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Co-Curricular Involvement

Student Organizations

UCR students pursuing careers in medical and health fields have come together to form a variety of organizations and groups. While participation in these groups is voluntary, student organizations are a great way to share interests and goals with others interested in similar paths. The opportunity to network and to build a support network with others is very important for success.  A complete database of UCR student organizations can be found at HighlanderLink.

HPAC Ambassador Panels:

  • African Americans United in Science (AAUS)

    Established to provide a variety of educational programs, support opportunities and resources for students of African descent in the sciences and other majors as well - Opportunities include physician shadowing, mentoring, community outreach, and partnership with various support groups such as the James Wesley Vines Jr. Medical Society.


  • American Medical Student Association (AMSA)

    American Medical Student Association (AMSA)

    National pre-med/medical student organization with opportunities to learn more about a career in medicine, lobby for resident and medical student rights, and fight to solve health care problems facing the US today.

  • American Medical Women's Association at UCR

    American Medical Women's Association at UCR

    We are a pre-med branch of the nationally established American Medical Women’s Association. Our purpose is to bring together those in medicine and health-related fields to promote women’s health and to support members’ professional and personal development. Additional purposes specific to the University of California, Riverside Branch include the following: To aid in sculpting the future generation of female physicians and to bring awareness and support to the female population going into all departments of medicine including but not limited to M.D, D.O, P.A, Pharmacy, and Nursing; To ensure the full commitment of organization members to health-care and health-care delivery; To provide philanthropic opportunities for participants to become active members of the community.

  • Chicanos/Latinos for Community Medicine (CCM)

    To inform and motivate Latinos and minorities to pursue a career in medicine and health related fields and to serve the underrepresented communities.

  • Colleges Against Cancer (CAC)

    Colleges Against Cancer is a student organization aimed at unifying students through a shared interest in cancer education. This includes everything from the different types of cancer to the methods used to treat and prevent cancer. CAC also serves as a gathering for those who are battling cancer or know someone that is battling cancer and a place and for those who want to honor those that have survived cancer and those that have lost the battle.


  • Fight for Autism

    The mission of Fight For Autism is to bring awareness and increase understanding about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Riverside community. They host interactive events and programs that foster inclusivity and create a welcoming environment for individuals with autism and peer advocates. Through their program, Project LEAD, students are able to volunteer in special needs classrooms in elementary schools by providing mentor-ship to children on the spectrum to improve social and behavioral skills. Through different events, volunteers also work towards educating teachers, parents, and other students on how to better communicate with individuals with autism in order to avoid exclusive behavior and foster a community of advocates in Riverside.

    Highlander Link

  • Filipinos in Health Sciences

    To encourage the Filipino student community to pursue higher education in medicine and health-related fields and provide support in reaching future career goals.

  • Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC)

    The Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) is a U.S. based global non-profit organization dedicated to children in need. To date, FIMRC has helped thousands of children by setting up clinics in rural areas of Costa Rica, Uganda, El Salvador, Peru, Haiti, and Nicaragua. These clinics across the world employ the help of doctors, volunteers, and donors who support a healthier global community. However, mobilizing volunteers and funding these clinics is a challenge in itself. To help with this aspect of the program, FIMRC collaborates with concerned students at universities across the country. One of the latest of these universities to establish a partnership with FIMRC is UC Riverside. The FIMRC-UCR Chapter is committed to raising awareness in the local community and providing a link between charitable individuals in Riverside and those in need of fundamental medical resources.

  • Future Dentists Club

    Future Dentists Club

    To provide assistance to UCR pre-dental students in obtaining acceptance to an established dental school - Dedication to the club will provide all members with the ability to show that they are able to succeed in dental school, through participation in school related activities, leadership skills, and the ability to successfully cooperate with other members.

  • Future Pharmacists Interested in Learning Leadership Skills (PILLS)

    Future Pharmacists Interested in Learning Leadership Skills (PILLS)

    UCR pre-pharmacy club to provide services and opportunities for students interested in the highly demanding career of pharmacy - Throughout its existence, the club has been successful in assisting prospective pharmacy students with valuable information, guidance, and resources to further strengthen their application to pharmacy schools in California and throughout the country. Members receive invaluable information and develop leadership skills that will prepare them in the field of pharmacy.

