Applying to Professional Schools
Applying to more than one profession is NOT recommended. The only exception is M.D. and D.O., as either of these will qualify you to practice all branches of medicine in the U.S.
Make sure to fill out the proper application for your year of matriculation. Applications can become available from May to September. If you accidentally fill out the one applicable to the previous year, you may have to start over when the current application is available.
Early decision: There is a huge risk with this. Early decision involves applying to one school ONLY and agreeing to attend if accepted. The advantage is that the applicant pool is smaller and is reviewed early in the process. The disadvantage, however, is that if you are rejected, you will be applying late to other schools. It is usually best to apply early in the regular process to all schools in which you are interested, including your first choice.
If you have not yet taken your admission exam when you are ready to apply, do NOT wait. Indicate on the application when you are planning to take the exam so that your application can be promptly completed when the scores arrive, presuming that all other information is in. If your plans change most cooperative applications allow you to update the information, even post-submission (see services for details). If not, be sure to contact the schools directly.
IMPORTANT! You may be required to RE-RELEASE your Admission Exam Scores if you retake the exam. As one example, students applying to osteopathic schools who retake the MCAT need to contact the MCAT service to authorize another release of their scores to the AACOMAS Osteopathic Cooperative Application Service or their new scores will not be sent! (Note: ALL the scores will be included in the report). Be sure to check this important detail if you retake the MCAT, GRE, DAT, OAT, or PCAT to ensure that your complete information is available for evaluation.
How to Apply: There are two basic ways to apply and the method is dictated by the profession and/or the specific school.
- For some programs or specific schools, you must apply directly to the school.
- For many programs, there are cooperative application services that allow you to complete one application that will be sent to multiple schools.
Coding courses: Many applications require you to code courses and sometimes this can be confusing with our unusual curriculum. Use your best judgment. For example, Analytical Chemistry should be denoted as inorganic chemistry with lab.
Listing activities: Include a brief description of how you benefited from each activity, if permitted in the procedures. Mention any legacy you may have left (for example, if you founded a club) and be prepared to discuss your activities at the interview.
Email and web considerations:
- If you used an email address on your application and your email address subsequently changes, notify the application service or school immediately.
- Check all junk mail before deleting, as many application services and some schools communicate with their applicants by mass emails.
- An important reminder is to be professional. Use a professional email address and avoid/get rid of all unprofessional content on social networking sites.
Minority or disadvantaged status: This can be a gray area. Basically, schools are looking for those who have experienced what it is like to be a “minority” or “disadvantaged” in terms of educational context, ethnic identification, commitment, and role model potential. If you qualify, check for special opportunities at the schools and through the internet. If an application lists race and you are non-white, fill in all races that apply, as if you leave the question blank you will be assumed to be white.
Fee waivers or fee reductions are available for applicants who qualify and is not retroactive if you are unaware and submit the full fee. So, do your homework ahead of time if you feel you may be eligible. Type in "fee assistance program for _____ (your field)" in a search engine to find this information.
Violations and convictions: If your application asks whether or not you have been the recipient of institutional action resulting from unacceptable academic performance or a conduct violation and you received a formal sanction by the College, you must answer YES. Provide an explanation in the appropriate part of the application. It is better to reveal past problems than have them discovered after you apply, which could have devastating consequences. It is important to show that you took responsibility and learned from the mistake. Be sure to share the details with Dr. Kirchhof-Glazier so that our Committee can help you deal with the situation and put your issue into context for the professional school, if applicable. You also need to report any problems that occurred after you have applied. Some infringements can impact eligibility for getting a license after graduation, so most professional schools are doing criminal background checks on all accepted students. If you have a criminal record of ANY kind, obtain and review your record for accuracy. If you were involved in a legal incident in which your record was subsequently expunged FOLLOW UP to be sure that this is indeed the case.
Be organized: Keep an electronic folder or hard copy notebook with everything relevant to your application in one place for easy reference. Be sure to include a copy of your applications, interview information, and copies of all correspondence. If you contact a professional school it is best to do it by email so that you have a record of the response.
Your application must be COMPLETE before it is evaluated, which includes letters of recommendation. If your letter writers are procrastinating, contact Dr. Kirchhof-Glazier. It is imperative that you FOLLOW UP to ensure that your application is complete because otherwise you will NOT be considered by the Admissions Committee or invited for interview. Some schools and application services communicate your status but if not, be diligent in following up within 3 weeks after you apply.
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