Process and timeline - Fall 2021 entry

2019-2020: Getting organized - all applicants

Fall/winter key dates

  • November 1, 2019: 2021 cycle pre-application available
  • November 3, 2019: Attend the workshop on developing your personal statement (required for those on campus who did not attend last year; for those not currently on campus, a recording will be available by the end of the semester). The registration deadline is October 29.
  • November 5, 2019: Attend the presentation on the application process (required for those on campus; for those not currently on campus, a recording will be available by the end of the semester).
  • January 6, 2020: Pre-application due. After you submit your pre-application, Jackie will contact you to set up a 1-hour meeting with Katie Lipp.
  • March 27, 2020: By this date, meet with Katie to review your pre-application and discuss your preparations and timeline moving forward.

Get organized this fall

Prepare to submit the pre-application

Medical and dental applicants

Application services and instructions:

Application services open in May. Deadline to remain eligible for a committee letter is July 15. Schools use rolling admissions.

Many medical and dental schools hope to receive a letter from the Committee on the Health Professions in addition to your individual letters of recommendation. A committee letter is a comprehensive summary of all aspects of your preparation, including course work, internships, research, entrance exam scores, and comments contained in your individual recommendation letters along with committee members’ knowledge of you. The Mount Holyoke Committee on the Health Professions will provide a committee letter for all students and alumnae who request one and who meet the committee’s requirements and deadlines.

Key dates for your calendar

April 1: Request individual letters of recommendation by this date. Ensure all letter writers receive the Committee's Guidelines for writers of letters of recommendation

May 15: Individual letters of recommendation due in Interfolio.

June 5: Last day for medical school applicants to take the MCAT and remain eligible for a committee letter in the 2021 cycle.

July 15: Last day for dental school applicants to take the DAT and remain eligible for a committee letter in the 2021 cycle.

July 15: Final deadline. Applicants meeting this deadline will receive a committee letter, though we cannot guarantee it will be complete within 30 days.

Detailed timeline

January-March 2020

Remember: Request individual letters of recommendation no later than April 1

April-May 2020

Remember: Ensure that your Interfolio account is linked with Mount Holyoke and that all of your individual letters of recommendation are in Interfolio by May 15; earlier is recommended. Alert Jackie each time a letter is submitted so that she can check it for formatting.

June 2020

  • As needed, continue work on primary application. Send a draft application to the pre-health office for review before submitting.
  • As needed, prepare for the DAT

Remember:

  • June 5: Last day for medical school applicants to take the MCAT and remain eligible for a committee letter in the 2021 cycle.
  • June 15: Priority deadline for committee letters. Applicants meeting this deadline will have their committee letter complete and uploaded within 30 days.

July 2020

  • As needed, continue work on primary application. Send a draft application to the pre-health office for review before submitting.
  • After submission, immediately email a PDF of your application to Jackie Collette, along with your completed Official Waiver & Request for a Committee Letter. You will not be added to the queue for committee letters until these two documents have been sent to Jackie, completed, in one email, and we have received your MCAT/DAT score and all individual letters of recommendation are in your Interfolio account, linked with Mount Holyoke.
  • Work on secondary applications and send final draft to the pre-health office for review; submit within 1-2 weeks of receiving them from schools.

Remember:

  • July 15: Last day for dental school applicants to take the DAT and remain eligible for a committee letter in the 2021 cycle.
  • July 15: Final deadline to submit primary application and remain eligible for a committee letter.

August 2020

Fall 2020-winter 2021

Spring/summer 2021

  • Review and follow your schools’ “traffic rules”
  • Weigh your options carefully and select the school that is the best fit
  • Enroll in professional school!

Petitioning for an extension

The Committee on the Health Professions knows that life happens. Sometimes unavoidable circumstances make applicants unable to meet deadlines. If you find yourself in this situation, you may wish to petition for an extension to the Committee's July 15 final deadline for application submission. To petition for an extension, submit a formal letter (PDF or .doc) to jcollett@mtholyoke.edu to the attention of the Committee on the Health Professions. Letters must be received by July 1. Extensions will be granted only in rare instances.

