2015-2016 Medical School Application Timeline (for applicants planning to start med school in fall 2016)

For Latest Timeline

This blog post is the timeline for applicants who entered medical school fall of 2016. 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.

Medical School Application Services

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, most medical schools require a secondary or supplemental application. The final step in the application is an interview.

Medical School Application Timeline

To help you start planning for the coming year, here is a timeline to follow for applicants who plan to enter medical school in fall 2016:

September- December 2014

  • 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), 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.

January-March 2015

  • 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.

Note: January is the last month that the “old” MCAT will be administered.

April-June 2015

  • April is the first month that the revised MCAT will be offered.
  • Prepare for and take the MCAT if you have not already taken the test or need to retake. 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.
  • Request copies of your transcripts and check to ensure that there are no errors on them.
  • Begin working on primary applications. The AMCAS goes online on May 5 and may be submitted beginning June 2. The AACOMAS application opens on May 5.
  • TMDSAS opens in May.

July-September 2015

  •  Take/retake the MCAT if needed.
  • Complete supplemental (secondary) applications. Some will come within days of submitting the primary application, others will take months. Return these to the schools within one to two weeks of receipt.

September 2015 – spring 2016

  •  Finish submitting secondaries at any remaining schools in the fall.
  •  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 2016

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

Fall 2016

Begin medical school!

More Information about Dr. Eaton's Admissions Consulting Services

Comprehensive medical school admissions consulting including: general guidance on the medical school (M.D. and D.O) admissions process; detailed review of your application; thorough editing of your personal statement; and interview coaching and mock interviews.
Dr. Eaton is a graduate of the UCLA School of Medicine and has advised hundreds of successful applicants to medical school over the past thirteen years.
A selection of testimonials from some of Dr. Eaton’s clients.
Dr. Eaton provides medical school admissions consulting on an hourly basis as well as fixed-price personal statement editing packages and mock interview packages.

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18 thoughts on “2015-2016 Medical School Application Timeline (for applicants planning to start med school in fall 2016)”

  1. Thomas says:

    So when do medical school applications open for those trying to enter Fall 2016?

  2. Zach says:

    I am wondering the same thing, Thomas. If it is true that the April and May MCAT scores will be returned before the application cycle begins, the earliest score release is listed as June 16 for April (with the May score release being June 30). This was done so that April and May test takers aren’t at a disadvantage to those who took the exam earlier in the year…… But that leaves me to wonder about the date that the applications will open. If they won’t be opened until much later this year, perhaps it would be advantageous to postpone the exam until early summer for those who need more study time?

  3. Dr. Eaton says:

    AMCAS typically opens for submission in early June. The AAMC has not yet released an exact date for the opening of the 2015-2016 cycle

  4. Dannie says:

    Hi Dr. Eaton! So I’ve already taken the MCAT 2014 and I’m not satisfied with my score. I’m planning on taking the 2015 version–which would require major prepping–so I don’t think I’d be able to take it until maybe August 2015. Do you think I should even start the 2015-16 application process and send in my score when it comes, or do you suggest waiting until the next application cycle? Thank you in advance!

  5. Dr. Eaton says:

    Hi Dannie,

    Whether or not to apply this cycle depends on numerous factors and is specific to your situation, including what your current MCAT score is and how competitive the rest of your application is. If you’d like to discuss your situation, you can contact me here to set up at time for a initial phone consultation.

  6. Alexa says:

    Hi! I have a professor interested in writing me a letter of recommendation. What links do I give him? Where does he submit the application? The AMCAS site has so many links I’m getting confused. Thank you.

  7. Pauline says:

    Hi Dr. Eaton,
    I’m applying to Med school for 2016 matriculation, but my concern is that I am not taking my MCAT until July 2015, so will not be getting back my scores until late August? Does that affect me getting secondaries, if I submit my primary in June if AAMC still opens submission during that month? Thank you in advanced and for your time!

  8. Alice says:


    I was wondering what would be the oldest MCAT score accepted for medical schools for the 2015-2016 cycle (so starting in 2016).

  9. Dr. Eaton says:

    Most schools accept MCAT scores up to 3 years old, but check on the admissions pages for the individual schools or in the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) published by the AAMC to find the policy for each school.

  10. Anonymous says:

    If I plan to start medical school in July 2016, can I use the 2015 AMCAS application or do I have to use the 2016 AMCAS application? I took the April MCAT

  11. Dr. Eaton says:

    The application that is currently available online is the 2016 one, which is intended for applicants who would like to begin medical school in fall 2016.

  12. Da Wi Shin says:

    Hello! Thank you for the amazing post.
    I just wanted to ask whether taking the MCAT on August 22nd will be too late?
    I know it’s not the best decision, but all my other parts of application are strong and I really want to take my time till August to do well on it.

  13. Mandy says:

    Hello Dr. Eaton!
    Hopefully you can help me with this.
    I am going to take physics this coming year (2015-2016) and I plan to apply for Med school this coming summer (2016). Should I wait until I finish my physics courses to take the MCAT (so I would be taking the exam the same summer I am applying) OR should I take the exam before finishing my course (that would require me to study ahead the material, which I do not have any problem with).
    I will greatly appreciate your advice. I do not know anyone in the medical field that can orientate my regarding this decision and I want to take my best shoot in making sure that I get the interviews and get into med school. Thank you so much! I will wait for your response.

  14. Mimi Brown says:

    Hi, what will be the latest time to submit AMCAS. Im planning early July.

  15. James says:

    My son’s MD school applications were submitted till 8/05/15. When will he receive interview invitation notice?

  16. Nmira says:

    Hi Dr. Eaton,
    If my daughter submit her secondary application until end of November 2015, do you think she still have a chance to get interview or by submitting late she lost her chance?

  17. Dr. Eaton says:

    While it is generally more difficult to get an interview later in the cycle, many schools continue to offer interviews into January and some even later. I can’t speak specifically to your daughter’s situation as the chance of receiving an interview relies not only on the timing of the application but on how strong the application is and what schools one has applied to.

  18. Msar says:

    Hello Dr. Eaton,
    If I begin Medical School in a Caribbean school this January but still continue applying for US Osteopathic Medical Schools, would they still accept me knowing that I have starting going to another medical school?

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