Harvard's Office of Career Services

Medical School Timeline

While the majority of students interested in medical school plan to complete premedical requirements and start the application process by the end of their junior year, others take the necessary courses later in college or as post-baccalaureate students. Many students don't make the decision to pursue a career in medicine until after graduation. Applying after college does not put you at risk; in fact, many medical schools say they appreciate the maturity of older applicants.

There are two color-coded timelines below depending on when you plan to apply to and attend medical school. Regarding the "Alumni Applicant" timeline, many Harvard alumni/ae choose to take more than one year off before entering medical school so the timeline should be adjusted accordingly.

Senior Applicant: attending medical school directly after graduation; applying the summer after junior year
Alumni Applicant: taking a year off before med school; applying the summer after senior year

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Junior Year/Senior Year

     Fall term

     Spring term


Senior Year/Post-Grad Year

     Fall term

     Spring term