Medical School Applications
Whether you are applying to allopathic (MD), osteopathic (DO), or podiatric (DPM) medical programs, you are looking at a relatively complex application period that lasts about 15 months from the time you take the MCAT until the time you would actually start in one of these programs. That's ok. You've got this and Pre-Professional Advising is here to help!
Application Opening Dates
- The MD application (AMCAS)
- Application opens May 2, 2023
- Submission to AMCAS begins May 30, 2023
- Applications transmitted to medical schools starting June 30, 2023
- Early Decision Deadline August 1
- Deadline for schools to notify Early Decision applicants about decisions October 3
- The DO application (AACOMAS)
- Application opens May 4, 2023
- Submission is available starting May 4, 2023
- Schools can view part of your application as soon as you select that school
- Applications processed and transmitted to schools when processing is complete
- The TMDSAS application (for MD and DO schools in Texas)
- Opens May 1, 2023
- Submission and transmission to schools starting May 15, 2023
- Early Decision Deadline August 1, 2023 (documents due September 15, 2023)
- October 1, 2023 Early Decision Program decision announced
- October 15, 2023 Medical schools begin extending offers
- November 1, 2023 at 11:50 pm CST application closes
- The AACPMAS application (for DPM--Podiatric Medical programs)
- Typically opens in early August
Summer Before Application
- Prepare a plan for how you will prepare for the MCAT.
- Students who do well typically spend 300-400 hours.
- This needs to include several full-length timed practice exams.
- Think ahead about who will be writing letters of recommendation.
- Research schools where you intend to apply to be sure that you are planning to collect appropriate letters.
- Make a plan for obtaining letters if you don't yet know who to ask.
- Research programs and thinking about where to apply.
- Use individual school websites as well as national websites.
- MD Programs: consider paying for access to the Medical School Admission Requirements database (MSAR) through the Association of American Medical Colleges
- DO Programs: use the ChooseDOExplorer.
- MD, DO, and Podiatry Programs in Texas: Look through the TMDSAS Schools Page
- Podiatric Medicine: Podiatric Colleges
- Plan ahead for costs
- Whether you are applying MD or not, the FIRST financial resources through the AAMC are a good place to start.
- Research whether you qualify for fee assistance programs.
Before you apply--Fall Semester/Early Spring Before Application
- Check with schools about any questions on coursework, for example, will they accept CHM 12901 or SCLA 10100?
- If you need to make sure that one of your classes will be counted for their required credits, check early.
- Also make sure you know how to verify this during the application process.
- Plan for letters. Verify that the letters you intend to get will meet the needs of the schools at which you intend to apply to BEFORE you apply to those schools.
- Meet with and ask letter writers for letters no later than spring break.
- Register early for the MCAT.
- Typically the January through June dates open for registration in October.
- The July through September dates open in February.
- Become familiar with the application process ahead of the applications opening.
Spring Before Application--Pulling it All Together
- Ask for your letters (ideally by about Spring Break)
- Try to ask in person for your letters.
- Provide a resume and anything else that your letter writer might need to help them write the letter including information about how, when and where to submit their letter.
- Ask if they can support your application by providing a POSITIVE letter.
- If you are applying to MD or DO programs, consider using the PPA letter service.
- Start drafting your personal statement.
- It will take more than one draft!
- Meet with Pre-Professional Advising as often as you need to help you understand this process!
- Early application is a good thing!
- One of the easiest things you can do to help your application is to apply early. Try to submit your application within 1-1.5 months of the application opening.
- This means submitting in June or early July (or for Podiatry submitting in early October at the latest).
- While many MD and DO programs have deadlines in November, December, and January, the main application time period is really happening in June, July, and August. If you apply in September and October thinking you are applying early since a school's deadline is in January, you are actually applying late. By the time your application is processed and out to the school if you apply in mid-September, it will already be October. Their fall interview schedule may already be full. If you are not interviewed until the spring, your chance of being admitted with many schools using rolling admissions is already lessened just due to timing.
- The Texas application has a hard deadline in October.
Summer of Application
- Submit your application early!
- Keep a copy of everything you submit to schools.
- Keep an eye on your email and spam folder for communications from schools. If asked for a secondary or supplemental information, return that within 2 weeks.
- Make sure you have cleaned up your phone messages and social media.
- Complete Kira, CASPer, PREView if required by schools (online interview/situational judgement tests).
- Read about health news and listen to podcasts in preparation for interviews in the fall.
- Email PPA for practice interview questions.
- Look at the PPA website for information on using Big Interview, an online tool to practice interviewing.
- Consider your Parallel Plan (back-up plan). Schools often ask about this at interviews so you want to know what this will be.
- Keep building your application. Should you need to re-apply at the end of this application (hopefully not!) you want to have new things to add to your application.
Fall after Application Submission
- Keep returning any secondary/supplemental applications in a timely manner.
- Keep watching email/spam folder for communications from schools.
