With medical school applications opening soon, it is imperative to plan ahead and start early to maximize your chances of receiving an acceptance. In this post, we outline a definitive Medical School Application Timeline 2020 with all of the information and dates you need to keep in mind if you want to apply next cycle!
Important Medical School Application 2020 Cycle Dates:
- May 1: AMCAS application opens
- May 1: TMDSAS application opens
- June 1: AMCAS starts to accept applications
- June 28: First day applications are transmitted to medical schools
- October 15: First day acceptance offers can be made
Important Medical School Application Links:
- AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) – Used by most MD schools.
- TMDSAS (Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service) – Used by medical schools in Texas (MD and DO)
- AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service) used by DO medical schools.
When To Apply To Medical School 2020:
Medical school applicants often get confused because you can start submitting your AMCAS / TMDSAS / AACOMAS way before the medical school application deadline. When should you submit your primary medical school applications? As early as possible.
For all our applicants, we recommend applying within the first month the medical school application portal opens. But, the sooner the better. If there’s something in your application that you’re not super confident about (i.e. average GPA, average test scores, questionable letter of recommendation), we recommend that you apply the first two weeks the application portal opens.
It’s never too early to start working with our Cracking Med School Admissions team on your medical school applications. Our current medical school application packages have UNLIMITED EDITS for your AMCAS work/activities, AMCAS most meaningful experiences, and personal statement.
Medical School Application Timeline 2020
December 2019 – January 2020:
- Create your school list by referencing the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) for schools with median GPAs/MCATs near your own. Pay attention to the percentage of in-state vs. out-of-state accepted students.
- Compile all internships, jobs, extracurricular activities, and awards you plan to list on your work and activities section of the AMCAS into a document.
- Brainstorm ideas for your personal statement.
- Think about your letters of recommendation (LORs)
- If your school offers committee letters, request one and submit all necessary forms on time to prevent delays.
- If your school does not offer committee letters, create an Interfolio account or look into LOR storage services offered by your university or AMCAS. Start thinking about professors you would like to ask for a letter. Most schools will ask for at least two science LORs and one humanities LOR.
February – April 2020:
- Brainstorm themes of your application.
- Write drafts of your personal statement and work and activities. Your personal statement should be 5300-characters and your work and activities is comprised of fifteen activities with 700-character descriptions each and an additional 1325-characters for three most meaningful activities.
- For more information, see our previous blog posts on personal statements and the work and activities section.
- Ask your letter writers for LORs. Provide a copy of your transcript, CV, and personal statement draft to ensure a strong letter! Ideally, you should also meet with your letter writer in person to facilitate a personalized letter.
- More tips on How to Ask For a Medical School Letter of Recommendation.
- If your school does not organize letters of recommendations for your application, make sure you register for Interfolio.
- Request official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended, including summer courses and classes you took before starting college. Do not let your application be delayed by late transcript requests!
High Yield Cracking Med School Admissions Medical School Application Timeline Tip: Letters of recommendations and official transcripts sometimes take weeks to months to process and get written by your recommenders. Be sure to start planning and requesting these two documents early! We have met several pre-meds in the past in which recommendation letters and transcripts become the bottle neck of their AMCAS applications!
- May 1 – AMCAS application opens!
- Begin finalizing your personal statement and work and activities and populate these on AMCAS.
- Download our AMCAS Work and Activities Workbook down below to get examples of awesome AMCAS descriptions!
- Submit your official transcripts and LORs if they are ready. Electronic submission to AMCAS with your AMCAS ID is the quickest and best way to avoid delays!
- Finalize your school list and add these onto your AMCAS.
- Here is the link to the official AMCAS sign-in again!
- If you have not taken your MCAT yet, the last date you should plan to test on is May 29 without delaying the rest of your application (score release on June 30).
FREE AMCAS Work & Activities Workbook
Use this workbook to write STELLAR AMCAS descriptions. This section is as important as your personal statement.
