PREP Program

Pipeline Rural Education Program

Introducing WVU undergraduate students to pathways into the rural healthcare professions. 

The WVU Institute for Community and Rural Health is deeply committed to the principles of diversity and inclusiveness and values the perspectives and experiences of students from all backgrounds. All undergraduate health sciences majors are encouraged to apply.

PREP Purpose

According to the RHI (Rural Health Information) Hub, maintaining healthy rural communities depends on a robust rural health workforce. However, provider shortages are more common and oftentimes more severe in rural areas. Rural communities need physicians, nurses, dentists and other healthcare professionalsl that are well-educated, well-trained and have had experiences that expose them to and prepare them for rural practice. Minorities have also systematically experienced a greater number of health disparities based on their racial or ethnic group. To combat the shortage of rural healthcare providers, the WVU Institute for Community and Rural Health has created PREP (Pipeline Rural Education Program). Creating more opportunities for undergraduate students to be exposed to rural experiences will bridge the gap much sooner.

Program Description

PREP (Pipeline Rural Education Program) invites rising WVU juniors and seniors interested in exploring rural healthcare to apply. Participants must complete the program in full to receive a $500 participation award.

1. Attend 1 Rural Health Interest Group Meeting – fall or spring
2. Attend 1 ProjectReach event - fall or spring
3. Attend 1 Rural Immersion - fall or spring
4. Meet with the Pre-Health Office – any point before graduation.
5. Poster session – spring (include a subject or concept from RHIG meeting and/or their experience(s) in PREP
6. Must attend WVU Rural Health Day - spring
7. April - PREP graduation


1. Undergraduate rising juniors and seniors in the following disciplines (If your program isn’t listed, but you would like to participate, please contact us):

  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Child Development and Family Studies
  • Communication Sciences Disorders
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Engineering
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Forensics
  • Health Informatics & Information Management
  • Health & Well-Being
  • Human Nutrition & Foods
  • Immunology & Medical Microbiology
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Neuroscience
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy
  • Physics
  • Public Health
  • Psychology
  • Social Work

2. Minimum GPA: 3.0
3. Interest in rural and/or medically underserved healthcare
4. Students who are first generation, students of color, and/or student veterans are especially encouraged to apply.

Application is now closed.
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