Preparing your application for medical school is a year-long process that, in itself, might already make your head spin. Pile this on top of a full-time course load, and you have yourself questioning why you would do this to yourself in the first place. Here is a general timeline to help you get through this hectic year one step at a time.


September to December

  • Familiarize yourself with medical school requirements and the general application process, and think about how you will fund your application fees.
  • Plan for the MCAT. If you need to take a prep-class, see what options are available in your area and register.

January to March

  • Give yourself several months to study for the MCAT.
  • Reach out to faculty members and physicians who would be willing to write strong recommendation letters on your behalf, and obtain a committee letter from your institution (if this is an option).
  • Begin drafting your personal statement and organizing your non-academic activities for the primary application.

April to June

  • Take the MCAT, preferably in the spring. This way, if you’re unhappy with your scores the first time around, you’ll have time to re-take the test and submit your scores early in the application cycle.
  • Work with a pre-medical adviser to identify an appropriate range of medical schools, and finalize your list.
  • The AMCAS (for allopathic medicine) and AACOMAS (for osteopathic medicine) are online in May, and the application cycle begins in early June. Fill out the primary application and submit it as early as you can; medical schools are generally rolling admission, so your chances of acceptance are higher the earlier you apply.


July to September

  • Retake the MCAT (if necessary).
  • Complete and submit secondary applications within two weeks of receiving them.
  • Prepare for the interview process

October to Spring Semester

  • Continue submitting secondary applications.
  • Take a lighter course load, if possible. Preparing for and traveling to interviews may take up a lot of your time and energy during these months.
  • Interview at medical schools.
  • Receive notice of acceptances (and rejections)!
  • Newly admitted students to AMCAS schools must make their final decision by May 15.

Helpful links:

The the American Medical College Application Service, or AMCAS.

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, or AACOMAS, application for entering medical school.

More on your medical school application

Common reasons why medical school applicants are rejected.
How are med school applications evaluated?
What makes a strong medical school application?
How to strengthen your chances for medical school admission.

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