The medical school application timeline is a crucial piece of information you should have in preparation for your med school applications. Whether you are applying through AMCAS, AACOMAS, , , or any other portal, you must know specific deadlines of your application system and what you can do to prepare. Note that specific dates can vary from year-to-year, so you must verify the exact dates for each application cycle. Here is a rundown of the general medical school application timelines you can expect and particular landmark moments for each application season.
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Regardless of which application type you’ll be using, we recommend you begin planning for application season well in advance. With proper planning, all of your applications will go more smoothly, since you’ll have plenty of time to arrange for standardized tests and secure references from letter-writers. You’ll also be able to start consulting with experts for feedback before the big push as applications open and deadlines begin approaching. Here’s what we recommend for the months leading up to the application season.
Check the GPA and Prerequisites Requirements
- First, take stock of where you are at academically. How high is your GPA? Take a moment to learn about to get an idea of what you should be aiming for.
- If your grades are struggling, be sure to read up on to come up with an effective plan for improvement.
- You can also check out the if you’re wondering if your current academic performance could meet the minimum requirements at some schools.
- Learn about and make sure you’re meeting them for your schools of choice.
- Learn about essential to make your application comprehensive and compelling.
Compile short list of schools
How can MSAR help you find the perfect school?
Research Information About the MCAT
- Check out and see which test date might work best for you.
- Begin MCAT prep by learning and .
- Begin crafting your and take an before you begin your MCAT prep.
Prepare to Write Your Personal Statement
- Most medical programs require some form of personal statement. Begin brainstorming personal statement ideas, and seek out expert feedback on how to make your statement the strongest it can be.
- Review successful , , and
Approach Your Writers for Letters of Reference
- Decide on ideal writers for your letters of reference, and verifiers
- Approach professors or other possible letter-writers (in person or by email) to request a
- Meet to discuss the content of the letter, bring details of work done in each professor’s course(s), and be prepared to offer some idea of the qualities you hope each letter-writer can speak to in their evaluation
- Provide any information/material your letter-writers might need for their writing, such as information about the program(s) you’re applying to, your academic transcripts, your career goals, and anything else they may ask for.
3 Reasons You Must Start Your Med School Applications Early:
Late May – Early June:
- AMCAS begins accepting application submissions
You want to submit your application as soon as possible – information needs to be verified, and the longer you wait, the longer it takes for your apps to get to the schools. Technically, you can submit your application up to the end of July, but this significantly harms your chances. Try to apply by July 1 at the very latest – but even this is far from ideal. U.S. medical schools use , which means that those who apply earliest will receive first consideration; if there are spots remaining after that first round, then additional invitations will be sent out.
Check out why applying early is key for rolling admissions:
- AMCAS releases the first batch of processed, complete applications to medical schools
Ensuring that your application is in this batch means that you must take the MCAT by the 3rd week of May, so that your scores will be released by this time.
May – February:
- Take your CASPer test and prepare for any other components your school may require. Check out our comprehensive list of . If any of your schools require it, you’ll need to find out the specific . Begin your as soon as you know that you’ll need to take a CASPer test.
August – October:
- Secondary applications
come with prompts the school would like you to answer, so they can learn more about you, your priorities, experiences, and values as an applicant and as a person. While there are many different prompt types, and are particularly popular. Some schools send all applicants a secondary application, others send secondaries only to candidates who make it through a first round of review. Check each school’s deadlines and/or the instructions sent with the secondary application request, as these vary by institution. Some may specify that you have 2 weeks from receipt to complete and return the secondary essays/application.
September – February:
You need to begin your and/or your as soon as possible. Practice how to answer common , such as “?”, and “”. Perfect practice makes perfect: seek out help from your academic mentors and professional consultants to help you with your interview prep, to get effective feedback on both your answers and presentation.
Don't forget that many medial schools accept letters of intent. If you do not hear back from your top-choice school for weeks after the interview, you can choose to send them an update regarding your application via a . This may increase your chances of acceptance!
- TMDSAS application opens
- TMDSAS application submission opens
May – July:
- Complete you CASPer test, and any other Altus Suite components that may be required by your schools of choice, such as the CASPer Snapshot and the Duet.
July – Mid-January:
- Medical School Interviews
- Deadline for submitting the application for select programs
- AAMC Early Decision Program - Texas Tech University HSC SOM
- Early Decision Program - UNT HSC - Texas College of Osteopathic
- Early Decision Program - UT Rio Grande Valley SOM
- Texas A&M COM - Partnership for Primary Care Program (PPC)
- Texas A&M COM - The Premed Fellows Early Admission Program (PMF)
- Texas A&M COM - The Engineering to Medicine Early Admission Program (E2M)
- Deadline for taking MCAT for the on-going application cycle
- Deadline for supporting documentation (transcripts, letters of evaluation, MCAT scores) for Early Decision Programs (EDPs)
- Early Decision Programs (EDPs) announce their acceptance decisions
- Submission deadline for applicants applying through the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP)
JAMP is a special program designed to help highly-qualified and economically-disadvantaged students in Texas pursue an education in medicine.
- Deadline to receive supporting documents (transcripts and letters of evaluation) for JAMP applicants
- Medical schools start sending out offers of acceptance
- Medical school application deadline
All sections of the application must be complete by this date. This includes payment of fees. Fees received after the deadline will be refunded and the application will not be processed. No extensions are granted.
- Deadline to receive supporting documents (transcripts and letters of evaluation) for all applicants (including JAMP)
If sent by mail, documents must be post-marked by this date. Note that some schools will not extend offers for interviews until all supporting documents have been received. It is recommended to ensure these arrive as soon as possible.
