The Health Professions office at HWS is comprised of a counselor, academic adviser specialist and a Health Professions Advisory Committee. The group’s mission is to advise both undergraduates and alumni/ae regarding all aspects of the admission process to professional schools.

The Colleges offer an accredited pre-health curriculum that is recognized by graduate schools and prepares students for admission tests, on and off-campus research positions and a multitude of leadership opportunities.

The Health Professions office provides clinical internships, competency skill training, and community service experiences. The office assists applicants by editing resumes and personal statements, scheduling “Test Drives” for admission tests, holding workshops to review application services and by conducting mock interviews.

Since the inception of the partnership for clinical internships with Finger Lakes Health in the spring of 1993, 226 students have interned for a total of 12,377 hours. Finger Lakes Health is a 697-bed multi-institutional health system that provides a full range of acute and long term care health services just one mile from the Colleges. With 75 active staff physicians, the health system offers a broad range of primary, specialty and sub-specialty services.

The active Health Professions Club sponsors an annual conference that brings health care practitioners from all areas to campus to discuss careers, current events in health care, innovative diagnostic, treatment and surgical techniques and to answer student questions.

It is this comprehensive approach of career exploration, personal development opportunities and the services to assist with developing a polished application that allows our students to be successful in a very competitive process. Ten percent of HWS students are pursuing careers in health care.

Support Services

  • The Health Professions Advisory Committee is made-up of members from the science faculty, a member from both deans' offices, and the Health Professions Counselor. The Committee advises health profession students, evaluates each candidate’s application to professional school, conducts mock interviews, and provides a committee letter of support for recommended applicants.
  • The Health Professions Academic Adviser is the chairperson of the Health Professions Advisory Committee and serves as academic adviser for all health professions students. This adviser is in addition to the assigned academic adviser.
  • The Health Professions Adviser provides information regarding the various graduate programs in the health professions, specific admission (and admission test) requirements, and current application processes. The counselor arranges internships, maintains and manages the applicant’s dossier, and edits application essays and resumes.
  • The Health Professions Annual Conference is an excellent opportunity for students to be made aware of various health fields and to make personal contacts with area professionals their area of expertise.
  • The Health Professions Club is run by health profession students who arrange for speakers on topics of interest and organize field trips.
  • Mock Interviews are encouraged and provided by members of the Health Professions Advisory Committee at the student’s request. Interview packets covering all aspects of the interview process are also provided.
  • The Health Professions Resource Room provides a library of health profession reference materials, including information on summer programs, employment and volunteer opportunities, internships, scholarships, and current articles on topics in health care.

Clinical Internship Program

Second-, third- and fourth-year students who need experience with direct patient care and the delivery of health care in an ever-changing managed-care system are encouraged to participate in this internship program at a local hospital just one mile from campus and throughout the local community.

In an effort to enhance student engagement during the internship, a clinical competency training workshop is mandated for all interns during the orientation process. This shadowing/volunteer experience grants students an opportunity to observe in two different departments for a required 50 hours during the semester in an effort to help them make informed career choices.

Required Courses For Health Profession Graduate Schools

All schools require at least two semesters of biology; four semesters of chemistry, which including organic chemistry; two semesters of mathematics, which should be calculus or other more advanced courses; and two semesters of physics, which must be calculus-based and require a year of calculus as prerequisites.The courses must include laboratories and should not be designated "for non-science majors."

Many health profession schools require two semesters of English, which should be courses that emphasize writing and composition. At HWS, many of the courses in Writing and Rhetoric can also fulfill this English requirement.

For a more complete description of required courses, visit the Health Professions Program website.

University of Rochester School of Nursing 4/3 Program

Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the University of Rochester School of Nursing have established a 4/3 program that provides third-year students a guaranteed seat in either the one-year post baccalaureate program leading to RN licensure or the three-year program leading to nurse practitioner certification. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, a minimum grade of “C” in all prerequisite courses and a successful interview at the School of Nursing.

