The best time to apply is when you are a strong enough candidate to get into the program you want. Your HPA Advisor is happy to work with you on reflection of your candidacy and provide you with honest feedback on your application. If you know there are aspects of your application that you could improve, you may want to reassess your timeline. In most cases, it's better to devote time, energy, and money to strengthen your academic record, gaining health-related experiences, or improving your service within your community to become a stronger candidate rather than spend that time on an application when you aren't your strongest. 

When you are ready to apply:

Applications open in late Spring or throughout the Summer. The process from application to interviewing to acceptance is approximately 6-9 months. Applications are typically reviewed by medical and dental schools starting in late July and reviews will last into the following winter. For other healthcare fields, the process is similar, but delayed by 2-3 months. 

Field Application Approx. Open Date
Veterinary Medicine VMCAS mid-January (submission in late May)
Physician Assistant CASPA late April
Medicine (MD/DO) AMCAS (MD)/AACOMAS (DO) early May (submission in late May/early June)
Dentistry ADEA AADSAS mid-May
Optometry OptomCAS late June
Physical or Occupational Therapy PTCAS or OTCAS July 1
Pharmacy PharmCAS early July
Podiatry AACPMAS late July

Questions to Ask Yourself:

1. Do your metrics match your goals?

2. Do you have a solid understanding of the field you are pursuing? Is this demonstrated in your clinical experiences?

3. Do  you have enough time to adequately prepare for your standardized test in time for application?

4. Will you have completed your prerequisite courses prior to application? (sometimes it can be OK if you are missing a single course that is planned for fall semester)

5. Could your experiences in the coming year make you a stronger candidate?

Consult with your HP Advisor to decide if you should wait for admission exam scores or to finish pending prerequisite courses before applying. Your scores could be an important indicator to which schools will be within your target zone. 

Glide/Gap Year Considerations

Many students decide to take time off between graduation and health professions school matriculation. There are many reasons students may have for taking time between Juniata and health professions school. Your HP Advisor can provide you with a variety of options that previous students have taken during their time off. 

Students who wish to take time off before beginning professional school may start the application processes in their senior year or wait until after they’ve graduated. Students should keep in contact with faculty whom they plan to request a letter of recommendation from after graduating from Juniata.

Your age when you decide to apply does not bias medical schools against your application. The average age of matriculating medical students is 24 (and rising every year), so taking a year or two off does not harm your chances.

As you decide when to apply, it's okay to start the preparation for your application -- it's much easier to start preparing and then postpone than to have to scramble at the last minute to pull an application together. Applying early in your chosen application year is to your advantage, since most schools are on a rolling admissions policy. You should plan to submit your application by late June. The Health Professions Program is happy to help you at any time when you decide the time is right for you to pursue your professional school goal.  

Deferred or delayed matriculation is not recommended. Apply only if you plan to matriculate in the upcoming class. 

Before you submit your application consult with Juniata Health Professions at Our manageable applicant pool allows for the personal attention that will optimize your chances for success. Be sure that she has your phone numberbefore you leave for the summer.

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