Important Dates

Application Opens: November 1, 2020
Application Deadline: February 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Application Decisions are released: March 15, 2021

Important Information

The SHPEP National Program Office (NPO) is continually assessing the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of SHPEP 2021. As we consider the options for implementing the program this summer, the health and safety of our scholars remains our top priority. We are optimistic that SHPEP 2021 can be offered as an in-person experience, either in whole or in part. There are, however, numerous uncertainties, variables, and contingencies that will influence our final decision to move forward with an in-person program.

The NPO — along with our 12 program sites located across the United States — will monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and state and local health authorities in the coming months. We are in close contact with staff at each of our program sites and regularly receive updates on any decisions that may alter normal campus operations and/or impact implementation of their summer programming.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated virtual implementation of SHPEP in 2020 due to physical distancing recommendations and campus closures, we are proud that the program was successfully delivered online to more than 930 scholars this summer. Therefore, the NPO is confident in the ability of our program sites to provide a valuable and transformative experience to 2021 SHPEP scholars whether the program is virtual or in-person. Please continue to monitor our website for updates on the status of SHPEP 2021.


Eligibility Requirements


All students who meet the Summer Health Professions Education Program eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a high school graduate and currently enrolled as a freshman or sophomore in college.
  • 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.
  • Must 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.

Application Materials to Submit


Applications will only be reviewed by designated program sites once the National Program Office processes the following materials in accordance with the admissions guidelines:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.