If you receive an acceptance, you will generally be given a time frame in which to respond. Depending upon the school, you may either have to send a deposit to hold your place or simply give a written confirmation that you will accept the offer of admission. Most medical schools will give you until May 15 to withdraw from their entering class without losing your refund. Similarly, medical schools must make decisions on all applicants by May 15. Other health profession schools with centralized application processes will have similar "traffic rules"; check with their application services for specific dates and deadlines.
In general, you are not supposed to hold more than one acceptance at a time. However, many applicants choose to hold multiple acceptances (usually not more than two) until the deadline. Note that by holding multiple acceptances, you may be delaying admission decisions for others in the process (maybe even a fellow Brown student or graduate!). Because most schools work on a rolling admission process, acceptances can come at any point in the process.
Placed on Wait Lists
Most health profession schools have wait lists, and the majority of applicants to medical school can expect to be placed on at least one wait list. Most wait list decisions are not made until June and July.
If you are wait-listed at a school you would like to attend, send a letter that thanks them for their consideration of your application and expresses your continued strong interest in their school. If your first-choice school wait lists you, tell them that you will definitely attend if you are admitted. It is generally okay to send an additional letter later in the process to update schools about new activities and to reiterate your continued interest. If you have new course work with strong grades, have a transcript sent along as well.
Placed on Hold
Medical schools will sometimes postpone making a final decision about an applicant until later in the process. In such cases, they will send a letter notifying an applicant of their hold status. As with wait-list status, if you are placed on hold at a school that you would like to attend and the admission office invited you to submit additional information to help them review your application, you can send a letter stating your continued strong interest.
Given the competitive nature of the admission process, all applicants will receive rejections, no matter how strong an applicant they are. As with acceptances, rejections can come at any point in the process.
If you receive no acceptances and would like to apply again, you must address the weaknesses in your application that prevented you from being accepted the first time. In many cases, this may necessitate additional coursework or research, which means that you will need to wait at least one year before applying again. Dean Vassilev can help you assess the strengths and weakness of your application and/or whether or not it would be appropriate for you to consider other career choices. We urge you not to apply immediately following an unsuccessful application but to work closely with our office so we can assist you with your planning and the strengthening of your re-application.