Applying to Medical School

10 Things to Know Before Applying to Texas Medical Schools

Applying to medical schools in the state of Texas is a separate and distinct process from applying to medical school in the remainder of the United States. After all, everything is bigger and better in Texas! In Texas, you’ll find incredible medical centers that are at the cutting edge of medicine and medical schools which have beautiful campuses and world-class education.

For Texas residents, there are even more potential perks, like cheaper tuition, higher acceptance rates and finding out earlier about an acceptance. To learn all the nitty-gritty details about the TMDSAS medical school application process, keep reading.

What is TMDSAS? 

TMDSAS stands for the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service. It is a primary application processing service for Texas public medical, dental, and veterinary schools Since its establishment, the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service has been operating to benefit both the applicant and participating institutions.

Applicants have the benefit of applying to multiple schools with just one application, and for a flat fee. The participating institutions receive a completed TMDSAS application, which has been reviewed for accuracy and uniformly interpreted in accordance to state laws relating to admissions.

Which medical schools use the TMDSAS?

There are 15 Texas medical schools that use the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS). Those schools are: 

  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio
  • McGovern Medical School at UT Health Houston
  • Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Texas A&M School of Medicine
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at El Paso
  • Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Medicine at Lubbock
  • Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine at University of Houston
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School
  • John Sealy School of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Podiatric Medicine
  • The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
  • The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine

Which Texas med schools do not use TMDSAS?

The following private med schools in Texas do not use the TMDSAS:

  • Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine are part of the AAMC system.
  • The University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine requires you to apply through AACOMAS.

What are the application deadlines?

The TMDSAS application deadlines are as follows:

  • May 1: Applications open
  • August 1: Early Decision Program (EDP) application deadline
  • September 15: EDP letters, transcripts, and test scores due
  • October 15: Medical schools begin extending offers of acceptance
  • October 30: Medical and dental application deadline
  • November 15: Letters of evaluation deadline
  • December 15: Dental schools begin extending offers of acceptance
  • February 19: Ranking of School Preference submission deadline
  • March 5: Match results announced and rolling admissions period begins
  • April 30: Applicants with multiple offers must decide which program to attend and withdraw from all other schools

While the earliest you can submit your AMCAS application is early June, the TMDSAS traditionally opens on May 1st. Plan to get your application started early, but keep in mind that the TMDSAS requires you to enter your spring semester grades prior to submitting. The transcript you submit must have your spring semester grades, in order to accurately reflect your GPA or they will not accept it. Realistically speaking, unless you already graduated from school, you’ll submit closer to mid or end of May.

Note: You’ll need to check with each school to find out about secondary application deadlines and requirements.

How much does the TMDSAS cost?

It doesn’t matter if you apply to one school or ten schools, the TMDSAS costs a flat application fee of $200.

Matching Process for Texas Residents

Texas residents and non-joint degree applicants participate in a match with all the schools they interviewed at. During the pre-match period in November and December, offers of acceptance can be made to Texas.

Applicants may hold multiple offers, but they must rank their preferences by mid to late January. After the match results are announced in early February, acceptances will be offered as they occur. 

 applicants must make a decision about where to enroll by May 15th (or April 15th for schools that begin prior to July 30th), otherwise an offer may be rescinded.

Out-of-state Matriculants

Of the total TMDSAS applicant pool, 25% of applicants are from outside the state of Texas. However, only 5-10% of matriculants are from out-of-state. This is due in part to Texas medical schools favoring Texas residents and to non-Texas residents applying to medical schools both through the AMCAS and TMDSAS, then matriculating at whatever school they feel is the strongest or best fit for them. 

If you decide to apply through the TMDSAS and you are from out-of-state, be prepared to convince medical school admissions committees you are a good fit for their program and community. And to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket, be sure to apply through the AMCAS, AACOMAS, and/or AADSAS, as well. 

If you are among the growing number of students taking a gap year before starting med school, you could capitalize on that time by moving to TX early. You only have to prove residency for 12 months to qualify as a state resident and stack the odds in your favor.

TMDSAS Application FAQs 

How long are my MCAT Scores good for on the TMDSAS?

For the TMDSAS, your MCAT scores are good for 5 years, while they last just 3 years for the AMCAS.

Do I need to release my MCAT Scores?

While scores are automatically uploaded to the AMCAS application, the TMDSAS requires you to have your scores released to them.

What are the letter of recommendation rules?

In AMCAS, you can submit many letters of recommendation, though it’s not recommended to send more than 5. Through TMDSAS, you can submit 3 individual letters of evaluation or one Health Professions Committee Letter/Packet. You also have the option to submit one extra letter.

What are the essay requirements like for the TMDSAS?

In addition to your personal statement, the TMDSAS includes two additional essays. One is the personal characteristics essay (2500 characters, including spaces), plus a second optional essay (2500 characters, including spaces). But it is strongly recommended to do the optional essay.

What is the character count for the extracurricular activities section?

The works and activities section of the AMCAS allows for 700 characters for each entry and 1325 additional characters for your most significant activities. The TMDSAS in contrast only allows for 300 characters.

What else should I do after submitting a TMDSAS application?

After submitting your application, here are some things you can do: 

  • Monitor your application status in your portal at tmdsas.com
  • Check back regularly for messages from your applicant liaison.
  • Resolve any prescribed coursework deficiencies.
  • Use your TMDSAS ID to complete a CASPer exam.

Read next:

Public Medical Schools That Offer the Most Financial Aid | ProspectiveDoctor

Private Medical Schools That Offer the Most Financial Aid | ProspectiveDoctor

Sahil Mehta

Sahil Mehta M.D. is an attending physician in the Department of Radiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Founder of MedSchoolCoach. Dr Mehta is one of the world’s experts on medical school admissions having founded MedSchoolCoach in 2007. MedSchoolCoach provides admissions consulting to premedical students in the form of interview preparation, essay editing and general advising. In the past 10 years, he has had a hand in over a thousand acceptances to medical school.

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