Pre-Health Preparation - Timeline

Timeline for Applications and Preparations


  • Meet with a pre-health professions advisor to review premedical requirements
  • Begin introductory science courses if you are math-ready (have taken or are ready to take Math 110), such as General Biology (Bio 112) and General Chemistry with Lab (Chem 150)
  • Be knowledgeable of drop/add course deadlines in the event you need to change your schedule
  • Begin to examine/explore academic majors (while you must take science courses to qualify for medical school, keep in mind that you do not need to major in science)
  • Identify sources of academic support (i.e. tutors, supplemental instruction, study skills training, study groups, counselors, professors)
  • Attend study skills seminars and test-taking workshops to maximize performance in courses - right now there is nothing more important that having a high grade point average (GPA)
  • Develop a balance between your academic and personal goals
  • Develop the characteristics of a good physician (i.e. intellectual curiosity, respect for diversity, high moral character, compassion, integrity, honesty, humility and hard work)
  • Develop professional attributes (i.e. teamwork, responsibility, reliability and time management)
  • Develop and pursue interests outside of your formal education
  • Begin to research the field of medicine
  • Begin to investigate /explore opportunities for patient care experience, and/or general exposure to the healthcare field and medical profession (i.e. hospital, clinic, hospice, nursing home)
  • Consider community service activities
  • Utilize your summer wisely; volunteer or work in a medical related setting for patient care or observational experience              


  • Visit medical schools, tour campuses, meet with Deans, Directors, and students
  • Begin informally preparing for the MCAT by utilizing various study guides along with premedical course materials
  • Begin to identify instructors and professionals who: 1) know you well, 2) can write positive and meaningful letters of recommendation and 3) can give you their highest recommendation
  • Learn about people different from yourself to enhance appreciation for diversity
  • Continue to utilize your summers wisely.  Consider additional medical experience, summer enrichment or research programs

Junior / Senior 

  • Begin taking upper level and/or advanced level science courses:  Upper Level Biology; Physics with Lab; Genetics; Physiology; Anatomy or Comparative Anatomy; Biochemistry; Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Complete courses required for your degree and continue to complete basic premedical courses
  • To reinforce scientific knowledge, consider serving as a tutor or supplemental instruction leader
  • Continue to learn about health care issues
  • Continue volunteer work or employment in a medical related facility or organization
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities that you enjoy and add to your personal development
  • Continue involvement in community service activities
  • Get involved in activities which enable you to experience cultural differences
  • Check for MCAT preparation courses and/or workshops
  • Obtain MCAT practice exams from paper or online study guides
  • Develop an MCAT preparation planRegister to take the the MCAT at the earliest possible date
  • To assist you in completing your application, request all of your college transcripts
  • Carefully prepare, organize and write your personal statement.  Ask someone to proof read it for you
  • Complete online AMCAS application
  • Apply to medical schools consistent with your medical career goals and other needs