Primary and Secondary Applications
Most health professions schools require that students complete a computerized, primary application similar to the common application to college, which allows basic information to be collected centrally and then transmitted to the schools to which you have applied. Each profession has a different primary (sometimes called “standardized”) application. Expect to spend about five hours on the data entry aspects of the application, and considerably more time developing your personal statement and activities list.
The primary application asks you for a broad range of basic information, including:
- Biographical data such as your name, address, date of birth, citizenship, etc.
- Information about where you took college courses, and all undergraduate course grades
- Activities you’ve engaged in since high school
- Personal Statement
- List of schools to which you are applying
- Copies of your official transcript(s) from any colleges or universities that you have attended (transcripts are sent directly to the application service, not to individual schools).
The medical studies committee application process helps students prepare important portions of their application, including their list of activities with narrative descriptions and personal statement.
so be sure to check the dates for the application service that you are applying to. Because many schools admit students on a rolling admissions basis, you are encouraged to complete and submit the primary application as quickly as possible.
Applications Services for Different Health Professions:
- Allopathic Medical (MD) programs
Association of American Medical Colleges (AMCAS)
- Osteopathic Medical (DO) programs
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS)
- MD, DO & Dental programs in Texas
Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS)
- MD Programs – Ontario Canada
Ontario Medical Schools Application Service (OMSAS)
- Dental programs
American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS)
- Physician Assistant (PA) programs
Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA)
- Podiatry programs
American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Application Service (AACPMAS)
- Public Health programs
Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS)
- Veterinary programs
Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS)
Once you have submitted your primary application, some health professions schools will require that you submit additional information. These applications are referred to as secondary, or supplemental applications.
Almost every allopathic and osteopathic medical school requires a secondary application and some dental schools as well. Some schools send secondaries as soon as the primary application has been submitted. Some schools wait until after the primary application is processed. Still others will wait until the primary is processed, and then screen applicants based on the primary, and only send secondary applications to selected applicants.
Secondary applicants often involve one or many essay questions, and often involve a fee, averaging around $75. For allopathic medical schools, the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) publication lists the secondary application policy for each school.
Dental school supplemental information is minimal in comparison to medical school. Information on each school’s requirements is listed on the primary (AADSAS) application. Required information may include a high school transcript, photo, fee, an official copy of DAT scores and/or transcripts, and possibly other information (it varies widely by school).