If you receive an acceptance to an M.D. program, you will generally be given a time frame in which to respond. Depending on the school, you may either have to send a deposit to hold your place or simply give a written confirmation that you will accept the offer of admission. If you receive multiple M.D. admission offers, you will have to narrow down your choices first to 3 and then to 1 school by several deadlines in accordance with the Application and Acceptance Protocols for Applicants. Admission offices have a similiar set of guidelines: the Application and Acceptance Protocols for Admisison Officers. You do this in the Choose Your Medical School Tool within your AMCAS application. Individual schools may also have deadlines different from these and you must confirm your withdrawal or acceptance with each school too. These deadlines were modified in spring 2019. While we don't know what the dates would be in spring 2020 it is likely that they would be the same. Here are the Milestone Dates to be mindful of:
- February 19: applicants admitted to one or more schools can, but are not required to, select "Plan to Enroll". They can continue to interview at other schools or stay on wait lists.
- April 15: Applicants with more than 3 admission offers need to reduce the number to 3. They can continue to interview at other schools or stay on wait lists.
- April 30: The Plan to Enroll" option remains available with the provisos above. The "Commit to Enroll" option becomes available. This option means you have made your final selection and have informed all other schools that you are withdrawing from consideration either from admission offers or wait lists. At this stage schools can see if applicants are holding admission offers or wait list positions at other schools.
Most medical schools will allow you to withdraw from their entering class without losing your refund if you meet the applicable deadlines.
Other health profession schools with centralized application processes have similar "traffic rules" although they may not be so specifically incremental; check with their application services for specific dates and deadlines.
Note that by holding multiple acceptances, you may be delaying admission decisions for others in the process (maybe even a fellow Brown student or alum!). Be strategic within the deadlines outlined above but once certain you won't matricualte to a particular school do decline the offer early so another worthy applicant may benefit. Because most schools work on a rolling admission process, acceptances can come at any point in the process.
Placed on Wait Lists
Most health profession schools have wait lists, and the majority of applicants to medical school can expect to be placed on at least one wait list following an interview. Most wait list decisions are not made until May or June.
If you are wait-listed at a school you would like to attend, send a letter that thanks them for their consideration of your application and expresses your continued strong interest in their school. If your first-choice school wait lists you, tell them that you will definitely attend if you are admitted (if you are certain). It is generally okay to send an additional letter later in the process to update schools about new activities and to reiterate your continued interest. It's best to send only a couple such updates throughout the whole process when you have something substantive to share. If you have new course work with strong grades, have a transcript sent along as well.
Placed on Hold
Medical schools will sometimes postpone making a final decision about an applicant until later in the process. In such cases, they will send a letter notifying an applicant of their hold status. As with wait-list status, if you are placed on hold at a school that you would like to attend and the admission office invited you to submit additional information to help them review your application, you can send a letter that provides an update about your activities and accomplishments since your secondary application, indicating your continued strong interest in the school.
Given the competitive nature of the admission process, all applicants will receive rejections, no matter how strong an applicant they are. As with acceptances, rejections can come at any point in the process.
If you receive no acceptances and would like to apply again, you would need to address the areas of your your application that prevented you from being accepted the first time. In many cases, this may necessitate additional coursework, standardized testing, clinical work, research, or service activities, which means that you will need to wait at least one year before applying again. Dean Vassilev can help you assess the strengths and weakness of your application and/or whether or not it would be appropriate for you to consider other career choices. We urge you not to apply immediately following an unsuccessful application but to work closely with our office so we can assist you with your planning and the strengthening of your re-application.