  • Global Medical Brigades

    The organization's mission is to lead a holistic model for sustainable health care in underserved villages in Honduras that conducts preliminary needs assessment, treats patients to the highest ethical standards, sponsors referrals to those with needs beyond our capability, records data for the production of quantitative reports, and works to improve the water, sanitation, and economic infrastructure.


  • Global Medical Training (GMT)

    The purpose of GMT is to offer pre-health students the opportunity to explore and gain a medical and dental experience, while providing free humanitarian healthcare in developing communities in Central America.


  • Kindling Intellectual Development Program

    Kindling Intellectual Development Program

    Seeks to motivate low-income and homeless students in downtown Riverside to achieve healthier lifestyles and to have more over-all wellness. We are looking for dedicated volunteers for long-term projects with the students and for talented individuals to be guest speakers for one-time events.

  • Latinos in Science (LIS)

    To encourage a greater number of UCR students to achieve academic excellence and promote community outreach.


  • Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)
  • Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity (PhiDE)

    Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity (PhiDE)

    Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity creates physicians of integrity with a lifelong commitment to our guiding principles of philanthropy, deity, and education through fellowship, service, mentoring, and formal training in leadership, science, and ethics. As UCR's only premedical co-ed fraternity, we take much pride in our close comradery and unparalleled diversity. 

  • Physical Therapy Student Organization

    Physical Therapy Student Organization

    To provide general information about the health care profession in physical therapy as well as guidance and steps to applying to physical therapy schools. Also to promote awareness in physical therapy in hopes to bring a Kinesiology undergraduate program to UCR.

  • Physician Assistants of Tomorrow (PAT)

    Physician Assistants of Tomorrow (PAT)

    To educate students about the role of Physician Assistants (PA) in the medical field, the requirements for PA schools, and what being a PA is about. We aim to bring students closer to becoming a Physician Assistant. 

  • Precision for Vision

    Precision for Vision

    The organization's goal is to improve eye health and eliminate preventable blindness.

  • Pre-Student Osteopathic Medical Association (Pre-SOMA) at UCR

    Pre-Student Osteopathic Medical Association (Pre-SOMA) at UCR

    Pre-SOMA is the undergraduate division of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), a national organization of students pursing a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree. The Pre-SOMA at UCR chapter strives to educate prospective medical school applicants about osteopathic medicine, as well as discredit the myths between allopathic and osteopathic medicine.

  • Pre-Veterinary Club (PVC)

    Pre-Veterinary Club (PVC)

    Our goal is to provide resources to students interested in veterinary medicine that allows them to connect with their community, develop professionally, and acquire knowledge and experience in their field of interest.

  • Riverside Free Clinic

    Riverside Free Clinic offers undergraduate students a chance to be a part of a team of undergraduates and medical students who work together with licensed medical professionals in an effort to provide basic medical and social support services to the indigent population of downtown Riverside, CA.


  • Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)

    Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)

    To actively lobby for increased access to pharmaceutical drugs in developing countries. We will accomplish this by determining how universities can help ensure that biomedical end products, such as drugs, are made more accessible in poor countries and to increase the amount of research conducted on neglected diseases, or those diseases predominantly affecting people who are too poor to constitute a market attractive to private-sector R&D investment.

  • Unnatural Causes: Health Equity Advocates (UNC)

    The organization's goal is to advocate and take action promoting health equity by screening Unnatural Causes, a documentary exploring racial and socioeconomic inequalities in health, and providing viewers with opportunities to take action.

Off-campus Opportunities

  • American Red Cross

    American Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and is recruiting volunteers to provide services during disasters.

  • Aquarium of the Pacific Internship (offered Fall, Spring, and Summer)

    Aquarium of the Pacific Internship (offered Fall, Spring, and Summer) Our internships are typically offered in the fall, spring and summer and we accept applications year round. All applicants should be organized, self-motivated, and have excellent people skills. All internship positions are on a voluntary basis only; we do not offer paid intern positions. Housing and transportation are the responsibility of the candidate.