Nursing applicants

Application service: NursingCAS and individual nursing programs

Instructions: NursingCAS instructions

NursingCAS opens in August, while applications through individual programs will be available at different times. Final submission deadlines vary by school. Programs may use rolling admissions but often do not.

Nursing programs vary significantly in their application processes, and many do not use the NursingCAS application service. It is important for nursing applicants to look carefully at the application process for each individual school to ensure you are aware of all requirements and deadlines.

The precise timeline that nursing applicants will follow between submitting their pre-application in January and submitting their primary application months later will depend on the needs and desires of each individual applicant and on the requirements for each nursing program. Work with the pre-health office to lay out your plan, and keep track of everything on a well-organized spreadsheet.

In general, your preparations will follow roughly this order:

Preparing to submit the primary application

  • Select schools to which you will apply.
  • Prepare for the GRE.
  • Revise your essays.
  • Request two to five letters of recommendation. Follow the NursingCAS and individual schools’ application instructions for managing letters.
  • Request official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions and have them sent to the application service(s) or individual schools.
  • Work on writing the primary application. Send a complete draft of your primary application to the pre-health office for a final review before you submit.

After submitting your primary application

  • Work on secondary applications as needed and send final draft to the pre-health office for review.
  • Prepare for interviews: Attend or listen to recorded webinar.
  • When you receive your first interview invitation, call Jackie Collette (413-538-3389) to schedule a mock interview with your pre-health advisor.
  • Send letters of interest and updates, if appropriate.
  • Research and apply for funding.
  • Follow up with schools that have accepted you.
  • If you are admitted to more than one school, weigh your options carefully and select the school that is the best fit.
  • Enroll in professional school!

Optometry applicants

Application service: OptomCAS

Instructions: OptomCAS instructions

OptomCAS opens in June. Deadline to remain eligible for a committee letter is December 1. Optometry schools may use rolling admissions.

Many optometry schools hope to receive a letter from the Committee on the Health Professions in addition to your individual letters of recommendation. A committee letter is a comprehensive summary of all aspects of your preparation, including course work, internships, research, entrance exam scores, and comments contained in your individual recommendation letters along with committee members’ knowledge of you. The Mount Holyoke Committee on the Health Professions will provide a committee letter for all students and alumnae who request one and who meet the committee’s requirements and deadlines.

Key dates for your calendar

September 15: Request individual letters of recommendationby this date. Ensure all letter writers receive the Committee's Guidelines for writers of letters of recommendation.

November 1: Individual letters of recommendation due in Interfolio.

December 1: Last day to take the OAT and remain eligible for a committee letter in the 2021 cycle.

December 1: Deadline to request a committee letter. Applicants meeting this deadline will receive a committee letter that will be written as quickly as possible.

The precise timeline that optometry applicants will follow between submitting their pre-application in January 2020, and submitting their OptomCAS primary application no later than December 2020, will vary depending on the needs and desires of the individual applicants. Your preparations will follow roughly this order:

Preparing to submit the primary application

  • Prepare for the OAT.
  • Select schools to which you will apply (this list may be revised at any time up until schools’ final application deadlines).
  • Revise your personal statement.
  • If time allows before OptomCAS opens in June, begin drafting other text for your primary application.
  • Use this link to create an Interfolio account that is affiliated with Mount Holyoke.
  • Request three to five letters of recommendation. Alert Jackie each time a letter is submitted to your Interfolio account so that she can check it for formatting.
  • Request official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions and have them sent to your application service(s) (exact timing depends on when you open your application).
  • Work on writing the primary application. Send a complete draft of your primary application to the pre-health office for a final review before you submit.

After submitting your primary application

  • After submission, immediately email a PDF of your application to Jackie Collette, along with your completed Official Waiver & Request for a Committee Letter. You will not be added to the queue for committee letters until these two documents have been sent to Jackie and we have received your OAT score and all individual letters of recommendation are in your Interfolio account, linked with Mount Holyoke.
  • Work on secondary applications as needed and send final draft to the pre-health office for review; submit within 1-2 weeks of receiving them from schools.
  • Prepare for interviews: Attend or listen to recorded webinar, read the news to stay abreast of current topics in health and medicine.
  • When you receive your first interview invitation, call Jackie Collette (413-538-3389) to schedule a mock interview with your pre-health advisor.
  • Send letters of interest and updates, if applicable.
  • Research and apply for funding.
  • Follow up with schools that have accepted you.
  • If you are admitted to more than one school, weigh your options carefully and select the school that is the best fit.
  • Enroll in professional school!

