Freshman Year | Sophomore Year | Junior Year | Senior Year

The following is a suggested roadmap / timeline for your premedical activities as an undergraduate. You should meet regularly with your premed advisor throughout these years to keep them updated of your plans.

Freshman Year

  • Explore medicine as a possible career. Start shadowing, volunteering, or doing research.
  • Start building your resume. This can be informal, but it is helpful no matter what you end doing. Make note of the activities you've done, the dates you do them, approximately how many hours/week, who your mentor/supervisor is, and write a few sentences of description. Also keep track of any awards or achievements. Keeping this list updated throughout your undergraduate years will make your applications much easier later on.
  • Consider getting in touch with Jacqueline Sedgwick, MD (JSedgwick@csumb.edu), one of your premedical advisors to talk to her about what a career in medicine is like.
  • Start planning your courses, considering early exposure to biology to determine where your interests lie.
  • December
    • Start considering what you will do as a summer activity - research, volunteering, employment. These opportunities sometimes take some time to set up. Consider applying for funding (most deadlines are in January, February, or March).

Sophomore Year

  • Continue exploring medicine. Continue your current extracurricular activities. If you've done mainly shadowing or volunteering, consider exploring research, and vice versa.
  • Reflect on your interest in medicine. Use these questions for the personal statement as a jumping-off point.
  • Continue choosing your courses carefully, making sure to fulfill premedical requirements (see MSAR). Avoid overloading yourself - grades are important.
  • Get to know your professors in anticipation of asking them for letters of recommendation.
  • October/November
    • Look at the MCAT schedule online, compare with your coursework, and decide when you will be ready to take it. Read here for more advice on MCATs.
  • December
    • As before, start considering what you will do as a summer activity - research, volunteering, employment. Consider applying for funding (most deadlines are in January, February, or March). Consider discussing your plans with a premed advisor.
  • February/March
    • Actively try to set up summer experiences early in the semester before midterm crunch.
  • April/May
    • Take a peek at the AMCAS when it is released, just so you are familiar with what it asks.

Junior Year

  • Continue course selection, which becomes very important. Contact your advisors if you have any questions. Plan to be done with all your basic premedical requirements by the end of this year.
  • Review the current MSAR to be sure that you are still on track re: course requirements.
  • Continue to get to know your professors in anticipation of asking for letters by the end of this semester.
  • December
    • Consider whether you will want to take a review course (such as Kaplan, Princeton, or others) in order to prep for the MCAT in the spring. Some courses may begin in December, so you will need to start registering for them. If you are not planning to take a course, then at least purchase or obtain your review book(s) and make a self-study plan, as detailed as you can possibly make it. Read here for more info on how to study for the MCATs.
    • Register for Spring MCAT. It is strongly recommended that you take it before the end of April so you can use your score to help determine which schools to apply to.
    • As before, start considering what you will do as a summer activity - research, volunteering, employment. Consider applying for funding (most deadlines are in January, February, or March). Discuss your plans with a premed advisor.
    • Get in touch with professors or other people to ask them for LOR, set up associated meetings, etc.
    • Over winter break, start drafting your personal statement.
  • January/February
    • Choose good courses for second semester
    • Final summer plans in place.
  • March
    • By now, letters of recommendation should be requested of all recommenders! You should be done meeting them, updating them on your life and why you want to be a doctor, and giving them instructions for how to write them.
  • April
    • Check AMCAS website for when the application will be released.
    • Continue working on the personal statement.
    • Be sure that your MCAT is taken before the end of this month so the scores will be ready before you apply.
  • May
    • Start working on AMCAS when it comes out! Usually it is around the first week of May.
    • Send transcripts to AMCAS as these can take a few days to go through.
    • Consider meeting with your premed advisor to discuss your list of schools when your MCAT scores are back. The MSAR is also a good resource for deciding which schools are appropriate.

Senior Year

  • June
    • Submit your AMCAS as early as possible. Admissions and interview spots are rolling, so earliness cannot be overemphasized! You have a better shot at nabbing an interview spot early in the game, before they are all taken, than later. You've been working on the statement and the application for awhile now, so it should be ready to go. Have your friends and family double-check everything.
    • Decide based on your first MCAT scores whether you will want to retake them and if so, whether you want to take a prep course. Discuss with premed advisor if you are considering retaking.
    • Send polite reminders to your recommenders regarding their letters.
  • July
    • Work on secondary applications as they come to you.
    • Save some money for interview trips.
  • August / September
    • All secondary apps should be finished and sent off!
  • August - March
  • March
    • Interviews over. If you have not received any interviews, speak with your premed advisors and think about alternative plans.
  • February - June
    • Acceptances and wait list notifications mailed.
    • Choose your school - consider quality, location, financial aid package, etc. Decide which schools you would like to stay on the wait list for.