Student Eligibility

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



Summer 2022 Programs

Campus health and safety precautions

In addition to UC’s vaccination requirement, the campus has implemented a number of health and safety protocols designed to keep the Bruin community safe this fall. For a full list of these protocols, see our UCLA COVID protocols page

All Students participating in SHPEP, PREP, and RAP are expected to comply with the UC health and safety protocols to participate in our programs.

Please see current precautions, requirements, and information for students.

See student requirements

Important dates

November 1,  2021 - Application Opens

February 5, 2022 - Application Deadline

March 15, 2022 - Decision Released


Final program dates

June 19, 2022 - Program start (Dorm move-in)

July 30, 2022 - Program end (Dorm move-out)



Application Process

Online applications for SHPEP 2023 will open in November 2022. Applications are managed through the SHPEP website, to apply please visit the site to submit your application.

How to apply

All inquiries regarding the status of the application and receipt of supplemental documents must be directed to



UCLA SHPEP Information

We are delighted that you are considering the UCLA/CDU Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, UCLA School of Dentistry, UCLA School of Nursing, and the Charles R. Drew University School of Nursing. At UCLA/CDU SHPEP, we are committed to developing future leaders that will change the face of medicine, nursing, and dentistry as well improve health care delivery, policy, and research in underserved communities.

The UCLA/CDU SHPEP mission is to serve as a model learning community in which students examine a variety of healthcare issues affecting medically underserved communities through problem-based learning cases, lectures, clinical experiences, small-group discussions, and a research project.

Students will also improve their learning skills and strengthen their foundation in science. Upon completion of this six-week program, students will be more aware of the urgent need for health care professionals in medically underserved communities and of the educational pathways that lead to providing medical, nursing, dental, and health services to underserved populations.

Academic Enrichment

Students develop statistical and analytical skills through working on a small group project related to describing and developing an understanding of the health issues and epidemiology of underserved communities. Analytical reading skills are developed through daily practice. Students will also participate in a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum in which students will study clinical cases and develop an action plan to solve the clinical case. PBL will reinforce concepts of physical sciences (physics and general chemistry), biology, & organic chemistry that are taught in lectures & learning skills sessions.

Communication Skills

Students will work on presentation skills through a small-group project that will focus on assessing health issues in a specific underserved community and suggesting an appropriate health intervention to ameliorate some of the community's health issues. Students will also enhance their communication skills by mentoring and teaching their peers in small group problem-based learning settings.

Health Professions School Admissions Counseling

Students will develop individual academic plans to reach specific career goals. Students will participate in individual advisement sessions that will help prepare them to apply to health professional schools. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with medical, dental, and allied health students to discuss a range of career opportunities. Various health professionals will provide students with presentations to better understand pre-health professional requirements and the scope of practice of different health careers.

Skills Workshop

  • Application preparedness
  • Financial aid
  • Study Skills
  • Personal development
  • Demystifying the application process
  • Stress & time management
  • Diversity in medicine
  • Reading strategies




Program FAQs

I don’t have health insurance; does that mean I cannot participate in SHPEP?

UCLA housing requires that people who use the dorms have access to health insurance just in case something happens to them when they are at the dorms. As a result, scholars are required to provide proof of health insurance. 


Can I bring my own car to the dorms?

It is probably not a good idea to bring a car during the 6-week program. Parking on campus is expensive; parking will cost you about $75/month which will amount to $150 for the duration of your time at UCLA. There are good bus connections to downtown L.A. and to Santa Monica and to the beach.


What kinds of books should I bring to SHPEP?

We strongly promote reading as part of our curriculum and will give you books for the reading required in the classroom, but any books that you have wanted to read would be a great thing to start with before even coming on board. 


Do we have access to the Gym?

Yes. The John Wooden Center is a multi-faceted facility. It features 3 gymnasia, basketball courts, indoor & outdoor weight training, stretching mats, stationary bicycles, stair climbers, treadmills, rowing machines, and a Rock Wall. 


Can we have visitors at UCLA? 

Yes, anywhere but the dorms. This is strictly enforced out of concerns for your safety and the safety of others and that applies to your parents and family as well. Absolutely NO ONE other than SHPEP students may ever enter or stay in the dorm rooms. However, on MOVE-IN and MOVE-OUT days, your parents are welcome to help you and enter the dorms, as we welcome their assistance!!


What will our schedule look like?

Sample Schedule - Please note that the schedule changes every year, and this is only to be used as an example.


Is there a cost to attending UCLA/CDU SHPEP?

No. Students will be provided with housing, breakfast and dinner, and a stipend that will cover the costs of lunch through the 6-weeks.


Can I participate in SHPEP if I am a junior or senior in college, or if I have already graduated from college?

No. SHPEP is exclusively for current freshman and sophomore college students. However, we encourage you to pursue other enrichment opportunities. 


Can I participate if I am a community college or junior college student?



Will SHPEP help me prepare for the MCAT exam or DAT?

SHPEP does not have an MCAT exam or DAT preparatory component. However, the program's basic science curriculum covers content that is included in the MCAT exam and DAT.



I am a freshman and have not received my grades yet, can I send in my high school transcript?

SHPEP does not accept high school transcripts. If you are a freshman in college and you have not received your first semester/quarter grades we encourage you to send in your transcripts to the National Program Office in January once your first semester/quarter grades have been established and finalized. 


What is a pre-health advisor?

A pre-health advisor may be a faculty or staff member at your institution in your dean’s office, career, or student services center.


Who should I pick to write reference letters for me?

This should be someone who knows your academic and personal character. Ideally, this should be a pre-health advisor and/or a college professor. If none of these persons know you well enough, a high school science teacher or a local dentist or physician who knows you well will work. Pick someone who can speak in detail about you. (And don't forget to ask them if they can write you a positive reference letter!)


Can I have a job or take other classes during the six-week program?

SHPEP is an intense full-time program with required events in the evenings and on the weekends. You will not be able to keep up with a job or with taking other classes. One-hundred percent of your focus needs to be on SHPEP when you are here.


I am a recipient of the federal government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). Can I still apply for the program?

Yes, DACA recipients are eligible.


I am an international student. Can I apply for the program?

Students are required to have U.S. citizenship, hold a permanent visa (not a student visa), or be DACA recipients in order to join the program. 


I am a student from a foreign country. Can I participate in SHPEP?

SHPEP is an undergraduate program for freshman and sophomore college students. However, we encourage you to pursue other enrichment opportunities.


I am in my 3rd/4th year in community college, am I eligible to apply to UCLA SHPEP?

You may apply to UCLA/CDU SHPEP as long as you have not transferred to a four-year institution by the summer you plan to attend SHPEP.



Have questions? Chat with staff every Thursday from 1:00pm - 2:00pm to learn about DGSOM medical tracks, Pre-Health summer programs, and Postbacc programs.

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