Premedical Timeline


Deciding | Preparing | Timeline | MCAT | Choosing | Contacts


Freshman Year

This is the year to get settled into Oberlin College and develop study habits that allow you to excel in your courses.  Your first winter term is a great opportunity to begin exploring health careers, perhaps by shadowing or volunteering in a clinic, hospital or nursing home.

Fall Semester

  • Attend Freshman/Sophomore Premedical Information Session.
  • Consult with a health career advisor about your proposed course schedule for the fall semester.
  • Begin to build rapport with your professors and supervisors. Go to office hours and ask questions in class when relevant.  You will need letters of recommendation for professors for medical school so it is important that they know you well and not just by your grade in a class.

Spring Semester

  • Review the list of Oberlin's recommended premedical courses, and plan a tentative schedule for completion of all the pre-med requirements. 
  • See a health career advisor as needed.
  • In addition to taking premed-related courses, as time permits, explore the field of medicine, talk to those in the health career field, and think about ways to volunteer/intern in medical settings.  However, it is best to focus on courses the first year.  You need to have a solid foundation in the introductory material as well as good grades.  Spreading yourself too thin this early can lead to a decrease in not only grades, but your own confidence.

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester

  • Attend Freshman/Sophomore Premedical Information Session.
  • Consider finding a medically-oriented winter term project.
  • If time permits, volunteer in medical setting near campus.
  • Continue to build rapport with professors and supervisors for future recommendation letters. 
  • Start thinking about what you will do over the summer. Many summer research programs have application deadlines in late January or early February so you need to prepare early.

Spring Semester

  • Attend any Freshman/Sophomore Premedical Information Sessions.
  • Review your planned courses, consult with a health career advisor as needed.
  • Consider on campus research opportunities for summer and next fall. Labs tend to fill up quickly so you should ask professors at least a semester in advance of when you would like to work with them.   Make an appointment with the professor to discuss available research options. You may need to ask a professor more than once before an opening arises.  Do not be discouraged. 

Junior Year

If you wish to go to medical school directly after college, this is the year you will apply.  You will take the MCAT and submit the application by July 15.

Fall Semester

  • Start studying for the MCAT if you haven’t already.
  • Review the Association of American Medical College's (AAMC) Medical School Admissions Requirements book to check each medical school's requirements.
  • Learn about current medical research and clinical issues.
  • Continue to explore the field of medicine, and participate in community service.
  • Ask 4-6 people to write you letters of recommendation. This should include at least three Oberlin science professors and others who know you well, such as clinic or research supervisors. 

Spring Semester

  • Complete committee letter application and have an interview with the Health Career Committee.
  • If you wish, take an MCAT preparation course, either offered through a commercial program such as Kaplan or Examkrackers, or perhaps with a student-led ExamKrackers class.
  • Attend all appropriate premed events.
  • Meet at least twice with the health career advisor to review all of your credentials and plan for the committee letter submission.
  • Take the MCAT sometime by mid-July if you have not yet done so.
  • Open an Oberlin interfolio account for your letters of recommendation.
  • Start filling out the AMCAS and/or AACOMAS application online.
  • Research medical schools, and develop your target list.
  • Have your personal statement critiqued and completed.
  • Submit AMCAS application no later than July 15th.

Summer before Senior Year

  • Check to make sure your recommendation letters and your committee letter have been uploaded to interfolio.
  • Take the MCAT sometime before August.
  • Start preparing for interviews.
  • Research Financial Aid options. http://www.aamc.org/md2

Senior Year

Fall Semester

  • Prepare for your interviews. Sign up for a mock interview at the Career Center, or seek assistance from your advisor.
  • Research the medical schools to which you applied.
  • Keep abreast of current medical issues.
  • Research financial aid options. http://www.aamc.org/md2
  • Maintain contact with the health career advisor.

Spring Semester

  • Write a thank you note to each of your recommenders and update them on the outcome of your applications.