Pre-Professional Clubs: Do They Prepare You For Undergrad?

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    During high school, it’s important to participate in clubs of interest, but you should also try to join pre-professional clubs to further boost your applications to colleges and universities. Pre-professional clubs include common honors societies, national service organizations, and career-specific clubs. Below is a list of some common pre-professional clubs that you could consider joining (or even starting) at your high school.  

    Honors Societies

    • National Honor Society (NHS) 
      • The purpose of NHS is to recognize high achieving high school students, where acceptance is based on four criteria: scholarship, leadership, service, and character  
      • Inducted students must maintain their membership by participating in service and leadership-based activities  
    • Mu Alpha Theta 
      • Mu Alpha Theta is a national math honor society for high school students  
      • Participation is usually based on attending math competitions or other events hosted by the high school  
    • National Honor Societies for Foreign Languages  
      • Most foreign languages taught in high schools have separate honor societies dedicated to the celebration and participation of that language  
      • National Spanish Honor Society and National French Honor Society are two common examples 
    • Other subject-specific societies include Science National Honor Society and National English Honor Society  

    Career-Based Organizations

    • SkillsUSA 
      • SkillsUSA is a career and technical organization for middle school through college students to take part in activities and competitions that improve their exposure to and skillset in various career fields  
      • The national competition is held annually in Kentucky, and winners of the national SkillsUSA competition go on to represent USA in the WorldSkills competition  
      • Topics include Health Knowledge Bowl, Engineering Technology, Entrepreneurship, Customer Service, and Medical Terminology among others
    • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) 
      • FBLA is a business-based career organization that caters to middle school, high school, and university students and offers various competitive events  
      • Competitions are split into 70 different topics, and can be participated as Individual, Team, or Chapter based   events  
      • Helpful for future business majors 
    • Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) 
      • DECA events are geared toward preparing students interested in entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, hospitality, and management programs of study  
      • Much like FBLA, DECA includes various challenges and competitions at the high school and regional, and state levels  
      • Helpful for business majors 
    • Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) 
      • HOSA is a national organization dedicated to serving students interested in health-related careers, and is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education  
      • HOSA offers a variety of topics to compete in, as well as scholarships students can apply to  
      • Ideal of pre-health students  
    • Technology Students Association (TSA) 
      • TSA is a national career organization that strives to develop students’ skills in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and business education 
      • TSA boasts a wide variety of different competitions for students to participate in, all directly related to careers in technology  
      • Great organization to join for pre-engineering or STEM students  

    Volunteer Organizations

    • Key Club International 
      • Key Club is an international service organization for high school students dedicated to engaging high school students in volunteer services in their communities in order to promote service and leadership 
      • great club to join in order to get more involved in your community and build service hours  
    • Community service is a component of most other honors societies such as NHS, so joining such honor societies would also help you expose to community service opportunities  

    Sean Fowler


    Aerospace Engineering at UMD, intending to specialize in aeronautics with a focus on aerospace structures and design.


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