Applying to Schools

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Before applying, candidates should evaluate whether they have demonstrated (1) a strong academic background, particularly in the sciences, (2) continuous dedication to understanding the field, and (3) meaningful and sustained commitment to service. They should apply when they have strong applications, adjusting their timelines as needed. Candidates should speak with a pre-health advisor as soon as they determine they will apply to graduate school in a health profession. Group workshops will be held in November and February.

The Application Process

Most health professions graduate programs have rolling admissions, which means that the odds of admission decrease the longer a candidate waits to submit the application. As such, the Pre-Health Advising Office recommends that candidates submit their applications as soon as possible. For medical and dental school, this means submitting in early June with the plan of matriculating to graduate school 14 months later.

Before submitting an application, candidates should have all of their application materials prepared—letters of recommendation, the appropriate standardized test score, a personal statement, etc. As such, applicants begin the process long before they plan to matriculate. For medical, dental and some other health professions, a committee letter written by the UMass Amherst Pre-Med/Pre-Health Advisors will also be a critical piece of the application.

Most medical, osteopathic, dental, podiatry, PA, and optometry schools belong to a central online application service and initially require only one application, which is received and processed electronically and forwarded to indicated schools.

Application Timeline

This year-long application timeline charts important to-dos for the application process, including everything needed to apply and when.

Our Recommendations

Applying to Medical, Dental & PA School from Health Professionals UMass Amherst

Applying to Medical School 2018

Preparing a Personal Statement

Medical and Dental School Application Checklist

Required Forms

  • Waiver form: Fill out this Pre-health Advising Waiver Form. The decision to waive access to letters of recommendation is optional and voluntary; however, most medical/dental schools expect it.
  • Self-Assessment: Complete the Pre-Med/Pre-Health Advising Self-Assessment Form.
  • Science GPA Calculator: Use the Science GPA Calculator  for your Self-Assessment and actual application.
  • veCollect: Register for VE Collect to manage letters of recommendation. Please note that veCollect does not submit your letters, the Pre-health Advisors will download your letters and combine them with the advisor letter. After that, they are submitted to the appropriate portal by your advisor.
  • Interview Progress Report: Fill out this Health Schools Interview Information Form to indicate which schools have requested interviews.

Standardized Tests


DENTAL ADMISSION TEST (DAT) Computerized tests are available year-round
GRADUATE RECORD EXAM (GRE) Computerized tests are available year-round
MEDICAL COLLEGE ADMISSION TEST (MCAT) Computerized tests are available January-September
OPTOMETRY ADMISSION TEST (OAT) Computerized tests are available year-round

Application Services