You got a medical school acceptance letter—what’s next?

February 02, 2018

By: Emily Hause

Hello, my aspiring medical school students! So, you’re one of the lucky few to have received a medical school acceptance letter. Congratulations! You’re about to embark on a wonderful journey.

You may be wondering, however, what exactly happens next. What are the practical steps you need to take between now and when you finally matriculate?

Declaring residency

One of the first things most medical schools will ask of you is to declare residency—not medical residency, but where you live. If you’re hoping to pay in-state tuition, you’ll need to have proof that you’ve been living in the state previously. That means you will have to have proof of employment, tax documents, or mail proving residency.

Schools typically make you provide this information within a few weeks of receiving your acceptance letter so as to prevent people moving to the state after they’re accepted to claim residency. If you’re an out-of-state student, you will likely have to sign a paper agreeing to pay out-of-state tuition.

Post-acceptance paperwork

Every medical school will have a different set of paperwork for you to complete. This could include things like sending in your college transcripts and immunization records. You’ll likely need to get a documented tuberculosis test before attending medical school, for example.

One of the best ways to keep apprised of the due dates for this information is to check your email frequently and visit your school’s designated website for accepted medical students. Some medical schools will have a Facebook group set up for you to join. Social media is a great way to “meet” your future classmates and stay on top of upcoming due dates.

Paying a deposit

On top of the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition, that acceptance letter comes at a cost: namely, paying to hold your spot in the incoming class. The fee will vary by medical school and often needs to be paid within the first few weeks after acceptance.

If you’re accepted to another medical school, you should keep in mind that your deposit is non-refundable. If you don’t pay the fee, however, the medical school can offer your spot to another student, so it’s important to submit a payment if you’d like to reserve your seat.

Taking a second look

One important part of choosing a medical school is spending enough time there so that you feel comfortable with your decision. Most programs will offer a so-called “Second Look Day” in the spring during which you can meet with other medical students and professors, tour the campus, and network with your fellow incoming medical students.

This is also a good opportunity to get to know potential roommates and research places to live in your new city. If your medical school offers a Second Look Day or similar opportunity, it’s strongly recommended that you attend.


Emily has been a teacher for Kaplan for over eight years; she’s taught MCAT, ACT, SAT, SAT2 and tutored pretty much every subject under the sun in both the classroom and live online (aka Classroom Anywhere) settings. She’s also worked for Kaplan in content development and teacher mentorship roles. Emily is currently a fourth-year medical student at the University of Colorado and is hoping to go into Pediatrics. She’s involved in many campus opportunities such as being a Prospective Student Representative, admissions committee member, CU-UNITE member, and co-president of the Education and Teaching Interest Group. Prior to medical school, Emily got a BA in Biochemistry and Spanish from Lawrence University and a Masters in Public Health- Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. In her free time, Emily enjoys dancing, baking, playing tennis and exploring her new Colorado home.

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