Careful research and intentional selection of medical schools that align with your qualifications, strengths and core values will increase your chances of acceptance. We strongly encourage you to attend OPHA info sessions that highlight schools and programs of interest.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, each applicant applied to an average of 16 schools in the 2018-19 cycle. The Fee Assistance Program waives up to 20 schools per applicant in 2020. Oxy students generally apply to 16-22 schools. More than 25 applications per cycle will not increase your chances of admission—it may intensify your stress and financial pressure when secondary applications are due.
Questions to ask yourself to determine where to apply:
- Does the school's mission fit with my values and goals? Some schools are looking for very specific types of students (e.g. rural health)—is that the patient population you want to serve?
- Where is the school located—urban, suburban, rural? What is the cost of living? What’s the weather like? Will you be close to your family?
- How does the school or program support diversity?
- Has this school accepted Oxy students before?
- Have I met all the prerequisite requirements? Check MSAR.
- Do you have any family connections who attended this school?
- Do I prefer a small or large school? Do I like a small or large class size?
- Am I interested in research, clinical practice, academics, or a combination?
- Which schools have a learning approach that emphasizes what I am most interested in?
- What schools have a teaching approach that will work well for me?
- What are the options for experiential learning?
- What types of financial aid are available at the schools I am considering? What is the average student debt load for graduates?
- What is the school's licensure pass rate? How does the school help students prepare for these exams?
- If I only got accepted to this school, would I attend?
Use these resources to create a list:
- OXY OPHA Deciding Where to Apply Presentation, 2020
- Student Doctor Network WARS score and Lizzy M score
- AAMC Webinar: Mission Fit
- NAAHP Health Profession Admission Guide: Strategies for Success – Tenth Edition, 2013
- AAMC Medical School Admissions Requirement (MSAR)
- AACOMAS Student Guide to Osteopathic Medical School
- ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools
- American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine
- Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling Program Directory
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Program Directory
- American Occupational Therapy Association School Directory
- Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
- Pharmacy College Application Service School Directory
- Physical Therapist Centralized Application Services Program Directory
- Physician Assistant Education Association Program Directory
- Speech-Language Pathology Program Directory
- Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements (VMSAR) 2020-2021