Application support

Most Wayne State University pre-med students rely heavily on their academic advisors during the application process. Advisors help students prepare written materials, plan timing of exams and application submissions, work with letter writers, and create a list of schools. Advisors provide this support in workshops, drop-in sessions, and one-on-one advising appointments. Keep scrolling to learn more about the process. 

Primary application 

US and Canadian medical schools use a web-based, common application to collect and distribute information about med school candidates. These application portals are commonly referred to as the "primary application". AMCAS is the primary application for US MD schools.  AACOMAS is the primary application for US DO schools. OMSAS is the primary application for the Ontario medical schools. Primary application services charge a fee to verify and send the application to one medical school.  Each additional school application will incur another, smaller fee.  

The primary application collects information including student family background, academic courses, MCAT scores, work and activities, and letters of evaluation. AMCAS and AACOMAS require a personal statement where the candidate shares their motivation for pursuing a career as a physician. 

While specific dates vary from year to year, submitting a complete, well edited primary with competitive metrics in the first few weeks of the application cycle is a critical component in a successful application. 


Candidates submit all official transcripts along with the primary application. After all transcripts are received, the primary application can move through the verification process. Verification involves matching each course listed on the primary to an official transcript. This process can take anywhere from one day to 6 weeks, depending on the volume of applications in the queue. Approximately one month into the verification process, the application services will begin forwarding candidate information to medical schools. 

Secondary application 

Many medical schools will collect additional information from candidates. These are called secondary applications by MD schools and Program Materials by DO schools. They typically incur additional fees. Secondary applications ask one or more short answer questions aimed at determining candidates' fit for a specific program. It is wise to take notes when deciding which schools to apply to, in order to make this part of the process easier. Letters of evaluation should be received by the application services by the time secondary applications are submitted. 


Schools begin inviting candidates to interview in the late summer or early fall. March is usually the last month of interviews each year. 

Research and Create School List

This podcast series from Christian Essman at Case Western University showcases interviews with admissions teams at MD and DO schools around the country.

Hearing from other students about their application experience is always helpful. Check out the WSU SOM recording that pre-med advisors, Laura Hetzler & Amanda Horwitz, contributed to below.