SHPEP (Summer Health Professions Education Program)

Apply to SHPEP!

Summer Health Profession Education Program (SHPEP)

Formerly the Summer Medical Dental Education Program (SMDEP)

SHPEP is a free 6 week summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions. SHPEP’s goal is to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students underrepresented in the health professions and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools.

SHPEP is implemented at 12 program sites across the nation. Each site provides scholars with academic enrichment in the basic sciences and math, shadowing experiences, career development activities, learning and study skills seminars, and financial planning. SHPEP at the University of Washington is a collaboration of the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Public Health.

2019 SHPEP Schedule

University of Washington SHPEP Program Dates

June 21st – August 1st, 2020

Overview of SHPEP at the University of Washington

SHPEP at the UW is committed to increasing the diversity of the pool of health professionals thus improving access to quality healthcare. The University of Washington program involves rigorous academic enrichment through classes that provide a strong knowledge base in the basic foundational sciences and statistics. It is best suited for students completing their first year of college who are about to take these courses or those who have taken them already and feel that they could use some additional help mastering these subjects.

The SHPEP curriculum at the University of Washington is designed to build on the students’ knowledge of the social determinants of health and health disparities through the lens of social justice.

We encourage you to look into our programs and explore what the University of Washington Health Sciences has to offer.

School of Medicine
School of Dentistry
School of Public Health


At the UW SHPEP scholars benefit from:

  • Rigorous academic enrichment courses in biology, chemistry, biostatistics, and population health
  • Career development sessions directed towards the exploration of the medical, dental, and public health professions, the admissions process, and the development of an individualized education plan
  • Exposure to careers in pharmacy, social work, nursing, rehabilitation medicine (PT/OT, prosthetics), physician assistants and other health professions
  • A curriculum designed to increase awareness and knowledge of the social determinants of health and healthcare disparities
  • Individualized clinical shadowing experiences with healthcare providers and biomedical, public health and social science researchers
  • Medical, nursing and dental clinical simulation experiences
  • Emergency department shadowing opportunities

Candidates sought

The UW SHPEP is actively recruiting first year and sophomore students who are currently attending community college or 4-year college/university, and are from underrepresented and educationally or financially disadvantaged communities.

Eligibility for UW SHPEP

  • Be a college first year or sophomore at the time of application
  • 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 the program

Financial Assistance


All students are provided housing in UW dormitories


Meal plans are provided to all students and can be used at any of the UW Housing and Food Services dining locations on campus.


$600 stipend distributed in 2 installments (weeks 1 and 3)

Travel Assistance

Travel Assistance for round trip airfare or car travel from 50+ miles away is available. There is a cap on the amount for round-trip coach airfare. If your airfare is more than our cap you may be responsible for the difference.


  • Online applications open November 1st, 2019 at
  • Application Deadline February 5th, 2020
  • Decisions are Released March 15th, 2020

Contact the UW SHPEP coordinator Nora Coronado at or call 206.616.3043 for more information


What is A Week in the Life of an SHPEP Scholar?
A Week in the Life of an SHPEP Scholar

Academic Credit: Do students receive academic credit for participating in the UW SHPEP?
No. Academic credit is not provided to UW SHPEP participants.

Shadowing Experiences: What shadowing experiences are offered to program participants?
Physician, dentist, and public health shadowing; experiences in various venues including emergency room, clinics and public health agencies and non-profits. Of note, public health is not a clinical care discipline. Public Health is a discipline that focuses on improving health in communities by creating conditions that allow people to thrive. Public Health shadowing sites are not clinical sites – they are health departments and health-related non-profit organizations.

Cost: Is there a cost to participate in the summer program?
No. Student travel is covered and students are provided housing, meals, and a small stipend during the 6 week program.

Health Insurance: Is health insurance provided to SHPEP participants?
No. This program does not provide insurance. However, health insurance coverage is not a requirement to participate in the program. Access to both emergency and non-emergency services are available and information regarding access to these services will be provided.

Immunizations: Are students required to be immunized before arriving in Seattle?
Yes. Proof of immunizations and a current tuberculosis (TB) test are required to observe in many of our clinical settings. Required immunizations include: MMR (mumps, measles and rubella), TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), chickenpox, polio, and hepatitis B. Proof of immunizations and a current TB test must be provided no later than May 1.

Social Activities: What recreational activities are offered as a part of the program?
Recreational and social activities in and around Seattle are organized and take place primarily on weekends. Past activities have included: Pride Parade, Mt. Rainier, Powwow, July 4th BBQ and fireworks at local parks.

Travel Assistance: Will my travel expenses be paid by the UW SHPEP?
We have a $500 cap on the amount we pay for round-trip coach airfare.

Does SHPEP travel cover baggage fees?
No. SHPEP travel does not cover baggage fees.