Medical School Applications: General Timeline

When it comes to applying to medical school, it is incredibly important to not only be on top of your studies, but also plan to make time for extracurriculars, hobbies, studying for your MCAT and lastly, completing medical school applications.


Thus, we have created a general timeline that can help students navigate the pre-med years.


Sophomore Year


  • Pursue meaningful activities such as clinical or non-clinical volunteering, paid work, research positions, leadership opportunities.

  • Plan activities over the summer, such as volunteering, shadowing, or summer research programs. Make sure you are also separating enough time to give yourself a break from school/pre-med life.

  • Meet with your pre-health advisor to discuss your progress and that you are on track to take all the pre-requisites needed for you to take the MCAT and apply to medical school

  • Begin to research the medical school application process, the MCAT exam, and the fee assistance program.

Junior Year

With & Without a Gap Year

  • Begin strategizing your application timeline, such as whether or not you decide to take a gap year or not

  • Finalize your schedule for completing your pre-requisites

  • Determine when you want to take your MCAT exam based on whether or not you are taking a gap year

  • Determine eligibility for Fee Assistance Program

  • Begin drafting a list of people whom you would like to receive a letter of recommendation from and reaching out to them

  • If your school does committee letters, look into this process as well.

  • Continue to pursue your extracurriculars, take on a more substantial role, or identify new ones you may want to pursue because of personal interest or to bolster an application.

  • Medical schools love when students are passionate about activity and pursue it longitudinally - it shows you didn't just do it for hours, but because it was important to you.

Without a Gap Year

  • No gap year = applying at the end of your junior year; therefore, you will matriculate into medical school the fall after graduation.

  • MCAT complete by fall, winter, or early spring of that year to get your score back before apps open!

  • You can still take it in the summer (May and June), but you will want to send your app before getting your score back.

  • Collect letters of recommendations or committee letters

  • Complete Medical School Application materials --> complete and finalize by the end of the spring semester/early summer ideally.

  • Personal statement

  • Complete earlier rather than later to allow peers and mentors to read for feedback and so you can create a statement you feel best represents you.

  • Work and activities section and most meaningful essays

  • Compile medical school list using MSAR

  • Complete Medical School Application

Senior Year

With a Gap Year

  • Gap year = apply at the end of senior year; therefore, you will have 1-year post-grad between then and medical sch