Online Application

The Pre-enrollment Support Program (PESP) is a six-week summer experience designed for disadvantaged students who have applied and/or been accepted to a professional health program. PESP specifically targets students who have applied to programs in clinical mental health counseling, dentistry, occupational therapy, physical therapyPESP assists students in making the transition from pre-professional studies to the demanding professional phase.


Students must first apply to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s program at Marquette University by February 1. Interviews will be conducted in March by CMHC admissions committee for admissions into the Master’s program.


Students must first apply to Marquette University School of Dentistry (MUSOD) the summer prior to our summer program. Applicants from MUSOD are then chosen to interview for a PESP slot in February. The MUSOD admissions committee will choose 10 applicants to participate in the summer program.

Physical Therapy

Students must apply to PT school or have recently graduated from college and wish to pursue a degree in physical therapy. The physical therapy participants are often selected as Marquette’s direct-admit students who have completed the pre-professional phase of study requirements. UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and other non-Marquette students may also be eligible for PESP provided they apply for admission to a professional health program.


The summer curriculum is free of cost and students receive a stipend to help offset lost summer wages while also covering room and board. Travel reimbursement for one round trip to Milwaukee may be granted on a case-by-case basis.


Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Dental students are selected by admissions committees from each respective program. Students must apply for admission to the professional program. The physical therapy participants are often selected as Marquette’s direct-admit students who have completed the pre-professional phase of study requirements.

To be eligible for the program you must:

  • Apply and/or be admitted into a professional health program at Marquette University, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee or another institution
  • Be educationally or financially disadvantaged (see eligibility details below)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident

Educational Disadvantaged: You must meet at least one of the educational markers below.

  • Be a first-generation college student
  • Attended high school in Milwaukee Public Schools or Chicago Public Schools
  • Attended high school in a rural area (city population below 10,000)
  • Have below-average academic performance needed (i.e. GPA, test scores) for admission into intended health profession program
  • Have an extreme personal, social, family, or environmental circumstance that you would like to explain in your personal statement

Financial Disadvantaged: Family Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guideline for a student’s family size to be admitted into PESP. If you are 24 years old or older and have not been claimed on your parents’ tax returns within the last three years, then your parents’ income information or tax returns are not required.

2018 Federal Poverty Chart

Persons in Household
(Dependents reported on 1040 form)

200% of Poverty Guideline
(AGI reported on 1040 form)

















For families greater than 8 persons, add $8,640 per person


Application Process

Online Application

In order to apply, please have the following documents available:

  • A copy of your parents’ latest tax return (1040 or 1040A) and a copy of your latest tax return. Note: If you are at least 24 years old and have not been claimed as a dependent on your parents’ tax return for three years, then parent tax information is not required.
  • A copy of your official transcripts.
  • Two recommendation forms from your science professors.
  • A personal statement explaining why you want to pursue a health career. Also describe your volunteer and service work.
  • If you are not educationally disadvantaged, please provide a statement explaining what personal circumstances you believe we should consider in the review process.
  • If you are not a US Citizen, proof of residency is required (i.e. Permanent Resident Card/Green Card or passport).
Dr. Baker Lab


Program Staff

Dr. Lawrence Pan - Director
Kim Harris - Associate Director
Amber May - Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the School of Dentistry