Medical School Admissions Timeline
First two college years
- Select a curriculum that will challenge your abilities and interest in the liberal arts and the basic sciences and fulfill more than minimum premedical requirements. Be sure that other courses taken are in areas of interest that will usually be reflected in a good performance and will enhance your liberal arts background. There is no required or recommended major. Select your major in the field that interests you the most — make it a genuine choice.
- Get to know the PPH director and the advisory committee faculty. Speak with students who are juniors and seniors and learn of their experiences.
- Involve yourself with extracurricular commitments that are of interest to you, reflect your interest in medicine, and demonstrate service to the community.
- Develop friendships with members of the faculty who share common interests with you. This will enable them to better function in a support capacity during your application process.
- Learn as much as you can about medicine from physicians, medical students, local hospitals, etc.
- Try to achieve an outstanding undergraduate record and grade point average. Should you do poorly in an area, repeat the course or take a similar upper-level course to demonstrate your ability.
- Arrange with the PPH director and/or clinicians in the area that interests you to observe medicine or dentistry first hand. These observations will probably be volunteer hours. A significant number of these hours are expected by admissions committees to demonstrate that you clearly understand the expectations of the profession.
- Continue to improve or maintain a high academic performance.
- Obtain a copy of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Medical School Admission Requirements or the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools. Study its contents and make note of any changes or new schools of medicine that may have new entering classes (also see www.aamc.org or www.adea.org).
- Prepare for the MCAT or DAT (you may choose to enroll in special courses taught to improve test taking).
- Discuss your relative chances of entrance to medical/dental school with the PPH director and other members of the faculty who you hold in high regard. Be realistic! If your chances appear to be excellent, visit and talk to schools of your interest. Speak to their students to learn about the curriculum design and general attitudes. DO NOT take the MCAT or DAT just to see what it is about or “for practice.” The record of your test-taking attempts follows for ALL subsequent applications.
- Carefully assess your chances for entrance into medical or dental school. Research particular schools that interest you and where you think you might have a better chance of admission.
- If you are prepared to take the MCAT, apply in early winter to take the test given in the spring (www.aamc.org/students/mcat). If your MCAT scores are poor or only average consider retaking the test in the late spring or summer. Take the DAT in the summer following your junior year. Register here.
- In the spring of your junior year, make arrangements with the PPH director to have an interview with your PPH advisory committee. Upon request, the committee will provide an appropriate letter of recommendation for you to the schools to which you apply.
- At the end of your junior year, write your personal statement and begin the central application process. The medical school primary application is called AMCAS (www.aamc.org/students/amcas/start.htm) for domestic M.D. granting institutions, AACOMAS (aacomas.aacom.org) for domestic D.O. granting institutions, and AADSAS (www.adea.org/AADSAS) for the dental school primary application.
- Use the late spring/early summer to complete all application forms online. Submit your application EARLY (June 1st is the earliest for AMCAS). Admissions to most of these schools is on a “rolling” admission basis. Adhering strictly to “apply by the deadline” is considered showing minimal interest and most often results in rejection.
- Be sure that all necessary materials have been forwarded to AMCAS, AACOMAS, or AADSAS, or directly to the medical or dental schools of your interest as requested by these organizations. (i.e., transcripts, recommendations, and MCAT or DAT scores).
- Complete all scholarship and loan applications as soon as possible. To be eligible for financial aid, you must complete the FAFSA form. Consider other means of financing if necessary.
- In early Fall Semester, continue to evaluate your admission potential. You may decide to apply to additional medical schools. If so, be aware of their application deadline dates so that your application is eligible for consideration.
- Notify your faculty members of selection for interview and dates that you need to travel and be away from your classes.
- If you are admitted to the school of your choice, notify all other schools in which you are no longer interested as a courtesy to them.
- As the school year progresses, send any additional items (such as any update or new grades) to the schools considering your application.
- If you are placed on the waiting list, continue to add to your record all additional credits, honors, experiences, etc., to strengthen your application.
- If you are admitted to medical school or dental school, forward your deposit and begin planning for housing and loans, etc.
- If you are not admitted, consider and discuss alternatives with the PPH director.
A summary of procedure
- Get to know the PPH advisors of premedicine and predentistry as soon as possible in your first year.
- Arrange premedical or pre-dental volunteer experiences throughout your first two years.
- Consider arranging a pre-professional health science committee interview and notify the committee of the need of an evaluation letter before you submit your AMCAS, AACOMAS, or AADSAS application.
- Take the MCAT in either Spring of your junior year or that following summer. Take the DAT in the summer after your junior year.
- Submit your application to medical or dental school during the summer between your junior and senior years.