Medical School Application Timeline for 2014-2015

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This blog post is the timeline for applicants who entered medical school in 2015. If you are applying for entry starting fall 2018, you can read my 2017-2018 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 applicants planning to enter medical school in fall 2015:

2013

September-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.

 2014

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 2014–Spring 2015

  • Submit any remaining secondaries.
  • Interview at medical schools.
  • Some schools notify applicants of acceptances October 15. Notifications continue until the class is full.
  • By April 30, applicants to AMCAS schools should only be holding a spot at one school. They may remain on waitlists for other schools.

Spring-Summer 2015

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

Fall 2015

  •  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.

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23 thoughts on “Medical School Application Timeline for 2014-2015”

  1. Zubia Khan says:

    Hi,

    I am a prospective medical school student. I am wondering if a committee letter is recommended.

    Also, what is your opinion about applying to both allopathic and osteopathic medical schools?

    Kind Regards,
    Zubia Khan

  2. Joe Rebman says:

    Hello,

    I am applying for medical school this summer, I had to push my MCAT test date back to August 1st. Will I encounter issues taking the MCAT so late? I will have the rest of my application & letters of recommendation in as soon as June 10th. What is your take on my situation?

    Thank you,

    Joe

  3. Faith Chikwekwe says:

    Hey @Joe and @Zubia Khan, if you don’t get the answers you’re looking for here, try the Student Doctor Network forums. They’re a great place to get answers about anything concerning Med School.

    Faith

  4. My son is a graduate of UCLA and is planning to apply to medical school. It is now June 1,2014, where should he be right now in the application process?. Thanks for your response.

  5. Dr. Eaton says:

    Hi Angela,

    AMCAS begins accepting applications on June 3. It is best to apply early in the cycle, so your son should be preparing to submit his primary application now.

  6. Kawther says:

    Hi
    I am graduating from my undergrad school in Fall 2015
    I will be taking the MCAT in August 2014 which is after two months from now
    I will be working as volunteer and start shadowing late this summer and continue in fall 2014.
    when do you recommend I start my AAMC application and submit it?
    my goal is to be accepted before I graduate.
    thank you

  7. Dr. Eaton says:

    If you would like to begin medical school in fall 2016, then you should submit your AMCAS application in the summer of 2015, preferable early in the cycle. The first day to submit is in early June.

  8. Kawther says:

    Thank you for your response,
    I would like to start medical school in Spring 2016
    I don’t know if there any schools start at that time

  9. Dr. Eaton says:

    I don’t know of any U.S. medical schools that start in the spring semester.

  10. Steven Anderson says:

    Dear Dr. Eaton, is taking the July 12th MCAT too late into the application cycle? I submitted my primary AMCAS in early June (haven’t gotten approved yet, but should be approved soon). However, I wasn’t quite ready for today’s June 21st MCAT. Your honest opinion would be appreciated (if it’s better waiting for next year, or still taking the MCAT on July 12th and applying this cycle). Thank you.

  11. Christine says:

    Hello Dr. Eaton!

    I just graduated from an undergrad university (2104) and I am currently applying to become a scribe. I’m planning to get into medical school in Fall 2016. While I want to gain as much experience as possible, my GPA is not very competitive and I’m not sure if I’ll have time to take a post-bach or re-take classes to improve my grade.

    Would gaining more experiences (such as being a scribe, participating in research, clinical volunteers/internships) “make up” for my grades? Which do you think is the better option to improve on–grades or experience? Or would it be wiser to do both? Please let me know! I would greatly appreciate your advice! Thank you!

    Warm Regards,
    Christine

  12. Alexis R. says:

    hello, I just graduated with my undergraduate degree may 2014 and throughout my college career I had no one to guide me and help me prepare for medical school. so now I am kind of in a bad place because I don’t know when to take the MCAT and when to start applying to medical schools. I would like to start school august 2015

  13. Neelanchal Vaid says:

    Hi,

    I wish to pursue MD-Ph.D. in U.S. I am a non resident, non-U.S citizen. Is it necessary to be a U.S citizen for applying to MSTP programs ? I have surfed many websites of universities and almost all of them mentions that for international students there is a requirement of atleast one year of premedical education in US having completed all the prerequisite courses. I do not know how to proceed to fulfill this condition ? To which courses should I apply ? What should be my next step ? Kindly elaborate.

