Candidates who wish to enter most health professional schools begin the application process 14-20 months prior to matriculation with medical and dental schools starting in August.

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Detailed Timeline and Instructions for Applying

The following document offers step-by-step instructions for applying to medical and dental schools. It reviews (1) how to become a competitive applicant, (2) when to apply, (3) how to gather letters of recommendation, (4) the details of the application process, and (5) a detailed application checklist.

Medical and Dental School Application Checklist

Important Dates

Suggested Deadline Formal Deadline  
Mid-Oct. Varies Register for the MCAT or DAT if not yet complete. (If applicable: learn about MCAT and MCAT prep fee assistance and apply in January for a partial fee waiver for the DAT.) 
  Nov/Dec Attend mandatory meeting for applicants announced through Pre-Health email list.
Jan. 30 Mar. 31 Take MCAT if not already complete. Score being used for this cycle must be posted by April 30 unless prior arrangements have been made with Pre-Health advising.
  Apr-Jun Take DAT if not already complete. Score being used for this cycle must be available by April 30 unless prior arrangements have been made with Pre-Health advising.
Jan 30 Apr 1 Set up veCollect account.
April 1 May 1 Compete the Self-Assessment and Waiver forms on the UMass Pre-Health Applying to Schools webpage. Do not submit until you have your MCAT or DAT score.
Early May July 1 Begin the online application fro AMCAS/AACOMAS/AADSAS.
May 31 June 15 Have all letters of recommendation on file with veCollect.
June 1 July 1 Through Univ Registrar, send UMass e-transcript to AMCAS/AACOMAS/AADSAS after spring grades are posted. If you took classes at another college, send a transcript from that college as well. Do this early as AMCAS can take a month to link a paper transcript to your account.
Early Jun Aug. 1* Submit online application through AMCAS/AACOMAS/AADSAS.
June 30 Sept 1 Complete secondary applications. Complete CASPer or PREview if required by your prospective schools.
May 31 Aug. 1* Have all items for committee letter: self-assessment completed, all letters of recommendation (signed and on letterhead) in veCollect, application submitted, official MCAT or DAT score posted to application, and transcripts received by online application portal.

*This item must be completed before a committee letter can be written.

Sample Four-year Timelines

The following timelines are general ideas for how one might structure required course work and activities. The main goal, however, is to get into medical or dental school; there is no prize for sticking to a certain timeline. Candidates should be flexible and let their experiences and instincts guide them in developing a timeline that sets them up for success.

Medical School Common Plan with No Gap Year

Medical School Common Plan with Gap Year(s)

Dental School Common Plan with No Gap Year