Pre-Health career pathways

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Pre-Medical (D.O.) pathway

Pre-Medical (M.D.) PathwayPre-health advising

You are encouraged to meet with a pre-health advisor at least once a semester to discuss options for careers in medicine, opportunities to gain relevant experience, discussing best time to apply, preparation for the MCAT, the AACOMAS application, and much more. For more information, schedule an appointment with your advisor.


Four-year plan

College year 1


  • Maintain a strong GPA and focus on coursework. To be competitive, students typically maintain at least a 3.7 science and overall GPA.
  • Make an appointment with a pre-health advisor to introduce yourself and attend the ASU Pre-Health Fair.
  • Begin to get involved with clubs and student organizations.
  • Begin volunteering and gaining clinical experience.



College year 2


  • While maintaining a high GPA, look into opportunities for research and clinical experience.
  • Shadow and observe a practicing DO, as a letter of reference from a DO will be needed during the application process.
  • Build relationships with professors and physicians as they may become letter writers (5 letters recommended).
  • Attend pre-health meetings, events, and ASU Pre-health Fair.
  • Begin exploring MCAT preparation (studying and registration).
  • Meet with your pre-health advisor. 

Clinical experience


  • Research (Basic Sciences, Clinical, Academic)

Leadership and community service

Study abroad

Special programs

Explore schools

Grade point average

College year 3


  • Maintain a high GPA and stay involved with campus clubs/organizations, volunteer opportunities, and clinical experience.
  • Calculate your science and overall GPA to determine your competitiveness.
  • Begin an internship and start prepping for the MCAT (take the MCAT by spring of Junior year).
  • Apply through AACOMAS one year prior to when you plan to matriculate. The application usually opens around May and you may submit in June. Medical schools will then send supplementary applications. It is important that you are aware of deadlines and complete the supplemental in a timely matter.


Prior to JanuaryBegin studying for the MCAT and take multiple practice exams before the real exam
JanuaryCalculate your science and overall GPA to determine your competitiveness.
February-MarchBegin collecting letters of recommendation.
AprilTake the MCAT no later than April
MayIf taking the MCAT in April, you will receive your scores in May. Determine schools to apply to, begin filling out AACOMAS.
JuneSubmit AACOMAS as soon as possible. Medical schools typically start receiving applications mid-June.
July-DecemberYou may start receiving supplemental applications or be invited to interview during this time.

Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

Prep courses and practice exams

Register for test date

Score release dates (for planning backwards)

  • MCAT Testing Calendar and Score Release Dates
    Being to familiarize yourself with the MCAT (look at MCAT essentials) and take multiple practice tests in real time setting. It is a marathon (eight-hours), so you will need to train for it like a marathon. Take one practice test to get your base score and see which sections need improvement. Once you know, then hyper focus on those and continue taking practice tests to make sure you are improving overall (MCAT practice tests from AAMC are helpful).

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS)

Review of AACOMAS application offered by the Pre-Health Office

Personal statement

Review of your personal statement offered by Pre-Health Office.

  • AACOMAS Guidelines
    4,500 characters long
    Draft by April of junior year (the year prior to matriculation into medical school).

Letters of recommendation (LOR)

Identify people who know you well and can firmly comment on your ability as a medical student and future physician. Doctor of Osteopathy programs may favor having at least 1 letter of recommendation from a practicing physician (D.O). AACOMAS only allows up to six references to be submitted. Ask in advance and give your letter writers sufficient time to complete and submit. Also, remember to stay in touch with letter writers who you may also ask in the future!

ASU letter service

The Pre-Professional Advising Office offers a Letter of Recommendation Service for students applying to AMCAS, AACOMAS, or AADSAS (all other application services use their own portal for LOR). In most cases, letters are not required to be submitted prior to you submitting your application but can be sent at a later date. For steps and information regarding the LOR Service, visit

Types of letters (five recommended)

Some schools have specific requirements

  • 1 STEM faculty 
  • 1 DO 
  • 3 Other (STEM faculty, non-STEM faculty, employer, advisor, supervisor, community mentor)

After you submit your AACOMAS

After medical schools have received your primary AACOMAS application, they may invite you to complete a secondary or supplemental application. Supplemental applications are sent between July and October and usually have fees associated with them. It is important that you are aware of deadlines, complete and submit supplemental applications as soon as possible.

Review of supplemental application offered by the Pre-Health Office

Mock interviews

Mock Interviews are offered by Pre-Health Office

College year 4