Policies and Procedures of
the Pre-Health Careers Committee
This page contains the policies and procedures of the SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee. Forms used by the committee, information on how to obtain letters of recommendation from the committee, etc., are linked through this page. This information is provided here to assist SBU students in working with the SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee as the students apply to professional programs in the health sciences.
Purpose of the SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee
The purpose of the SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee is to counsel students and assist them in obtaining catalogs, literature and other information pertinent to professional school admission requirements and admission testing procedures. The chair of the SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee also coordinates the preparation of letters of recommendation/evaluation for students as they apply to professional programs. The SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee does not serve as the academic advisor to SBU's pre-health career students. Rather, the committee provides information to students so that the students, in concert with their academic advisors, may plan their undergraduate curriculum. Specific responsibilities of the committee include:
- providing advisement services to pre-health professions students,
- evaluating students and preparing institutional letters of recommendation for students as they apply to professional programs, and
- maintaining the "Pre-Health Careers Information" website.
Policies and Procedures
The SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee is a committee of faculty and/or staff members appointed by the dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, SBU, Bolivar, Missouri.
Any SBU student may seek the advise of any member of the SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee by scheduling an appointment during their regular office hours. (Click here to see the current membership of the SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee.)
Obtaining a Faculty Evaluation and Letter of Recommendation
Who is Eligible?
Any qualified student currently enrolled at SBU (or SBU alumnus) applying to a professional program in the health sciences (except nursing and physical therapy) may request a faculty evaluation and letter of recommendation from the committee. The eligibility of a student will be determined by each of the following criteria:
- If a standardized admission test must be taken (e.g, the Medical College Admissions Test, the Optometry Admissions Test) the applicant must score at or above the 50% national norms for matriculants who took the admissions test the previous year.
- The student's grade point average (GPA) must be at or above the 50% percentile national norms for matriculants from the previous year.
The SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee reserves the right to not evaluate or write letters of recommendation for students who fail to meet the two criteria listed above. A student with extenuating circumstances, who fails to meet these minimum criteria, may petition the committee chair for reevaluation. However, a favorable majority vote of the SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee is required to grant an exception.
The SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee provides a voluntary service to students. Students who do not qualify for help or who wish to apply on their own are not obligated to use the committee services.
How is the Evaluation Accmplished?
Students seeking a faculty evaluation and letter of recommendation from the SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee should schedule an interview with the committee chair or other member of the committee to discuss their career aspirations. After the interview, the student must obtain from the committee chair the forms necessary to begin the evalulation process. These forms include...
- a Permission to Release Information form
- a Permission to Obtain Transcript form
- an Autobiography form
- a Candidate form
- Evaluation forms
These forms (except the Evaluation forms) are completed by the student and returned to the committee chair. The committee chair then sends the completed forms to the appropriate SBU offices and individuals. The Evaluation forms are sent by the chair to the SBU faculty and/or staff selected by the student for letters of recommendation. The selected faculty and staff complete the Evaluation forms and return the forms to the committee chair. The chair compiles the completed Evaluation forms and uses the faculty/staff comments from these forms to draft a letter of recommendation. The draft of the recommendation letter is reviewed by the members of the committee, and after revisions are agreed upon by the committee, a final letter of recommendation is produced. The final letter of recommendation along with a summary sheet and xerox copies of all the faculty/staff Evaluation forms are then mailed to the professional programs selected by the student.
How Long Does it Take?
Students needing an evaluation and letter of recommendation must allow the committee 4-6 weeks to complete the process. The SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee will not evaluate or write letters of recommendation for students who initiate the evaluation process with less than 4 weeks notice prior to the application deadline of the professional program to which the student is applying.
What does the commitee not do?
The SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee is purely an advisory committee. Students, not the committee, are responsible for application fees, meeting application deadlines and completing the application activities in a timely fashion. Also, since SBU has both a nursing program and a physical therapy program, students interested in these programs should go directly to these departments for assistance and information. The SBU Pre-Health Careers Committee does not advise pre-nursing and pre-physical therapy students.