2021-2022 Medical School Application Timeline (for applicants planning to start medical school in fall 2022)

The medical school application process takes nearly a full year to complete. Therefore, excellent planning and organization are essential. The med school application timeline below lists the steps and schedule of the application process to help keep you on track.

Staying on schedule is especially important because most medical schools have rolling admissions. Rolling admissions means that applications are evaluated as they are received. Applying early in the cycle may increase your chance of admission. Many schools begin interviewing in August or 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.

AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) – Used by most M.D. schools. https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/

TMDSAS (Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service) – For public medical schools in Texas (M.D. and D.O). http://www.tmdsas.com

AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service) used by D.O. schools. https://aacomas.liaisoncas.com/

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 process is an interview.

Here is a timeline to follow for applicants who plan to enter medical school in fall 2022:

November- December 2020

  • 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 2021

  • 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://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/taking-mcat-exam/
  • Begin studying for the MCAT  several months or more before you plan to take the test.

April-June 2021

  • 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 official transcripts from every college or university you have attended and check to ensure that there are no errors on them.
  • Begin working on primary applications.
  • AACOMAS opens in mid-May.
  • The AMCAS application is available online in May for applicants to begin filling out but cannot be submitted until early June.
  • TMDSAS opens in early May.

July-September 2021

  • 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 receiving.
  • Interviews begin as early as late July at a small number of schools. By late August, many schools are interviewing. For 2022, some schools may continue to do online interviewing or offer both in-person and online options.
  • Note that some D.O. schools have their supplemental application questions within AACOMAS under the “Program Materials” tab, while others send the supplemental questions to applicants after AACOMAS is submitted.

October-December 2021

  • Continue to interview at medical schools.
  • Some MD schools notify applicants of acceptances October 15. DO schools may notify applicants even earlier. Notifications continue until the class is full.

January-April 2022

  • Some schools send additional interview invitations in early to mid-January. Interviews are complete at many schools in January or February, although some schools continue into early spring.
  • Attend “second look” events for schools you’ve been accepted to and are considering attending.
  • By April 15, applicants to AMCAS schools may be holding a spot at no more than three schools. They may remain on waitlists for other schools.
  • By April 30, applicants to AMCAS schools may be holding a spot at only one school. They may remain on waitlists for other schools.

May-Summer 2022

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

Fall 2022

  • Begin medical school!

Please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or questions about applying to medical school and the application timeline.

Our clients have been accepeted to . and many other medical schools.

12 thoughts on “2021-2022 Medical School Application Timeline (for applicants planning to start medical school in fall 2022)”

  1. Johnny Tranquille

    Hello Dr. Eaton, I have a quick question:
    I am planning to start medical school in fall 2019, should I purchase the guide “Medical School Admission Requirements 2017” currently on sale on the AAMC website or should it be a 2018 Edition?

    1. The Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) online is purchased as a one-year subscription, so if you’re planning to start med school in fall 2019 now is a good time to purchase it so you can start looking up information about schools. The information typically gets updated in the spring, so right now, the dates/deadlines on the MSAR are for the 2017-2018 cycle, but for now you may still find it useful to have access to and then will be able to see the updated info when that comes out.

  2. kevin delahoussaye

    Dear Dr.Eaton,
    If i submit transcripts in mid June of 2019 why would the AAMC claim that i submitted them to the closed 2019 application?
    All the Best!

  3. Good evening,
    I am scheduled to graduate July, 2021 with a Biomedical degree from Keiser University. What are my chances of getting into medical school in 2022 if I take the MCAT in August, 2021?

    1. Hi Michael,

      While it’s optimal to take the MCAT in late spring or early summer, if you won’t have time to study sufficiently then, then waiting until August may be the best approach. However, one’s chance of admission is based on other factors in addition to MCAT timing. Grades, the MCAT score itself, extracurricular activities, personal statement, letters of rec, and other factors are important as well. For example, two applicants could take the MCAT in August and have very difference chances of admission if one has a 3.9 and robust clinical and other experiences while the other has a 3.4 and minimal experiences. If you’d like to discuss your particular situation, though, you can contact us to arrange a free-20 minutes phone consultation.

  4. I finished couple of interviews, and secondaries, in dec. 2020 for medical school. When will medical scholls be sending acceptance or rejection letteres

    1. Hi Ruby,

      Medical schools vary in the amount of time they take to notify applicants of a decision. It can range from as little as one week to several months, although a month or two is fairly typical. Unfortunately, the application process involves quite a bit of waiting!

  5. Hi Dr. Eaton.
    If I am junior this year, graduating next spring of 2022. I am applying this year to med schools. Are we scheduled to take the MCat? Or is it waived for class of 2022? Thanks so much for your help. As I don’t know anyone to help me.

    1. Hi Parwana,

      Schools have not yet stated what the situation will be for the MCAT for the entering class of 2022. However, even during this past cycle, most schools did not waive the MCAT, and among those that did, some required applicants to apply for a waiver from the MCAT, showing hardship and concrete reasons why they were unable to take the MCAT during COVID. To have the greatest number of options for med school, taking the MCAT is the best approach, but check the admissions sites of the schools you’re interested in for updates. The situation could change rapidly now that the population is being vaccinated, so some schools may be waiting to see how open things are before making a final decision.

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