2024-2025 Medical School Application Timeline + Schedule

March 27, 2024
6 min read


Reviewed by:

Akhil Katakam

Third-Year Medical Student, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Reviewed: 3/27/24

Read on below to learn more about the optimum med school application timeline to follow to secure your spot at med school. 

You've dreamed of becoming a doctor for years, and now it's time to take the first steps toward making that dream a reality. But the medical school application process can feel like navigating a maze blindfolded. With so many deadlines, requirements, and moving parts, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and lost.

Don't worry – we're here to be your guide. In this walkthrough, we'll shine a light on the optimal medical school application timeline, providing you with a clear, step-by-step path to success. We'll break down each stage of the process, from preparing your primary application to acing your interviews, and answer all your burning questions along the way.

Whether you're a pre-med student just starting to plan your journey or a non-traditional applicant looking for guidance, this guide has everything you need to navigate the medical school application cycle with confidence and clarity.

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The Latest Medical School Application Timeline (2024-2025)

This is a general timeline to apply to medical school you can use to stay on track. To ensure this is presented in as straightforward a way as possible, we’ve included events, deadlines, and various suggestions throughout our timeline for applying to med school.

MAY The 1st & 2nd week of May: AMCAS applications open;
Late May: Submit your application
JUNE Early-mid June: AMCAS begins verifying the primary application;
Late June: AMCAS sends the first batch of processed applications to medical schools.
JULY AMCAS verification continues;
Medical schools begin sending applicants secondary applications.
AUGUST Early August: Early decision program deadline;
Secondary applications;
Medical school interviews begin.
SEPTEMBER Medical school interviews & secondary applications.
OCTOBER Early October: Early decision deadline for schools to notify applicants;
AMCAS application deadlines begin;
Applicant notifications begin (accept, reject, or waitlist);
Schools make financial aid decisions with acceptances;
Medical school interviews & secondary applications.
NOVEMBER AMCAS application deadlines;
Medical school interviews;
Applicant notification continues.
DECEMBER - MARCH AMCAS application deadlines (end in December);
Medical school interviews;
Applicant notification continues.
APRIL Mid-April: Applicants cannot hold spots at more than three medical schools;
Late-April: Applicants can only hold one spot at one medical school.
MAY - JULY Waitlisted applicants may be offered admission at this time.
AUGUST Waitlisted applicants may be offered admission at this time;
Late August: School orientation and the start of the school year;
In most cases, schools will no longer offer waitlisted applicants admission after orientation begins.
SEPTEMBER Congratulations to all the accepted students; school begins!

The medical school application schedule is packed with important dates, from when the AMCAS application opens to the medical school interview timeline. Please check the TMDSAS app timeline if you’re applying to med school in Texas. We’ve outlined several key dates below to help you stay on top of the medical school admission timeline. 

MAY Early May
AMCAS and TMDSAS applications open.
Complete and submit your personal statement.
Late May / Early June
Submit your medical school application.
JULY Medical schools send applicants secondary applications.
AUGUST Early August
Medical school Early Decision program deadlines.
Medical school interviews begin.
SEPTEMBER TO MARCH Complete medical school interviews.
Send medical school letters of interest (before the interview).
Send medical school letters of intent (after the interview).
SEPTEMBER Congratulations to all the accepted students; school begins!

While the key medical application timeline dates listed above provide an idea of when schools will review your application, we’ll explore the med school application timeline in more detail below. 

Additionally, these dates only provide a rough guide of when to submit your materials in the med school app timeline. We recommend that you prepare well in advance for each stage of the med school application timeline. This includes brainstorming, outlining, and preparing for the medical school personal statement and AMCAS Work and Activities section ahead of time. 

Here’s what you should focus on each month before your med school application.

January to March of Junior Year – Focus on the MCAT

April of Junior Year – Finalize Your School List and Prepare Your Application

  • Analyze your MCAT performance and finalize the list of schools you plan to apply to. Students apply to 16 schools on average.
  • Begin working on your primary application, including your personal statement, activities list, and other components.

May of Junior Year – Submit Your Primary Application

  • Aim to submit your primary application through AMCAS, AACOMAS, or TMDSAS as early as possible in May or June. Earlier applicants have an advantage.
  • Request letters of recommendation from professors, research supervisors, and other key individuals.

