HPS Frequently Asked Questions

Please see the information below for answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions

Q: How long do I have to decide my pathway? I am interested in all three options and haven't narrowed it down yet.

A: Students must declare a pathway at the end of their second year on campus. The first two years of the program are identical for all students, so we give you time to explore!

Q: I am pretty sure I want to attend medical school or pharmacy school. Can I still participate in the HPS program?

A: Unfortunately, no. This program is designed ONLY for students who wish to pursue a career in audiology, occupational therapy, physician assistant practice, athletic training, or physical therapy. Students with differing professional interests (medicine, pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, etc.) will not be admitted to the program.

Q: What if after I have been admitted to the HPS program I change my mind and decide I want to pursue another health profession not included in the program?

A: In this case, it would be more appropriate for you to leave the program to pursue your other goals. You will be better served by seeking out mentorship from faculty/staff that specialize in assisting students with your specific interests. You would still be advised, however, to continue your involvement in community service and professional observation related to your new area of interest.

Q: I am very interested in participating in the HPS program, but I will have completed a number of credits through dual credit before I begin at Missouri State. Am I still eligible for the HPS program?

A: Absolutely! We work with students in this situation to customize their plans of study. Students in this situation may have to select their pathway sooner (generally students are given the first two years to decide which pathway they wish to follow), but only because requirements for each begin to diverge in year three. Be cautioned, however, that your GPA for your dual credit classes will be considered as part of your cumulative GPA. Students are placed on probation or dismissed from the program if they do not maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA. If you have 30 hours of dual credit that equates to a 3.0, you're already in academic trouble with this program. Keep in mind that this program is rigorous and the standards are quite high.

Q: What if I want to graduate early? Do I still need to fulfill all of the same requirements for the HPS program?

A: Yes. Students who plan to graduate early still need to complete all of the program's requirements to be eligible for the guaranteed interview. Your yearly requirements are altered, but the cumulative totals (community service and observation) remain the same. If you are considering an early graduation, you need to notify us as soon as possible. You can do so my emailing HPSP@Missouristate.edu. For full details about the early graduation option, contact Hillary Mayes using the HPS email address, HPSP@Missouristate.edu.

Q: I see that HPS requires students to achieve a minimum of a 3.5 cumulative GPA each year. Will my dual credit/transfer courses impact that GPA?

A: Yes. As noted above, dual credit classes contribute to the cumulative undergraduate GPA. Our requirement is cumulative, not institutional. Any course you've taken for college credit will be applied to your cumulative GPA. The good news is that the cumulative GPA is evaluated formally by the HPS committee each academic year. This means that you will have the fall, spring, and summer semesters to fulfill the HPS requirements (this applies also to community service, work experience, and observation hours required).

Q: I have completed a number of work/community service/observation hours while I was in high school. Will these count toward my HPS requirements?

A: No. Hours completed during high school cannot apply to our requirements. If you completed any hours AFTER YOU GRADUATED high school (e.g. the summer before you begin at MSU), those may be counted.

Q: I see that students must participate in several HPS events each semester. What if I miss one?

A: There are several MANDATORY events scheduled for HPS students throughout the year. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent your attendance at an event, the HPS Committee will determine how your situation will be handled. If you miss an event for any other reason (forgot to attend, chose to attend another event instead, etc.) you will be put on probation or dismissed from the program. If you miss two events in one year without HPS Committee approval/consultation, you will automatically be dismissed from HPS for not meeting requirements.

Q: Are students allowed to quit the HPS program? Will they be penalized?

A: Students are allowed to withdraw from the program at any time they wish without penalty. However, once a student withdraws from the program s/he also forfeits the guarantee of an interview with his/her program of interest. If the student still chooses to apply to one of the participating graduate programs, s/he will be entered into the larger pool of applicants and may or may not be selected for an interview.

Q: How many students are admitted to HPS each year?

A: Ideally, only 25 students total will be admitted to the program each year. However, the HPS Committee evaluates all applications received before the deadline and admits the most competitive students.

Q: I really want to participate in the HPS Program, but I always perform terribly on the ACT/SAT. Am I still eligible?

A: Yes. Students who meet GPA requirements, but who do not meet ACT/SAT requirements may petition to be considered for program admission by writing a supplemental essay detailing why they think they will be successful in the program despite not meeting all requirements. The same is true for students who meet ACT/SAT requirements, but who fail to achieve a 3.7 high school GPA. These students may also petition for admission by writing a supplemental essay.

Q: Can I stay in the program if I take five years to graduate? Would I need to have more hours to complete the program?

A: The cumulative totals remain the same, even if you take five years to graduate. You can stay in the program for five years if the fifth year is spent gaining more professional and relevant experience. This may be paid work or observation hours, depending on your track, but there must be documentation that the fifth year was spent working on things relevant to both the program and your chosen profession to be eligible for the guaranteed interview.

Q: Do I have to pay to be a member of the HPS program?

A: Membership for the HPS program is free. No fees are required to obtain or maintain member status in the program, however, students who join will need to purchase an HPS T-shirt for approximately $10 during their first semester.


If you have additional questions, please send those to Hillary Mayes at HPSP@MissouriState.edu. You may also call the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) Dean's Office at 417-836-4176.