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California State University, Long Beach
Health Professions Advising Office

Gain Experience

Email List and Database

Have you signed up for our list serv? HPAO will send different updates, announcements, and opportunities that we come across. To sign-up, send your first and last name, student ID number, and inteded health profession to us (subject line: Join the HPAO List Serv).

Volunteering and Community Service

CLINICAL EXPOSURE is strongly recommended for admission to most medical schools and other professional schools. This can include a paid or volunteer position in a doctor’s office, local clinic or pharmacy, dental office, or a hospital. Most hospitals and clinics gladly accept volunteers (contact the volunteer services office at your local hospital for more information). Admission committees want to know that you have the desire and ability to work with patients (shadow a doctor or health professional can also provide clinical exposure). The successful participation in clinical volunteer or job experience can demonstrate this.

COMMUNITY SERVICE experience is highly valued by professional schools. Future health professionals should be able to demonstrate compassion and a willingness to give back to their communities. Getting involved in community service efforts on or off campus that are of interest to you can enhance your application. CSULB has a number of academic, service and health professions organizations to join. You can also volunteer for a wide range of other opportunities. If you are unsure what types of activities would be right for you, come see us!

WORK EXPERIENCE can also be valuable in demonstrating your potential to succeed in your professional program. Past success in a work environment can reveal meaningful information to admissions committees. Depending on the setting, work experience can help develop and showcase a variety of skills including communication (oral and/or written) time management, and problem solving.



Research Opportunities

Research is increasingly becoming more important. It is another way to enhance your classroom experience and is a great way to showcase your love of science and increase critical thinking skills. Although research is not required at all medical schools or health professional schools, successful applicants are adding this to their application an experiences. Options include volunteering in a lab for a professor, getting a job as a lab assistant at a local university, hospital or pharmaceutical company, or participating in a summer biomedical research program. Visit for summer undergraduate research programs.

If you are interested in doing research here on-campus, the best way to get involved is to contact the professor directly. If you are looking to work with a professor in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics, go to the major department’s website, and click on faculty research. From there, you can look at different professor’s lab websites and see what interests you, and what the requirements are. Once you find one that you like, contact the professor directly to see if it would be possible.  

For other opportunities, please check out: Or if you are having a hard time getting started, please check out this resource guide through AAMC.


Campus Involvement

There are many ways to get involved on-campus! We definitely encourage you to seek out those opportunities. One way is through student clubs and organizations. Student Life and Development is a great place to start. We don’t recommend trying to get involved in everything, but work on building your awareness of your intended profession early-on. Also, there are many leadership opportunities available, which is another key aspect of your overall application. Several health profession specific clubs can be found below: