Timeline for Applying to Medical Schools

Freshman Year

  • Start familiarizing yourself with the Medicine as a career.
    • Start looking into the medical schools that you might wish to attend.  Pay particular attention to their requirements for admission. 
    • Consult books and the internet on strategies for successful admission into medical schools. 
    • Start to consider the costs of going to medical school and how you will finance your education.
    • AAMC's Considering a Career in Medicine Web site
  • Make sure that you stay well-rounded.
    • Consider obtaining a minor in a non-science discipline of your choosing. 
    • Stay active in extracurricular activities. Don’t overdo it, but having outside interests while maintaining a high GPA shows that you are not just a book-worm.  
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY - study hard and maintain a good GPA in ALL courses.
  • Spring 
    • Look for a summer job that will give you experience in a hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, etc.  Paid jobs are obviously the best, but volunteer if you have to.  Most medical schools will not accept applicants without these experiences.  See Dr. MacKenzie's Pre-health Science Advising page for more information.

Sophomore Year

  • Start reviewing for the MCAT and look into the MCAT review courses that are available.  
  • Familiarize yourself with the application procedure, but do not apply!  
  • Continue to study hard and maintain a high GPA in ALL courses.  
  • Continue to get experience in a hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, etc.

Junior Year

  • Fall
    • Get serious about studying for the MCATs.
    • Continue to maintain a high GPA in ALL courses.  
    • Continue to get experience in a hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, etc.
  • Spring
    • Register in January/February to take the April MCAT.  The earlier you register the better.  Check the MCAT website for deadlines. 
    • Take the MCAT in April.  
      • It is best not to delay until the September MCAT date if you want to start medical school the Fall after you graduate in December or May.  The September MCAT is recommended for students who 1) did not perform well on the April exam; OR 2) do not plan to attend medical school immediately upon graduation.  Also, if you take it in the fall, it takes up to 6 weeks for the scores to be reported, which will delay the completion of your application.  By the time your application is completed, many applicants will have already been interviewed and accepted, reducing the number of spots available.
    • Ask professors that you know well to write letters of recommendation for your application to medical school.  Provide them with an up-to-date resume of your academic coursework and extracurricular and work activities if they agree to write you a recommendation.  Also, contact the Pre-med Committee of SUNY Oswego for a letter of recommendation from them (they will tell you the procedures they require for providing a letter of recommendation).
  • Summer after your Junior Year
    • File your AMCAS application (and applications to schools that do not use AMCAS) no later than August 1, but not before June 1.  
      • Take time to thoughtfully produce a good AMCAS personal essay.  Many admissions boards place significant weight on the essay.  Make sure to have many different people proof-read your essay. 

Senior Year

  • Early to late Fall
    • Complete the secondary applications sent to you by the medical schools.  
    • Ask professors and the Pre-med Committee to send their recommendations as soon as possible, but no later than dates requested on the secondary applications.
  • Fall and Spring
    • Prepare for and go to any interviews that you are offered.  Research the schools in advance, and look at internet sites and books for tips in giving a good interview.