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Please note, the following is based on the premise you will start medical school in the fall following your college graduation, and that you will complete undergraduate education in four years. If you wish to have a gap-year, or take a different undergraduate path, adjust this timeline accordingly. Please consult with your prehealth advisor to establish your own personalized schedule.

Premedical Student Checklist

Pre-College

  • Talk with your high school counselor regarding the desire to go into a health professions career and create an academic plan.
  • Develop strong time management and study skills.
  • Work to obtain and keep a competitive GPA.
  • If needed, utilize on-campus services, such as the tutoring center, to assure that you have a strong understanding of the math and science curriculum.
  • Take advanced placement math and science classes to prepare for more difficult college level coursework.
  • Take elective classes that help develop a background in health professions and strong communication skills.
  • If your high school offers a prehealth tract, work with your counselor to enroll in the courses.
  • Join (or develop) a student organization that is geared toward health careers.

Year One

  • Meet with your university’s prehealth advisor to discuss overall premedical curriculum. If your college does not have a health professions advisor, view resources at the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions.
  • Begin prerequisite coursework – this typically begins with the Biology and/or the Inorganic Chemistry sequence.
  • Develop strong study skills by forming study groups and/or using academic resources on campus.
  • Maintain a competitive GPA and, if needed, immediately reach out to academic resources on campus for assistance (i.e., tutoring services). (See General Admissions Requirements for the average GPA for entering students).
  • Become involved in prehealth organizations and extracurricular activities on campus – keep records of your experiences.
  • Talk with upperclassmen about how they gained experiences in the health professions or about their medical school application process.
  • Work to develop a relationship with your science faculty members through office hour visits, extracurricular activities, etc.
  • Begin to inquire and research opportunities to gain clinical experience in healthcare fields through shadowing, volunteering, employment (i.e. CNA, EMT), and internship opportunities – keep records of your experiences.
  • Learn more about the osteopathic medical profession and philosophy by reading books, researching online, etc.
  • Begin researching osteopathic medical schools online focusing on admissions requirements and average entering student statistics (i.e., GPA, MCAT, ideal applicant, etc.).
  • Attend recruitment events and visit local osteopathic medical school campuses.
  • Look for opportunities to shadow an osteopathic physician in a clinical setting – keep records of your experiences. 

Year Two

  • Meet with your prehealth advisor to discuss current coursework, activities, and to begin thinking about preparation for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
  • Continue prerequisite coursework.
  • Maintain a competitive GPA and, if needed, immediately reach out to academic resources on campus for assistance (i.e., tutoring services). (See General Admissions Requirements for the average GPA for entering students).
  • Continue to gain clinical experiences through shadowing, volunteering, employment (i.e., CNA, EMT), and internship opportunities.
  • Focus on building relationships with professors, advisors, and medical professionals as they are future resources for evaluations/letters of recommendation.
  • Stay involved in prehealth organizations and get involved in community service – look for leadership opportunities.
  • Join or start a Pre-Student Osteopathic Medical Association (Pre-SOMA) chapter at your undergraduate college.
  • Continue to keep records of extracurricular and clinical experiences.
  • Look for opportunities to shadow an osteopathic physician in a clinical setting.
  • Consider participating in undergraduate research.
  • Attend health professions fairs in your area to learn more about schools of interest.
  • Continue researching medical schools online by reviewing admissions requirements and average entering student statistics (i.e., GPA, MCAT, ideal applicant, etc.).
  • Consider visiting local osteopathic medical school campuses (See College Recruiting Events for a list of opportunities to visit local campuses.).
  • Begin researching the cost of applying to medical school. Keep in mind that the average applicant applies to 9 colleges of osteopathic medicine.