Early Assurance

This program, offered by SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine and SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine (Syracuse), allows qualified students to apply and be accepted to medical school at the end of their sophomore year. Applicants are required to complete half of the premed science courses with a minimum GPA of 3.5 (3.7 UB) by the end of the fall of their sophomore year and have minimum combined SAT scores in critical reading and mathematics of 1300 (1400 UB). Acceptance exempts the student from taking the MCAT, allowing more time for independent study, Honors work, extended internships, study abroad, etc.

Medical And Preprofessional Exams

Admission tests must be taken almost a year before entry into professional school. Therefore, the required courses should be taken before spring semester of the junior year for those planning to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in April. The MCAT, a standardized test of verbal reasoning, biological sciences, physical sciences and a writing-sample section, is used by virtually every medical school as an important part of the admission evaluation process. Similar tests are administered for other health professions, i.e. dental (DAT) and optometry (OAT). Veterinary schools require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Students are counseled on how and when to prepare for the exams. Study guides are available and information on prepatory courses is provided.

Semester Abroad Programs

With careful planning, health profession students are encouraged to take advantage of semester abroad opportunities and participate fully in the liberal arts experience. Some programs have specific health care components while others include required courses for the health professions or the major, so students can still graduate on time. While the Center for Global Educations offers abroad programs on six continents, health professeions students often find themselves studying abroad Copenhagen, Denmark.

It is the Committee's impression that well-rounded students are the most successful in gaining acceptance to professional programs and developing into compassionate physicians. 


Associate Professor of Chemistry

Justin Miller

Health Professions Adviser
(315) 781-3884

Scott MacPhail
Health Professions Counselor
(315) 781-3514


To learn more about the Health Professions Advisory Program, read Exceptional Health Professions Opportunities.


When we asked local medical professionals what they think of HWS health professions students, they couldn't say enough. Here are some excerpts:

"…able to relate comfortably and confidently to all sorts of patients…displayed insight and maturity beyond her years."
-MD, Emergency Dept.

"...was a pleasure to work with this semester. Exceeds expectations in communication skills, quality process and workplace behavior."  
-FNP, Internal Medicine

"Well motivated. Will make a very good physician. She is a pleasure to work with."      

"Having mentored pre-medical students for many years, I rate [student] within the top three of all of these."    
-MD, Emergency Dept.

"...was a pleasure to work with. She was eager to learn. She was observant while testing was done, asked appropriate questions and was courteous to staff and patients."      
-RN, Cardiopulmonary Dept.

"Very helpful, offers to assist. Asks questions regarding treatment and diseases."
-PT, MS, Outpatient Rehab.

"...was a pleasure to mentor. She demonstrates many abilities that will make her a good medical provider. She estimated knowledge very readily, utilizes it to ask insightful questions. She never hesitated to participate in patient care. She was prepared and highly professional. I would look forward to working with her in the future."
-RPA, Family Health Center

"Nice job, lots of interest and dedicated to learning and seeking opportunities."
-RN, Family Birth Center

"Interested, on time, asks good questions and wants to learn."
-MD, Pediatrics

"...was great! Very helpful and asked good questions re PT/Rehab in general. We hope she goes into the Rehab field!"
-PT, MS, Outpatient Rehab.

"Very good student, and she was a pleasure to have in the office."
-MD, Internal Medicine

"...was great – definitely would make a good Physical Therapist!"
-PT, MS, Outpatient Rehab.

“Very pleasant and interested in learning. I wish her the best in the future.”
-MD, Internal Medicine

"Very pleasant and professional."
-RN, Family Birth Center

"Very focused. Serious about learning."
-MD, Emergency Dept.

"Smart and courteous."
-MD, Emergency Dept.

"Very helpful…good questions...tries exercises patients are doing...requests text books...always early!"
-PT, MS, Outpatient Rehab.

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.