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Pre-professional Office

From Director Megan Rigney:

The Office of Pre-Professional Programs

The mission of the Office of Pre-Professional Programs is to help Columbia College and SEAS students and alumni/ae identify and refine their interests in professional school (law, medicine and other health professions including dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, etc). This office is a part of the larger advising system at Columbia, and therefore works closely with class deans to provide students with information, guidance and support throughout their premedical preparation. This guidance can be related to curriculum, course selection, health related extra-curricular opportunities, selection of schools, personal statements, letters of recommendation and other application requirements and procedures. The Office of Pre-Professional Programs is also the office which serves as the official liaison with the Deans of Admission at medical and other health professional schools. The staff in the office works to build relationships with individual schools and keeps abreast of trends and changes in an effort to best guide Columbia students.

Interacting with Office of Pre-Professional Programs
Students should think of the Office of Pre-Professional Programs as a resource to them throughout their undergraduate career. Although the Office of Pre-Professional Programs will work most closely with students and alumni as they go through the application process in their junior and senior years and beyond, they welcome students to contact them at any time. Although the staff in the office is rather small, they are quite friendly and anxious to meet and talk to premedical students. Please feel to get in touch with one of the staff members if you have questions or concerns or just want to chat about your experiences. To schedule an appointment to meet with a member of the Preprof staff, please call 854-8722.

Premed Listserv
Another great way to begin to interact with this office is to subscribe to the premedical listserv. This email list is used to connect individuals to different opportunities, including research positions, clinical volunteer opportunites, interesting lectures or events on campus, and even recent articles related to health and medicine. Much like AMSA, the Office of Pre-Professional Programs is striving to provide students with information and programming which will help them to prepare for their applications and futures in healthcare. Premed students who are not members of the premedical listserv are likely to miss important information. So, subscribe today!

The Premedical Advisory Committee Letter of Evaluation:
The Office of Pre-Professional Programs also chairs the Premedical Advisory Committee (PAC). The role of the PAC is to prepare a committee evaluation letter for all students applying to medical, dental or veterinary medical school. The committee evaluation letter is designed to provide the admissions committee with a complete understanding of each candidate’s background and experiences both academic and otherwise. This letter is written on a student’s request and only after the student completes all pre-application requirements by the stated deadline.

During the fall semester, the Office of Pre-Professional Programs will hold an informational meeting for all students planning to apply to medical, dental, veterinary or other health professional school in the coming summer. At this time the Pre-Application for the Committee Evaluation will be distributed and students will register with the office in order to obtain a premedical advisor. This advisor will work closely with the student throughout the year and will ultimately write the committee letter of evaluation in consultation with the premedical advisory committee.

How important is the Committee Letter?

    Most professional school admissions committees place a fair amount of emphasis on these letters. The Admissions Committees are very interested in learning more about applicants as individuals and this letter can help frame some of your experiences. It is designed to be a comprehensive picture of each individual as an applicant. The letter is generally considered an important part of the applicant file.

Programming and Events:
In addition to individual advising, the Office of Pre-Professional Programs also sponsors several different programs and events over the course of the academic year. Please be sure to check out their Events Calendar for a list of upcoming programs.


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