University of Nebraska Medical Center

How to Apply

SHPEP Application Guide

All applications must be submitted through the national SHPEP application system at www.shpep.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

I don't know if I am officially a sophomore or a junior. Can I still apply?

Undergraduate, including community college students who have completed fewer than 60 credit hours of undergraduate study at the time they submit their application are eligible to apply to SHPEP. Advanced placement credits obtained in high school do not count against the 60 credit limit. Occasionally SHPEP at UNMC does consider applicants with a higher number of credits completed. These applicants sometimes are marked as waitlisted and get in when a seat becomes available.

If you have completed 60 or more credit hours, you might consider applying for the Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

I have a GPA less than 2.5, can I still apply?

The national program office encourages all interested students who meet other eligibility criteria to apply.

How many students usually apply? How many students do you take each year?

In previous years we have received over 400 applications. An applicant can pick up to three schools and three health profession focus areas to which to apply. UNMC SHPEP has 80 available positions (40 pre-med, 20 pre-dental, 10 pre-nursing, 10 pharmacy).

Who should I pick to write reference letters for me?

Your letter of reference should come from a pre-health professions advisor, a college professor, or from a health professions employer who can speak to your academic strengths and personal character. Occasionally students submit letters from high school advisors or teachers. Be prepared to provide your reference with a current resume, and explain your reason for why you would be an excellent SHPEP Scholar. Always ask if your reference would be willing to provide you with a positive letter of recommendation.

How do I "stand out” among the other applicants? How can I make my application more competitive? What does the admissions team look for in an applicant?

We want to learn more about you and your passion for pursuing a health professions career. Remember, good writing is rewriting. Be sure to spend quality time on your essay and paint a complete picture of who you are. Let other people read your personal statement and give you feedback. Don't be afraid of rewriting your personal statement, good writing takes several attempts and revisions. Consider seeking support from your college or university writing center staff.

Can I bring my car?

Yes, you can bring your car, but you will need to commute to class and other functions together with your peers. For instance, on weekdays scholars will be taking public transit to main campus. For special events SHPEP at UNMC will provide bus transportation. Scholars who bring cars will be provided with a summer parking permit. All scholars will have access to the entire Omaha Metro bus system free of charge with their UNMC ID  badge throughout their time in the program. The Omaha Metro Transit system helps scholars reach many popular area destinations. For more information please visit ometro.com.

Can I commute to SHPEP? Do I have to stay in the dorms?

To get the most out of your SHPEP experience, we require scholars who come through our site to stay in the Scott Crossing residence hall on the campus of the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO). Scott Crossing is UNO's newest residence hall located at the heart of Scott Campus. Scholars with extenuating circumstances, such as childcare, have been granted special permission to commute to daily SHPEP activities. Participation in all scheduled activities is required. This includes social activities planned for weekends.

What does the schedule look like?

The majority of UNMC SHPEP activities are scheduled Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. are dedicated to academic enrichment, special projects and workshops. Activities in the evenings and on weekends include journal clubs, community talks and discussion groups, and field trips. Based on feedback we have received we are currently realigning our schedule, rolling some of the evening activities into the daytime. This allows scholars who come through our site to visit the UNO Health and Wellness Center in the evenings, among other things.

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

SHPEP is a full-time commitment. You will not be able to keep up with a job or with taking other classes while with us. We expect that you participate in all scheduled activities to get the most out of your SHPEP experience.

Can I come late or leave early from the program?

No. Unless you have a medical or family emergency, we expect your full participation in our hybrid program (2 weeks virtual, 4 weeks in-person/on-site).

Do you offer any financial assistance for travel?

Yes. If you travel from more than 40 miles (80 miles round trip) away from Omaha, we provide reimbursement for travel expenses (mileage reimbursement/air fare) in accordance with University of Nebraska Travel Policies.

My pre-health, pre-dental and/or pre-medical club would like to know more information about the program. Can someone come and tell us more about it?

Yes, certainly. Currently, we travel to states within our region set by the national office (NE, ND, SD, CO, KS, and MO). We also offer virtual 1:1 meetings with prospective students, and webinar sessions.

Does your site offer health insurance to SHPEP scholars who do not have coverage?

At this time we are unable to invite visiting scholars to participate in our student health insurance program. 

I am not a U.S. citizen, will I be able to apply?

Students must be U.S. citizens, granted permanent residency, or have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Do we have access to a fitness facility?

Yes. Scholars have access to the Health & Kinesiology Wellness Center on the UNO campus. This state of the art facility provides an Aquatics Center with an indoor Olympic-size pool and spa pool. The Fitness and Wellness Center includes a weight room and cardio machines; spinning rooms; an elevated jogging track; and a golf, fencing, and archery lab.

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

SHPEP does not have an exam preparatory component. However, the program's basic science curriculum covers content that is included on most entrance exams. Please review our UNMC SHPEP summary document for more information!

Three people hold signs that say "Welcome SHPEP Scholar"

Learn How to Apply

We encourage you to prepare and apply early! All applications must be submitted through the national SHPEP application system at www.shpep.org.