When to Apply


The best time to apply is when you are the strongest possible applicant.

If you know that there are aspects of your candidacy that need improvement, you may want to reassess the timeline of your application. Typically, it is most advantageous to devote time and energy toward strengthening your academic record, gaining health-related experience, and/or improving your MCAT/DAT score, than simply applying because “that was always the plan”.

About 90% of Bates applicants (roughly 62% nationally) take time off between graduation and matriculation to health professions school. The average age of matriculating medical/dental students is 24 years old.

Why wait to apply?

  • The senior thesis is an impressive achievement, and will be a part of the application for those applying in their senior year or beyond.
  • Grades tend to trend upward in the senior year, which improves your candidacy.
  • Advanced classes are smaller, so letters of recommendation may be more detailed and stronger (and students can have a letter from their senior thesis adviser).
  • The time pressure to take the MCAT/DAT is lessened – students applying as seniors often take the MCAT/DAT between junior and senior year or after graduation – using the summer to study.
  • The year off provides a rich opportunity to expand your knowledge of health care, develop professionalism in a ‘real world’ setting, and help re-energize you after an intense college academic experience. Applicants who need to boost their academic credentials may choose to take additional courses or attend a post-bacc/special masters program.

Here is a link to a great article about making the most of your glide/gap year.