Get Involved

Students walking down the sidewalk on south campus towards Parks Hall with pink cherry blossom trees in background

Student Clubs

Once you join our Canvas course, you will receive announcements about club meetings. All clubs are open to anyone! You can find more information about clubs at the Western Involvement Network (WIN) or contact club leadership at the emails below:

Pre-Med Club:
Pre-Veterinary Club:
Pre-Dental Club:

Community Involvement

What you pursue outside the classroom will be considered by professional programs along with what you accomplish in the classroom. It is important to choose extracurricular activities that you are genuinely interested in and enjoy - not all of your activities need to be healthcare-related or clinical in nature. You have the freedom to pursue and grow in extracurricular areas of your choice and personal interest. Many students migrate toward activities in the health care field, primarily seeking hospital volunteer and physician shadow experiences. Bellingham's St. Joseph Hospital has been able to accommodate some (but not all) interested Western students into its volunteer program.  Other agencies that welcome WWU pre-med students as volunteers include Sea Mar Community Health Center, Unity Care NW Community Health Center, and a variety of adult care facilities in the area.

If you are looking for local volunteer opportunities, is a great place to start. You can filter opportunities by interest area (including “health”) and find something that fits your interests and strengths. Many students have also become involved with WWU’s Peer Health Educator Program or other Associated Student Clubs

Shadowing Opportunities

Finding shadowing opportunities can be challenging. For their first shadowing experience, students often ask a family friend, their own physician, or someone with a personal connection to shadow. This is a great way to get your foot in the door and start building your hours, generally while home during a break from school. Make sure you keep track of all of your shadowing hours and if possible keep a journal about experiences (remember not to use any identifying information or anything that may violate HIPAA). 

  Western Washington University Health Professions department partners with the local Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center Clinics each Fall and Spring quarter to provide opportunities for students to shadow physicians in Bellingham and surrounding areas.  Application information and details are sent out via the Health Professions Canvas site.  In the past, we have had an overwhelming number of applications from students and few physician placements to accommodate the interest.  While we provide this program, we still encourage students to tap into their personal connections and even reach out to local clinics and hospitals to set up their own shadowing experience.  Remember, physicians had to shadow before they went to medical school too and know that it is an important part of preparing for a career in medicine. If you have questions about how to find shadowing, make an appointment with a Health Professions Advisor to talk about your options. 

Research Opportunities

Research experience is not required to develop a strong application for professional school, but can be a great way to enhance your application if you are interested. Many opportunities exist both on campus through individual departments and programs, and off campus. Contact your major department, or speak with a faculty member about getting involved in undergraduate research. You can find more information about research on individual academic department websites:

Research and student leadership experience are examples of areas where applicants demonstrate personal growth and broad interests. Keep in mind, if you have a job while a student, your work commitments may restrict your time available for extracurricular activities. Professional schools generally recognize this and take it into consideration. Find a balance for yourself of interests and commitment so that quality is not compromised for quantity. Doing fewer things better is often more impressive than doing many things haphazardly and superficially.