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Medical School Application Process

Students hoping to enter medical school should take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) at least one year before planning to matriculate into medical school. This will allow you to complete your application early in the cycle.

The MCAT is a computerized multiple-choice exam. The four parts of the MCAT are:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Physiological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

The MCAT is offered multiple times throughout the year, with most dates between April and September. Your MCAT preparation can be supplemented with a commercial preparation course, review books or software. This important test is required by every medical school. Take it seriously and prepare well.

To begin the application process you will submit a primary application. The American Medical College Application System (AMCAS) accepts primary applications for schools of allopathic medicine (M.D. schools). The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS) accepts primary applications for schools of osteopathic medicine (D.O. schools). Application materials become available in late spring. Students must submit personal statements, academic history and transcripts, and multiple recommendation letters. Students with financial need may be eligible fee assistance from AMCAS or AACOMAS and should explore this well in advance of the application.

While schools may post deadline dates of, for example, December or January, this does not imply that a last-minute applicant will have the same chance for acceptance as earlier applicants. In this process, sooner is definitely better.

After receiving your primary application, individual schools may send you a secondary application, along with requests for supplementary material. When all application material has been received, selected applicants will be invited to visit the medical school and interview with members of the admissions committee.

To make sure that you will have satisfied all requirements for graduation, have your coursework checked by your academic college early in your senior year. You also must apply to graduate by February in order to receive your degree and matriculate into medical school.