The application process for medical, dental, veterinary school or any other health careers program is very time consuming, and expensive, and requires careful preparation. You should usually begins around 18 months in advance of entering the school, and it is helpful if you can familiarize yourself with the expectations, content, and format of the application as early as you can, even during your first year of college. That way you won't be surprised by unexpected requirements and expectations later on.

If you plan to enter a school immediately after graduation, you will usually need to submit your application early in the summer before your senior year. That means you should actively begin to prepare to submit it during the second semester of your junior year. If you plan on taking a gap year the process remains the same, but starts in your senior year instead. In any case, apply early in your application cycle if at all possible.

During your application year, follow this timeline:

  1. October or sooner
    Begin writing drafts for your personal statement.
  2. December or sooner
    Begin to prepare for your entrance exam (MCAT, DAT, GRE). Allow a minimum of four months preparation time.
  3. February
    Apply for a committee letter if required for your program. If you need a committee letter, you MUST follow the Committee Letter Process and follow the necessary steps.
  4. February or sooner
    Set up an Interfolio account for your recommendation letters, and contact faculty members, employers, and research supervisors who may be willing to write them.
  5. May or later
    Begin working on your centralized application as soon as it is made available. Submit it as soon as possible.
  6. May through July
    Take your standardized entrance test.
  7. July
    Finalize submission of your application, including recommendations, personal statement, school choices, and examination scores. Then complete any secondary applications within two weeks of receipt, and await invitations for interviews.