- Keep preparing for interviews. Sign up for a PPA mock interview with our graduate assistant.
- Watch for any communications from professional school financial aid offices. If you qualify, apply early for FAFSA or any other financial aid.
- Keep adding to your application just in case.
- Waiting to hear something is the most stressful part of this whole process. We are here for you if you need to talk about your application process and how you are feeling about it.
Spring after Application Submission
- If you are admitted, please let us know! We want to celebrate with you!
- Start making plans for financial aid, housing, moving, and your new life in professional school!
- If you want to re-apply, or decided to wait to apply, we are here for you even after you graduate from Purdue.
- If you need to discuss strategy for a new application, we are happy to help.
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The test is on a computer and consists of 4 multiple-choice sections:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Living Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Critical Analysis and Reading Skills
Each section is scored from 118-132 with a midpoint of 125. The total score range is 472-528.
Scores are available in about 1 month following the test and are generally accepted for 3-4 years depending on the school.
Who Should Take It? Applicants to allopathic medical schools (MD), osteopathic medical schools (DO), podiatric medical schools (DPM), and some anesthesiologist assistant programs
Timing Your Test: Typically students are taking the test in the spring of their junior year if they are graduating in 4 years and want the opportunity of starting medical school the fall after they have graduated. This means they would take the MCAT the spring of their junior year, apply that spring/summer so that they are ready for fall interviews in their senior year to then, hopefully, be admitted sometime in their senior year. They would then start medical school in the following summer/fall after they graduated. The entire application process--including the MCAT--is about 15 months.
Based on this description, you can count back from your intended start date in medical to determine when you should take the test and get started in this process. It is a bit confusing. If you have questions, don't hesitate to come talk to us.
When Is the MCAT Offered? It is offered on specific dates January to early September.
- Typically registration for January-May dates opens in October, June-September date registration opens in February.
- Register early. Ideally 60+ days in advance as spots do fill quickly.
Cost:Currently the cost is $320 if you register at least 29 days in advance.
Fee Assistance Program: The AAMC does offer fee assistance for the MCAT. The program is for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and those with refugee, asylum or DACA status. A FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form is required. The key to the Fee Assistance Program is that you must be approved for fee assistance before you sign up for the test. They will not reimburse you after you have registered.
Can You Take the MCAT More than Once?
- Ideally you take it only once. It is expensive and takes a lot of time to prepare for. You don't want to take it more than once if you can avoid it.
- If you need to, you can take it again. You are allowed to take it 3 times in a year and no more than 4 times in 2 years, and only 7 times total.
- Individual schools determine how they will view repeat scores. Some take your best score. Some will average them. Some take your most recent.
- If you are unhappy with your first score, we recommend that you come speak with us about your first test before immediately signing up to take another test.
Learn More About the Test
MCAT Essentials is required reading for the MCAT with all the details on test days and all the rules.
The AAMC has additional information about the MCAT including an MCAT Hub you can enter once you create a password. In the hub you will find assistance with creating a study plan for the MCAT.
- Learn about free MCAT prep resources at Khan Academy.
- The U.S. Army offers free MCAT prep materials to anyone through the March2Success program
- Analysis from the AAMC shows that students who do well on the MCAT typically spend at least 400 hours in preparation time.
- Our students report that one of the most vital parts of preparation is taking full length timed practice tests.
- PPA has access to another online prep course that is highly discounted for students. Contact us for more information.
- Each school admits students with a range of scores and the MCAT is only one factor in a review process that is holistic and considers many factors about the student as an individual.
- Typically most MD programs focus on students with scores that are 508 and above.
- Generally MD/PhD applicants require higher scores than this (512+).
- DO programs will consider students with scores at a 504 and above.
- DPM applicants are often in the 500+ range.
Students often seek to expand their career options and fulfill their interests by applying for combined degrees such as a medical degree along with a PhD for research, an MPH for public health, an MBA or MHA for health administration, or a JD for law. Besides having several programs that offer PhDs and many offering administration and public health degrees, osteopathic schools offer a number of interesting masters degrees including Biomedical Informatics and Disaster and Emergency Medicine Management to compliment the DO degree.
Typically you apply at the same time as you are applying to law school. Depending on which program you are applying for you may need an additional aptitude test (though not always).
For additional information:
You may also find it helpful to look at the American Physician Scientists Association for more information and opportunities.
Please contact our office for additional resources.
Dual degree offerings of DO and another degree are available. Search for them using the Choose DO Explorer
You can also use look over this AACOM report with a list of DO and Dual and Concurrent Programs
Pre-Professional Advising is happy to discuss these options with you.
Medical School Application Resources
Applicant and Enrollee Data
MCAT Test Day Preparation
M-F 9am-7pm ET
Closed Wed 3pm-5pm
Fastest response is to use chat box in the application
M-F 9am-5pm ET
Fastest response is to use chat window inside the application
9am-12pm and 1pm-5pm CST