Overview & Timeline

Applying to health professions schools is a lengthy, detail-oriented process. One of HPA's main goals is to guide students through the processes of deciding when to apply, completing the application in a timely and comprehensive manner, and navigating the admissions cycle.

The first step is deciding when to apply. Students may begin the process as early as the Fall semester of the junior year, if applying to begin health professional school directly after graduation, but the majority take one or more "glide years" between undergraduate and health professions school. If you plan to apply this year, follow the timeline for your health profession:

If you are applying for a different health profession, we can still support you! Please be in touch to discuss your application plans.

Here is an overview of the 16-month application timeline for medical school

  • Begin HPA Committee Letter process by attending a mandatory Applicant Workshop and receive Applicant Handbook
  • Complete Applicant Intake Form
  • Explore the Canvas portal (invitation sent after attending the workshop)
  • Meet with an HPA adviser to discuss your candidacy
  • Begin drafting Preapplication materials: profile, autobiography, short essays, activities list
  • Create your veCollect account
  • Begin asking for letters of recommendation
  • Schedule your HPA Preapplication Interview 
One week before
HPA interview
  • Submit preapplication profile, autobiography, activities list, and short essays

Jan - Apr
  • Attend your HPA interview
  • Attend optional Applicant Seminars
  • Decide where to apply
No later than June
  • Take your MCAT
  • Begin application data entry
  • Attend HPA Applicant Seminars
  • Attend Accepted Applicants Q&A Session (optional)
Early June
  • Submit transcript request form to Princeton Office of the Registrar and to any other U.S. college or university where you took courses
  • Submit primary application online
  • Send AMCAS Letter Request Form to hpa@princeton.edu (MD applicants)
  • Submit HPA Course Form via Coursesites
  • When all letters have been received, lock veCollect quiver and submit HPA File Completion Form
June 1
  • HPA's absolute deadline by which you must schedule a PAI to receive a committee letter (preferred timing is January)
Throughout Summer
  • When your application has been verified by the application service, email a pdf copy to hpa@princeton.edu. Your committee letter will not be sent until we receive a copy of your verified application.
  • Complete and submit secondary applications within two weeks of receiving them.
Aug - Apr
  • Prepare for and attend interviews, complete HPA Interview Reports afterward
  • Read periodic HPA Advice to Applicants emails
  • Check in with HPA regularly with updates
Aug 15
  • HPA's absolute deadline by which you must submit your primary application to receive a committee letter (preferred timing is June)
  • Attend Interview Information Session (optional)
  • Schedule mock interviews with Career Development to practice
Oct 15
  • First day of MD acceptances


HPA uses Canvas to share resources and collect materials relevant to the application process. Canvas provides access to forms, presentation PowerPoints, and other resources. Required HPA forms are submitted through Canvas. All students who attend the HPA Applicant Workshop in the Fall will be given access. If you’re applying from off-campus, contact us at hpa@princeton.edu for more information on how to register.