Understanding the Medical School Application Timeline (Infographic)

August 17

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The medical school application timeline is an essential piece of knowledge you should have before applying to medical schools. 

You must know the precise deadlines for your application system. Thus, you will know what you can do to prepare, regardless of whether you apply through AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS, or any other portal.

You must confirm the exact dates for each application cycle because specific dates can change yearly. It takes almost a year to finish the application procedure for medical school. Excellent organization and preparation are therefore crucial.

This article will give you a thorough understanding of the medical school application timeline.

What to Do Before Applying to Medical School

Regardless of the form of application you will be utilizing; we advise you to prepare for application season far in advance. 

Planning ahead can help your applications go faster because you will have plenty of time to schedule standardized examinations and collect letters of recommendation.

As applications open and deadlines start to loom, you can also seek professional advice before the big push. 

Here is what we advise doing in the months before application season.

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1. Verify the Prerequisites and GPA Requirements

Learn about the GPA requirements for medical school to get a sense of what you should strive for. 

To develop a successful improvement strategy if your grades are suffering, read up on how to get into medical school with a low GPA.

If you are still determining if your present academic performance will be sufficient to achieve the basic standards at some schools, you may also look at the easiest medical schools to get into

Make sure you meet your preferred colleges' requirements by learning about the prerequisites for medical school.

Additionally, learn about the essential extracurriculars for medical school to add depth and appeal to your medical school application.

2. Make a Short List of Medical Schools You Are Interested In

Learn how to select the best medical school for you using MSAR

Do not apply to only one medical school, so you have options if you are not accepted. 

Additionally, it would help if you learned the acceptance rates for medical schools. Some medical schools are easier to get into than others. 

Based on your GPA, narrow your options to medical schools if you are more likely to be admitted.

3. Research MCAT Requirements 

Although most medical schools do, some do not require the MCAT. Find out when to take the MCAT and look up the exam dates to find the most convenient.

Research what a decent MCAT score is and when to start your MCAT preparation. Furthermore, before you start your MCAT preparation, make a plan for your studies and take a diagnostic exam.

4. Prepare Your Personal Statement 

A personal statement is required for the majority of medical schools. Start developing ideas for your personal statement, and ask professionals for advice on making it as strong as possible.

Examine sample personal statements for medical schools that worked. This includes AMCAS, AACOMAS, and TMDSAS sample personal statements.

5. Start Asking Your Writers for References Letters

Select the best writers and verifiers for your reference letters. It would help if you started asking professors or other potential writers for a medical school reference letter. This can be done in person or by mail. 

Meet to discuss the letter's content and bring examples of the work you completed for each professor's course(s). 

Additionally, be ready to suggest some attributes you hope each letter-writer would address in their evaluation.

Give your letter writers any information or materials they might need for their writing. This includes details on the program(s) you are applying to, your academic records, career goals, and anything else they might require.

The Medical School Application Process

Although all medical schools have a similar fundamental application procedure, how each evaluates applicants differs significantly. 

The following information will help you stay on track when you submit your primary and secondary medical school applications.

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Primary Application

You will first submit a single application, typically using one of three centralized online application services:

Your primary application gives medical schools enough details to conduct a preliminary applicant screening. 

Your transcripts (undergraduate transcripts plus any graduate or post-baccalaureate transcripts) are part of a completed primary application.

Information from your most significant experiences (academic, research, clinical, and extracurricular activities), your MCAT scores, letters of recommendation, and a brief personal statement

Each medical school independently determines the last day for applicants to submit their materials through the application service. However, our medical school admission specialists advise you to submit your application as soon as possible, regardless of these deadlines. 

Early cycle applications get assessed first and so have a better probability of getting accepted at almost all schools.

Secondary Application

The admissions committees at your medical schools will evaluate your AMCAS file and either accept you or send you a secondary application. 

Some colleges send secondary applications to every candidate. Others undergo a first selection process typically determined by GPA and MCAT results.

You must fill out and submit each secondary application as soon as you receive it unless you have already decided not to apply to that school. The majority of medical schools will reject any late applications.

Secondary applications often consist of a range of essays on given subjects. For example, you can be asked to talk about your favorite book, describe a leadership position you have held, or provide specifics on your best academic performance. 

Additional Reading:

You would be required to do so if you did not submit your letters of reference through AMCAS.

You can call the school and ask for a fee waiver if the expense of returning secondaries is prohibitive. 

For instance, you might be qualified for a waiver from a particular institution if you were granted one by AMCAS.


The committee will decide whether to reject your secondary medical school application, invite you to the campus for an interview, or postpone your application until after the preliminary interview round. 

After the medical school interview, decisions are typically made in writing.

Policies and formats for medical school interviews differ. For example, you may have a one-on-one interview at some schools while having a panel interview at others. 

The interview is yet another chance to impress medical schools! Use this collection of common medical school interview questions as practice.

The Medical School Application Timeline

Due to the rolling admissions policies of most medical schools, staying on track is crucial. 

Applications are reviewed as they come in under rolling admissions. Therefore, your acceptance chances may rise if you apply early in the cycle. 

Many schools start conducting interviews in August or September. However, some MD schools (and even DO schools) announce acceptances as early as mid-October. 

There's a chance that getting into the class will get more challenging as spaces fill up.

For your reference, here is the medical school application timeline for AMCAS, AACOMAS, and TMDSAS (as of April 2023)

AMCAS Medical School Application Timeline

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Early May

  • Start with your AMCAS application
  • Finish our personal statement
  • Fill out the AMCAS Work and Activities section, particularly the AMCAS Most Meaningful Experiences.

May – February

Take the CASPer test and prepare for additional Altus Suite requirements your school may have. Find the exact dates for the CASPer test if any of your schools require it. As soon as you realize you must take a CASPer test, starting your test preparation would help.

