Skip to main content
Prehealth Advising

Opportunities to Get Involved

This page is dedicated to sharing resources about ways to get involved at Penn State. Expand the sections below to learn more about opportunities available for Penn State students. 

    Research Opportunities / Internships – Research experience is crucial for prehealth students as it develops critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills, fosters a scientific mindset, enhances understanding of evidence-based practice, strengthens application for advanced programs, and opens doors to interdisciplinary collaborations in healthcare.

    Volunteer Opportunities – Volunteer experiences are crucial for prehealth students as they provide hands-on exposure to healthcare settings, demonstrate commitment to service, develop empathy and communication skills, and offer opportunities for networking and mentorship.

    There is no formal list for all such experiences, so students should make the necessary contacts and seek out arrangements to facilitate other volunteer opportunities. Ideas could include:

    Networking – Networking, shadowing, and informational interviews are vital for prehealth students. They provide exposure to healthcare fields, insights into career paths, understanding of healthcare systems, mentorship, professional relationships, and practical learning beyond the classroom, fostering personal and professional development.

    There are plenty of health professionals in the campus community of State College, PA that are willing to host interested students to observe and shadow within their practices. There is no formal list for all such experiences, so students should make the necessary contacts and seek out arrangements to facilitate shadowing experiences. Ideas could include:

    Clinical Opportunities – Clinical experiences are vital for prehealth students as they provide direct patient interaction, practical application of knowledge, understanding of healthcare processes, exposure to different medical specialties, development of critical skills, and confirmation of career goals.

    Hands-on patient care experience is beneficial for all pre-health students and required of PA school applicants. Working as a trained care provider is also a pandemic-proof way of gaining healthcare experience. Nurse Aide, Patient Care Technician, and Medical Assistant are among the most commonly available positions. 

    These Pennsylvania healthcare employers listed below have reached out to the Pre-Health Office and asked us to encourage Penn State pre-health students to apply with them. They have locations throughout the state. Search for open positions using key terms such as “nurse aide,” “nurse assistant,” “patient care technician,” and “patient care assistant.” Many of the positions listed do not require prior training or certification (though a few will). 

    Pennsylvania Healthcare Employers (search) 


    Training at Penn State and in the State College area 

    The University Ambulance Service and Penn State University are dedicated to providing not only quality emergency medical care, but also EMS education. Training opportunities include Kinesiology 403, a 4-credit, semester-long EMT training program for people with no previous EMS experience, as well as a number of training opportunities for current EMTs. 


    Many jobs will not require experience or a certification, but these Penn State classes teach skills that will give you an advantage and demonstrate seriousness about your commitment to healthcare. 

    • Provides Basic Life Support (BLS) CPR/AED training expected of healthcare professionals 

    • First Aid/CPR/AED 

    Training Locally & Nationally


    Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Training

    EMS Training in Pennsylvania, listed by county 

    • Searchable database maintained by the PA Dept of Health 

    • Training at the levels of EMR, EMT, Advanced EMT, and Paramedic available 


    EMS Training in surrounding states (training at the level of EMR, EMT, Advanced EMT, and Paramedic typically available) 


    CNA Training  


    Additional Employment Opportunities in and near State College 

    Nursing Homes in and near State College 

    Home Health Services 


    Other Employers in Pennsylvania and in the U.S. 


    THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.  THON is a year-long effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer.  THON has 15,000+ student volunteers, 700 dancers, and has raised more than $127 million, benefiting The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.