June to August of Junior Year – Complete Secondary Applications

  • After primary applications are received, schools send secondary applications which are more school-specific. Turn these around quickly, ideally within two weeks.
  • Continue drafting essays, preparing for interviews, and taking the CASPer situational judgment test if required by schools.

September to March of Senior Year – Interviews and Admissions Decisions

  • Interview invitations are sent out and interviews are conducted on a rolling basis from September through the spring. Prepare thoroughly for interviews.
  • Admissions decisions are also made on a rolling basis during this time. Update schools on any changes to your application.

April to May of Senior Year – Choose Your Medical School

  • Most admissions decisions are sent out by May. Carefully evaluate your options, considering location, cost, aid, and fit.
  • Formally choose the medical school you will be attending through AMCAS by the end of April and withdraw other applications.

June to August of Application Year – Prepare for Medical School

  • Take time to relax, travel, and mentally prepare for the challenges and opportunities of medical school.
  • Ensure all required paperwork is complete and connect with future classmates before orientation.

The medical school application process requires careful planning and consistent effort over 18-24 months leading up to matriculation. Staying organized, getting started early, and receiving guidance from advisors can help you navigate this stressful journey successfully.

Importance of Following a Medical School Timeline

How many times have you heard “write it down” or “make a list?” Creating and following a timeline for applying to medical school ensures you are organized and ready to tackle the process head-on. As you apply to medical school or are beginning to select schools, there is not just one, but many deadlines to follow and fulfill. 

Our timeline for applying to medical school explains the admissions process that starts from May of your third year and extends into the beginning of your med school year. 

The Impact of a Gap Year on the Medical School Application Timeline

The med school application timeline can be exhausting, and increasing numbers of applicants are taking a gap year before medical school. A gap year, also known as an “application year,” is a break of at least one year between your undergraduate study and med school. Depending on when you apply to med school, you can choose to take one. 

For example, if you apply to med school at the end of your junior year and are accepted, you will immediately enroll after you graduate. Yet, applying at the end of your senior year leaves you time to improve your medical school application before you enroll. A gap year in the med school application timeline pushes back submission by at least one year. 

Gap years can be beneficial as some students need the time to improve their GPA or MCAT scores or gain clinical, volunteering, or research experience. UC Berkeley also notes that “students who plan to take a gap year have the advantage of providing 4 years of academic work... and they don’t have to rush through their prereq courses.”

But if you take a gap year, ensure that you make the most of it. It may hurt your chances of admission if you spend a year skiing instead of improving your candidacy. So, use your time productively. 

FAQs: Medical School Application Timeline

We’ve provided several questions and answers below to help you with the application process.

1. When Are Medical Applications Due?

Medical school application deadlines vary by school. Most schools have deadlines between October and December of the year before matriculation, but some can be as early as August or as late as April.

2. What Is the Best Month to Apply to Medical School? 

The best time to apply to medical school is in May or June, as early as the application opens. AMCAS begins accepting applications in early May, and the first applications are sent to medical schools in late June.

3. How Long Is the Medical School Application Process?

The medical school application process typically takes 12-15 months, from preparing your primary application to receiving admissions decisions. This includes taking the MCAT, submitting primary and secondary applications, interviewing, and waiting for decisions.

4. When Will I Hear Back About My Application?

Medical schools send admissions decisions on a rolling basis, usually between October and April. Most applicants receive decisions by March or April of the year they plan to matriculate.

5. What Is the Timeline For Waitlisted Students? 

There is no set timeline for waitlisted applicants. Schools may offer spots to waitlisted students from the time regular admissions decisions are made until the start of classes, although most waitlist movement occurs in April through July.

6. What Does the Medical School Interview Timeline Look Like?

Medical schools send interview invitations on a rolling basis, typically from August through early spring of the application year. Most interviews are conducted between September and February, with some as late as April.

7. When Does the AACOMAS Application Open for Submission?

The AACOMAS application opens for submission on May 4, 2024, for the 2024-2025 application cycle. Osteopathic medical schools begin receiving and processing applications on this date.

Following the Med School Application Timeline: Stay Organized 

When it comes to applying to medical school, it's essential to be organized. We've laid out the best timeline for applying to medical school to follow and help make the application process easy to follow. 

We know that there is so much data to separate, making it confusing for many. Hopefully, our advice alleviates that stress, allowing for a more in-depth focus on completing the requirements.

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