Undergrad Timeline for Applying to Medical School

Applying to medical school is a very lengthy process. So here to help is a timeline of things to do during your undergraduate career so that you are on top of the application when it comes time to submit.

Freshman year:

  • start taking prereqs
    • prerequisite classes generally include:
      • one year biology
      • one year general chemistry
      • one year organic chemistry
      • one year physics
      • one year English
      • one semester of biochemistry
    • to see the exact prereqs for each school, check out >> MSAR << from AAMC
  • join a few clubs you are interested in
    • these can be non-medically related
  • start volunteering early on
    • I would recommend getting early exposure to the hospital setting
  • shadow multiple professions in the medical field
    • this helps you see the options you have besides medical school

Sophomore year:

  • finish up prereqs
  • continue shadowing, volunteering, etc.
  • maybe take on a leadership position in a club or become a TA/mentor
    • leadership roles are great experiences
  • start research
    • again, this does not have to be medically related
    • keep an eye out for emails from your college, talk to professors asking if they need help in a lab, or email doctors at your school sharing your interest for starting research

Junior year:

  • continue volunteering, shadowing, research, etc.
  • study for MCAT
    • I recommend taking a Kaplan/Princeton Review course
    • I bought mine in May of sophomore year and saved $500
  • take MCAT
    • I took mine in January after a fall Kaplan course
  • prepare personal statement
    • this is your big essay on why medicine, why a doctor!
    • try to make it unique – we know that everyone who becomes a doctor wants to help people… let the admissions committee learn more about you.
  • ask for letters of recommendation
    • if they were your teacher, make sure you got an A in that course!
    • ask my email if you don’t see them too often, ask in person if you see them all the time
    • ask for a positive letter of recommendation
    • have a CV/resume prepared to send to them, usually they ask for one
    • give 4-6 weeks for these letters
    • send thank you notes afterwards!
  • request transcripts
  • submit application first day AMCAS opens
    • it is a rolling admissions – meaning the sooner you get it in, the better chance you have!

Summer between Junior and Senior year:

  • continue volunteering, shadowing, research, etc.
  • pre-write secondary essays
    • sometimes a quick google search can provide past secondary essays! 
  • submit secondary essays very soon after you receive them
    • but remember, you want your essays to be clear and coherent… so don’t rush your editing

Senior year:

  • continue volunteering, shadowing, research, etc.
    • this is important if you end up not getting in this cycle
  • interview time!
    • dress appropriately, be on time, review common interview questions, ask questions!
  • have fun! it is your senior year of college after all πŸ™‚
  • May: make a decision if you are accepted to multiple medical schools

Summer after graduation:

  • do nothing
    • this is the last time in your life that will be able to do this – so relax and enjoy πŸ™‚


All these steps might seem daunting. Just remember to take each day at a time, talk to professors, advisors, and mentors for help, and have fun! College is such a great experience and will help you grow in so many ways.

If you have any personal questions, comment below!!



2 thoughts on “Undergrad Timeline for Applying to Medical School

    1. Yes!! But maybe buy it 1 year before you apply because there is only a 1 year subscription! Basically it gives you all sorts of info on every MD med school like MCAT and GPA averages, how many out of state students are interviewed and accepted, and class requirements! I found it super helpful when making my school list, especially for those out of state schools!


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