Pre-Professional Health Studies Program

Application Process

FAQ10: As a senior, what must I do to complete the application process to medical or dental school?

FAQ11: What information must be submitted on an application? What do the application services do?

FAQ12: What do the medical and dental schools do after they receive my application?

FAQ13: What happens after my letters of evaluation reach the medical or dental school?

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FAQ10: As a senior, what must I do to complete the application process to medical or dental school?

1. Take the MCAT or DAT: The MCAT is now computer based and is scheduled much like the DAT-- a computerized exam that can be taken on an individual basis from spring of the junior year to mid-November of the senior year.

Students generally devote about 6 months, or 600 hours to a review of material pertinent to the MCAT or DAT. Reviews may include review books, computer programs, and/or special courses provided by companies devoted to preparing students for major examinations. The costs of these reviews vary from approximately $50 for written materials to $2,000 for a full review course.

2. Fill out the application for medical or dental school. Both applications are available on the Web through application services. The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Services (AACOMAS) organize the medical school application, and the dental application is handled through the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). A few schools do not use these services; however, most medical and dental schools do. Applications should be submitted during the summer or early fall of the year before you want to attend medical or dental school.

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FAQ11: What information must be submitted on an application? What do the application services do?

The medical and dental school applications essentially request similar information. You must submit biographical information and a Personal Statement essay about why you wish to pursue a health profession career. In addition, you list work experience and other life experiences you feel have prepared you for your chosen career. Finally, you must list all classes taken and grades earned at all colleges and universities.

The application services are grade-checking services that will send your verified application to the medical or dental schools you designate. The more schools you designate, the more the application services will charge you.

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FAQ12: What do the medical and dental schools do after they receive my application?

The medical and dental schools will review your application. If you satisfy their requirements they will send you a “Secondary Application” or “Supplemental Application.” Medical and dental schools usually require a fee for submitting secondary applications. This application will request evaluations of your academic and non-academic abilities. Medical and dental schools are moving toward the electronic submission of a “packet” of evaluations. These evaluations from faculty and health professionals can be collected on campus and forwarded to the schools by the chief health professions advisor if requested by the applicant. The applicant may also choose not to use this collection service and handle the submission of each letter him or herself. Some of the topics usually of interest to medical and dental schools include maturity, comprehension, judgment, dependability, thoroughness, motivation, intellectual ability and curiosity, communication ability, emotional stability, integrity, compassion and concern for others, and knowledge of the profession. In addition the evaluator usually offers an overall recommendation ranging from “excellent” through “good” to “poor.” (Never ask a faculty member who thinks poorly of you to write an evaluation of you!)

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FAQ13: What happens after my letters of evaluation reach the medical or dental school?

The medical or dental schools will read your evaluations. If you still seem to be a promising candidate, the committee will invite you to the campus for an interview. Interviews are scheduled from early September through the middle of March. The interview day usually includes a meal (or at least a snack), a tour of the campus with an enrolled student (this provides an excellent opportunity to ask questions about student life), and individual interviews with two or three members of the admissions committee. 

By relating your personal life experiences during the interview, you are expected to show that you are knowledgeable and committed and equipped to pursue a career in medicine or dentistry. Interview days are usually stressful events for the applicant, but the professional schools, their staffs and the committee members go out of their way to put you at ease. There are many resources on campus to help you prepare for these interviews including the Michelin Career Center, the office of the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences, and the chief health professions advisor. The admission committee will evaluate your application in comparison with other applicants and inform you whether you have been admitted. 

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