Application Review Process for Admission Fall 2021

HPAO provides information, guidance, support and formal application review for students applying to any health profession except physical therapy, public health or nursing which have graduate programs and advisors at SDSU. Reviewers will be a group of 2-3 faculty and/or professional staff volunteers who will provide feedback before the applicant submits the application.

No applicant is required to participate in this review process; however, only those participating in the entire process will be eligible for the faculty/staff application review. You may go through the application review process for only one application cycle and for only one health profession.

Requirements for an Application Review

  1. Intent to Apply

For 2022 admission, you must complete and submit the Intent to Apply form by February 15, 2021.  This form must be submitted to from your SDSU email address.

  1. GPA Requirement: Unofficial Transcripts & GPA Calculation

To request application review, you must have a

  • minimum 3.25 cumulative GPA
  • minimum 3.25 science GPA

Unofficial Transcripts: Deliver unofficial transcripts to HPAO or email to by March 1, 2021. In the subject line enter “Application Review Unofficial Transcripts”

GPA Appeal (if applicable): If you do not meet the minimum cumulative and/or science GPA, you must submit a GPA appeal by March 1, 2021.

GPA Calculation: Using this spreadsheet, calculate your overall and science GPA. Email this to by March 15, 2021. Please note: DO schools do not include math courses in your BCPM GPA, but MD schools do.

  1. CV/Resume

Be sure to include all extracurricular activities and employment with dates. Submit via email to by March 1, 2021. In the subject line, enter “Application Review CV/Resume”

  1. Autobiographical Questions

Answering these questions will help you determine if you have a strong application and are ready to apply. These questions will also help you generate ideas for your personal statement. Give careful consideration to your responses. Reviewers will also receive these. Submit to by March 1, 2021. In the subject line, enter “Autobiographical Questions”.

  1. Personal Statement Draft/AMCAS- 3 Most Important Activities

*You must attend an HPAO Writing a Winning Personal Statement workshop prior to March 1, 2021

  • Include your name, date, and Personal Statement in the upper right corner.
  • Be sure to adhere to the character limit required by your health profession (MD 5300, DO 5300, DDS/DMD 4500, OD 4500, PA 5000, PharmD 4500, DVM 5000 characters, including spaces). This does not have to be the final draft of your personal statement, but it must be close and will be reviewed by the HPAO director. If you are applying to MD programs, you may also submit the three most meaningful activities you will enter on AMCAS. Your revised personal statement/activities will be reviewed by the faculty group.
  • MD applicants: AMCAS also provides an opportunity for you to address your three most meaningful activities. These along with your personal statement provide valuable additional information for the reviewers
    • Activity description – 700 characters (counting spaces)
    • Why most important/transformative – an additional 1325 characters (counting spaces)

Email this as a Word document to by March 15, 2021. In the subject line, enter “Draft Personal Statement” or “Draft Personal Statement and 3 most important activities.”

  1. Letters of Recommendation Form

Fill out the form with your letter writers’ names and contact information (email and phone). Type this information on the attached form and email it to  by March 15, 2021. Enter “Application Review LOR List” in the subject line.

Note: Your recommenders will upload their letters directly to the CAS (Centralized Application Service).
*HPAO does not provide a letter service.

  1. Admission Test Score
    It is strongly recommended to have an admission test score before you consider applying.

Application Review

Eligible applicants (those who complete the requirements and steps outlined and meet deadlines) will schedule a time for formal application review. You will receive an email with a link to a Google document to choose an interview time. Sign up for an Application Review meeting by April 15, 2019.

Finalizing your Application for Submission

  1. Schedule your admission test (MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT, GRE) Applicants should make every effort to take the admission test and receive scores prior to submitting the primary application.
    1. Be sure you are ready to take the test.
    2. If you are not prepared to do well (particularly based on your practice tests), you should not apply until you have a competitive admission test score.
    3. While you may submit your application to your CAS without the test scores, your application will not move forward for review by health professions schools without this information.
    4. Plan to have received your test scores no later than August 1 (and preferably much earlier) for optimal consideration for most health professions.

Almost all health professions schools/programs  use “rolling admissions” which means they are evaluating complete applications, scheduling interviews, and making admission decisions throughout the admission cycle and long before their published deadlines.

  1. Request your letters of evaluation/recommendation.
    1. Identify your recommendation/evaluation letter writers early in the process. Your letter writers should be those who know you well and can speak to your qualifications and readiness for your health profession program.  Check the schools you plan to apply to for specific requirements for letter writers.
    2. You cannot be required to waive your right to see your letters of recommendation. However, health professions schools/programs prefer you waive your right because they believe your letter writers will be more candid.
    3. For some health professions two of your letters should come from science faculty who have taught you. An MD letter is usually not required, but many schools will require or recommend a DO, DDS/DMD, PA, OD or other health professional letter. Check the requirements/recommendations for the schools/programs you plan to apply to.
    4. Other letter writers may include non-science faculty, community members, others who know you well although NEVER family members, even if they are healthcare professionals. Check school requirements.
    5. Provide your recommenders with your personal statement, resume/CV, and any other information they request. Do not write your own letter for their signature. If this is an issue, see the HPAO director.
    6. You do not have to have your recommendation letters before you submit your application.
  1. Personal statements will be reviewed ONLY after the applicant has attended an HPAO “Writing a Winning Personal Statement” workshop.

Submitting your Application


Submit your application to your Centralized Application Service (AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS, PharmCAS, OptomCAS, VMCAS, CASPA) early for best consideration of your application.

  1. You do not have to have your letters or test scores to submit your application. It will take 4-6 weeks for CAS verification of transcripts and GPAs. Letters and test scores can follow, but common sense dictates that you know your admission test score before submitting.
  2. Request your transcripts after you start your online application.
    1. Print out the Transcript Request Form to take to the Registrar’s office.
    2. You must submit transcripts from every college or university you have attended even if these college courses were taken during high school.
    3. The Transcript Request form will include your CAS ID, essential to matching your transcripts to your application.
  1. Complete and return all secondary/supplemental applications to the individual schools within 2 weeks of receiving these.
    1. You will receive some secondary/supplemental applications before your application has been verified. Other schools will screen before sending secondary/supplemental applications.
    2. Do not wait until the deadline to return these.
    3. Your application will not move forward without this information.
    4. For some health professions, check the CAS for supplemental question information.

Interviews and Acceptances

Attend an interview workshop.

When you receive an interview invitation, contact HPAO if you would like to come in for a mock interview.

Contact HPAO whenever you have questions. We are here to support you!

Remember this is a journey, not a race, and everyone’s path is different.  Take your admission test when you are ready, and never “just for practice.” Apply in a timely manner (early in the cycle) and only when you are ready and know you are competitive.

There are never guarantees for admission, but preparing to be the most competitive applicant you can be is always your best bet.  Your efforts will pay off!

All materials must be sent in separate emails with the following subject lines.


** Application Cycle Kickoff Meeting #2 is on 2/8/21 from 5-6pm. The zoomlink is

***You have to attend one Application Cycle Kickoff Meeting! If you attended Application Cycle Kickoff Meeting #1, you do not have to attend Meeting #2.