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.
ELIGIBILITY to participate in the HPEC interview process:
- Must be a currently enrolled Virginia Tech student, or an alumna/alumnus who has graduated within the last two years.
- Must have cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.20 or higher.
- Must have two to five assessment forms completed by individuals (whom you request to be your assessors) submitted to HPEC portal by the deadline, Tues. January 31, 2023, 5pm ET; see HPEC timeline and deadlines. (You supply names and email addresses of your assessors; HPA will provide them access to the assessment form to complete online.) (Again, these are NOT the same as recommendation letters that could be required as part of your application to health professional school. HPEC does not send the assessment forms, or any of your HPEC documents, to any schools; these are only used internally for the HPEC process.)
- Must have submitted a completed application, including your personal statement, to the HPEC portal by the close date, Tues. January 31, 2023, 5pm ET; see HPEC timeline and deadlines.
- Must have submitted a current resume and unofficial transcripts of ALL college-level coursework to the Documents section.
Which programs expect committee letters?
- DO typically expect (or strongly encourage) a committee letter: MD | DO | DDS | OD | DPM.
- DO NOT typically 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 April).
- Example: A student-applicant hoping to begin professional school in fall 2024 will be applying in summer 2023, and your HPEC interview should occur in spring 2023.
How to be ready and sign up for spring 2023 HPEC interviews
- For spring interviews, preparation begins in the October prior. See HPEC timeline 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?
The HPEC interview is NOT a practice 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.