Med School Application Timeline

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Med School Application Timeline
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One of the rare pieces of medical school admissions advice that all of us can agree on is that the sooner you submit your applications, the better. That way, you can take full advantage of the rolling admissions process and maximize your odds of getting into medical school.

The Ideal Medical School Application Timeline (2023-2024)

What to do each month of the 2023-2024 application cycle to ensure timely and high-quality materials to help maximize your odds of getting accepted. Plus, the complete list of medical school application deadlines.

Med School Application Timeline

Introduction to the medical school application timeline

Medical school application timeline (2023-2024)

Frequently asked questions

Medical school application deadlines (2023-2024)

Introduction to the medical school application timeline

One of the rare pieces of medical school admissions advice that all of us can agree on is that the sooner you submit your applications, the better. That way, you can take full advantage of the rolling admissions process and maximize your odds of getting into medical school.

However, “apply early” doesn’t address the all-important questions of when you should aim to have each component of your application—personal statement, Work and Activities section, secondary essays—completed, or when you should collect required materials like recommendation letters.

Therefore, we developed a recommended medical school application timeline to help ensure that you not only submit your materials early, but that you do so with the highest quality and least anxiety. Our timeline does not include general advice like “save money for your applications,” “keep working hard in classes and extracurricular activities,” or “attend medical school admissions fairs.” Rather, it exclusively focuses on when you should complete various pieces of your applications.

Of course, everyone’s situation is different, so it’s important to be flexible with your medical school application timeline. If you begin your application process sooner (for example, some of our students begin working on their personal statement as early as the September before their application year), you’ll have more time to tackle each component and can therefore spread your work out. You may even be able to pre-write a significant number of secondary applications. Conversely, if you start working on your applications later than we recommend, you’ll have to move things along more quickly.

The latter point is very important to keep in mind. Just because you may start your application process later than we recommend doesn’t mean all is lost; far from it! Just make sure to work diligently, and never submit less than your best work just to get things in “early” (more on what “early” and “late” mean in the FAQ section at the end of this article). At the end of the day, quality always trumps speed.

For specific application deadline dates, we encourage you to visit the AMCAS (MD schools), AACOMAS (DO schools), and TMDSAS (Texas public schools) websites.

Without further ado, here’s our recommended timeline:

Med School Application Timeline 2023-24

med school application timeline

It’s that time again – application season! Only this go-around, you’re not applying to the best colleges for pre-med students, the top feeders for medical school, or BS/MD programs. You’re aiming for the big leagues: getting accepted into actual medical school. Just thinking about the length of your to-do list between now and December may stress you out, but rest assured that a calendar will be your best friend. The med school application timeline is a multi-step process with many boxes to check off. However, if you’re organized and take it one step at a time, you’ll get through the next several months in one piece. Trust us!

We’ve laid out a general medical school timeline below with what should be on your radar every few months for the rest of the year. These important tasks include completing your primary application, writing your personal statement(s), preparing for the CASPer Test, filling out your secondary school-specific applications, etc. After the med school timeline, you can also find a list of medical school application deadlines for 25 top U.S. medical schools.

Medical School Application Timeline: Monthly Breakdown

January – April 2023

Although these months have passed, it’s good to know what you should’ve achieved before looking at what’s down the road. Specifically, you should’ve reached out and confirmed the people who will be writing your recommendation letters. (Don’t worry, they can’t be submitted until the various application portals open in May!) In addition, you should’ve prepared for and taken your Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) ideally by the end of April. It takes about a month for schools to process MCAT scores, so if you’re still studying, just know that your application may not be reviewed until mid-summer. Late May or early June is the absolute latest you should be taking the exam.

May – July 2023

At the beginning of May, the three major medical school application portals (AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS) open for you to start filling out primary applications, much like the Common Application. These applications are slightly different, as AACOMAS is used for osteopathic medical schools and TMDSAS is for medical and dental schools located in Texas. Generally, most medical schools use the AMCAS application. Note that you won’t be able to submit applications until the end of May or the beginning of June. However, most students do submit by the end of June because the later you apply, the lower the chances you’ll be accepted.

As part of the application, you’ll write a general personal statement that outlines your professional goals and reasons for wanting to attend medical school. Make sure you don’t procrastinate on this, as any secondary applications you’re invited to fill out will also have essay questions. Treat the personal statement as your Common App essay – it’s your chance to show personal qualities and aspirations beyond your transcripts, work experience, and letters of recommendation.

After you submit your primary application to a finalized list of schools, you can begin drafting responses to common secondary application essay questions (e.g., why our program, your strengths/weaknesses, etc.). You’ll begin receiving requests for secondary applications in July, which typically need to be completed within two weeks. Even just jotting down ideas for these supplementary essays in June will save you so much time if you receive multiple secondary application requests at once

In tandem with drafting secondary application essays, you may be preparing for and/or taking the CASPer Test. It’s a computerized situational judgment test that assesses how and why you respond in certain ways to hypothetical situations. Not all schools require this test as part of their application process.

