Reapplicant Guide

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Information for Penn State students and alumni who have previously applied to medical, dental, podiatry, or optometry school.

Health profession programs are very competitive. For example, in the 2015-2016 application cycle, AAMC data reveals that 52,550 individuals applied to allopathic medical school programs but only 20,631 matriculated. Reapplying to programs can be a reflex for these disappointed applicants, but before reapplying any applicant should pause to consider several questions.

Should you reapply?

The values, skills, and interests that compelled you to apply for health profession education also lead to other fulfilling and successful career options. Re-examining why you are pursuing a degree may show you that you could also find satisfaction in pursuing something else altogether.

Will you be a stronger applicant?

If you received no offers of admission, your second application to programs will need to be strengthened in substantive ways. Meet with a health professions advisor who can help you evaluate your application. Together, you can create a plan to address concerns. One or more of the following criteria often need to be addressed in order to produce a stronger application:

●        Your cumulative GPA and science GPA

●        Your MCAT/DAT/OAT score (overall and breakdown)

●        Your primary application’s date of submission

●        Your selection of letters of support or evaluation

●        Your committee interview date (and consequent letter submission date)

●        Your supplemental or secondary applications’ dates of submission

●        Your selection of and familiarity with the programs to which you apply

●        Your understanding and preparation for clinical medicine

●        Your ability to demonstrate the core competencies outlined by the AAMC

Is this the right time to reapply?

Qualified applicants are not always ready to reapply the next application cycle. Your reapplication will be strongest if you wait until you have sufficiently overcome any weaknesses medical schools perceive in your application. Evaluate whether you have addressed shortcomings that were evident in your previous application and taken the time to represent yourself in a new way through your essays and personal statement.

What strategies do you need to consider as a reapplicant?

Expectations for a reapplicant are often higher than they are for a first-time applicant. You have been through the process of applying before, so you now have experiential knowledge and additional advising opportunities available to you. These advantages should produce a more seasoned applicant. The following criteria reflect the minimum level of preparation a medical school will expect of a reapplicant:

●        Sought sufficient advising support

●        Engaged in further clinical engagement

●        Wrote a new and unique personal statement

●        Obtained an additional (and enthusiastic) letter of recommendation

●        Requested an updated committee letter from Penn State

●        Submitted the primary application within the first week(s) of the application cycle

●        Completed supplemental or secondary applications within 2-3 weeks of receipt

●        Practiced and prepared thoroughly for interview

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