Petitioning for an extension

The Committee on the Health Professions knows that life happens. Sometimes unavoidable circumstances make applicants unable to meet deadlines. If you find yourself in this situation, you may wish to petition for an extension to the Committee's December 1 final deadline for application submission. To petition for an extension, submit a formal letter (PDF or .doc) to jcollett@mtholyoke.edu to the attention of the Committee on the Health Professions. Letters must be received by November 15. Extensions will be granted only in rare instances.

Physician Assistant applicants

Application service: CASPA

Instructions: CASPA instructions

CASPA opens in April. Final submission deadlines vary by school. PA programs may use rolling admissions.

PA programs vary significantly in their application processes. A program may start in August, January, or May, and program application deadlines are similarly diverse. Some schools use a rolling admission process and others review all applications only after a final deadline. The precise timeline that PA applicants will follow between submitting their pre-application in January and submitting their primary application months later will depend on the needs and desires of each individual applicant and on the requirements for each PA program. Work with the pre-health office to lay out your plan, and keep track of everything on a well-organized spreadsheet.

In general, your preparations will follow roughly this order:

Preparing to submit the primary application

After submitting your primary application

  • Work on secondary applications as needed and send final draft to the pre-health office for review.
  • Prepare for interviews: Attend or listen to recorded webinar.
  • When you receive your first interview invitation, call Jackie Collette (413-538-3389) to schedule a mock interview with your pre-health advisor.
  • Send letters of interest and updates, if appropriate.
  • Research and apply for funding.
  • Follow up with schools that have accepted you.
  • If you are admitted to more than one school, weigh your options carefully and select the school that is the best fit.
  • Enroll in professional school!

Podiatry applicants

Application service: AACPMAS

Instructions: AACPMAS instructions

Opens in August. Deadline for priority consideration is March 1. Deadline to remain eligible for a committee letter is March 15. Podiatry schools use rolling admissions.

Many podiatry schools hope to receive a letter from the Committee on the Health Professions in addition to your individual letters of recommendation. A committee letter is a comprehensive summary of all aspects of your preparation, including course work, internships, research, entrance exam scores, and comments contained in your individual recommendation letters along with committee members’ knowledge of you. The Mount Holyoke Committee on the Health Professions will provide a committee letter for all students and alumnae who request one and who meet the committee’s requirements and deadlines.

Key dates for your calendar

January 1, 2021: Request individual letters of recommendationby this date. Ensure all letter writers receive the Committee's Guidelines for writers of letters of recommendation.

February 15, 2021: Individual letters of recommendation due in Interfolio.

January 31, 2021: Last day to take the MCAT and remain eligible for a committee letter in the 2021 cycle.

March 15, 2021: Deadline to request a committee letter. Applicants meeting this deadline will receive a committee letter that will be written as quickly as possible.

The precise timeline that podiatry applicants will follow between submitting their pre-application in January 2020, and their AACPMAS primary application no later than March 2021, will vary depending on the needs and desires of the individual applicants. Your preparations will follow roughly this order:

Preparing to submit the primary application

  • Prepare for the MCAT.
  • Select schools to which you will apply. As there are only 9 podiatry schools in the country, many applicants apply to all.
  • Revise your personal statement.
  • If time allows before AACPMAS opens in August, begin drafting other text for your primary application.
  • Use this link to create an Interfolio account that is affiliated with Mount Holyoke.
  • Request three to five letters of recommendation. Alert Jackie each time a letter is submitted to your Interfolio account so that she can check it for formatting.
  • Request official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions and have them sent to your application service(s) (exact timing depends on when you open your application).
  • Work on writing the primary application. Send a complete draft of your primary application to the pre-health office for a final review before you submit.

