Medical School Application Timeline 2020: Explained in 5 Minutes


medical school application timeline


When I was applying to medical school, I felt overwhelmed and confused with the massive amount of information out there on the medical school application timeline. The truth is, the medical school application timeline can be confusing at first. There are a lot of components, from the AMCAS application to your medical school interview timeline, that you need to keep track of and organize. The timeline can also vary slightly depending on whether you are planning your gap year before medical school or if you are applying straight to medical school after your senior year of college.

The good news is mapping out your medical school application timeline doesn’t have to be  complicated. With organization and these 5 pieces of key information, you can successfully plan out your medical school application timeline without feeling so overwhelmed.

Key Information #1: When should I apply for medical school?

The medical school application process ideally starts about 2 years before your planned medical school start date. For example, if you are planning on starting medical school Fall 2021 (i.e. August 2021), then you need to start preparing your medical school application process in Spring 2020 (i.e. January 2020).

Key Information #2: What are the main medical school applications in the United States?

  1. The AMCAS application which is for allopathic or MD schools
  2. The AACOMAS application which is for osteopathic or DO schools
  3. The TMDSAS application which for medical schools in Texas

Key Information #3: When does medical school applications open? When are medical school application deadlines?

AMCAS 2020

Open: May 4, 2020

Deadline: August 2020-December 2020 (visit AAMC for specific medical school deadlines)

AACOMAS 2020

Open: May 4, 2020

Deadline: January 2020 - April 2020 (visit AACOM for specific medical school deadlines)

TMDSAS 2020

Open: May 4, 2020

Deadline: October 1, 2020

Key Information #4: When are med school interviews?

If you are on the waitlists at some schools, you can write a letter of intent to try to get off the waitlist. If you have not received an acceptance offer, start thinking about your reapplication strategy. To put it in perspective, the AAMC cited that the average medical school acceptance rate is about 40%. The path to medical school looks different for everyone. Set yourself up for success by addressing the gaps in your application and mapping out your medical school reapplication timeline. Grit and perseverance are just as important as numbers and scores when applying to medical school.

Key Information #5: What if I do not receive a medical school acceptance offer by Spring 2021 (i.e. turned in AMCAS in May 2020 and have not received an acceptance by March 2021)?

Interviews happen between August 2020 to March 2021. Some schools have rolling admissions and send offer acceptances as early as October 2020. These schools send acceptances until their medical school class fills up, usually latest by the end of June 2021. Other schools release their decisions on one specific date, and send acceptance decisions usually in March of the following year (i.e. if you turned in your AMCAS in 2020, the school will release its acceptance decision March 2021, even if you interviewed for that school in December 2020).

Key Points to Take Away

The medical school application timeline is a  two year process.

The key to not being overwhelmed with the medical school application process is creating a medical school timeline and keeping track of important deadlines and information using a calendar or spreadsheet.

Turn in your applications early to optimize your chances for acceptance.

If you have not received a medical school acceptance offer by Spring of the following year (i.e. turned in AMCAS in May 2020 and have not received an acceptance by March 2021), start thinking about your reapplication strategy.

The road to medical school is different for everyone.