Getting into Medical School For Dummies
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Understanding the timeline for applying to medical school helps ensure you complete every step early in the application cycle. Submitting a timely medical school application improves your chances of acceptance to a med school.

With rolling admissions (where schools review applicants’ files as they receive them), early applicants are at an advantage while those who delay face worse odds of admission to medical school.

The following suggested timeline can help keep you on track during the admissions process.

Med school preparation: What to do in your junior year of college

In September through December:

  • Become familiar with the application process and gather information about medical schools.

  • Register and study for the MCAT if you plan to take the test in January. (Register at least two months prior to your planned test date.)

  • Check with your premedical advisor to see whether your school provides a committee letter of recommendation.

In January through March:

  • Take the MCAT in January or prepare for a spring test date.

  • Begin writing your personal statement.

  • Request individual letters of recommendation or follow your institution’s protocol for obtaining a committee letter.

In April through June:

  • Continue working on your personal statement and other aspects of your primary application.

  • Take MCAT by the end of May if possible in order to have your scores available early in the cycle.

  • Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS) opens (early May).

  • American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS) applications become available online.

  • AMCAS and AACOMAS may be submitted beginning in early June.

In July through August:

  • Begin receiving secondary (supplemental) applications. Aim to submit secondary applications within one week of receipt.

  • Some schools begin extending interview invitations as early as July.

College senior year before medical school

In September through April:

  • Interviews are underway at most medical schools by September and continue until late February at many schools. Some schools continue interviews through late March or early April.

  • Earliest acceptances for regular (non-early decision program) AMCAS applicants are offered in mid-October.

  • Send letters of update or interest to schools at which you’re waitlisted.

In May through September:

  • By May 15, cut down multiple acceptances so that you’re holding only one, although you may remain on waitlists for other schools.

  • Continue to update schools at which you’re waitlisted.

  • Finalize your plans for medical school.

  • Begin medical school!

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Carleen Eaton, MD, has used her expertise in admissions and test preparation, as well as her experiences as an applicant who received acceptances to top-ranked medical schools, to guide hundreds of applicants successfully through the medical school admissions process. She is the founder of, a medical school admissions consulting firm.

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