Med School Application Timeline (Continued)

August – September 2023

The next step in the med school application timeline is getting ready for interviews. After submitting secondary applications, you’ll begin receiving invitations to schedule interviews. The first available date options could be at the end of August, but they’ll most likely occur in September. Up until your initial interview, you should be preparing answers to typical questions and conducting mock interviews with a friend or family member. The more you practice, the easier each one will be.

Following each interview, make sure you’re sending thank you messages to your interviewers. It demonstrates just an extra bit of care and effort to admissions. For schools that haven’t extended an interview invitation yet, you can send letters of interest to communicate any major updates that have occurred since submitting your secondary application. But only send a letter if the school accepts them and the contents are appropriate. Similarly, you can send a letter of intent to your top choice school if you’ve been placed on the waitlist (and it’s accepted/appropriate).

All the while, you may still be filling out secondary applications for schools that have later deadlines or are slow to send out invitations. Keep up the progress!

October – November 2023

Most medical school application deadlines start in October, with a popular date of October 15th for AMCAS applications. For medical schools with rolling admissions, this deadline is also the earliest date you can expect to receive any news of acceptance. If you had an interview in late August or early September and haven’t sent a letter of interest/intent, you can take this opportunity to provide any important updates that may help your chances of getting accepted. Again, remember to check each school’s policy on sending these letters.

December 2023 – February 2024

Although application deadlines have passed, medical school interviews could still be in full swing, depending on when you initially submitted your applications. Continue prepping for these as you did in the beginning of autumn. For any acceptances you’ve received, make sure to review admission and financial aid offers carefully – negotiate scholarships, grants, or loans if needed. Lastly, you can send out a letter of intent to your top school if you are waitlisted.

Med School Application Timeline (Continued)

March – April 2024

By this point, you should have either been accepted into a medical school or will be receiving an acceptance very soon. Medical schools without rolling admissions typically release their acceptances in March, which you have until April 30th to confirm and pay the security deposit. Afterward, make sure you tell any other schools you were considering that you will not be attending. (Students on the waitlist will thank you for that!) Finally, be on the lookout for admitted students’ weekends or campus visits – you’ll definitely want to meet your future peers and mentors.

Top U.S. Medical School Application Deadlines

Northeast – Medical School Application Deadlines

Southeast – Medical School Application Timeline – Deadlines

Midwest – Medical School Application Deadlines

School AMCAS App Secondary App
Washington University School of Medicine Oct. 13, 2023 Oct. 30, 2023
Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine Oct. 15, 2023 Nov. 1, 2023
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Nov. 1, 2023 Nov. 15, 2023
University of Michigan Medical School Oct. 1, 2023 Nov. 1, 2023
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine Nov. 15, 2023 Dec. 1, 2023

Southwest – Med School Application Timeline – Deadlines

School TMDSAS App Secondary App
Baylor College of Medicine Nov. 1, 2023 Nov. 15, 2023
University of Texas Medical Branch Nov. 1, 2023 Nov. 11, 2023
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Nov. 1, 2023 By invitation
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Nov. 1, 2023 By invitation
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Nov. 1, 2023 Nov. 15, 2023

**Many Texas medical schools don’t use the Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application Services (TMDSAS) application instead of the AMCAS application, but they serve the same primary function.

West – Medical School Application Deadlines

School AMCAS App Secondary App
UCSF School of Medicine Oct. 15, 2023 By invitation
Stanford University School of Medicine Oct. 2, 2023 Oct. 23, 2023
University of Washington School of Medicine Oct. 15, 2023 Dec. 1, 2023
UC San Diego School of Medicine Oct. 15, 2023 By invitation
Keck School of Medicine of USC Nov. 1, 2023 Dec. 1, 2023

Next Steps in the Med School Application Timeline

Now that you have a general understanding of the medical school application timeline, it’s important to start laying out your next steps for the coming weeks. With May just around the corner, you can begin by making a weekly goal list for each week of the month. These goals may include slimming down your medical school list, registering for application portals, and confirming with those who will write letters of recommendation. The key is trying not to accomplish too much in any given week. Because you’re starting early, you have plenty of time before medical school application deadlines!

Med School Application Timeline

Emily Schmidt

Emily is currently a professional writer in the healthcare industry. As a former journalist, her work focused on climate change, health disparities, and education. She holds two bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish from Stanford University, and a master’s in journalism from Arizona State University. Her first published novel debuted in 2020, and she hopes to finish her second novel by the end of this year.

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