  14. Raj Patel says:

    I am worried to apply to medical school. I was able to get a 38 on my MCAT (15 PS, 10 VR, 13 BS) however my GPA is only a 3.8. The other problem is that I only have enough money with the fee assitance to apply to 6 schools. I am worried. Should I take a year off and get my extracurriculars up? Thoughts would be nice. Thank you.

  15. Dr. Eaton says:

    The application timeline for applicants who plan to enter medical school in fall 2016 is provided here.

  16. Victoria Nounna says:

    Hello Dr. Eaton,

    I’m applying to medical schools during the summer of 2015 and right now I’m applying for a study abroad program that will be from May 17th-June14th but I have the option to leave early by May 31st. How much of a difference will it make as far as getting accepted into medical schools if I submit my medical school application on June 3rd versus two weeks later on June 17th? Thank you for the help!

    Victoria

  17. Princess Peach says:

    I applied to several med schools this last September. I have only heard back from one med school to accomplish a secondary application (Dec. 15th). Is that a bad sign? Should I start looking into a plan B?

  18. Ciara Smith says:

    Hello, my name is Ciara Smith and I am 16 years old and I need to know every thing about medical school because I plan to become a doctor one day.

  19. Vp says:

    My daughter has applied for 2016 medical school admissions. She has 99+ percentile MCAT and 3.7+ overall GPA with a good number of premed courses. She is from a top tier undergraduate school. All the secondaries were completed in September. Except for one school, she has not received any interviews yet. We are extremely worried. She has well balanced accomplishments and resume. Any thoughts?

  20. Dr. Eaton says:

    As I am not working with your daughter and do not know all the details of her application, I am unable to assess exactly what the situation is; however, there is still time left in the cycle since many schools interview through February, and some even later. Her numbers are very strong and you say she has a well rounded application, but one issue I have seen with very strong applicants is focusing too heavily on top tier schools where they are competing against other applicants who also have very high GPAs and MCAT scores, so it’s important to have a well-rounded list of schools. Another issue can be applying to a lot of out of state public schools. Those schools tend to strongly favor resident applicants. These are just general thoughts, as again, I don’t know her exact situation.

  21. VP says:

    Thanks Dr. Eaton. Really appreciate your response. She has applied to many private schools and a few public schools, many of them in other states. Also, wondering is it common to call the admission committee or department of the schools to get some updates. Online status simply states it is in process. Thanks again,

  22. Z says:

    Hello, my brother is in a situation very similar to VP’s daughter. He has an above average MCAT, high GPA, and a lot of research experience. Most of his secondaries were completed in September or very early October. He has yet to be contacted by 15 of the 18 schools he applied to (he has received three rejections). Do all schools contact applicants with either positive or negative news? It’s the end of December – are schools still extending interviews at this time? Is it important for him to follow up with the schools to check the status of his application, or trust they will contact him? He’s beginning to panic because it seems very far into the process to have not been contacted… Can you help clarify the timeline for interview extensions and offers?

  23. Dr. Eaton says:

    Most schools do eventually notify applicants one way or the other with either a rejection or an interview invitation, but that may not happen until the spring. A small number of schools extend interview offers to the applicants they are interested in but don’t send a formal rejection to everyone else. They simply don’t offer an interview. Interview invitations are still going out, but they tail off at many schools at the end of January. If an applicant knows his application is complete, he can follow up with an update letter about recent activities and/or an expression of ongoing interest in the school as long as the school doesn’t state not to send additional materials. I can’t speak specifically to your brother’s situation as I am not currently advising him and don’t know his full background information and where he applied. The waiting is very stressful, but interview season isn’t over yet, so hopefully somewhere will come through for him.

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