After submitting your primary application

  • After submission, immediately email a PDF of your application to Jackie Collette at jcollett@mtholyoke.edu, along with your completed Official Waiver & Request for a Committee Letter. You will not be added to the queue for committee letters until these two documents have been sent to Jackie, we have received your MCAT score, and all individual letters of recommendation are in your Interfolio account, linked with Mount Holyoke.
  • Work on school-specific essays as needed and send final draft to the pre-health office for review.
  • Prepare for interviews: Attend or listen to recorded webinar, read the news to stay abreast of current topics in health and medicine.
  • When you receive your first interview invitation, call Jackie Collette (413-538-3389) to schedule a mock interview with your pre-health advisor.
  • Send letters of interest and updates, if applicable.
  • Research and apply for funding.
  • Follow up with schools that have accepted you.
  • If you are admitted to more than one school, weigh your options carefully and select the school that is the best fit.
  • Enroll in professional school!

Petitioning for an extension

The Committee on the Health Professions knows that life happens. Sometimes unavoidable circumstances make applicants unable to meet deadlines. If you find yourself in this situation, you may wish to petition for an extension to the Committee's March 15 final deadline for application submission. To petition for an extension, submit a formal letter (PDF or .doc) to jcollett@mtholyoke.edu to the attention of the Committee on the Health Professions. Letters must be received by March 1. Extensions will be granted only in rare instances.

Public health applicants

Application service: SOPHAS

Instructions: SOPHAS instructions

SOPHAS opens in August. Final submission deadlines vary by school. Programs may use rolling admissions.

Public health programs vary significantly in their application processes, and some do not use the SOPHAS application service. It is important for public health applicants to look carefully at the application process for each individual school to ensure you are aware of all requirements and deadlines. The precise timeline that public health applicants will follow between submitting their pre-application in January, and submitting their primary application months later, will depend on the needs and desires of each individual applicant and on the requirements for each public health program. Work with the pre-health office to lay out your plan, and keep track of everything on a well-organized spreadsheet.

In general, your preparations will follow roughly this order:

Preparing to submit the primary application

  • Select schools to which you will apply.
  • Prepare for the GRE.
  • Revise your essays.
  • Request two to five letters of recommendation. Follow the SOPHAS and individual schools’ application instructions for managing letters.
  • Request official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions and have them sent to the application service(s) or individual schools.
  • Work on writing the primary application. Send a complete draft of your primary application to the pre-health office for a final review before you submit.

After submitting your primary application

  • Work on secondary applications as needed and send final draft to the pre-health office for review.
  • Prepare for interviews: Attend or listen to recorded webinar.
  • When you receive your first interview invitation, call Jackie Collette (413-538-3389) to schedule a mock interview with your pre-health advisor.
  • Send letters of interest and updates, if appropriate.
  • Research and apply for funding.
  • Follow up with schools that have accepted you.
  • If you are admitted to more than one school, weigh your options carefully and select the school that is the best fit.
  • Enroll in professional school!

Veterinary applicants

Application services and instructions:

VMCAS opens in January and has a final submission deadline in September. TMDSAS opens in May and has a final submission deadline in October. No rolling admissions.

Although veterinary medical colleges do not use a rolling admission process, we strongly advise you to plan to submit your application no later than August to avoid technical glitches or last minute rushing that could compromise the quality of your written application.

The precise timeline that veterinary applicants will follow between submitting their pre-application in January, and submitting their primary application no later than August, will vary depending on the needs and desires of the individual applicants. Your preparations will follow roughly this order:

Preparing to submit the primary application

After submitting your primary application

  • Work on secondary applications as needed and send final draft to the pre-health office for review.
  • Prepare for interviews: Attend or listen to recorded webinar.
  • When you receive your first interview invitation, call Jackie Collette (413-538-3389) to schedule a mock interview with your pre-health advisor.
  • Send letters of interest and updates, if appropriate.
  • Research and apply for funding.
  • Follow up with schools that have accepted you.
  • If you are admitted to more than one school, weigh your options carefully and select the school that is the best fit.
  • Enroll in professional school!

All other applicants

If you are applying to schools in a profession other than one listed here, please contact the pre-health office for a discussion about your application preparations and timeline. Deadlines, requirements, and the process overall will vary between professions as well as from school to school.

Generally speaking, applicants will need to prepare the following:

You will also want to prepare for interviews and look into how to pay for professional school.