Skip to main content

Timeline & Application Cycle

The actual application cycle for medical, osteopathic, veterinary, dental or other health professions school can take as much as a year. Consider the questions below as you begin to understand the application timeline.

What does it mean to go "straight through" to medical school?

What is a gap year(s)?

How will HPP help?

General Timeline for the Application Year

The timeline below illustrates an ideal AMCAS primary application submission date of July 1. If you submit on a later date, please discuss with your Pre-Health Advisors. You can see that the process crosses two years!

Summer and Fall app tasks-understand the application process and go to workshops. Begin critical tasks in the letter process: who will your writers be? Start asking those writers. Discuss with advisors if you need help reaching out to professors or mentorsWinter app tasks-Continue Letter Tasks: Submit Timeline Agreement and Composite Worksheet by 3/15. Begin Reflection Process: Attend "Essay Workshops" and begin writing application.  Apply for the Fee Assistance Program for MCAT and AMCAS Spring App tasks-Continue attending all application workshops MCAT: take by May (June at the latest) of the year you apply. Earlier is fine AMCAS primary application is available in early May. Begin writing application! It takes longer than you think!June5-30 app tasks-Ideal target dates to submit the AMCAS primary application. An early submission significantly enhances your odds If you decide to submit later, discuss with an advisor. You can submit the primary application before your composite letter is completedjuly 1st- august app tasks: Composite Letter is complete and added to AMCASLate july-early Sept app tasks: Complete Secondary Applications.  These applications are sent from individual schools and ask for further information and sometimes additional essays. Submit these as soon as posssible after you receive them (although you must make sure they too are complete, accurate, and exemplary)Late sept-Feb app tasks: Interview season!!!april 30 app tasks-If accepted to multiple schools, must make final decision by this date. If waitlisted, you may hear from schools anytime from May-Aug (depends on each school) of a possible acceptance.matriculation app tasks: Matriculation! Congratulations!

Taking Gap Years Before Graduate School

80% of Dartmouth applicants take at least one or more additional years after graduation before matriculating to medical school or other graduate programs in the health professions. The majority of these students apply as they graduate (i.e., at the end of senior year) or a future year. This gives applicants time to complete coursework, engage in pure or clinical research and prepare for the MCAT. The average age of students entering medical school is currently 24.5 years. For more information about gap years before medical school, visit Alternative Pathways to Medicine.

20% of students manage to generate a complete application by the end of Junior Spring (timeline above). This means: (1) successfully completing course work needed for the MCAT, (2) preparing for and taking the MCAT and (3) accumulating enough substantive extra-curricular experience to mount a competitive application by June of Junior year.

Working with HPP

HPP guides applicants throughout the application process, offers updates about the MCAT and helps students select schools for application.

The Health Professions Office oversees the Composite Evaluation Letter Process.  To best assist you, we require certain actions from you that are explained in Letters of Evaluation.

Last Updated: 8/15/17