Cross this line, and you’re dead.
During the American Civil War, Henry Wirz, a particularly vicious Confederate general, was convicted and hanged for torturing Yankee prisoners of war. During the trial, it came out that he had drawn a line in the dirt, beyond which any prisoner who crossed would be shot. Some believe this particular act to be the origin of the term “deadline.”
For most other application processes - applying to college or graduate school - the deadline is indeed that: the line beyond which your application is dead. But not for applying to medical school.
Because of the scarcity of spots in US medical schools, applying early is crucial. And once one pre-med starts down that path, the others follow. These days, the rush to submit the application on the opening date - not the deadline - means that few spots remain for those applying late (August or later).
We need a new term, one that captures the declining chances with every passing week you delay your medical school application. If the true deadlines are not until fall, then we might coin the following phrases:
Bruised-line: June 15 - submitting your AMCAS by this date won’t ruin your chances, but it does mean your application is behind the thousands who submit in the first few days that the application opens.
Wounded-line: July 1 - applying by this date certainly hurts, but it still might make sense as long as your numbers are strong (i.e. you can take a wound and still survive).
Damned-line: August 1 - not impossible to get in, but submitting your AMCAS after August 1 hurts your chances significantly.
Deadlines: October - December. Sure, these are the actual cutoffs for these US allopathic medical schools.
When applying to medical school, these almost-deadlines are like electric fences. They probably won’t kill you, but you don’t want to touch them either.
Below we’ve highlighted the crucial dates to submit your AMCAS, AACOMAS, and TMDSAS application so that you survive the application gauntlet.
|AMCAS Application Open||May 1, 2019|
|Last Day to Take the MCAT Without Delaying Your Application||May 24, 2019|
|First Day to Submit AMCAS||May 30, 2019|
|First Applications Released to Medical Schools||June 28, 2019|
May 1 - AMCAS Application Opens
Why this date matters:
It's time to start filling out the application. The actual application--outside of the essays--takes about four hours to fill out. Things that can help make it easier are: a) ordering an official transcript for yourself (the coursework section is lonnnnng), and b) writing your essays in advance. Don't forget about the forgotten essays--the "Most Meaningful" essays!
May 24 - Last Date to Take MCAT Without Delaying Your Application
Why this date matters:
Because you get your MCAT scores back by June 26, this is the last date to take your MCAT without delaying your application (yes, you can submit your primary on June 5, but because applications aren't released to medical schools until June 29, a June 26 score release will not delay your application). Sure, you can take the MCAT later than May 24--there are several dates in June that would still be okay for this application cycle--but those dates will ever-so-slightly delay your application.
May 30 - First Day to Submit the AMCAS
Why this date matters:
You'd better apply by 9:30am Eastern on May 31, or you'll never get into medical school!
Just kidding, obviously, but you should get your application in within the first week if at all possible. The biggest holdup is verification, which is where someone at AMCAS carefully reads every line of your transcript to make sure it matches up with what you put into the application itself (what a fun job!). The longer you wait to apply, the longer verification takes. At its peak in 2017, verification took up to a full month (so, if you apply July 1, your application isn't ready until August 1). The earlier you get your application in, the shorter verification will be.
June 28 - First Applications Released to Medical Schools
Why this date matters:
This is the first day to receive secondary essays. Most schools don't screen, so expect to get 8-10 schools--that's 32-40 essays--within the first week of July. The key to surviving this date is to pre-write your secondaries. Here’s the full list of secondary essay prompts.
October - January - Medical School Application Deadlines
Why these dates matter:
They don't. Or, they shouldn't. If you wait until the deadlines to apply, you significantly damage your chances of getting in.
You should apply by July 1 if you can help it, or else we recommend that you wait until next cycle to apply.
|AACOMAS Application Opens||May 2, 2019|
|First AACOMAS Applications Released to Medical Schools||June 15, 2019*|
|AACOMAS Application Deadlines||October 2019 - April 2020|
|Application Becomes Available and Can be Submitted||May 1, 2019*|
|UCSF||October 15, 2019|
|UCLA Geffen||October 15, 2019|
|UCLA Drew||November 15, 2019*|
|UCSD||November 1, 2019|
|UCI||November 1, 2018|
|UCI||November 1, 2019|
|UC Davis||October 1, 2019|
|UC Riverside||November 4, 2019|
|Stanford||October 1, 2019|
|USC||November 1, 2019|
|Cal Northstate||December 15, 2019|
|Western (DO)||February 1, 2020*|
|Touro (DO)||March 15, 2020*|
Caribbean Medical School Deadlines
|St. George’s University School of Medicine||Rolling admissions
Classes start in August and January.
|Ross University School of Medicine||
3 new classes each year: in January, May, and September.
|Saba University School of Medicine||
Classes start in September, January, or May.
|American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine||
Classes start in September, January and May.
*Deadline has not been updated as of this post’s publish date. The date listed has been adjusted from 2018-2019 cycle deadlines. Deadlines will be updated in this article as they are published on the official application websites.
CASPer Test Deadlines
Here are the current available CASPer test dates/times for participating MD and DO schools for the 2019-2020 cycle:
May 14, 2019 - 8:00 PM EDT
Jun 2, 2019 - 2:00 PM EDT
Jun 13, 2019 - 8:00 PM EDT
Jun 25, 2019 - 5:00 PM EDT
Jun 25, 2019 - 8:00 PM EDT
Jul 7, 2019 - 2:00 PM EDT
Jul 7, 2019 - 5:00 PM EDT
Jul 18, 2019 - 5:00 PM EDT
Jul 18, 2019 - 8:00 PM EDT
Jul 30, 2019 - 5:00 PM EDT
Jul 30, 2019 - 8:00 PM EDT
(final date this school can be added to your CASPer distribution list)
|Albany Medical College||December 25, 2019|
|Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine||March 12, 2020|
|Central Michigan University||March 12, 2020|
|Des Moines University, College of Osteopathic Medicine||March 18, 2020|
|Drexel University||December 25, 2019|
|East Tennessee State University||December 25, 2019|
|Hofstra University||October 10, 2019|
|Liberty University, College of Osteopathic Medicine||March 12, 2020|
|Augusta University, Medical College of Georgia||October 10, 2019|
|Medical College of Wisconsin||December 25, 2019|
|Mercer College||December 25, 2019|
|Michigan State University||January 23, 2020|
|New York Medical College||January 23, 2020|
|Northeast Ohio Medical University, College of Medicine||January 23, 2020|
|Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine||April 16, 2020|
|Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine||April 16, 2020|
|Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago Medical School||December 3, 2019|
|Rutgers University, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School||December 26, 2019|
|SUNY Upstate||December 3, 2019|
|Stony Brook University||December 25, 2019|
|Temple University||January 23, 2020|
|Texas A&M University, College of Medicine||November 6, 2018|
|Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine||December 3, 2019|
|Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine NY||April 16, 2020|
|Tulane University, School of Medicine||December 3, 2019|
|University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine||December 3, 2019|
|University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine||November 19, 2018|
|University of Miami (Miller)||March 18, 2020|
|University of Michigan||February 15, 2020|
|University of Mississippi||December 25, 2019|
|University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine||October 10, 2019|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine||March 12, 2020|
|University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Long School of Medicine||January 23, 2020|
|University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, School of Medicine||September 3, 2019|
|University of Washington, School of Medicine||December 3, 2019|
|Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine||October 10, 2019|
|West Virginia University, School of Medicine||May 18, 2020|
|Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest||March 19, 2020|