The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a free summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions. SHPEP’s goal is to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students underrepresented in the health professions and to prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools. SHPEP, formerly known as the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), expanded in 2016 to include a broader array of health professions—part of an effort by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that works to build a Culture of Health.
All students who meet the Summer Health Professions Education Program eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. Applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Be a college freshman or sophomore at the time of application.
- Have a minimum overall college GPA of 2.5.
- Be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, or an individual granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- Not have previously participated in the program.
Other factors for consideration include that a student:
- Identifies with a group that is racially/ethnically underrepresented in the health professions;
- Comes from an economically or educationally disadvantaged background; and/or
- Has demonstrated an interest in issues affecting underserved populations.
- Submits a compelling personal statement and a strong letter of recommendation.
Submit Application Materials
Applications will only be reviewed by designated program sites once the National Program Office processes the following materials in accordance with the admissions guidelines:
- The online SHPEP application, which includes one essay prompt (Personal Statement Guidelines). An AAMC account is required to access the application. Register for an AAMC account if you do not already have one.
- One official transcript from every U.S., U.S. Territorial, or Canadian post-secondary institution attended sent directly by the institution’s registrar’s office. Please review the Transcript Requirements section for more information.
- One letter of recommendation from a qualified reference. Please review the Recommendation Requirements section for more information.
You can use the optional Application Checklist to ensure that you have completed all of the required steps to apply to SHPEP.
What it’s like to participate in the SHPEP
Learn more about this program from two students who recently completed it and what they learned.