Dear Pre-Health Students and Alumni,

We know many of you have questions and concerns about how COVID-19 will affect your academics and activities as you prepare for future health professions applications. Although we live in an ever-changing landscape, we will do our best to help you navigate the challenges you may be facing in your personal and academic communities.

  • For an overview of coronavirus information and resources for Johns Hopkins University, please click HERE.
  • For current Johns Hopkins University students who have questions about spring 2021 grading: our general advice is to take courses for a grade when possible. When you apply to medical, dental, or other health professions school, the schools will want to see all of your grades. While they want you to do well in science coursework, they also want well-rounded applicants who can demonstrate academic diversity beyond the sciences. They want to see students rise to the challenge and adapt to the circumstances. However, they also know extenuating circumstances can occur, so please discuss any challenges or questions with your academic advisor and pre-professional advisor.
  • For a series of advising FAQs, please continue reading below.

What activities can I do to enhance my future application if there are COVID-related restrictions?

Hospitals, labs, non-profits, and other entities have varying levels of restrictions for volunteers and employees, so it is first important that you contact organizations on a regular basis, as their policies may be continually changing.

Here are questions to contemplate as you consider research, clinical experiences, and community service:

  • What are the risks associated with the research, clinical work, or volunteering you might wish to do? Do you feel safe doing it?
  • What can you do to gain greater knowledge of your chosen field that does not pertain to direct patient interaction?
    • Can you engage in virtual shadowing or telemedicine?
    • Can you listen to relevant podcasts and do extra reading?
    • Can you interview a physician or other health care provider in your chosen field—ask questions about daily work/tasks, how they work with patients in a virtual setting, etc.
    • Can you engage in service that pertains to your community, but without patient interaction, such as making masks, assisting with blood drives, volunteering at a food bank?
    • What can you do virtually, such as remote research or virtual volunteering?

While this is a challenging time for students to engage in direct patient interaction, it is still important that you acquire clinical experience before you apply to health professions schools. It is imperative that you identify ways in which to demonstrate an understanding of health care, patient care, and medicine as a whole.

What relevant remote work can I do?

Word Document: Ideas for Pre-Health Students During COVID-19 is a helpful guide on how to stay involved and busy at this time. The list of ideas was comprised by members of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) and updated by Pre-Professional Advising, and ideas are quite varied. Although clinical options are included in the list, we have additional ideas for clinical experience in this PowerPoint Document: PowerPoint.

In addition, we suggest you contact the Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Concern for a comprehensive list of community service opportunities.

Will medical schools accept pre-med requirements S/U?

We anticipate schools will accept your spring 2020 S/U grades since that was the universal policy of Johns Hopkins University. However, as previously noted, we suggest taking future/additional classes for a letter grade.

Will medical schools accept pre-med requirements taken online?

Given the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we anticipate schools will accept the Johns Hopkins policies for online classes that have been established during the pandemic, and therefore accept pre-med requirements when they are only offered online.

How will the academic changes affect my future application?

Medical schools are aware of the changes to your learning environment, and as a result, they will be fair, flexible, and humane. We expect many schools to add a question to their secondary applications that allows you to explain if the COVID-19 pandemic affected your academic, personal, or professional plans in any way. Remember, graduate schools are experiencing similar challenges with their own students, so they are acutely aware of the hurdles you may be facing.

What is the latest COVID-related information from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and other health professions services?

For an overview of health professions (allopathic, osteopathic, dental, physician assistant, etc.) COVID-19 links and information, please click here.

For information on the MCAT, please follow the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

For information on the DAT, please follow the American Dental Association (ADA).

How can I meet with a Pre-Professional advisor?

The advisors are meeting with students and alumni via Zoom. To schedule an appointment, please click HERE.

Some general tips and information:

  • Medical school admissions committees understand the current situation. However, they also expect to see something in your recent work history that demonstrates cultural awareness, compassion, leadership, and strong communication skills.
  • If you have concerns about your academic schedule or the university policy pertaining to coursework, please speak with your Krieger or Whiting academic advisor.
  • COVID-19 has presented all of us with unexpected challenges, but this can be your time to shine. We suggest you continue to work hard, persevere, and demonstrate to schools and programs that you are adaptable, resilient, and flexible.

Wishing you all the best, in good health and wellness.


Pre-Professional Advising

The Office of Pre-Professional Advising serves current students and alumni pursuing career interests in the healthcare or law professions. Our role is to help you make informed decisions in your pre-health or pre-law course planning, secure relevant experience, overcome obstacles, and navigate the application process.

Our office offers individual advising appointments, small group meetings, and informational sessions, specialized workshops and experiential programs, bi-weekly newsletters for pre-health and pre-law highlighting upcoming events and opportunities, online guides and resources, and other services to assist you in every step of your journey to your career.

Pre-Professional Office Hours

Pre-Professional staff can be reached during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., by calling 410-516-4140 or by writing to Students may also feel free to contact Pre-Professional Advisors directly via email.

Although student advising is normally held in Shriver, the physical office is currently closed. All Pre-Professional Advising meetings will be conducted virtually by Zoom for the immediate future.