Prior to submitting the primary application, you should begin collecting individual recommendation letters (via Interfolio), writing your personal statement, and participate in the SUNY Geneseo committee letter process. Having these pieces finalized before the primary application will allow you to focus on completing the application in a timely manner.
Beginning the application process, most professional schools require a primary application to be completed through a central application service; these application services do have a fee. Medical and other professional schools operate on a yearly cycle with rolling admissions. Medical schools start accepting applications in June of the year prior to when one would start school (i.e. 14 months before you would start classes). Because admissions are rolling, applicants are at a disadvantage if they apply late; for borderline candidates (and this is a substantial portion of candidates!), a late application keeps them out of medical school at least for a year. Applying the fall of your senior year is TOO LATE; students should plan to apply in June; and applying in June requires some preparation before June.
Central Application Services:
- Dentistry: AADSAS
- US MD: AACAS
- US DO: AACOMAS
- Optometry: OptomCAS
- Pharmacy: PharmCAS
- Physical Therapy: PTCAS
- Physician Assistant: CASPA
- Podiatry: AACPMAS
- Veterinary: VMCAS
These services make the application process easier than it would be otherwise (although it is still time consuming). They allow applicants to fill out one set of forms, online, and an application is then sent to all the schools that the applicant wishes to apply to. The service has a set fee, please check the website for each service to determine the cost. There are additional fees depending upon how many schools you apply to (i.e.$30 for each school after the first for AMCAS in 2005). Applicants need to arrange to have their transcripts from all institutions where they took college courses sent to the application services.
The application is straightforward although it does take some time to complete. You do not need to complete the application all at once; you are able to save it online and log on repeatedly to review, add information, and modify what you have already saved. You are asked for a variety of information relating to coursework and grades, biographical information, awards and honors, extracurricular activities, employment, volunteer work and medically related experiences. Do not feel that you have to completely fill up the spaces; activities/awards from high school generally are not relevant unless they are sustained through college. A long list may simply reveal that you have done lots of little things which usually is not as valuable as having done a few things that are more substantial. Having had some medically related experience is nearly essential, so make sure that you get some! Activities that demonstrate compassion for others and an ability to work with and for others are also very significant. The form also asks if you have been subject to any disciplinary action. Be honest here, as the same question will be addressed in the letter from the Premedical Advisory Committee (we are expected to check your standing with the Dean’s Office). Being subject to disciplinary action does NOT result in an automatic rejection, but being dishonest does! If you have questions, talk with the Senior PreHealth Coordinator.
Secondary (Supplemental) Application
Once you submit your primary application via the central application service, it is verified and released to the schools you wish to apply to; these schools consider your credentials, as revealed by your transcripts, your application exam scores, and your primary application, and if you pass muster, the schools will then ask for ‘secondary applications.’ These applications are school-specific and require an additional fee averaging around $100. Requests for ‘secondaries’ may come one to two months after submitting the primary application, although it often is slower than this if your application scores are not yet available. You will usually need to answer additional essay questions as part of the secondary application. Make sure you are aware of the secondary application deadlines.
The admissions interview is the last component of the application process. The interviews typically start in September and continue through-out the spring semester until the school has filled enrollment.