Applying to Professional Schools
Individual Application vs Cooperative Application Services
Professions that are not listed below under “Cooperative Application Services” require you to apply directly to each school. In addition, not all schools in a profession that subscribes to a Cooperative Application Service choose to participate in the service. In both of these cases, see school websites for information and an application.
Cooperative Application Services
Many professions have a cooperative application service that allows you to enter all your information once and then designate multiple schools to which the application is sent.
Many of the schools that participate will then send you a secondary application with additional questions and an additional fee. Individual school policies for secondary applications vary widely. Some schools send a secondary application to every applicant, while others send them only to competitive applicants.
General Information on Cooperative Services
- Which schools participate in the service? The service will indicate the participating schools. If you want to apply to a non-participating school, check the website of that school to get their individual application
- If you’re from the western U.S. there are special programs (WICHE and WWAMI) that allow some students from western schools to apply to other western schools as in-state residents. See websites for details
- Internet time: If you are overseas or in a situation in which you need to pay by the minute for use of the internet, some services have a downloadable paper application that you can fill out ahead of the web submission to save internet time
- Combined programs: If you are doing a combined program (M.D/.Ph.D., D.P.M./M.P.H., etc.) be sure to indicate that on your application and follow directions carefully. Make sure to contact the graduate schools directly after you apply for the combined option on the cooperative application, to see if any additional application materials are needed
- Secondary applications: If one is required, your application is not complete until the secondary application is in, so submit it promptly
- Making changes: Virtually NO changes are permitted after submission to the cooperative service (see specific websites for exceptions). For the few permitted changes, you must recertify and resubmit the application. If there is an important change that cannot be done through the service, then (a) write a letter to each school, or (b) include the updates/corrections on the secondary application to the school
Links to the specific cooperative services are below. In addition, the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions provides a summary sheet of information.
READ ALL of the fine print on the website carefully and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. If you have questions, contact the service as indicated on the website. Our Office cannot keep abreast of the many details involved.
- Allopathic Medicine
AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) In addition to the details in the application, the AAMC provides helpful resources.
- Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
CSDCAS (Communication Science and Disorders Central Application Service)
ChiroCAS (Chiropractic College Application Service)
- Dental Hygiene
DHCAS (Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service)
AADSAS (Associated American Dental Schools Application Service)
- Healthcare Administration, Management and Policy
HAMPCAS (Healthcare Administration, Management, and Policy Centralized Application Service)
- Naturopathic Medicine
NDCAS (Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Centralized Application Service)
NursingCAS (Nursing Centralized Application Service)
- Occupational Therapy
OTCAS (Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service)
OptomCAS (Optometry Centralized Application Service)
- Osteopathic Medicine
AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service)
PharmCAS (Pharmacy College Application Service)
- Physical Therapy
PTCAS (Physical Therapy College Application Service)
- Physician Assistant
CASPA (Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants)
- Podiatric Medicine
AACPMAS (American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Application Service)
- Public Health
SOPHAS (Schools of Public Health Application Service)
- Texas Medical, Dental, and Veterinary Schools
TMDSAS (Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service)
- Veterinary Medicine
VMCAS (Veterinary Medical College Application Service)