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UCLA Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)

The UCLA Summer Health Professions Education Program Students

UCLA/DREW Summer Health Professions Education Program

6 week Summer Enrichment Program

We are delighted that you are considering the UCLA/DREW 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/DREW SHPEP, we are committed to developing future leaders that will change the face of medicine and dentistry as well improve health care delivery, policy and research in underserved communities. Our faculty advisors, caring staff, community members and supportive fellow classmates are part of a vibrant campus community that will enthusiastically support you as you pursue your personal goals and turn them into accomplishments.

The UCLA/DREW 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 and dental and health services to underserved populations.

Contact Information

Inquiries and correspondence should be directed to:

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Geffen Hall
885 Tiverton Drive, Suite B27
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7055 


Application Information - Deadline: March 1st

Online applications are available starting November 1st

Eligible applicants are admitted on a rolling basis. Applying early increases your chances of being selected at your preferred program site. Applications are available at http://www.SHPEP.org

Candidates Sought

Targeting educationally and financially disadvantaged community college students while accepting a number of 4-year college students, UCLA/DREW SHPEP will give students the opportunity to meet and work with other students whose interests in health professions parallel their own. Students will also have the opportunity to work with expert faculty and staff who are eager to mentor students and share knowledge in their individual fields.

To be considered for the UCLA/DREW Summer Health Professions Education Program, an applicant must:

  • Be a currently enrolled college freshman or sophomore
  • Have a minimum overall 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
  • not have previously participated in SHPEP.

Other factors that are considered 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;
  • Has demonstrated an interest in issues affecting underserved populations;
  • Submits a compelling personal statement, diversity essay, and strong letters of recommendation.



Curriculum Information

Curriculum consists of a series of workshops, lectures, and discussions pertaining to academic enrichment, learning skills, communication skills and health professions school counseling.

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.

Clinical Experience

Students participate in a community-based health fair, weekly problem-based learning workshops on clinical cases, and a practical dental laboratory experience.

Skills Workshop

Application preparedness
Financial aid
Study Skills
Personal development

Demystifying the application process
Stress & time management
Diversity in medicine
Reading strategies

Onsite Information

Start/End for 2017 Summer Program

June 25- August 5, 2017
Check-in & orientation: June 25th, 2017
Graduation Ceremony: August 4th, 2017
Move-out: August 5th, 2017 by noon

How to get to UCLA

Airport to UCLA Parking Structure 32: Public transportation is available, the flyaway bus that departs from LAX and drops off at UCLA Parking Structure 32. One-way tickets are $10 (no cash accepted). More information can be found at https://main.transportation.ucla.edu/getting-to-ucla/travel-options/flyaway

UCLA Parking Structure 32 to Dormitories: On the day of orientation UCLA/DREW SHPEP will provide private shuttle vans that will take students from the parking structure to the dormitories.

From the 405 North: Take exit 57A for Sunset Blvd., Turn right onto Sunset Blvd., Turn right onto Bellagio Dr., Turn Right onto DeNeve Dr.

From the 405 South: Take exit 57 toward Sunset Blvd., Turn left onto N. Church Ln., turn left onto Sunset Blvd., Right onto Bellagio Dr., Turn Right onto DeNeve Dr.


Scholars will reside at the UCLA dormitories (Rieber Dorms) for the duration of the 6-week program. Two-three students of the same gender will occupy each room. Your room and roommate assignment will be given to you when you check in. No roommate requests please.


Stipend Distribution

Disbursed in two installments during the first and fourth weeks of the program. Stipend is meant to cover the cost of lunch during the 6 weeks of the program (breakfast and dinner are provided).


Breakfast and dinner is provided, 7 days a week, in the residence hall dining commons; A stipend is provided to cover the cost of lunch throughout the duration of the program. Lunch can be purchased at on-campus eateries.

Health Insurance

Not provided; scholars are required to provide valid proof of health insurance coverage for the state of California prior to matriculation.

Travel Assistance

Yes, available on a need-basis


We do not recommend that you bring your own car to the summer program since parking at UCLA is expensive ($12/day or $288/session).

There are plenty of transportation options to get around UCLA and the surrounding area. Here are just a few: 
UCLA Bruin Bus: a complimentary year-round bus service that serves the UCLA campus and the Wilshire Center


Big Blue Bus: Provides bus service to Santa Monica and the west side of Los Angeles, California. 


Los Angeles Metro: Provides service from west LA to downtown and east LA. The website also has a trip planning tool.


Culver City Bus serves Westside communities of Venice, Westchester, Westwood, West Los Angeles, Palms, Marina Del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, Century City, and Culver City. 


Social Activities

Student- Initiated Sunday tours of places such as the Fowler Museum, Venice Beach Surf and Sand, Santa Monica Beach Exercise Walk, and the Getty Museum.


Scholars may wear casual attire for most daily activities however, you will be asked to change if you wear clothing with offensive language or imagery, or of inappropriate size or length. There will be a few activities in which students will be asked to wear business casual clothing (slacks, skirts, button-up shirts/blouses). You will also be required to wear closed-toe shoes for lab and health fair experiences.


  1. 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. 
  2. 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 the beach.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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 at 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!!
  6. 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.
  7. Is there a cost to attending UCLA/DREW 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.
  8. 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. 
  9. Can I participate if I am a community college or junior college student?
  10. Will SHPEP help me prepare for the MCAT exam or DAT?
    SHPEP does not have a MCAT exam or DAT preparatory component. However, the program's basic science curriculum covers content that is included on the MCAT exam and DAT.
  11. 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. 
  12. 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.
  13. 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!)
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. I am an international student. Can I apply for the program?
    Students are required to have U.S. citizenship, hold a permanent visa (not student visa), or be DACA recipient in order to join the program. 
  17. 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.
  18. I am in my 3rd/4th year in community college, am I eligible to apply to UCLA SHPEP
    You may apply to UCLA/DREW SHPEP as long as you have not transferred to a four-year institution by the summer you plan to attend SHPEP.

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