Need advice on applying now or in a few months

Hello All,

Well, I’ve done a lot to prepare for the med school applications. Yet I have fallen short in at least one area. I had planned to have 200 hours of volunteering done by June 21st. And I’m only at ~150 hours. I don’t see myself being able to volunteer another 50 hours in a few weeks (I get MCAT scores back on June 21st). So here’s the question: Should I go ahead and apply with less than 200 volunteer hours as soon as I get my MCAT scores back on the 21st -or- should I push off the applications until I have 200+ volunteer hours?

I suppose this comes down to what is more important for applying - to apply early with less volunteer hours or later with more…



By all means APPLY this round (given that your pre-reqs are complete/near complete and you have an MCAT score). + or - 50 hours of volunteer service wont’ really make a difference in your application. However, having “meaningful” volunteer experience is what will count!

Remember, Adcoms look at the “total picture” of an applicant, not one piece.

Good luck!


If it were me, I would apply earlier with fewer volunteer hours. A later application could hurt you more than the extra 50 volunteer hours could help you. I agree w/ TJJ MD re: quality being more important than quantity.

One of my friends who is currently a Mayo med school student said no one ever asked him in interviews how many hours he had volunteered. Univ of Ariz admissions also stated during a workshop that the total number of hours doesn’t really matter, they care more about the significance of it and how it affected you. So as long as you have a strong story or two from your volunteering then I say apply soon.

I agree. Once you send out the secondaries, you could always send a follow up letter to the schools you are really interested in (say in October) if you haven’t got interview invites from the yet just updating them on some of your more recent volunteer experiences (ie. I wouldn’t say - I now have 200 hours but maybe highlight a specific meaningful experience you had recently and tie it to their program - if possible).

Great advice. Thanks a lot everyone!

My daughter’s pediatrician said she didn’t have one single medically related hour of volunteer work when she applied to med school–and she had 9 out of 10 acceptances.

For what it’s worth… I would definitely apply now!

Get your application in sometime in June.