Spring/Summer: Study for and take the MCAT exam given on 22 different testing dates throughout the year. Most students take the MCAT exam on one of the test dates in April through July. Taking the exam in August of the year you are submitting applications may cause a delay in processing your application. However you may have valid reasons for taking the exam at other times of the year. Some students take this exam in the junior year of college, others take it in the senior year or later. Your MCAT scores are valid for a three year period.
Spring: Fill out Form 1 "Request to Prepare a Committee Letter of Recommendation". This form is available on the HPAC web site and should be filled out before the deadline (early April). Again, some students will fill out this form in their junior year, others will fill it out during the senior year. Even if you plan to delay applying to medical school for a year or two after graduation, fill out this form before you graduate so that we can begin collecting information from your professors. Alums that wish to apply or reapply will need to fill out Form 1 (by the deadline). You do not have to relist your courses, but you may want to let us know about new research positions, course work, or health-related experiences you have had after graduation. Please submit Form 1 before submitting Form 2 so that new information can be included in your committee letter.
May/June: Most medical schools admit students on a rolling admission basis. Therefore, it is important that you begin the application process early.
Fill out AMCAS primary application on-line. AMCAS will send your application to the schools you indicate (students usually apply to six to ten schools.) As part of this process you will need to request from the Registrar that official transcripts be sent from Grinnell. You will also need to indicate that Grinnell College will be submitting a "committee letter" on your behalf. In addition, you will obtain a Letter Request Form pdf file, which you will need to send to Doug Peterson [email@example.com]. Sending this form to Doug, however, at this point does NOT mean that your committee letter will be sent by us.
July/August: If a medical school chooses to take further action on your application, you will be sent a secondary application four to six weeks after submitting your primary application to AMCAS. Once you begin receiving secondary applications, only then do you request that a committee letter be sent from Grinnell.
Fill out and submit Form 2 "Authorization to Send Committee Letter of Recommendation". Check with AMCAS to find out if the schools you're applying to are "AMCAS participating schools" (most will be), for these schools, we will send our letter electronically to AMCAS (given that you've provided us with the Letter Request Form) and AMCAS will send it on to the schools. For these AMCAS participating schools, just write AMCAS on your Form 2 under the institution name, you need not list the individual schools. You must, however, list any schools NOT participating with AMCAS plus the schools due dates on your Form 2. It is easier for us if you submit a completed form with all schools indicated. However, if you have not heard from all schools, you can submit Form 2 with the schools you have heard from, then add schools to the list via a letter or email once a copy of Form 2 is on file with the Health Professions Advisory Committee.
It will take approximately four weeks for your letter to be sent out from the time you request it. Please plan ahead.
Each spring we hold a meeting to review the application process. In addition, please feel free to meet with any member of HPAC to discuss any questions about preparing for or applying to medical school.