sure to check the requirements. We also recommend CHEM 214 or CHEM 527, BISC 300 or MMSC 270, KAAP 309, KAAP 310, PSYC 100, SOCI 201, SOCI 311,and STAT 200.

f. GPA. While the HPEC does not have a minimum GPA requirement, students with less than a 3.0 overall and/or 3.0 in science courses are not strong candidates for professional schools. These students are strongly encouraged not to complete the HPEC process until their GPAs are 3 or higher. If this is not possible during their undergraduate time, they should consider enrolling in a master’s program after graduation to strengthen their applications. Although AADSAS, AACOMAS, and AMCAS calculate different subject category GPAS, for HPEC evaluation, the science GPA will be based on grades in Biology I and II, General Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry I and II, biochemistry, and Physics I and II.

3. Complete 50 Shadowing hours and 50 Volunteer hours**

a.  Volunteering: HPEC requires that students complete a minimum of 50 volunteer hours (check with the schools to which you are applying to see if they require more). Volunteer hours can be completed in a clinical setting, but students are strongly recommended to also engage in public/community service. Students are required to submit a completed Volunteer Verification form with signatures.

b.  Shadowing: Students are required to complete a minimum of 50 shadowing hours (check with the schools to which you are applying to see if they require more – required shadowing hours do vary greatly by school). Shadowing hours must be spent in a clinical setting shadowing practitioners within and related to your future healthcare profession. It is expected, and critical, that you spend significant time shadowing professionals in the field you are pursuing. Shadowing hours can include paid work in the clinical realm, such as EMT, medical scribe, etc. Students are required to submit a completed Shadowing Verification form with signatures.

NOTE: As a medical/dental school applicant, you MUST show that you have significant clinical/patient-contact experience. These can be achieved through volunteering, paid, and shadowing opportunities. Be sure to check with the schools to which you are applying to see their specific requirements.

4. COMPLETE your file. Your file MUST be complete by April 15th – it is your responsibility to check with a health profession advisor. Your file must include:

a. Typewritten personal statement: 1-2 pages (maximum 5300 characters for medical school and 4500 for dental school) consisting of motivations, goals, special interests, volunteer- and clinical-related experiences, etc. (junior year). Tips for writing a personal statement.
b. Resume/CV: education, employment, volunteer experiences, awards, publications, etc. (junior year)
c. Transcripts: Please obtain and submit an unofficial UD transcript. If you have taken courses elsewhere, you must request an official transcript from the other university or college if the courses do NOT appear on your UD transcript. (junior year)
d. Small picture: students need to submit a digital “headshot” for the HPEC file in the junior year
e. Letters of recommendation: You need to provide individuals who have agreed to write a letter of recommendation a completed release form. This form grants your permission for the evaluator to write a letter on your behalf and waives your right to examine the letter.

i. You will need four letters of recommendation from:

  • 2 “science” professors (e.g., any level BISC, CHEM, Physics, Math course or a 300-level course or above in allied health such as BHAN, KAAP, MMSC, NSCI). We do not accept letters from teaching assistants or research assistants.
  • 1 “non-science” professors (e.g., psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, etc.)
  • 1 from a shadowing experience (physician/dentist) that also documents shadowing hours

ii. Optional: 1-2 personal letters of recommendation (employer, pastor, etc.). These letters cannot replace the required letters.

iii. The HPEC requires all letters of recommendation in your file by April 15th of the year you wish to be evaluated – usually junior year. It is the student’s responsibility to contact letter writters to be sure letters are received in time.

5. Notify a health profession advisor that you would like to have your file reviewed by the HPEC by signing up, in person or in 105e Pearson Hall or by email. This should be done early spring semester. If you change your mind and decide not to be evaluated, please inform us as soon as possible.

6. Arrange Interviews with the HPEC members: Once a. through e. (above) have been received, a health profession advisor will provide you with the Interview Form and the names/emails of the HPEC members who will interview you. It is up to you to arrange the date/time/place of these (two) interviews. Interviews must be completed before you leave campus unless special arrangements have been made with the interviewers.

An essential aspect of the HPEC process involves evaluative interviews with HPEC members. These interviews are usually conducted in the month of May during the students’  junior year. A health profession advisor will assist in identifying Committee members, but students will NOT be interviewed unless their HPEC file is complete. Interviewers are all voting members of the HPEC and include University of Delaware faculty and local physicians and dentists. The interviews may vary in length from as little as 20 minutes to over an hour. The length of the interview is in no way related to the evaluation.

The style of the interviews may also vary. Committee members may ask you questions about your academic record, future plans, and/or what you like to do outside of school, or they may ask you to read something before the interview so as to discuss the material during the interview. Others may ask very specific topics about current events that may or may not be related to the healthcare field. At the interview, the Committee member will have your HPEC file information, a copy of your personal statement, and usually a copy of your University of Delaware transcript. The goal of the interview is to get a better feel for who you are and what your goals and interests are. Eventually, you will need to interview at medical or dental schools, so consider this good practice for that!

Below is a link to the form necessary to begin your HPEC file. Prior to making your initial appointment with a health profession advisor, please complete the online form. YOU, the student, will be in charge of updating and maintaining this file. It is up to you to keep it current.

Open an HPEC file by completing this online form.

Download HPEC file information

Dr. Don Lehman, Director of the HPEC.

HPEC meeting March 3rd at 5pm, Zoom link. UD login credentials are required. The meeting will be recorded and posted here.

* If you transferred to UD from another institution, and have taken less than 50% of the required courses listed on the HPEC form at UD, then you MUST be reviewed by your prior institution. If, however, your prior institution does not have a medical/dental school application review board (like HPEC) or you have taken 50% (at least 5) or more of the required courses at UD then you are eligible to be reviewed by HPEC. There are, of course, extraneous circumstances that the Director is willing to review with individual students.

** Be aware that volunteering is different than shadowing, and that these are considered related, but different/separate activities. For further details and clarification please download the HPEC file form and see a health profession advisor.