Virginia Tech®home

Health Professions Advising

Health Professions Advising [HPA] at Virginia Tech assists students and alumni pursuing a health care career in medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, chiropractic, occupational therapy, nursing, physician assistant, veterinary medicine, or other graduate health professions.

Any Virginia Tech student, alumna, or alumnus, in any major, can use our services. Although the majority of health professions students choose to major in a science field, it is not required.


  • Please complete the brief enrollment form to be added to the HPA Hub on Canvas to be notified of events and opportunities of interest and to access informative materials.


  • We encourage you to attend one of these sessions prior to advising so that your individual advising session will be more productive. These 60-minute info sessions are held during fall and spring semesters. See details and schedule on the HPA events calendar.


HPA appointments | phone or Zoom

  • To schedule, call 540-231-7287. Leave a message if you call outside office hours or we're on another call.
  • Typically 30 minutes long and occur between 8:30 a.m. to noon, and 1:30-4:30 p.m.

HPA drop-in advising | Zoom | spring 2021

Drop-in Zoom advising with HPA advisor Drop-in Zoom advising with HPA PCA (Peer Career Advisor)

Topics: All HPA topics.

Date range: Mon. Jan 4, to Fr. May 14, 2021, excluding dates univ. or CPD closed (office hours).

Zoom link for day / time:

Topics: Resume, seeking experience.

Date range: Tu. Jan 26, to Th. May 6, 2021, excluding dates univ. or CPD closed (office hours), excluding spring break dates.

Zoom link for day / time:


  • Ms. Carol Robinson  |  Director of Health Professions Advising
  • Ms. Annie Laib Jenkins | Assistant Director of Health Advising
  • Ms. Melissa Obenhaus  |  Health Professions Advising Program Coordinator


For questions or administrative assistance:


Health Professions Advising is located within Career and Professional Development in the Smith Career Center. All our services are by phone, email, and Zoom.

  • HPA offers general information sessions and opportunities to meet with health professional school reps, and on-demand videos.
  • See the HPA events calendar
  • Complete this brief enrollment form and we will add you to the HPA Hub so you receive information on event offerings.


  • 1-credit | A-F graded | fall semester only
  • Course: BIOL 1214.
  • Fall 2020: Wednesdays, 5:30-6:20pm.
  • Open to any interested VT student.
  • A variety of health professionals and admissions officers speak to the class about careers, preparation and admission processes.




Many health professional schools/programs expect, encourage, or accept, as part of the admission application process, a "committee letter of evaluation" (also known as a "committee letter") that is written by the applicant's undergraduate institution. The Health Professions Evaluation Committee (HPEC) at Virginia Tech exists to write these "committee letters." The HPEC writes such letters only after a process which includes a formal interview with the student-applicant.

HPA FAQs related to COVID-19

Usually, these decisions are made on a school-by-school basis.  Please consult with your professional programs of interest to inquire if modifications for online courses are being made due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although research, observation, and patient care experiences may be limited due to guidelines on social distancing, there are other ways for you to make progress toward your professional-school goals:

  • Investigate professions programs. Now is a perfect time for you to get familiarized with specific professional programs of interest.
  • Focus on your community. Do your friends or neighbors need help with childcare? Do you have an elderly community member who would appreciate regular phone calls to check in? Are you technology-savvy and able to volunteer your time remotely? Think of ways to serve your community within the current environment.
  • Reflect and journal. Reflect on the experiences that you have already had. What have you accomplished and what impacts have you made? What qualities did you demonstrate? What did you learn from your experiences? Write this down to save for later when you will be writing personal statements and descriptors.
  • Read and expand your understanding of others. Take this time to read some books surrounding your professional interest area. You may also consider reading to expand your cultural awareness. Perhaps you could even create a book club to discuss what you read with peers.
  • Learn for free. There are several opportunities to take free online courses. For example: 

In general, for prerequisite and science courses, some schools may request that those be taken with an A-F grade mode. With that said, other schools may be making adjustments to their usual policies based on the current COVID-19 situation. At this time, there is no clear consensus as to whether health professional programs will be willing to accept novel grade modes.

If you would like to discuss your particular situation with an advisor, please feel free to attend HPA drop-in advising or schedule an appointment with an HPA advisor.