Time is ticking faster than you think. Will you be ready when applications open?
By: Ryan Kelly
Medical schools have yet to change any of the dates discussed in this article. Recently, MD schools announced that they MAY delay the date that applications are released to medical schools from June 26, 2020, to July 24, 2020, but that has yet to be confirmed.
We’ll update this post as we hear more information.
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 OpensMay 4, 2020Last Day to Take the MCAT Without Delaying Your ApplicationMay 22, 2020First Day to Submit AMCASMay 28, 2020
First Applications Released to Medical Schools
June 26, 2020
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!
Why this date matters:
Because you get your MCAT scores back by June 24, this is the last date to take your MCAT without delaying your application (yes, you can submit your primary on May 28, but because applications aren’t released to medical schools until June 26, a June 24 score release will not delay your application). Sure, you can take the MCAT later than May 22–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.
Why this date matters:
You’d better apply by 9:30am Eastern on May 28, or you’ll never get into medical school!
Just kidding, 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, verification takes 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.
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.
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.
NOTE: The 2020-2021 AACOMAS deadlines have not been posted publicly yet, but these are the projected dates from the past cycle (unlikely to change significantly).
We will update this information as the new dates become available!
AACOMAS Application OpensMay 2, 2020First AACOMAS Applications Released to Medical SchoolsJune 15, 2020AACOMAS Application DeadlinesOctober 2020 – April 2021
Application Becomes Available and Can be SubmittedMay 1, 2020
UCSFOctober 15, 2020UCLA Geffen
October 15, 2020UCLA Drew
November 15, 2020UCSDNovember 1, 2020UCI
November 1, 2020
November 1, 2020
October 1, 2020UC RiversideNovember 4, 2020StanfordOctober 1, 2020USCNovember 1, 2020Cal NorthstateDecember 15, 2020Western (DO)
February 1, 2021Touro (DO)March 15, 2021
St. George’s University School of MedicineRolling admissions
Classes start in August and January.Ross University School of MedicineRolling admissions
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.
CASPer Test Dates/Times:
(final date this school can be added to your CASPer distribution list)Alabama College of Osteopathic MedicineApril 26, 2021Arkansas College of Osteopathic MedicineApril 26, 2021Baylor College of MedicineNovember 30, 2020Boston UniversityOctober 26, 2020California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic MedicineMarch 3, 2021Case Western Reserve University, School of MedicineNovember 11, 2020Central Michigan University, College of MedicineMarch 3, 2021Des Moines University, College of Osteopathic MedicineMarch 3, 2021Drexel University, College of MedicineDecember 23, 2020East Tennessee State University, Quillen College of MedicineDecember 23, 2020Florida Atlantic University, Charles E. Schmidt College of MedicineJanuary 25, 2021Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/NorthwellNovember 20, 2020Howard University, College of MedicineApril 26, 2021Idaho College of Osteopathic MedicineApril 26, 2021Indiana University School of MedicineDecember 23, 2020Kaiser Permanente School of MedicineNovember 11, 2020Augusta University, Medical College of GeorgiaOctober 7, 2020Medical College of WisconsinDecember 23, 2020Meharry Medical CollegeJanuary 25, 2021Mercer University, School of MedicineDecember 23, 2020Michigan State UniversityJanuary 25, 2021New York Medical College, School of MedicineJanuary 25, 2021Northeast Ohio Medical University, College of MedicineDecember 23, 2020Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic MedicineApril 26, 2021Oregon Health & Science UniversityDecember 23, 2020Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic MedicineApril 26, 2021Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic MedicineJanuary 25, 2021Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago Medical SchoolApril 26, 2021Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolDecember 23, 2020State University of New York, Upstate Medical UniversityNovember 30, 2020Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook UniversityDecember 23, 2020Temple University, Lewis Katz School of MedicineApril 26, 2021Texas A&M University, College of MedicineOctober 7, 2020Texas Tech University El PasoNovember 30, 2020Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, School of MedicineNovember 30, 2020Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, NYMarch 3, 2021Tulane University, School of MedicineNovember 30, 2020University of Colorado Denver, School of MedicineNovember 30, 2020University of Illinois at Chicago, College of MedicineDecember 14, 2020University of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of MedicineMarch 3, 2021University of MichiganMarch 3, 2021University of Nevada, Reno School of MedicineOctober 7, 2020University of RochesterNovember 11, 2020University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Long School of MedicineJanuary 25, 2021University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, School of MedicineOctober 26, 2020University of Texas SouthwesternJanuary 25, 2021University of Vermont, Larner College of MedicineDecember 23, 2020University of Washington, School of MedicineNovember 11, 2020Virginia Commonwealth University, School of MedicineOctober 7, 2020Wake Forest School of MedicineNovember 30, 2020West Virginia University, School of MedicineApril 26, 2021Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the PacificApril 26, 2021William Carey University College of Osteopathic MedicineApril 5, 2021