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Student and advisor working at a microscope in the Life Sciences Complex.

The Application Process

Preparing for Your Application Cycle

Many things factor into your application cycle, and we strongly recommend having frank and open conversations with one of our pre-health advisors to discuss the optimal timeline for your entrance into medical, dental, veterinary, physician's assistant, or other health professional graduate programs. Some factors you need to consider include:

  • Completing the required prerequisite courses for your professional program
  • Complying with HPAC requirements and deadlines (medical and dental) for applicants seeking sponsorship
  • Reviewing the timeline for appropriate admissions exams
  • Considering your cumulative and BCPM GPA
  • Developing your personal statement
  • Generating a schools list
  • Calculating the cost of applying
  • Preparing for the appropriate centralized application service
  • Understanding the submission and rolling admissions process
  • Completing the secondary application process.

Medical Schools follow a holistic review process. When considering applying, you want to keep in mind some important factors that are critical to your candidacy for admission:

  1. Your Major and GPA (includes both science and non-science courses)
  2. Your Standardized Test Score (includes the MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT, GRE)
  3. Clinical/Health Care Exposure  (sustained engagement in health care settings)
  4. Community Service  (commitment to serving others, volunteer/extracurricular)
  5. Leadership Qualities (taking on responsibilities and deeper level of involvement)
  6. Letters of Recommendation (3 to 5 letters required; a letter from two science faculty members and major faculty member strongly recommended)
  7. Strong MCAT Score (prepare early and prepare often; be familiar with MCAT content)
To review specific application processes, deadlines, and requirements, here is a list of centralized application services for health professional programs:

After Applying, Now What?


The last step in the application process is your interview.  After you have completed your central and supplemental applications, you will start to hear back from schools.  Requests for interviews will begin as early at September and run through March.  If you are invited for an interview, we offer MOCK interview appointments to help practice before the big day.  The admissions committees have liked what they have seen on paper, now they want to get to know you in person.  Make sure you practice interview etiquette and prepare for common questions.  Know your application inside and out.  Know yourself inside and out.  We're here to help you prepare for this important event. 

Acceptances & Rejections

Some students will get only one offer; others will get multiple.  You may hold multiple acceptances until you decide where you want to go.  Some students want to hear from all their schools before they make a final decision.  Other students only need one acceptance and choose to withdraw their application from the remaining programs.  Please note that all schools will likely require a deposit immediately to hold your spot in the class; this can range from $50 to $1,000 or more.  However, by late spring (May), you will be asked to accept only one offer and decline the rest - matriculating into your favorite school. Rejections, on the other hand, are not easy to swallow.  If you find you are receiving more rejections than acceptances, come in to see us; we can discuss ways to try to improve your odds of re-applying or help you explore what your next plan of action might be.

We encourage all applicants to keep us up to date on both.  We want to celebrate with and for you and we definitely want to be available to help you take those next steps.


If you come to the end of the cycle, and you have not been accepted, don't be ashamed or afraid to come in discuss what to do next.  Our advisors are here to provide long-term support and counseling.

Paying for Medical School

Financial aid is limited in medical school and medical school is financially draining; however, there are federal and private loans available.  Start researching each school for program-specific scholarships or aid. Strongly consider loan repayment and forgiveness options. 

Check out AAMC's FIRST for Medical Education Program. 
Loan Repayment/Forgiveness Scholarship Programs through the State and Federal Repayment, Loan & Scholarship database.

Federal Programs

Many private scholarships have a "financial need" requirement; you will be required to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the government.  If you would like to apply for Federal Financial Aid Programs, visit the FAFSA website.

The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who belong to 564 federally recognized tribes in 35 states.  American Indian and Alaska Native students enrolled in health professions programs may be eligible to apply for financial support programs.  Learn more at

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has scholarship, loan, and loan repayment programs for health professions students.  View a complete list of HRSA programs.

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC), administered by HRSA, was established to provide high-quality care to underserved populations, such as rural states and inner-city communities.  Learn more at the National Health Service Corps website.