Mid-October – Late December:
- Pre-match open acceptance period for admission offers to Texas resident med school applicants
- Deadline for Ranking of School Preference for TMDSAS admissions match
- Results of medical school admissions match are announced
- Rolling admissions period begins
- Deadline for medical school applicants with multiple offers to select one offer and withdraw from all others
- Deadline for medical schools to make offers to applicants already holding another seat
Osteopathic medical schools aren’t as systematized as those schools that participate in AMCAS. In general, the application cycle opens in May each year, and closes the following April, but actual deadlines vary by school. General timelines will be provided below, but it is critically important that you verify the exact dates for each cycle, as well as each . Do not forget to review to make sure that your GPA and MCAT score are competitive.
Check out the best DO schools:
- AACOMAS application opens
Prepare your personal statement and all the other primary application components.
- First AACOMAS applications released to medical schools
At this time, most osteopathic colleges begin reviewing applications.
- Applicants are encouraged to ensure application materials are complete and submitted by this time
October – April:
- AACOMAS application deadlines
- Application deadline for Sam Houston University COM
- Application deadline for Michigan State University COM
- Application deadline for Chicago COM of Midwestern University
- Application deadline for:
- A.T. Still University – Kirksville COM
- Marian University COM
- Noorda COM
- Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences COM
- Philadelphia COM
- Georgia Campus – Philadelphia COM (Suwanee and Moultrie campuses)
- Rowan University COM
- University of New England COM
- University of Pikeville – Kentucky COM
- Application deadline for West Virginia SOM
- Application deadline for Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences COM
- Application deadline for:
- Arkansas COM
- A.T. Still University – SOM in Arizona
- California Health Sciences University COM
- Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace SOM
- Des Moines University COM
- Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences COM
- Liberty University COM
- New York Institute of Technology COM
- Ohio University Heritage COM
- Touro COM - New York
- Edward Via COM – Auburn
- Edward Via COM – Carolinas
- Edward Via COM – Louisiana
- Edward Via COM – Virginia
- Application deadline for:
- Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk COM
- Rocky Vista University COM (Colorado, Utah)
- Touro University COM – California
- Touro University Nevada COM
- University of the Incarnate Word SOM
- William Carey University COM
- Application deadline for:
- Idaho COM
- Lake Erie COM Bradenton Campus
As you prepare for application season, always keep the following top five tips in mind to make your application the best it can be!
- Start early. The earlier you begin to prepare for your application, the stronger your application will be. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to meet all of your prerequisites and to get all of your application components in ideal shape.
- Always check and double-check prerequisites and deadlines. Never assume that School A will want the same prerequisites or have the same deadlines as School B! Do thorough research for your schools of interest, and make careful note of the prerequisites and deadlines you need to meet.
- A good MCAT study schedule is crucial. If you are applying to a school that requires your MCAT scores, make a good study schedule that starts six months before your planned test date.
- Your personal statement requires multiple drafts. You are going to have to set aside the time to draft and re-draft your personal statement to make it the best it can be. Get someone you trust or a professional to read your writing before submission.
- Realistic simulations and professional feedback are the key to interview success! The MCAT is not the only application component that requires plenty of practice and prep work – you need to practice for your interviews too! Check out our blogs on common interview questions and interview formats linked in the timelines above to familiarize yourself with the process. Get expert feedback from a consultant to help build your confidence.
Want a recap?
1. Do all schools have the same application timelines?
No, they do not. Most often, medical school application timelines depend on the application system they are using. For example, medical schools that use AMCAS will have similar primary application deadlines. Schools that use TMDSAS will also have similar application deadlines for the primary components. However, keep in mind that most schools will have their own secondary application timelines.
2. Do all medical schools in the US use one of the application systems you mentioned (AMCAS, TMDSAS, or AACOMAS)?
No, there are also some medical schools that do not use any of these systems. There are schools that have independent application timelines.
3. Do Canadian schools have unified application system?
4. Why is it important to apply early?
Most US medical schools have rolling admissions, which means that available spots are filled as soon as a good candidate is found. The earlier you apply, the more spots are available and the less competition you have. If you apply later in the process, you have less of a chance to be admitted even if your application is stellar.
5. When should I begin preparing my application?
You should begin preparing your application as early as possible because crafting quality application components takes a lot of work. For example, your personal statement will take you 6 to 8 weeks to complete. Also, you should gave your referees plenty of time to write you strong reference letters, so aim to approach them at least 2 months before the application deadline. Additionally, remember that filling out AMCAS work and activities, employment history, and other such application sections also takes preparation and time. Give yourself at least 2 months to get your components together.
6. When should I take my MCAT to make sure it's released on time for my application deadline?
Firstly, only take the MCAT when you feel 100% ready. Most students tend to sit their MCAT after the second year of their undergrad when all the necessary prerequisites are completed. If you are a or someone who decided to take/retake the MCAT later than their second year of undergrad, we suggest that the latest period you should consider writing the MCAT is from January to March or April of your application year. This way your MCAT prep and writing will not interfere with your medical school application process.
7. What about secondary application timelines?
Every medical school has their own secondary application deadlines. Some schools will indicate exactly how much time you have to complete the essays, for example, 10 days, while others may not give you a deadline at all. In this case, it is advisable to submit your secondaries within two weeks of getting the supplemental application.
8. Do medical schools accept late applications?
Due to high competition, medical schools do not accept late applications. The application systems simply close to new applicants after the deadline passes.