Pre-Health Opportunities


When you are preparing for a career in the health sciences, what you do outside of class matters. Experiences like volunteering at a local clinic, serving as a CNA, or working as a medical scribe offer opportunities to identify your interests and talents, as well as the chance to observe the various roles within a medical team.  Spending significant time in a clinical or hospital setting will not only deepen your understanding of the career you are interested in, but will also help you identify and gain the skills that are needed to succeed.  Finally, opportunities like these provide excellent material for discussion in your professional school applications,  diversify your resume, and create connections with working professionals.

Check out our list of health-related opportunities for

  • volunteering
  • educational programs, research, and internships
  • work
  • study abroad
  • gap year ideas

If you are interested in medical school in particular, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has an excellent site designed to help students gain medical experience:


Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering works best, for both you and the organization, when done over a sustained period of time.  You can build relationships with patients, understand the workings of your organization and its various roles, and increase your skills and abilities much more when you volunteer regularly at one location.  Through these volunteer and opportunities you will also get to know professionals who may allow you to shadow them or even write a letter of recommendation for you.

Abbott Northwestern

Children’s Hospital

Care Partners  (Recommended by Augsburg Alumni) 

Fairview Hospice- Contact Anne Myers-Richards (612-728-2408 or


La Clinica


N.I.P Community Clinic

North Point Health and Wellness Center

People’s Center Health Services

Regions Hospital

St. David’s Center- Contact Mali Anderson (

University of Minnesota Medical Center

United- Health Care Serve & Observe Experience (SOE) program

Augsburg Campus Kitchen
Augsburg Campus Kitchen has many volunteer opportunities for students. We offer different types of service learning experiences, different times to do them to fit into student schedules, and different levels of commitment depending on how involved a student wants to be.
We have three primary types of opportunities available:
  • Delivery shifts- Serve a meal at a community center, homeless shelter or senior apartments
  • Gleaning shifts- Collect surplus produce from farmers markets and move fresh, organic vegetables into low-income communities
  • Augsburg/Brian Coyle Farmers Market shifts- Help set up and run the weekly West Bank Farmers Markets (Tuesdays) and contribute to making fresh food more accessible in this community
  • Cooking shifts- Lead or participate in a cooking class and help make healthy meals to be delivered around the community
This is a great opportunity for pre-health students to learn about the relationship between food and health,  to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures and to become meaningfully involved in their community. Shift days and times can all be found on our volunteer calendar (
To get involved: Use the volunteer calendar ( to find a shift you’d like to join. Then, fill out the form ( to sign up for a shift. If you have any trouble using the sign up system or any questions, please contact Brittany Kimball at
Augsburg Health Commons
The Health Commons hosts drop-in health centers dedicated to serving those in need. The people who come to the Health Commons are from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Everyone is welcome, and all  services are provided free of charge. Health concerns might include nutrition, medication, stress management, respiratory conditions, injuries, skin problems, and chronic disease such as diabetes and hypertension. Frequently, people with these problems come to the Health Commons for its easy access, its supportive environment, and assistance with connecting to other healthcare resources. To learn more about what we do, visit our website:
We have two distinct locations. One Health Commons exists in the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood and another in Downtown Minneapolis at Central Lutheran Church. Volunteer opportunities are available at each.
Health Commons at Cedar-Riverside
Volunteer opportunities vary. Please contact us to learn what’s currently available. Somali language skills a plus.
Health Commons at Central Lutheran Church
We look for volunteers available on Mondays from 9:30 am-noon and on Thursdays from 11:30-2:00 pm. Please contact us for more details.
To apply for any of these opportunities, please contact Brittany Kimball at

For more volunteer opportunities, check out the U of M’s Health Careers Center list here (on the right side of the page) and the Macalester College list here .


Education, Research, and Internship Opportunities

Research is an important part of the health field, with labs throughout the world focused on finding new discoveries and treatments that will be relevant for today’s most pressing health issues.  If you have an interest in both health care and biomedical research, it may be beneficial to gain experience in both areas to help you discover which you find most engaging.  Research experiences offer students the opportunity to collect, analyze, and think critically about data, and to practice writing and presentation skills in a professional setting.  Below you will find research opportunities that will allow you to build these skills while researching important health-related issues.


Building Bridges: Summer Dental School Program

The Summer Dental School Experience is a two-week, intensive program that will provide participants hands-on experiences in dentistry, exposure to prerequisite courses and Dental Admissions Test review, health disparities research experience, and workshops designed to enhance academic skills or to teach students more about dentistry.

Cancer Disparities Internship

Dental School Preparation Course

The Dental School Preparation Course offered at the University Of Minnesota School Of Dentistry is a 20-hour intensive program designed to prepare students for the field of Dentistry.

