2013-2014 Medical School Application Timeline

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This blog post is the timeline for applicants who entered medical school fall of 2014. If you are applying for entry starting fall 2016, you can read my 2015-2016 medical school application timeline.

The medical school application process takes nearly a full year to complete. Therefore, excellent planning and organization are essential, especially since most medical schools have rolling admissions.  Rolling admissions means that the school does not wait until all of the applications are submitted to begin evaluating applications. Therefore, applying later in the cycle could place you at a disadvantage in the application process. Many schools begin interviewing in September and some offer acceptances as early as mid-October. As spots in the class fill up, it may be more difficult to gain admission.

To start, you need to know some basic information about how the medical school application process works.

There are three separate centralized application services for U.S. medical schools:

In addition to submitting a primary application through the applicable service, most medical schools require a secondary or supplemental application. The final step in the application is an interview.

To help you get started planning for the coming year, here is a timeline to follow for the 2013-2014 application cycle:

2012

September-December

  •  December Become familiar with the application process. Good sources of information are the application service websites above and your prehealth advisor. Find out if your school offers a committee letter for recommendations, and the process for obtaining one.
  • Gather information about medical schools. The Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) Online, available for purchase through the AAMC site is an excellent resource.  The Osteopathic College Information Book can be downloaded online at the AACOM site.
  • Continue to gain clinical and research experience throughout the next year.

 2013

January-March 

  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty and physicians individually or obtain a committee letter per your undergraduate institution’s protocol.
  • Register for the MCAT at least two months prior to planned test date. Information regarding the MCAT can be found at https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/46412/mcat/
  • Begin studying for the MCAT several months before you plan to take the test.
  • Start working on  the personal statement and descriptions of activities for the primary application.

April-June

  • Prepare for and take the MCAT. Take the MCAT in the spring if possible, but no later than early summer in order to have scores submitted to the schools early in the cycle.
  • TMDSAS opens in early May.
  • AMCAS and ACOMAS are available online in May. At this time, you may fill them out online, although you may not submit them until early June when both application cycles open.

July-September

  • Retake the MCAT if needed.
  • Complete supplemental (secondary) applications. Some will come as soon as your primary application is verified, others will take weeks or months months. Return these to the schools within one to two weeks of receiving.
  • Interviews begin at some schools in late August.

September 2013–Spring 2014

  • Submit any remaining secondaries.
  • Interview at medical schools.
  • Some schools notify applicants of acceptances October 15. Notifications continue until the class is full.
  • By May 15, applicants to AMCAS schools should only be holding a spot at one school. They may remain on waitlists for other schools.

Spring-Summer 2014

  •  Update schools you are waitlisted at about new activities and accomplishments.

Fall 2014

  •  Begin medical school!

Need the help of an advisor experienced with dental school applications? Contact Dr. Eaton at (626) 768-2154 or info@prehealthadvising.com for a free 20 minute phone consultation.

21 Comments

  • jeremiah / January 22, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    how do i download the application form?

  • Dr. Eaton / January 29, 2013 at 10:26 am

    To apply to allopathic medical schools use the AMCAS application at https://www.aamc.org/. Osteopathic medical school use AACOMAS at http://www.aacom.org/Pages/default.aspx. Most Texas schools use TMDSAS at https://www.utsystem.edu/tmdsas/

  • khayelihle ntombela / February 4, 2013 at 4:34 am

    lists of medical schools in south africa

  • Abigayil / March 21, 2013 at 5:53 am

    When you ask for letters (I’m nearing the end of my junior year) and am confused about the deadline for receiving letters of recommendation. Are they part of the primary aamcas application. I don’t know what deadline I should give my recommenders, do I need them by the time I fill out the application in June. Also if my school has a letter holding system do I have to do anything through aamcas website or just send the letters directly to the schools I’m applying to?

  • Dr. Eaton / March 22, 2013 at 9:53 am

    The AMCAS application may be submitted without letters of recommendation. Those can be added at any time. Schools ask for letters as part of the supplemental/secondary stage of the application process. When you receive secondaries depends on when you submit your primary. Some schools send secondaries immediately after receive the primary. If your school has a letter service, the service will submit the letters to AMCAS. For details, check the AMCAS instruction manual and speak with your letter service.

  • George Bittner / March 29, 2013 at 6:08 am

    I am near the end of my junior year. I took the MCAT and score 41 and my GPA is 3.82.
    I have requested LOR from different faculties. some are advising me of taking a Gap year to do more research in order to be a strong candidate to the “top schools.” I have already done clinical shadowing and also some clinical clerical work. I need your advice.

  • Osman / April 2, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Applying as a non- traditional student, finished my undergrads in 2005. I am starting to study for the MCAT right now. Your website states that the MCAT should be taken latest by early summer. How about if I take them in September (want to take them once and be very prepared)? Will I be at a significant disadvantage when applying? Also, any helpful tips for non- traditional students as myself. I don’t have the connections I once had as a college student, especially with letters of recommentdation.

  • Arinze / April 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Hw can i apply for unisa on net

  • Dr. Eaton / April 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Although taking the MCAT by early summer is ideal, it’s generally better to take the MCAT later if needed to achieve a higher score. A higher MCAT outweighs an earlier application in most cases if one has to choose betwen the two. However, September is quite late. By that time most schools will already have started interviewing and you may be at a significant disadvantage by taking the MCAT in September as your scores will not be available until a month after that. If it is possible to take the MCAT in August, especially early August, and still do well, then try to do so. Another option to consider is taking the MCAT in September and then waiting to apply until the next cycle.

