Medical School Admissions Timeline

medical school admissions strategy

The MD admissions process is long, and it begins even before you officially apply to med school. During your junior and senior year as a pre-med, be sure to stay on top of completing all of your pre-med academic requirements, reaching out to recommenders, and (increasingly) studying for the MCAT.

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January - May: take the MCAT and receive scores

Ideally, an applicant should have their MCAT score in hand by the time they submit their AMCAS application. To play it safe, this means you should take the MCAT early enough to receive your scores by the time application submissions open in June. Registering for the MCAT at the beginning of the year will afford you plenty of time and also give you the opportunity to retake the test before applying if you’re not happy with your score.

May: complete all sections of your AMCAS application 

MD applicants’ outcomes improve drastically if they have their materials ready the first day the AMCAS primary applications allow submission. While the application technically opens in the beginning of June, you can physically log into the portal and begin working on the application in May. Complete your application, which includes your personal statement, throughout May so that you can press submit as soon as the application officially opens.

June: file primary applications

It’s very important to file your primary application as soon as the application opens. Not only is the medical school application process incredibly competitive, it is a rolling admissions process. As such, your chance for admission improves drastically the earlier you submit your materials.

July - November: file secondary applications

Secondary applications are triggered once you’ve submitted your primary application. The secondary applications are school-specific, and you’ll have to tailor your essay responses to individual schools.

August - January: prepare for and attend interviews

Interview requests are sent out on a rolling basis. Note that your preparation should be thorough and appropriately designed for the variety of interviews you’ll encounter (group, one on one, and MMI). If you have not received interview requests by December, it’s a good idea to send out update letters to admission committees reinforcing your candidacy. 

November - March: receive acceptances

Acceptances, like interviews, are sent out on a rolling basis. Be sure to send update letters and letters of intention appropriately and in a timely manner.

September: matriculate!

Congratulations on a job well done and an outcome hard earned!
Please note that this timeline spans roughly 2 years. While not all applicants must follow this exact timeline, it is important that applicants give themselves plenty of time to prepare for the rigorous demands of this application process.

Julia graduated from Princeton University with a BA in Spanish & Portuguese (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), and earned her MD at Harvard Medical School. Subsequently, she completed an Internal Medicine Residency at NYU and a Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.


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