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What is the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)?

If you are a healthcare professional in the military looking to save money in your college education process, you might be wondering where you can find scholarships specific to your profession. The Health Professions Scholarship Program, or HPSP Scholarship, is a comprehensive scholarship designed for individuals who are in the healthcare field. 

Who is eligible for the HPSP Scholarship?

Individuals who are looking to go into medical fields in the military– including, but not limited to:

  • Physicians
  • Dentists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Optometrists
  • Psychologists
  • Pharmacists
  • Veterinarians

This program helps students with their medical education in exchange for their loyal service in various medical departments of the military.

Also see: What classes to take for pre-med

General Requirements for the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)

There is a list of general requirements that applicants must meet to determine eligibility for the program.  Keep reading for a general description of what the HPSP application entails. 

Physical, mental, and aptitude evaluations 

For starters, applicants need to demonstrate that they are physically and mentally healthy enough to serve in the military if deployed. The required exam takes place at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). MEPSs are located in major cities across the United States. In addition to testing the physical and mental health of applicants, their aptitude and moral standards are also evaluated. 

HPSP age requirements 

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to join the Health Professions Scholarship Program, or 17 years old with parental permission. There is also a maximum age requirement for each of the military programs, but that varies from program to program. 

Standardized test scores

Although the selection process for the HPSP is holistically evaluated according to each application, test scores are the one of the factors that determine eligibility. Applicants must have at least a 3.2 GPA and an average MCAT score of 500. Students also must have earned their bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. 

Also see: How to attend medical school for free

What courses are in the program?

Students take the same courses as civilian students who are studying in the medical fields. However, they will also have additional training that prepares them to become officers in the U.S Military. This also guarantees that you will not be pulled away from school for military training or deployment.  

What is specialized officer training?

One of the major differences between civilian medical school and those training as medical professionals for the military is the Specialized Officer Training requirement. One officer training per year that you receive the HPSP scholarship is required. 

How do I prepare my HPSP Scholarship application?

Start the application for the Health Professions Scholarship Program at the same time that you start applying to your chosen medical schools. This way, you will be able to stick to the same timeline and acceptances for both will come out around the same time, as well.

Just like any scholarship program or school that you are applying for, you will want to have your transcripts, letters of recommendation, and test scores ready to submit and on-hand if needed. If you haven’t already done so, start reaching out to recruiters. They can guide you to which branch of the military will best fit you. 

Once you are accepted into your chosen branch of the Military, your recruiter will continue with your application process. Your application will then be sent to the selection board. 

How can I prepare for the HPSP Scholarship interview?

To prepare for your HPSP interview, it is important to be able to explain why you are passionate about going into a medical field in the military. Prepare yourself to answer general behavioral interview questions, such as what your strengths and weaknesses are. Be prepared with  examples about how you work as a team and what you are able to offer them. Don’t forget to bring along a list of relevant questions to ask the interviewer at the end of your interview. 

As with every interview, you should be prepared to dress professionally and show up ready to treat it like you are applying for a job– because essentially, you are.  

Also see: 15 scholarship interview questions and how to respond

Final thoughts for students

There are other ways to prepare for the HPSA Program. Shadowing military physicians and volunteering at military hospitals or the American Red Cross offer real-life experience. Applicants might also consider building a relationship with a recruiter by developing a list of questions for them. 

Also see: All about military universities

Additional resources

If you don’t feel that the Health Professions Scholarship is right for you, that’s okay! That is what Scholarships360 is here for. If you are in the US Military and interested in other scholarship options, look at some of the top scholarships for veterans, or get some more information on this military scholarships competition. If you aren’t seeing what you were looking for there, we have tons of other scholarship opportunities within our scholarship database. Good luck with the rest of your college career, and thank you for your service!