Applying to medical school or any health professional school is a rigorous process. Our office stresses the importance of volunteering, job shadowing, and completing research projects to test and evaluate your passions and commitment to the field. Medical and other health professional schools seek applicants who have shown careful thought and extensive preparation in their goals of becoming a health professional. If you're committed to pursuing a degree in healthcare, our office will support you through each step of your application.
- Preparing to Apply
Complete Required Courses
Medical schools usually require you to complete all required courses before applying. If you are a pursuing another health profession, review specific schools' policies regarding coursework. Remember, most professional schools will not accept prerequisite courses in which you have received a C- or lower. If you have received a C- or lower in any required course, you must retake the course at another school. You cannot retake a course at Furman if you have already received a passing grade in the course.
Take Your Admission Exam
Many health professional schools require you to take an exam (MCAT, DAT, GRE, PCAT, OAT, etc.) to demonstrate academic proficiency. You should prepare to take the appropriate test in late spring or early summer of the year before you wish to enter professional school. If you plan to take the exam twice, remember that some exams require at least 90 days between test dates.
Serving others is central in any health profession. If you are looking for a way to volunteer, find opportunities through Heller Service Corps.
You can gain valuable field knowledge by arranging a clinical experience through our PreHealth Experience Coordinator, Susan Ybarra. Contact the Prehealth Experience Coordinator.
Interview with Our Office
All pre-health students must meet with the Chief Health Careers Advisor, John Banisaukas, to discuss their career plans and current activities (volunteering, medical and research experience, leadership positions, and more.). Remember to sign up for MyPreHealth before your meeting and to bring a copy of your Curriculum Vitae to your meeting.
- Sending Your Transcripts
Send transcripts from Furman and other universities you may have attended as soon as the application is open and grades are available. If you have received any AP or IB credits, enter these credits as courses taken during the fall of your freshman year.
- Collecting Letters of Recommendation
As you begin your application process, you will be asked to submit letters of recommendation to complete your application. Request these letters as early as possible. Your request should be submitted no later than the spring of the year before beginning your application. Late recommendations will not be used in the application process.
Recommendation Letter Forms
When requesting a letter of recommendation for medical or dental school, provide evaluators with a Recommendation Letter Waiver and a Recommendation Letter Checklist to accompany your letter of recommendation. These forms are not necessary for other health professions. Download the forms here:
You will need at least three letters of recommendation. Two of these letters should be from science professors who have taught you in a class. Additional letters may be from non-science professors, research advisors, supervisors, or health professionals you have shadowed or with whom you have interned. We suggest requesting letters of recommendation from professors and professionals who have interacted with you on multiple occasions in different settings.
- Submitting Letters of Recommendation (Medical School)
You may submit letters of recommendation to our office or directly to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) online. We recommend allowing our office to act as an intermediary when submitting letters of recommendation.
Delivering your letters to our office
Instruct your evaluators to send their letters of recommendation and accompanying forms to our office by mail or by e-mailing them to the Health Careers Advisor. Once we have received your letters and accompanying forms, we will upload a letter packet, which includes a cover letter. Only one file may be uploaded, so we must receive all letters before uploading the packet.
Uploading your letters to AMCAS
You may submit a letter packet or individual letters directly to AMCAS online if you wish. You may also add an individual letter online if our office has already submitted your letter packet.
- Submitting a letter packet: Assign the letters to the desired school within AMCAS and enter the contact information of the Health Careers Advisor as the primary author.
- Submitting individual letters: Assign the letters to the desired school within AMCAS, enter the contact information of the evaluator, and print the Letter ID Form from AMCAS. Send this form to your evaluator and instruct them to mail both the letter and the form to AMCAS.
- Submitting Letters of Recommendation (Other Health Professions)
Not all types of health professional schools have a standard procedure for submitting letters of recommendation. Many schools have online services to allow evaluators to submit their evaluations directly to their school. You are responsible for determining these requirements and procedures and for sharing this information with your evaluators.
- Application Options (Allopathic Medical School)
Students may apply for early acceptance to one medical school. This binding program gives applicants with excellent credentials the opportunity to gain acceptance to their chosen school by Oct. 1. Applicants who wish to be considered for early decision must submit their application, including letters of recommendation, to AMCAS by Aug. 1. If you're not accepted, your application will automatically be added to the regular applicant pool and you may begin to submit applications to other schools. Remember, not all schools offer an early decision option, so be sure to review each school's guidelines.
Students may send their application to multiple schools, and their application is not binding. Review a specific school's guidelines and deadlines. Medical schools generally release acceptances by March 30.
- Application Timeline (Allopathic Medical School)
Beginning of May
AMCAS site opens. Begin application.
Beginning of June
Applications may be submitted.
Applicants seeking the highest chance of success should complete and submit applications. Applications take anywhere from four to eight weeks to be processed and this processing can't begin until AMCAS receives your transcripts.
Early Decision Program Deadline. Regular Decision applicants should also complete and submit applications.
Middle of August
Medical schools begin review for regular decision applicants. Remember, the earlier you submit your application, the earlier medical schools will see it.
After receiving your AMCAS application, medical schools may send a supplemental application, usually via e-mail. These applications typically specify quick deadlines and require additional time and resources.
Interviews may be scheduled anytime between September for early decision applicants and April for regular decision applicants. Medical schools typically schedule interviews for the strongest candidates first based upon the applicant's AMCAS application submission date. Again, submitting your application as early as possible will give you an earlier interview date.
Medical schools make weekly decisions to accept applicants from the pool of processed applications available at the time of review. Waiting to submit your application until official deadlines decreases your chance of being accepted to professional school.
If you wish to defer your acceptance, review your professional school's deferment policies.
Schools generally send financial aid forms in January. Some scholarship offers are extended at the time of acceptance.
- Application Deadlines (Additional Health Professional Schools)
Application opens: Early May
Deadlines: School specific, ranging from Sept.-Feb.
Osteopathic Medical School (DO)
Application opens: Early May
Deadlines: School specific, ranging from Oct.-April.
Application opens: Early June
Early decision deadline: Early September. Final decisions will be made by Oct. 1.
Regular decision deadlines: School specific, ranging from Nov.-March.
Application opens: Early June
Application, three evaluations, and fees due: mid-Sept.
Additional health professional school application processes and deadlines are school specific. Review each school's guidelines.
- Workshop Presentations
Various information sessions and workshops are scheduled throughout the academic year. The presentations from these sessions are below.