Loyola University Maryland

Pre-Health Program

Application Process

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During your junior or senior year, you will need to take the MCAT, obtain strong letters of recommendation, write your personal essay and submit your primary application through either the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) or the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS). Most students also interview with Loyola’s Pre-Health Committee, which drafts a committee letter to include with the student's application. Some schools will request a secondary application or an interview before making a final decision.

Admission Examination (MCAT)

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required for most medical schools. It is offered from January through September. Please check the AAMC.org site for specific dates. This exam should be taken the year before beginning medical school, typically in the junior year.

Letters of Recommendation

Most medical schools also require letters of recommendation. Loyola has a Pre-Health Committee, which submits one committee letter based off individual letters from faculty members, physicians you have worked with, or organizations where you have done volunteer or part-time work.

Some medical schools may request individual letters from professors. It is important to include recommendations from both science and non-science professors who can address your ability to read, write, support your ideas, logically draw conclusions and organize your work.

The Application

Medical schools have a central application service, called the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). For osteopathic school, it is the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS). These services do not make admission decisions. Their only responsibility is to process, duplicate and send your application, admission test scores and transcripts to the schools to which you apply.

The application must be completed the year prior to beginning medical school, typically in the junior year. You must provide your demographic information, submit transcripts, pay the fee, write a personal statement and choose the medical schools to which you want to apply.

Volunteer or Part-Time Work

It is recommended that you strengthen your application by listing any volunteer or part-time work. Some ideas are to observe a doctor; volunteer at a hospital or medical clinic; volunteer at a hospice program; participate in a community activity such as Habitat for Humanity or serve as a committee member on a local club or student organization. Participating in research during the summer is also great exposure and can help you gain valuable experience.

Secondary Application

About five weeks after you submit your application materials, you may receive secondary applications from some schools. The secondary application often includes another essay along with questions specific to their school. Return the secondary application promptly, as many school will not consider applications returned after more than three weeks.


Most medical schools interview applicants. Characteristics that interviewers most commonly assess are evidence of extracurricular activities; communication skills; empathy and concern for others; social awareness and self-awareness; and judgment and problem-solving abilities. View information about how to prepare for the interview.