Late May – Early June

  • AMCAS opens the submission of applications

Since information needs to be confirmed, you should submit your application as soon as possible. The more you wait, the longer it will take for the schools to receive it.

Technically, you have until the end of July to submit your application, but doing so severely lowers your chances. Try to submit your application by July 1 at the latest. However, even this is not ideal. Because US medical schools employ rolling admissions, individuals who apply initially will be given priority. If openings remain after the initial round, more invites will be sent.

Late June

  • The first batch of completed, processed applications to medical schools are made available by AMCAS.

You must take the MCAT by the third week of May for your scores to be made public by this date. This ensures that your application is included in this batch.

August – October 

  • Secondary applications start

Medical school secondary essays contain questions the institution would like you to respond to. They will understand you more as a candidate and person and your priorities, experiences, and values.

Despite the various prompts, adversity essays for medical schools and secondary essays on diversity are particularly well-liked. 

Some institutions send secondary applications to all applicants, while others send them to those who pass the initial screening.

Check each school's deadlines and the guidelines included with the request for a secondary application because they differ between institutions. 

For example, some may state that you have two weeks from receiving the secondary essays or application to finish them and submit them.

September – February

  • Interviews for medical schools start.

It would help if you started preparing for your medical school interview as soon as possible. Learn how to respond to typical medical school interview questions like "Tell me about yourself" and "Why do you want to be a doctor?" 

Seek advice from your academic advisors and professional consultants. They can assist you with your interview preparation so that you may receive helpful feedback on both your answers and presentation. 

Remember that a lot of medical schools will take letters of intent.

After the interview, if you do not hear back from your top-choice school for several weeks, you can decide to write them a medical school letter of intent with an update on your application. This might improve your chances of getting accepted!

TMDSAS Medical School Application Timeline

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Early May

  • TMDSAS application starts

Get ready for your Dual Degree MD/Ph.D. essay (if applicable), your TMDSAS employment and activities, personal statement, personal characteristics essay, and an optional essay.


  • TMDSAS submission starts

May – July

  • Complete your CASPer test as well as any additional Altus Suite components. This includes the CASPer Snapshot and Duet, which your top-choice colleges may need.

July – Mid-January

  • Medical school interview starts.


  • MCAT registration deadline for the ongoing application cycle


  • Deadline for Early Decision Programs (EDPs) supporting paperwork (transcripts, letters of recommendation, and MCAT scores)

Early October

  • Decisions regarding acceptance are made public through Early Decision Programs (EDPs)
  • Deadline for applications to the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP)

JAMP is a unique initiative created to support Texas students who are both highly talented and economically underprivileged in pursuing a medical degree.


  • Submission deadline for JAMP applicants' supporting documents (transcripts and letters of evaluation)
  • Medical schools begin distributing acceptance offers.

November 1

  • Deadline for medical school applications

All components of the application must be finished. This also includes paying fees. 

In addition to receiving a refund, the application will not be processed if payments are submitted after the cutoff. Extensions are not given.


  • For all applicants (including JAMP), the deadline for receiving supporting documentation

Documents mailed must have a postmark from this day. Remember that some colleges will not extend interview invitations until all necessary paperwork has been submitted. Therefore, it is advised to make sure they arrive as quickly as possible.

Mid-October – Late December

  • Pre-match open acceptance period for offers of admission to Texas residents applying to medical schools


  • Priority school ranking deadline for TMDSAS admissions match.

Early March

  • Results of the medical school admissions match are made public
  • Rolling admissions start

End of April

  • Deadline for applicants to medical schools with several offers to choose one and reject the others


  • Deadline for med schools to offer applicant already holding another seat

AACOMAS Medical School Application Timeline

Osteopathic medical schools lack the same level of organization as AMCAS-affiliated institutions. The application round typically begins in May and ends in April of the following year, but specific dates differ by school.

The general DO school application timetables are listed below. First, however, you must confirm the precise dates for each cycle and the prerequisites of each medical school.

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Early May

  • AACOMAS application starts


  • Prepare your personal statement and any other essential parts of your application.

Early August

  • Medical schools received the initial round of AACOMAS applications.
  • Most osteopathic colleges start their application reviews at this point.

October – April

  • Deadline for AACOMAS application

End of October

Early December

Early January

Early February

Deadline for applications for the following medical schools:


Late February

Early March

Deadline for applications for the following medical schools:


Deadline for applications for the following medical schools:

Early April

Deadline for applications for the following medical schools:

Note: These deadlines are ONLY for the College of Osteopathic Medicine in the mentioned medical schools and NOT for any other programs they offer.

Additional FAQs – Understanding the Medical School Application Timeline

When Should I Start My Med School Application?

Every year, during the first week of May, the AMCAS application period opens for the incoming medical school class. 

Submission of AMCAS applications does not start until the first week of June. Therefore, you will have roughly one month to finish your application before submission.

You will start the application process in the spring to begin medical school in the fall of the following year.

How Long Does It Take To Hear Back From Med School Application?

Medical schools often send admissions decisions two to three weeks after the interview date, once the applicant has accepted their invitation and completed the interview procedure.

However, this may vary from school to school. Therefore, you should call or email the medical school you have applied to or visit their website occasionally to make sure.

When Can I Submit My AMCAS Application 2023?

You can submit your application as early as May 30, 2023, when AMCAS opens on May 2, 2023.   Visit the AAMC/AMCAS official website for further details.

Do All Medical Schools Have the Same Application Timeline?

No, they do not. Timelines for applying to medical school are frequently determined by the system being used.

For instance, primary application dates will be comparable for medical schools using AMCAS. However, the critical component application dates will be the same for schools using TMDSAS. 

However, remember that each school will likely have its deadlines for secondary applications.

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