Secondary applications for medical, dental, optometric, physician assistant and veterinary school may be included within the primary application or are sent directly to applicants by a school’s admissions office.
In most cases, you will receive secondary applications after your primary application has been verified by the application service (4-6 weeks after submission). Podiatry schools do not have secondary applications.
Schools have varying criteria for who they invite to submit a secondary application. Some schools will send them to every candidate who applies to their program. Others will send them only to applicants who meet their GPA and entrance exam score requirements. Some schools will select only candidates who they are very interested in for secondaries. Your application is not considered to be complete until you have submitted your secondary application.
Secondary applications are designed by individual programs to learn more about applicants. It is important to realize that secondary applications are both labor intensive and expensive. They typically require answers to essay questions and a fee. Set aside time and money in preparation for writing your essays and paying for submission. Returning your secondary applications within a week or two of receipt demonstrates your continued interest in that program. Waiting longer may hurt your application.
When you formulate your list of schools to which you plan to apply, take these secondary applications into account. Don’t apply to so many schools that you won’t have the time or money for secondary applications.