  • Arlington Animal Hospital

    Arlington Animal Hospital We strive to provide the highest level of veterinary care to our patients and their family, in a compassionate and professional environment. To accomplish this, our doctors and staff continually seek improvement through continued education, seminars, conventions and our staff meets regularly to discuss and implement new treatments, ideas, and procedures. We recognize the significant relationship between humans and animals, called the human-animal bond, and we strive to support all aspects of this bond recognizing that both the needs of our animal patients and human clients must be addressed simultaneously. Our ultimate goal is to provide you and your pet with the knowledge and care you need to foster a long, happy, and healthy relationship together.

  • COPE Health Scholar

    COPE Health Scholar is designed to give pre-health students unprecedented access to direct patient care experience in the hospital setting. The CCE Program is designed to be a rigorous year-long internship, during which time you will learn a lot about the field of health care and will learn a lot about yourself in the process. Popular locations for UCR students include Riverside Community Hospital, and Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina.

  • Cross Cultural Solutions

    Cross Cultural Solutions provides volunteer abroad opportunities, international internships, and gap year programs for individuals and/or groups in 10 countries around the world (Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, Brazil, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, Morocco, India, and Thailand). Check out the website to learn how you can become involved, and learn about the CCS difference. This Changes Everything!

  • Future Physician Leaders

    Future Physician Leaders is a community-based collaborative effort started in 2009 by Dr. Raul Ruiz, Emergency Medicine Physician at Eisenhower Medical Center and Senior Associate Dean of Community Engagement and Partnership at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) School of Medicine. It is a long term mentorship program for students interested to fulfill a mission of service to the community. There is a summer internship component to the program as well. The program combines lecture, research, and community service to educate and serve the Inland Empire communities.

  • Health Science Partnership (HSP)

    Health Science Partnership (HSP) is a collaborative effort between the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine and area high schools. The program received its initial funding through the National Schools-to-Career Program and continues with departmental support from the School of Medicine and the Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Grants Program.  University medical students, graduate students, and undergraduate health science students of all levels mentor high school students in an effort to enhance the pathway for students who aspire to and are prepared for medical careers. 

  • International Service Learning

    International Service Learning provides educational opportunities for students to learn about and provide services in developing countries, including working in teams for medicine, dentistry, optometry, public health, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, and veterinary medicine.

  • Loma Linda University Medical Center

    Loma Linda University Medical Center is a large hospital located in nearby Loma Linda, California that offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. Loma Linda University Medical Center is a teaching hospital and students interested in all health professions will have the opportunity to meet students, faculty, and clinical staff while volunteering. A quick drive from Riverside, Loma Linda University is a great opportunity for students looking to see the multiple health disciplines working together in a large setting.

  • Mary S. Roberts

    Mary S. Roberts The Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center strives to eliminate the suffering of homeless cats and dogs by providing humane care for pets in transition, facilitating adoptions to good homes, supporting pet overpopulation education, and supporting sterilization of companion animals.

  • National First-Generation and Low-Income in Medicine Association

    The National First Generation and Low-income in Medicine Association (FGLIMed) is a multi-institutional, national organization comprising first-generation college graduates and low-income pre-medical students, medical students, physicians, medical school faculty, and administrators who identify as FGLI, or support related efforts throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

  • National Association of Community Health Centers

    National Association of Community Health Centers is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to expanding health care access for America's medically underserved through the community-based health model.

  • National Health Service Corps

    National Health Service Corps is a unique group of dedicated and caring clinicians providing primary health care to adults and children in the communities of greatest need across the Nation by helping medically underserved communities recruit and retain primary care clinicians, including dental and mental and behavioral health professionals, to serve the community.

  • National Rural Health Association

    National Rural Health Association The National Rural Health Association is the voice of rural health, promoting leadership, communication, education, research, and advocacy. The NRHA is an association dedicated strictly to rural health and encompasses many professions.

  • Operation Smile

    Operation Smile is a worldwide children's medical charity that currently supports international and local, in-country medical missions to 26 countries. Operation Smile has student programs and campus student organizations.

  • Peace Corps

    Peace Corps was founded to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of people served and a better understanding of others by Americans. Volunteers work in education, youth outreach, and community development; business development; agriculture and environment; health and HIV/AIDS; and information technology.

  • Project Hope

    Project Hope works to make health care available for people around the globe - especially children by educating health professionals and volunteers, providing medicines and supplies, strengthening health facilities, training community health workers, and fighting communicable diseases such as TB and AIDS. Volunteers work with ongoing programs or can be part of disaster relief teams.

