Sophomore Year Experience (SYE) is an intra-department initiative to engage Brandeis sophomores and help you make the most of all the resources available during this pivotal year.

A Ten-Item To-Do List for Sophomore Pre-Health Students

  1. Engage in the following writing exercise: Sit at your computer, and write for ten uninterrupted minutes, starting with the phrase “I want to be a [doctor/dentist/vet...] because…” – see what directions your subconscious will take when you sit and write for ten minutes without stopping. This might help you brainstorm about your med school admissions essay.
  2. Declare a major that you love. If you love it, you’ll do well in it. Health professional schools want passionate people who have passions for things other than getting into their schools.
  3. Study hard and build relationships with faculty. If you choose to apply for matriculation to professional school right after graduation from Brandeis, schools will be evaluating you based in part on three years’ worth of academics and letters of recommendation from faculty. Getting to know your faculty by asking questions at office hours, and being an active participant, will help you learn your material better, and will make it easier to ask for letters next year.
  4. Consider studying abroad over the summer or in your junior year. If you take a course or two over the summer, or take some time for yourself between undergrad and professional school, you’ll have plenty of time to take advantage of the opportunity to go away for a semester!
  5. Learn more about Early Assurance Programs. A message will come across the Pre-Health Society listserv regarding this opportunity.
  6. Serve your community. It’s easy to live, eat, and study on campus, and never leave. Gain exposure to others from different backgrounds, and serve your larger community through volunteer programs.
  7. Start planning your summer early. If you’re interested in a directed summer research or health-oriented program, many have deadlines in February and March, so do your research early. Google search on “premed summer opportunity” and you’ll find a number of links to programs, or other schools’ offices that list programs, to which you can apply.
  8. Polish your resume. As you begin to explore summer opportunities, you may be asked to submit your resume, or asked to obtain letters of recommendation from faculty, who may request a copy of your resume. Updating your resume with current activities will also facilitate the application process to health professional schools.
  9. Explore other options. Gaining acceptance to medical and other health professional schools is a competitive process. Always have a “parallel plan” – know a few things that you’d be interested and happy to do after graduation if you don’t get into your chosen health professional program right away.
  10. Meet with a Pre-Health Advisor!  Sophomore year is a critical time in preparing for health professional school. If you want to chat about anything regarding pre-med or pre-health, don’t hesitate to make an appointment by phone at 781-736-3470.