The healthcare industry is extremely broad and ever expanding. New government regulations, technological advancements, and the lengthening life spans of the population contribute to this industry thriving and growing. Opportunities include clinical, administrative/management, and public health.
How to Get Started
- There is no required major for professional health programs, although many students decide to major in Biology. It is best to choose a major of interest so that you can strive for a high GPA, while also having time for completing prerequisite coursework. This could also allow for time to pursue clinical and research experience.
- Join the George Mason Health Professions Advisor Listserv
- Focus on getting hands-on or shadowing experiences in a variety of clinical settings, interact with diverse populations, and assist in research projects outside the classroom through programs like OSCAR or at one of the various on-campus research centers or institutes.
- Build relationships with professors and mentors to serve as potential references for the professional school application process.
- Keep up with news and trends related to the healthcare industry.
- Join an on-campus organization:
- Choose an undergraduate major in health administration, business, accounting, finance, or management.
- Gain experience through internships or jobs in a healthcare setting at least by junior year.
- Keep up with news and trends related to the Healthcare industries.
- Get involved in student government, leadership programs or student organizations like AcademyHealth.
- Choose an undergraduate major in Community Health and consider a concentration in Global Health.
- Volunteer in the community at public health-related nonprofit organizations to gain practical experience and explore various niches within public health.
- If interested in global health, seek out study or volunteer abroad opportunities.
- Become familiar with health policy, grant writing techniques and grant submission procedures.
- Get involved in health or peer education programs on campus such as those sponsored by the Student Support and Advocacy Center or other student organizations:
- Complex Problem Solving
- Interest in Science
- Good Listening Skills
- Being Physically Active
- Lifelong Learner
- Critical Thinking
- Judgment and Decision Making
- Management of Personnel Resources
- Time Management
- Social Perceptiveness
- Reading Comprehension
- Active Listening
- Reading Comprehension
- Learning Strategies
- Active Learning
- Complex Problem Solving
Degrees and Certifications
Review the George Mason University Health Professions Advising website, join the listserv, and learn about the pre-application process for professional schools.
Centralized Application Services for professional schools:
- American Medical College Application Services
- American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
- American Dental Education Association
- Pharmacy College Application Service
- Veterinary Medical College Application Service
Review Online Medical Assistant, E-Medical Assistant, and Top Medical Assistant Schools in VA to gain hands-on clinical experience to be more competitive in the professional school application process.
Common Mason programs for pursuing Clinical careers include:
- Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Integrative Studies concentration in Life Sciences
However, those in any major can apply to clinical professional schools as long as they complete the pre-requisite courses required by the programs.
Review the Association of University Programs in Health Administration website to learn the various programs within the Healthcare Management field. The Health Information Management Association is a professional association that has a Career and Student Center to help plan an education in HIM.
Common Mason programs for pursuing a career in Health Administration include:
Review the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health website to learn about how to pursue an education and career in public health.
Common Mason programs for pursuing a career in Public Health include:
- Explore Health Careers
- Explore Health Care Occupations
- Careers in Nursing
- Drug Abuse Careers
- Health Career Center
- Mason Pre-health Advisor
- Industry Career Categories - Explore focuses within the broader healthcare field and scroll to bottom of each page for industry specific resource links
- O-Net - Department of Labor detailed descriptions of the world of work to explore different careers, and analyze specific jobs.
- Book of Lists - Washington (and other major cities) Business Journal online resource that will help identify target companies in your industry of interest and include website links to each - check out Hospitals and Bioscience Employers
- OSCAR – On campus research program
- Research Gate - A site that includes a Facebook for scientists
- Idealist - Nonprofit internship postings
- Student Doctor Network - Pre-health forum
- NIH Internship Program
- Health Career Enrichment Programs
- Student Organizations - Join industry related groups (See applicable "How to Get Started" Section above for specific suggestions)
- Handshake - Search for jobs by industry
- Public Health Jobs
- All50Medical.com - Free healthcare career resource for Allied Health, Locum Tenens and traveling nurses to research and find traveling jobs.
- Career Shift - Job hunting and career management tool
- Best 50 Niche Job Boards
- Public Health Degrees and Careers
Administrative / Management
- American Academy of Medical Administrators
- American Health Information Management Association
- American College of Healthcare Executives
*Note: These are just a sampling, more applicable professional associations can be found through Associations Unlimited.