Des Moines University’s Health Professions Advanced Summer Scholars Program

Des Moines University’s Health Professions Advanced Summer Scholars program – DMU Health P.A.S.S. – is a great way for promising college sophomores and juniors to prepare for and enhance their chances of getting into medical school and other health professions programs.

Hackensack UMC Summer Clinical Research

Hennepin County Medical Center Emergency Department

The Jackson Laboratory Summer Program

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, not-for-profit research institution. The Laboratory’s work is dedicated to the betterment of human health through research in mammalian genetics.

Lupus Foundation of Minnesota

Mayo Innovation Scholars Program- Augsburg College

Mayo Clinic scientists have developed new products that may be marketable. These products are submitted to the Mayo Clinic Office of Intellectual Property (OIP) for a thorough investigation of marketability. One of these products or inventions is assigned to each MISP team.  Augsburg’s team of five will work together to understand the science and applications of the projects or innovations and analyze the market potential. The end result of the team investigation will be a business plan and final presentation at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic Research Opportunities:

Medical College of Wisconsin Summer Research Program (Recommended by an Auggie)

The Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) provides the opportunity for students to learn first-hand the potential of the biomedical sciences as an interesting and fulfilling career.  The SPUR program provides laboratory experience in science, in which the undergraduate works with graduate faculty, students, and staff on significant ongoing basic science research issues.

Minneapolis Heart Institute

Minnesota’s Future Doctors Program

Minnesota’s Future Doctors (MFD) prepares pre-medical students from Minnesota communities underrepresented in medicine for admission to medical school.

NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research

NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program-The NIH UGSP will pay up to $20,000 per academic year in tuition, educational expenses, and reasonable living expenses to scholarship recipients. Scholarships are awarded for 1 year, and can be renewed up to 4 years.  For each full or partial scholarship year, you get to experience two NIH service obligations:  a 10-week Summer Laboratory Experience at the NIH and employment at the NIH after graduation. Must have “exceptional financial need” to be eligible (see link for details).

Roswell Park Cancer Institute Summer Research Participation Program in Science

Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP)

SMDEP is a free (full tuition, housing, and meals) six-week summer academic enrichment program that offers freshman and sophomore college students intensive and personalized medical and dental school preparation. It is intended to introduce low-income or underrepresented college freshmen and sophomores to what medical or dental school might be like.

Washington University in St. Louis

The Summer Research Program in Global Health is an eight-week program open to: full-time college undergraduates; graduate students pursuing a Master in Public Health (MPH), Social Work (MSW), or Population Health Sciences (MPHS); and medical students looking to gain experience in the field of global health research.

For information on additional research opportunities, please visit our On-Campus and Off-Campus Research pages.


Work Opportunities

There are a number of ways in which you can get experience in the medical field while earning money.  Below is a list of jobs that students may do during the school year, during the summer, or immediately following graduation to gain medical-related experience.

  • CNA
  • PCA
  • EMT
  • Pharmacy Tech
  • Phlebotomy Tech
  • EKG Tech
  • Operating Room Tech
  • Medical Scribe

If you are planning on applying for medical school, we strongly recommend that you consider working as a Medical Scribe.  Scribes provide medical documentation services for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners or other providers.  Under the physician’s close direction the scribe will usually witness the patient interview and physical exam, and create a medical record for the patient based on the interaction. Scribes synthesize and enter this information into the electronic medical record. Scribes are also fundamental to workflow in the clinical setting, following up on lab results, facilitating specialist consultation,  and assuring that the radiological procedures and results are obtained in a timely manner.

Check out the local scribing companies and organizations that hire scribes listed below:


Study Abroad Programs for Pre-Health Students


University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow offers a variety of unique courses to students who study abroad there. Of particular interest to pre-health students, the U of G offers Functional Anatomy for Pre-Med Students. In this course, students learn basic medical terminology, core concepts in regional anatomy, clinical correlations and applications of anatomy, and basic radiology.  The school is also working to broaden its course offerings for U.S. science students so that pre-health students can study there without compromising their U.S. curriculum.

Atlantis Project

Atlantis Project participants immerse themselves in a transformative educational experience the encourages both personal and professional growth. An internship in public hospital, allowing Atlantis Fellows to observe many facets of medicine and to gain an understanding of how the European government-run system works.

For more information visit

For more information about study abroad programs, please visit the Augsburg Abroad Office.


Gap Year(s)

Many students are now choosing to take a year (or more) off between their undergraduate studies and professional school.  There are many worthwhile ways to spend this time including working in the health field, gaining lab experience, traveling or studying abroad, and working in community service.  Below you will find a number of opportunities that may help you gain skills and encourage personal growth during your time between programs.

NIH Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award

Over Seas Gap Year


Teach for America

City Year

Lutheran Volunteer Corps

Apply for National Fellowships and Scholarships through URGO - Teach, study or research abroad, all while adding an impressive award to your resume.