Primary Application

The majority of health professions schools will require a primary application that is completed through one of the centralized application services listed below. The primary application asks applicants to detail basic information including biographical data, coursework, extracurriculars, and a list of schools to which individuals plan to apply. It will also ask for submission of one's personal statement, a critical element of the application process.

Most schools admit applicants on a rolling basis; therefore, it is important to complete and submit the primary application as quickly as possible, once available. (Services typically open in May or June; review the applicable application services, listed below, for specific dates). Our office recommends aiming to have the primary application submitted by the end of June. Once submitted, the primary applications will go through a verification process that takes a couple of weeks. Verified applications are then sent to specific schools, at which point applicants will start receiving secondary applications.

The Health Professions Applicant Portfolio requested by our office is designed specifically to be preparation for the primary and secondary application questions. Some of the questions mirror exactly what applicants will be asked—as such, we strongly encourage students to think through their responses as they will be useful throughout the process.

For information about the various centralized application services for the 2022 Application Cycle—including opening dates, fees, applicant guides and program search tools—please explore the menus below. 

Allopathic Medicine Programs (MD)

AMCAS: American Medical College Application Service

AMCAS Applicant Guide

Dates

  • Application opens: 5/3/2021
  • Application submission available: 5/27/2021
  • Verified applications sent to schools starting: 6/25/2021

Fees

AMCAS requires an initial application fee of $170, which covers the cost of applying to one school. There is an added fee of $41 for each additional school to which an individual applies. The average applicant to medical school applies to around 17 programs.

For financial assistance, please see the AAMC Fee Assistance Program.

(Note: these are the fees from the 2021 cycle and are subject to change)

Program Selection

For comprehensive information about MD programs in the United States and Canada, individuals should consider a subscription to the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) tool. One-year and two-year subscriptions are offered.

Osteopathic Medicine Programs (DO)

AACOMAS: American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service

AACOMAS Applicant Help Center

Dates

  • Application opens: 5/4/2021
  • Application submission available: any time after application opens
  • Verified applications sent to schools starting: 6/15/2021

Fees

AACOMAS requires an initial application fee of $196, which covers the cost of applying to one school. There is an added fee of $46 for each additional school to which an individual applies.

For financial assistance, please see the AACOMAS Fee Waiver Program.

(Note: these are the fees from the 2021 cycle and are subject to change)

Program Selection

The AACOM offers a free, searchable database of all osteopathic programs in the United States known as the Choose DO Explorer.

Dental Medicine Programs (DMD/DDS)

AADSAS: Associated American Dental Schools Application Service

AADSAS Applicant Help Center

Dates

  • Application opens: 5/11/2021
  • Application submission available: 6/1/2021

Fees

AADSAS requires an initial application fee of $259, which covers the cost of applying to one school. There is an added fee of $112 for each additional school to which an individual applies.

For financial assistance, please see the AADSAS Fee Assistance Program.

(Note: these are the fees from the 2021 cycle and are subject to change)

Program Selection

The ADEA offers the Dental School Explorer as well as the Official Guide to Dental Schools. Prospective applicants can purchase either of these services, or a bundle of the two.

Texas Medical and Dental Programs

TMDSAS: Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service

TMDSAS Application Handbook

Dates

  • Application opens: 5/1/2021
  • Application submission available: any time after application opens
  • Verified applications sent to schools starting: 6/1/2021

Fees

TMDSAS requires one flat application fee of $185; individuals do not have to pay additional fees to apply to more schools.

(Note: these are the fees from the 2021 cycle and are subject to change)

Physician Assistant Programs (PA)

CASPA: Central Application Service for Physician Assistance

CASPA Applicant Help Center

Dates

  • Application opens: 4/29/2021

Fees

CASPA requires an initial application fee of $179, which covers the cost of applying to one school. There is an added fee of $55 for each additional school to which an individual applies.

For financial assistance, please see the CASPA Fee Assistance Program.

(Note: these are the fees from the 2021 cycle and are subject to change)

Program Selection

The PAEA offers a free, searchable database of all of the Physician Assistant programs in the country, called the PAEA Program Directory.

Optometry Programs (OD)

OPTOMCAS: Optometry Centralized Application Service

OPTOMCAS Applicant Help Center

Dates

  • Application opened last cycle: 6/3/2020

(Note: this date is from the 2021 cycle and is subject to change)

Fees

OPTOMCAS requires an initial application fee of $180, which covers the cost of applying to one school. There is an added fee of $70 for each additional school to which an individual applies.

(Note: these are the fees from the 2021 cycle and are subject to change)

Program Selection

The ASCO offers a comprehensive list of participating programs in the United States and Puerto Rico through the Directory of Schools and Colleges. To search programs based on their criteria, explore the Optometry Programs Admissions Directory.

Podiatry Programs (DPM)

AACMPAS: American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Application Service

Dates

  • Application opened last cycle: 7/30/2020

(Note: this date is from the 2021 cycle and is subject to change)

Fees

AACMPAS requires an initial application fee of $185, which covers the cost of applying to one school. There is an added fee of $50 for each additional school to which an individual applies.

(Note: these are the fees from the 2021 cycle and are subject to change)

Program Selection

The AACPM hosts a list of Accredited U.S. Podiatric Medical Schools for individuals to explore. The CPME also offers a free, searchable List of Podiatric Medical Colleges.