Health Professions Advising

Students meet health care admission professionals at HPA's Admission Advantage Event.

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.


For questions or administrative assistance:
Email or
Call 540-231-7287


Health Professions Advising is located within Career and Professional Development in the Smith Career Center. At this time the SCC is not physically open to the public, and we receive contacts by phone and email.


  • 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


  • 1-credit | A-F graded | fall semester only
  • Open to any interested VT student.
  • A variety of health professionals and admissions officers speak to the class about careers, preparation and admission processes.

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.

Check your testing center's website.  In some cases, flexible rescheduling has been implemented.  Please visit the HPA Hub on Canvas for additional information.

  • In general, for prerequisite and science courses, schools may request that those be taken with an A-F grade mode. With that said, some 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.
  • Please take this information into consideration as you make your decisions regarding grading options for the spring 2020 semester for your prerequisite and science courses. If you would like to discuss your particular situation with an advisor, please feel free to attend drop-in advising by phone or Zoom with Health Professions Advising.

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: