2+ Year Member
Aug 18, 2015
You can tell from the title but I just was wondering does the type of nonclinical volunteering matter?

I haven't got much time to do something on a long-term basis but I sorta have been making it up through volunteering on certain occasions when I'm free. For example, I once did ~40 hours at a national conference that hosted 10,000 people and ~8 hours on my school's annual Day of Service.

I have some hours from philanthropic drives and whatnot, but I was hoping I could include the two I just mentioned in my apps as well. Thank you!


the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
Academic Administration
Sure, you can count 8 hours per year for 3-4 years as a "Day of Service". How did the national conference help people? Why did you volunteer for that cause?

If you like helping people, make it a priority. If you don't like helping people, treat it like a check box, do your annual day of service, list that and hope that schools are dazzled by the strength of your application in other realms.


Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2011
Medical Student
You typically want to demonstrate longitudinal commitment to a particular volunteering activity. The Day of Service thing being only 8 hours and (presumably) only annually isn't likely going to represent a commitment. The national conference as a one-off might be worth mentioning, depending on what it entailed.

I would suggest that you get involved in some kind of community service, such as tutoring, non-profit work, working in a soup kitchen, etc. More than 6 months of commitment to such an activity would be better than either of the things you've listed, at face value.