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Pre-Health Advising

Vassar College

The Year Leading up to Submitting an Application


  • Prepare in earnest for the MCAT – maybe a prep course or whatever method best suits you. Plan to spend 350-400 hours studying and taking practice exams.
  • Review "Getting Organized" on the AAMC website


  • Login to Handshake to schedule an appointment with the Pre-Health and STEM Advisor to discuss your plans.
  • Make a list of people you would like letters of recommendation from and request the letter.
    • The committee should receive these letters by April 1 (email to
  • Schedule your MCAT/DAT/GRE (if not already scheduled).


  • Complete the Applicant Information Form and the Letter Writer Contact Form - both will be available once we know you are applying.
  • Make sure your letter writers submit their letters by April 1 to
  • Work on your personal statement.
  • Take the MCAT/DAT/GRE (if you haven't already).
  • Organize information you want to include on your application (narratives of experiences, transcripts, check for letters received by committee).
  • Meet with your Pre-Health Faculty Advisor once assigned (If you are pre-med or pre-dental).


  • Begin filling out the application
    • CASPA (PA School) submission available in April for most programs.
    • AMCAS (MD) opens in late April early May, submission available late May early June.
    • AACOMAS (DO) opens in May, submit as quickly as you can finish it.
    • AADSAS (Dental) opens in May, submit as quickly as you can finish it.
    • TMDSAS (Texas schools) opens in May, submission available about 2 weeks later.
    • Others - some open a little later, so please research other types of programs (the Pre-Health advisor can help!).
  • Request ALL transcripts to be sent to the application service (check “after spring grades are released”).
    • Be sure to have transcripts sent from any college level work you have done (not just Vassar) - even if courses were taken during high school. You do not ned to request anything for AP courses.
  • Once you submit and pay for your application, inform your Pre-Health Faculty Advisor and Lisa.
    • Send the Letter of Recommendation Request Form from AMCAS to Lisa if applying to MD schools.
    • AADSAS and AACOMAS will send an email.
    • On all applications you should request a "Committee Letter" to be uploaded by Lisa Pace at
      • Important note: The committee letter does not get written until you submit and pay for your application. In most cases the letter will be completed and submitted before your application is verified, in some cases it may be a short time after, this will not negatively affect your application.

The Year After You Apply


  • Be sure you have submitted your application(s) as early as possible
  • For programs that have secondary applications, complete them thoughtfully but as quickly as possible – shoot for a 2 week turn around.
    • Prioritize your top schools.
  • Wait for interview invitations and prepare for scheduled interviews - schedule a mock interview with the Pre-Health Advisor which can be over Zoom.


  • Continue with any secondary applications that arrive.
  • Continue to wait for interview invitations and schedule a mock interview if still needed.


Please be sure to meet with the Pre-Health and STEM advisor and look at the professional program websites to get more specific information. If you are applying to medical school Review the AAMC Timeline for Admission to Medical School in addition to reading the information above.

One Last (but important) Note

In order to receive the full support of the committee (applicable to pre-med and pre-dental students), which includes a composite letter of recommendation, the following items must be satisfied:

  • The primary application must be submitted to the respective application service by June 30
  • You must have completed the MCAT by the end of May, before submitting your application

If these conditions aren't met, the committee reserves the right to not provide a formal composite letter of evaluation. The individual letters of recommendation in your file will be forwarded to the schools with an accompanying general cover letter.

Updated February 2024