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
- Extracurricular, community service, and volunteer activities 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.
Be sure to check the submission 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 early as possible.
Applications Services for Health Profession Programs:
- 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)
- Canadian MD Programs
The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada
- 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 profession 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 most dental schools as well. Some schools send secondary applications as soon as the primary application has been submitted, others wait until after the primary application has been processed.
Allopathic and osteopathic secondary applications often involve essay questions, and typically include a fee, which ranges in cost. If applicants qualify for the AAMC Fee Assistance Program, or the AACOMAS Application Fee Waiver, some medical schools will waive the secondary fee. Please check with the specific school for their policy.
Dental schools (AADSAS) also have a Fee Assistance Program for primary applications. Over half of U.S. dental schools require a secondary application.