Applying to medical schools is a lengthy process that can span 15 months and require careful planning. Below is a brief summary of the steps in applying to medical schools so you can set a program at Duke that fits your interests.
1. Set a date to take the standardized MCAT. The exam should be scheduled after you have finished the required courses in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Statistics, Psychology and Sociology and when you are within 3 years of applying. MCAT scores often expire after three years. Plan to use several months prior to the date of the exam for studying, reviewing and taking pretests. Most students will devote 300 hours or more. You may be able to schedule the MCAT for the end of the summer before you apply, so that you can devote the summer to study without being distracted by courses and activities. Alternatively, you can take the MCAT in January, April, May or early June and then submit your application the same summer.
2. Attend a Kick-Off Meeting in November or January, to hear about the application process in detail.
3. In early spring, work on a draft of your application, begin to write your personal statement, choose the schools you will apply to (and check their requirements), and ask three or four individuals for letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation must be submitted to the HPA by June 1.
4. In the spring, schedule a one-hour Review My Application meeting with a Prehealth Advisor to check your plans and hear suggestions.
5. On May 1, the AMCAS website opens. When you have spring grades posted, send a transcript. Also in May, the TMDSAS Application for medical and dental schools in Texas will open.
6. Early June. Send in your application. Although applications will be accepted all summer and into the fall, many schools do a rolling admission and will take the first qualified applicants they see. You want to be in the first applicant pool
7. July.... Complete secondary/supplemental applications.
8. August .... Interview. These can continue into the spring.
9. Final enrollments are set as of April 1; however, students on a waitlist may be admitted into the summer.
Applications to other health professions schools may differ slightly, but all require study for a standardized exam and preparation for an application. See the "Apply" section for more details.