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HPSP Scholarship: Health Professions Scholarship Program


If you are interested in the medical field, going through the military to earn your degree and start your career can be a good idea. There are different ways you can do so too. A couple of options are to use the HPSP (Health Professions Scholarship Program) to go to the school of your choice or to attend school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Here is a little bit about each option:

What is HPSP, the Health Professions Scholarship Program?

The branches each have their own Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP).

  • Army HPSP
  • Air Force HPSP
  • Navy HPSP

NOTE: The Marine Corps doesn’t have a program since they receive all of their medical services through the Navy.

You can use the HPSP to pursue a profession in:

  • Medical/Osteopathy
  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary medicine
  • qualifying Special Nurse
  • Counseling/Clinical Psychology
  • Optometry

The HPSP was created because of the Uniformed Services Health Professions Revitalization Act of 1972.

This program is the primary source of trained healthcare professionals entering the United States Armed Forces.

The Air Force and the Army offer one to four-year scholarships, and the Navy offers three or four-year scholarships.

What are the benefits of using the HPSP?

You will receive:

  • Free tuition for up to 4 years
  • Funding for books, equipment, and other fees
  • A $2,200 monthly stipend
  • A $20,000 sign-on bonus
  • Officer pay, even during school breaks
  • Monthly allowance for food and housing
  • Salary increases with promotions, time in service, and cost of living adjustments

What are the requirements for the HPSP?

You must:

  • Be a US citizen
  • Have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited school or be pursuing one
  • Be enrolled or have an acceptance letter for an accredited graduate program in medical/osteopathy, dental, veterinary, specialty nursing, counseling/clinical psychology, or optometry
  • Be enrolled at full-time status
  • Qualify as a commissioned officer

What will my service requirements be during my schooling?

You will be placed on inactive reserve status during your medical training. As inactive reserve officers, you will be required to serve 45 days of active duty training (ADT) each fiscal year.

For the first two years, your duty will probably be spent attending an officer basic course or school or executing clinical training at your school. For the 3rd and 4th year, you will probably carry out elective clinical rotations at a military hospital.

What about after graduation?

After graduation, Army and Air Force service members will be promoted to the rank of Captain, and Navy service members will be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

The incurred service obligation is usually a one-for-one for every service-paid year of schooling with a minimum of two years for physicians and three years for other specialties. There could be additional time for certain postgraduate programs.

If you are interested in the Health Professions Scholarship Program, your first step would be to talk to a recruiter from the branch of your choice.

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is located in Bethesda, MD, near the grounds of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

There are four colleges at this university. The F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, the Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing, the Postdoctoral Dental College, and the College of Allied Health Sciences.

What is the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences?

The goal of the university is to educate and prepare graduates for service to the US in the medical corps, both at home and abroad. They are the nation’s only federal school of medicine, graduate school or nursing, postgraduate dental college, and college of allied health science. The university was established by Congress in 1972 and has had more than 5,000 physicians graduate since it opened in 1976.

What are the benefits of going to this university?

Students attending USU enter the university as a commissioned officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or the Public Health Service. No prior service is required to attend USU.

Students will pay no tuition or fees and receive a full salary and the benefits of a uniformed officer throughout their four years at the university in exchange for a seven-year, active duty commitment. PHS (Public Health Services) graduates have a 10-year active duty commitment.

The benefits also include free medical care for students and eligible family members, a housing allowance, and 30 days paid leave annually. Books and lab equipment are also no charge to the student.

If you would like to apply to USU, you would do so through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS.)

You should think about what you want to do when it comes to going to college, where you want to go, and then decide if it would be best for you to use the Health Professions Scholarship or if it would be best to attend the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Either choice can be an excellent way to achieve your career in the medical field.







About the author

Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.