Appendix B: Timeline for Medical School Applicants

Applying in 2 Years (typically fall of Sophomore Year)


  • Look through the Pre-Health Handbook.
  • Choose courses very carefully to meet pre-med requirements but avoid overload (grades are much more important than they were freshman year).


  • Meet with your advisor and keep him/her abreast of your progress and problems.
  • Take a look at the MCAT schedule online and plan when you will take the exam.


  • Begin to plan summer experiences. Do you need more clinical exposure or laboratory work to round out your background?


  • Meet with your advisor to discuss summer plans such as research, volunteer work, or classes.
  • Actively set up summer experiences early in the semester before the mid-term crunch.


  • Take a look at the AMCAS and AACOM Application Service (for D.O. schools) to become familiar with these applications.


  • Complete summer research or clinical experiences as these will increase your chances of being accepted into medical schools.

Applying in 1 Year (typically fall of Junior Year)


  • Touch base with your advisor to bring him or her up to date on your plans. If you have any questions regarding course selection, contact your advisor early. Course decisions are very important this year.


  • Look at the current Pre-Health Handbook to check for changes from last year that might affect you. Review the current volume of the AAMC-MSAR (Medical School Admissions Requirements) text to familiarize yourself with its content.


  • Think about whether you will benefit by taking Kaplan or Princeton Review courses to prepare for a spring MCAT. Some courses begin as early as December.
  • Register for MCAT to be taken before April. You can find materials at
  • Register for an MCAT course or buy MCAT study books.


  • Touch base again with your advisor.
  • Begin summer planning for research or clinical experiences.
  • Approach trusted professors for letters of recommendation. If applying to a Doctor of Osteopathy program, one of your letters must come from an osteopathic physician.


  • Obtain a copy of the Medical School Admission Requirements handbook from the AAMC and/or go to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine for information about applications.
  • Complete a draft of your personal statement.
  • Finalize a list of individuals who will write letters of recommendation.
  • Make a tentative list of medical schools.
  • Update your resume.


  • Meet with one of the pre-health advisors to outline your personal essay for the AMCAS application.


  • Begin working on AMCAS and/or AACOM personal statement.
  • AMCAS application becomes available the first week of May.
  • Ensure that all recommenders know that recommendation letters should be submitted to the Pre-Health Director by June 1st.
  • Submit request for transcript to be sent to AMCAS (for M.D. schools) or AACOM Application Service (for D.O. schools).
  • Complete personal essay and have it reviewed by your pre-health advisor.

In the Year of Application


  • AMCAS (June 2) and AACOM (June 1) will begin accepting applications.
  • Obtain and submit AMCAS and AACOM applications.
  • Decide on the basis of your first MCAT scores whether you will want to take them in the fall. If so, will you want to take Kaplan over the summer?
  • Check periodically to see if letters of reference have been submitted to the Pre-Health Committee Chair.
  • Send polite 'reminder' letters to recommendation writers if letters are not in.
  • Draw up a flow grid or neat checklists to chart the progress of each of your applications from initial contact through interviews. Create folders for each school.


  • Begin calling schools to ensure that applications are complete.
  • Work on secondary application forms sent to you.
  • Talk with your advisors about potential questions that will be asked during your interviews, review strengths and weaknesses in your application, and discuss how to deal with your weaknesses.


  • This is interview season.
  • If no interviews are offered, you should have a conversation with a pre-health advisor to discuss options.


  • Interviews continue into the spring semester. But if you do not receive any interviews, alternate plans should be considered. Talk to a pre-health advisor before re-applying.


  • Acceptances sent!
  • Things to consider when choosing your school include quality, location, and financial aid package.


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