  • Projects Abroad

    Projects Abroad helps some of the neediest people and poorest resourced medical institutions in the third world. Student volunteers are involved in the day-to-day running of hospitals and clinics, observing or directly assisting doctors and nurses. Opportunities are available in numerous countries with projects in medicine, physical therapy, nursing, dentistry, occupational therapy and veterinary medicine.

  • Riverside Free Clinic

    Riverside Free Clinic is a nonprofit organization that provides free interdisciplinary health and wellness care to the underserved population of the Inland Empire while providing an effective training environment for future healthcare professionals and leaders dedicated to serving the Inland Empire. Students work alongside physicians, pharmacists, dentists, medical students, pharmacy students, and dental students as they provide free healthcare to the local Riverside community. 

  • Riverside County Department of Animal Services

    Riverside County Department of Animal Services There are so many great reasons to volunteer. Meet new people, experience the satisfaction of community service, develop new skills, and acquire work experience for future endeavors. Our volunteers improve the welfare of our shelter animals by walking the dogs, brushing and petting the cats, by giving a dirty doggy a bath, making a kitty a new bed to sleep in, reading to a dog, plus much more.

  • Riverside Cat Hospital

    Riverside Cat Hospital Cat veterinarian serving Riverside, Corona, Redlands, and surrounding communities. The only feline-exclusive veterinary hospital in the Inland Empire. We pride ourselves on our high quality, a low-stress environment that only a feline exclusive hospital can offer. With a cozy home-style hospital, both you and your cat feel right at home during your visits.

  • SoCal Equine Hospital (volunteer)

    SoCal Equine Hospital (volunteer)  At Southern California Equine Hospital, we understand that the relationship between a person and their horse is extremely special. People need and want a place they trust to put the needs and care of their horse first. At SoCal Equine Hospital, we understand that, and offer a full surgical and medical facility that provides cutting edge and progressive technologies for diagnosis and treatment in any situation. Working with you to help your horse feel better, perform better and stay healthier. We know that managing your horse is a team effort and we would like to be part of that team, whether in a supporting role to assist your veterinarian through consultations, emergency assistance, shared technologies, and advanced surgical or medical procedures or as your primary veterinarian.

  • The Pets Place (shadow)

    The Pets Place (shadow) With more than 30 years of experience, The Pets Place Animal Hospital has learned what it means to provide truly exceptional service. It starts with putting patients and clients first. When you come through our doors, you’re more than a name on a list. You are a valued member of our team. Your pet’s health care will always be thorough and customized to meet his or her needs. We always focus on enriching the quality of every exam.

  • Woodcrest Vet Clinic (shadow/volunteer)

    Woodcrest Vet Clinic (shadow/volunteer) Woodcrest Veterinary Clinic is proud to serve the Riverside CA area for everything pet related.  Our veterinary clinic and animal hospital is run by Dr. Michael Andrews, who is a licensed, experienced Riverside veterinarian. Our team is committed to educating our clients on how to keep your pets healthy year round, with good nutrition and exercise.  Woodcrest Veterinary Clinic stays on top of the latest advances in veterinarian technology and above all, remembers that all animals and pets need to be treated with loving care in every check-up, procedure, or surgery. 

Virtual Opportunities

Summer Opportunities

Opportunities for students to travel abroad and experience culture outside of the United States are tremendously valuable. However, these experiences are by no means required to become a competitive applicant to professional school. Students must weigh the benefit against the costs of traveling abroad, and consider how it affects their long term goals. The Health Professions Advising Center has created this resource to showcase opportunities abroad that provide pre-health students unique experiences from a global perspective.

It is important to note that our office is not partnered with, nor do we personally endorse, any of these programs directly. Students should seek out testimonials and resources from these programs to best understand what these opportunities entail.

Should you be considering studying abroad, the Guidelines for Students Providing Patient Care Abroad, produced by the AAMC, provides an excellent set of expectations to ensure that you utilize your time abroad as efficiently as possible. To set up a plan for studying abroad, we recommend that students stop by the UCR Education Abroad offices in Surge 0321 to learn about what options they have available to them.

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