Year Three - Fall

  • Consult with your prehealth advisor regarding letters of evaluation/recommendation (inquire about the availability of a prehealth committee).
  • Continue prerequisite coursework.
  • Continue researching medical schools online by reviewing admissions requirements, average entering student statistics (i.e., GPA, MCAT, ideal applicant, etc.) and mission and vision statements.
  • Consider visiting osteopathic medical school campuses to meet with their admissions counselors and/or attend an open house. (See College Recruiting Events for a list of opportunities to visit local campuses.).
  • Continue maintaining a competitive GPA and, if needed, immediately reach out to academic resources on campus for assistance (i.e., tutoring services). (See General Admissions Requirements for the average GPA for entering students).
  • Continue to gain clinical experiences through shadowing, volunteering, employment (i.e., CNA, EMT, scribe, etc.), and internship opportunities.
  • Explore research opportunities.
  • Stay involved in prehealth organizations, volunteer experiences, and extracurricular activities, especially those that focus on helping underserved populations.
  • Begin serious preparation for the MCAT exam (offered from January and September each year).
  • Set aside time to work on your personal statement. Revisit and rework the statement over an extended period of time.
  • Research and plan how you will pay the application fees to apply to medical school. Keep in mind that the average applicant applies to 9 colleges of osteopathic medicine.

Year Three – Spring

  • Meet with your prehealth advisor to review the details of your application.
  • Continue prerequisite coursework. If possible, enroll in upper-level sciences courses, such as Biochemistry and Gross Anatomy.
  • Continue to gain clinical experiences by shadowing or volunteering, employment (i.e., EMT, scribe, etc.) and stay involved in prehealth extracurricular activities.
  • Contact those who will be writing evaluations for you. Give them plenty of time to write a quality letter of recommendation.
  • Research medical schools that are of interest to you. Contact each school to inquire about their specific admissions criteria, and if possible, schedule a time to visit campus (See College Recruiting Events for a list of opportunities to visit local campuses.).
  • Review AACOM’s Osteopathic Medical College Information Book to assist with your medical school research.
  • Take the MCAT exam.
  • Start the AACOMAS application process and arrange to have your transcripts sent to the AACOMAS Transcript Processing Center.

Year Three – Summer

  • Apply to AACOMAS as early as possible. Applications can be submitted starting in May for entrance in the fall of the following year.
  • Work with evaluators to submit letters of recommendation.
  • Order all official transcripts and have them submitted to AACOMAS.
  • Submit secondary application materials upon receipt.
  • Periodically contact each school to verify your application status.

Year Four

  • Maintain a competitive GPA (See General Admissions Requirements for the average GPA for entering students).
  • Meet with your prehealth advisor and/or career center to work on interview skills. If possible, complete a mock interview.
  • Make a list of the medical schools to which you plan to apply. If invited, participate in interviews at medical schools.
  • Complete prerequisite coursework. If possible, include upper-level science courses such as Biochemistry and Gross Anatomy.
  • Continue to gain additional clinical and/or research experience.
  • Stay involved in prehealth organizations and volunteer activities.
  • Periodically contact each school to verify your application status.
  • Share news of upcoming interviews and acceptances and thank those who helped along the way - prehealth advisors, professors, physicians, family, and friends.
  • If accepted, complete the FAFSA application for financial aid.
  • Consider post-application plans, whether you are accepted or not accepted. Think about what you will do between the time you are accepted and begin school or the steps you will take should you need to reapply?
  • If you are not accepted or invited to an interview, contact the schools where you applied to request formal feedback on how to be more competitive if you reapply.
  • Explore next steps to increase your competitiveness, including, but not limited to, gaining additional clinical experience; retaking MCAT; enrolling in a master’s program or postbaccalaureate certificate program; taking additional high level science courses; reapplying for admission; etc.

Post-College (Gap Year or Non-Traditional Career Changer)

  • Talk with an advisor to gain perspective on your competitiveness for medical school or on your career goals.
  • Take additional courses if pre-requisite courses are more than five years old and/or to strengthen background in sciences.
  • Gain additional clinical experience to strengthen background in the health professions and confirm desire to go to medical school.
  • Retake the MCAT exam, if needed, or if your scores are older than three years old.
  • Reassess career goals. Evaluate if you should continue to pursue becoming a physician or if there are other professions that would be fulfilling.
See a schedule of College Recruiting Events.