- June 1 – AMCAS starts to accept applications. Submit your primary application (AMCAS) ASAP so you can be verified (when AMCAS finishes checking your courses) earlier for secondaries. List of secondary essay prompts for medical schools. Submitting your AMCAS application as early as possible is vital to the success of the rest of your medical school application timeline 2020!
- Some schools will begin to send you secondaries (supplemental essays). For schools that do not, look up their past secondaries online and start pre-writing essays and brainstorming ideas for specific prompts.
- See our other blog posts on secondaries:
July – August 2020:
- You will receive the majority of your secondaries in these months. The 2-Week Rule: aim to submit secondaries within 2 weeks after receiving them!
- We often get asked, “when is the absolute latest I should submit my secondaries?” Our Cracking Med School Admissions team advises students to submit their secondary applications by the second week of September at the absolute latest.
- If your letter writers or pre-medical committee has not submitted your letters yet, contact them to avoid delays for your Medical School Application Timeline 2020!
- Keep a look out if AMCAS needs additional information or if there is a problem with your application being verified.
September – October 2020:
- You should aim to be “complete” (Primary, Secondary, LORs, MCAT received) at your schools by Labor Day to maximize your chances of an interview invitation and acceptance!
- Based on the 2019-2020 medical school application cycle, we expect the first day acceptance offers can be made is on October 15!
November – December 2020:
- Thanksgiving Rule: if you have not received any interviews by Thanksgiving, consider preparing to send update letters to medical schools.
- New Years Rule: If you have to re-apply, do not fret! There are always several ways to boost your medical school application and we’ve helped several pre-meds get accepted to medical schools as re-applicants! We offer re-applicant services for applicants to optimize their chances of receiving an acceptance after re-applying!
September 2020 – March 2021:
- You’ll be invited to apply to interview at medical schools. We have several high-yield blog posts on traditional medical school interviews and multiple mini interviews. Download our medical school interview guide to get a list of 50 common medical school interview questions and tips for medical school interviews!
Frequently Asked Questions From Med School Applicants
Q. Do I have to submit my AMCAS by June 1?
A. Although you do not have to submit the day it opens, it is best to submit as early as possible. A late primary submission will delay the rest of your application (secondaries, interviews). If you cannot submit by June 1, we highly recommend submitting by June 15!
Q. How long does it take to get verified after submitting?
A. It varies. Generally, it takes 1 month for your entire application to get verified after submitting.
Q. When are applications evaluated?
A. Your application is evaluated when “complete” (Primary, Secondary, LORs, MCAT received). An earlier completion date increases the likelihood you will receive an interview and acceptance offer! Medical School Admissions committee may start evaluating your application as early as your secondaries are submitted (early to mid July) or we’ve heard admissions committees review applications as late as February!
Q. What parts of the AMCAS application can I change after submitting? If I change these things, will I have to wait longer?
A. You can add and assign LORs, change your name/current address/alternate names, and add a future MCAT test date. You will not have to wait longer once you re-submit. You cannot make changes to other parts of the AMCAS after submitting!
Q. Should I list in-progress courses, or courses I know I am going to take over the summer? What about pre-reqs I am taking over the summer?
A. AMCAS allows you to list future courses on the application. Although you cannot update these grades on AMCAS, you can update individual schools later in the cycle (e.g. in an update letter).
Q. My spring grades don’t come out until May/June/July/etc. Should I wait then to submit my application?
A. This is a judgement call. If your spring grades would significantly increase your GPA, wait until they result before sending in your transcripts. If they would have minimal impact, go ahead and submit without them; you update schools later if desired. You do not want to wait too long and delay the rest of your application!
Q. Will medical schools notice that a class included a lab?
A. In addition to selecting the “Combined Lecture and Lab” radio button, it is recommended that you add “and Lab” to the end of the course name.
Q. How do I list AP classes?
See the AMCAS instruction manual page 41.