Health Professions Evaluation Committee [HPEC]
What is HPEC and why does it exist?
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.
To be a participant in the HPEC process:
- You must be a currently enrolled Virginia Tech student, or an alumna/alumnus who has graduated within the last two years.
- You are planning to apply for admission to health professional school in the upcoming cycle.
- You must have cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.20 or higher.
- Your application materials must be completed and submitted by the deadline. Application materials include "assessments" from individuals (called "Assessors") able to evaluate you for the HPEC process. All requirements are fully explained in HPEC instructions, application process, and deadlines for students. (We also provide HPEC information for Assessors.)
- You may sit for the HPEC interview one time only.
Which programs expect "committee letters?"
- Typically the following professional programs expect (or strongly encourage) a "committee letter":
MD | DO | DDS | OD | DPM.
- Typically the following professional programs do not require a "committee letter": PT | PA | BSN | MSN.
- You, the applicant, should look at the requirements of each of the schools to which you are applying to know whether they expect or encourage a "committee letter."
Not the same as reference letters:
- Please note the "committee letter" is different from reference letters that applicants might also be asked to submit.
When do HPEC interviews occur?
- HPEC interviews occur only in spring semester (late March to early May).
- Example: A student-applicant hoping to begin professional school in fall 2022 will be applying in summer 2021, and your HPEC interview should occur in spring 2021.
How to be ready and sign up for spring 2021 interviews
- For spring interviews, preparation begins in the October prior. HPEC instructions, application process, and deadlines for students.
Who are the HPEC members?
- Each interview consists of two HPEC members interviewing one applicant.
- The committee members include faculty and administrative personnel from a number of campus departments, and health professionals from the community who have a strong interest in student development or health care.
How long is the interview?
- The HPEC interview lasts ONE HOUR.
What happens during the interview?
This is a formal interview with two basic purposes:
- You must demonstrate your strength as an applicant so the committee members can write a "committee letter" for you;
- The experience is intended to help you prepare for interviews that you could later have with the professional schools to which you apply.
Thus, you will be asked a variety of questions. In addition, at the conclusion of the HPEC interview, you will receive constructive feedback on how you performed based on your responses, body language, and communication skills. This feedback will be most valuable to you as you prepare for your professional school interviews. The "committee letter" will focus on the areas of strength you demonstrate during your interview and in your written materials.
How long is a "committee letter" valid?
- HPA will submit the “committee letter” for the application cycle following the interview. If the applicant wishes to apply during the next, consecutive application cycle, the applicant may request an update to the "committee letter," and HPA will submit it. After that, the "committee letter" will not be available.