  • Dr. Eaton / April 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    The numerical components of your application are strong; however, I cannot comment specifically on whether or not it is important for you to take a gap year to do research without having seen your full list of extracurricular activities. If you are interested in admissions advising you can email or call through the website to arrange a 20-minute phone consultation.

  • Dr. Eaton / April 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I am not sure what “unisa” is. If you clarify, I may be able to answer your question.

  • Dominique / April 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Dr. Eaton,
    I am confused about dates. What does it mean to be applying for the 2013 entering class? For instance if I am following the above timeline for medschool application 2013-2014 and I am doing my primary application now is it the AMCAS application for 2013? Or am I doing the wrong one? I ask because 2014 opens May 1st and I don’t want to have to fill out the application again or have my letter-writers have to refill out forms.

    Thanks,
    Dominique

  • Dr. Eaton / April 15, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Hi Dominique,

    Applications for the 2013 entering class are closed. The upcoming cycle. AMCAS and AACOMAS applications for the class entering fall 2014 go online in May 2013.

  • Diana / April 27, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Dear Dr Eaton,

    I have a C- in one of the prerequisites subject and plan to retake it in June/July. I am also taking MCAT in May. Will I be able to make it into the early pool for reviewed by the DO schools because MCAT score will be out till June and my retake class ends end of July. Should I proceed with the AACOMAS application in May and update the MCAT and retake grade later? Also can I indicate in the AACOMAS that I am retaking the subject?

    Thank you
    Diana

  • Dr. Eaton / May 3, 2013 at 11:04 am

    The best way to prepare for medical school at your stage is to take challenging science courses and do well in them. At 12, you are probably too young to volunteer in a clinical setting, but later on you should volunteer in a hospital and take advantage of any other opportunities to explore medicine. Aim to go to a college with a strong program in the biological sciences and use your time in college to engage in medically-related experiences such as volunteering, physician shadowing and research.

  • RubyR / May 7, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Hey Dr. Eaton,

    I wanted a little advice on if I should apply for 2014 or class of 2015. Next week I am going to start my MCAT studies and want to take them mid July or very early August. I know you said previously that this would be fine for the application. However, I will be graduating college this December in 2013 as of now I have a 3.94 GPA. If I apply to medical school is it better to already have your under graduate degree before you apply or as long as you will have it before the cycle is finished? I have volunteered in 2010 at a local hospital for most of the year, and done small volunteering (such as community clean ups and churches) on and off until now and I also I plan on volunteering and shadowing this summer should this as well be completed before I submit my primary application?

    Thanks so much and I hope to be hearing from you soon!

  • BG / June 20, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Dr. Eaton,

    I just received my MCAT scores from my test in May and I got a 30. I have a 3.9 GPA. Is it better for me to apply immediately with these numbers, or to retake the test in July and wait until the end of August to apply? The rest of my application is strong, and I think I could improve my MCAT scores with another month of studying. I don’t know how schools weigh the early application vs. higher numbers.

    Thank you!

  • Vicky / July 13, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Dr. Eaton,

    I’m not sure if I am a good candidate for medical school, I’m currently a junior, have a 3.4 GPA (retook like 5 elective classes) 35 on MCAT but I have a lot of extra curricular activities, I shadowed many doctors, have worked as a CNA for about a year now and participated in a Research Associate Program for a teaching hospital. I’m also looking to get more experience in clinical research at my university or any med school residents looking for extra help. However my GPA and retaking worries me, do I still have a chance? Please help

  • Annabelle / August 1, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Dr. Eaton,

    I am in a predicament and no one seems to be able to help me! I submitted my AMCAS application in June. I was getting 35s on practice MCAT exams so I took the test on June 20th, and my score dropped to a 30. I’ve already submitted a number of secondaries. Would you recommend I take it again? If I enter an August MCAT date into AMCAS, does that put my application on hold or would a new score be added as an update? If my applications do get put on hold, is there any point in continuing to rush to get in my secondary applications? I have a 4.0 from a post-bac program and feel that my application is strong otherwise. I don’t know what is worse: an early application with a mediocre score or a late application with a good score. Help!

  • samantha / September 29, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Hi,

    I graduated with a BS in Biochemistry in 2011 with a cGPA and a sGPA of 3.3. Money was always an issue and therefore I had to work part-time throughout my four years of college to cover my living expenses.
    Right after graduation, I could not gather the courage to rack up more loans…so I decided to take up full-time cancer research job in solid tumor and immunology. I have been working fulltime in research and paying off those loans since last two years. I also have a major interest in filmmaking. I have contributed as a producer/production assistant to a number of short films.
    I have always wanted to go to medical school. A recent personal experience has ignited my motivation to pursue a career in medicine more than ever. Thus, I am currently preparing for MCATs, volunteering at two different hospitals, and will shadow a physician in late fall. I am planning to apply in 2014 for 2015 entry.
    Obviously, as a non-traditional student, I am wondering how competitive would I be for california medical schools? With a low GPA, I know I need to ballpark atleast 34-36 on MCATs to atleast be considered.

    Any advice/opinion is appreciated.

    Thanks

  • khalid / November 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    So I am in the middle of the cycle. I applied as early as possible and finished most of my secondaries late july to mid august. I applied to 27 schools, and now its almost the end of November and I have not gotten one single interview invite. MCAT: 30, cGPA: 3.98, sGPA: 3.95. Got about four letters of rec and did everything I was supposed to do to the best of my ability. AMCAS did have a major delay of about 2 weeks so I am hoping that is why it’s so late, but I am starting to lose hope. Any words of advice?