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All medical and dental schools require a Committee Letter if an applicant's undergraduate institution has a PreHealth Advising Office. A Committee Letter is a letter of evaluation that describes the candidate in relation to the other applicants from that institution in a given application cycle. A good committee letter is the result of the student (1) being a competitive applicant and (2) having a a working relationship with the PreHealth Advising Office. Students and UMass alumni should speak with a pre-health advisor as soon as they determine they will apply to medical school, dental school, or any other graduate program in a health profession. Before deciding when to apply, candidates should meet with an advisor in the PreMed/PreHealth Office to 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. An informational meeting for applicants is held in the fall semester of every academic year.

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 each belong to a unique, 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.

Application Resources

School selection tools to be used after you have an MCAT or DAT score:

  • The MSAR database lists the requirements for application and admission to all US (and many Canadian) allopathic medical schools for a small fee. 
  • Choose DO Explorer shares the requirements for application and admission to all US osteopathic medical schools.
  • The ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools (available in print or online) lists the requirements for application to all US dental schools for a small fee.

Required Forms for Applying

  • Registration on the PreMed/PreHealth Applicant Support Moodle (Enrollment Key: PreMed2020-2021) 
    • For current students, log in with your NetID here 
    • For alumni, log in using a Google account here. Click the button "Log in with Google" on the right side of the page. Enter the information for your Google account. Then, on the front page of OPEN UMass, under Courses, click the name of the course to enroll in. The Enrollment Options page will open. On the Enrollment Options page, under Self enrollment (Student), for Enrollment key, enter PreMed2020-2021 and click "Enroll me." The course page will open.
  • 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. The form should be uploaded within the Self-Assessment.
  • Self-Assessment: Complete the Pre-Med/Pre-Health Advising Self-Assessment Form. This form is due by April 24th in the year that you plan to apply.
  • veCollect: Register for VE Collect to manage letters of recommendation. Please note that veCollect does not submit your letters, so you do not need to input your school list. 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. Letters of recommendation must be received on veCollect by the end of May in the year that you are applying.
  • Interview Progress Report: Fill out the Health Schools Interview Information Form to indicate which schools have requested interviews (survey will be sent to applicants in December of the application year).

Standardized Entrance Exams


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