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Applying in Texas? - FAQ about TMDSAS

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Anastasis, Mar 25, 2007.

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  1. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety
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  3. Anastasis

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    What is TMDSAS?
    TMDSAS stands for "Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service".

    What's the contact info for TMDSAS?
    Website:http://www.utsystem.edu/tmdsas/
    Mailing Address: Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service | 702 Colorado Street, Suite 6.400 | Austin, Texas 78701
    Phone: 512-499-4785
    Fax: 512-499-4786
    Email: [email protected]

    What schools are part of TMDSAS?
    The MD programs are:
    Texas Tech
    Texas A&M
    University of Texas Health Science Center - San Antonio
    University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston
    University of Texas Medical School at Houston
    University of Texas - Southwestern
    Also - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, a (DO) program.

    Is Baylor part of the TMDSAS system?
    No - even though Baylor is in Texas, it is NOT part of the TMDSAS system. To apply to Baylor, submit your application through AMCAS.

    What's a DO program?
    For more information on DO programs please refer to the SDN Wiki page or the Pre-osteopathic forums.

    When is the earliest I can access TMDSAS for the 2008 cycle?
    The 2008 TMDSAS application will be available beginning May 1st. The application can be found here.

    What's the deadline for submitting the application?
    This year it will be October 1st.

    Yeah but when should I have it done by?
    The general consensus on SDN is that it's best to have your application in by the time the first interview invites start coming out (generally the first week in July). To be safe, have the application completed by mid-June.
     
  4. Anastasis

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    Can I submit my application before I have my letters of recommendation or my MCAT score?
    Yes, your application can be processed without your letters of recommendation or MCAT score. However, your application will not begin to be processed without the certification page, fee and photos.

    How long until I am processed by TMDSAS?
    This depends largely on when you submit. From past years, applications submitted in May/June are processed within a few weeks.

    When can I send in transcripts?
    You must wait until spring semester grades are posted before sending in your transcripts. Also, you must first enter your coursework before you submit your transcripts.

    TMDSAS needs photos, is a casual passport photo okay?
    A passport photo is fine. Make yourself look professional from the waist up and have someone take a head and shoulders shot of you with a camera. Usually most photo places will let you make multiple copies for a very reasonable price, or you can print them off yourself on your printer.

    Remember to write your name and ID number on the back. Make sure ink has dried before stacking them or the ink will smudge all over your new pictures.

    Is it really beneficial to apply early in Texas?
    Yes!! Even more so than with AMCAS. Offers for interviews will start coming in July for August interviews.

    When should I take my MCAT if I'm applying to Texas schools?
    Generally, attempt to schedule your MCAT so you have your scores back by August at the latest. Due to the timeline involving prematch offers, any later would be an unnecessary handicap to your application.

    What kind of numbers do the Texas schools have?
    Texas Numbers

    Texas is so amazing, but I'm afraid I won't be accepted. Should I apply out of state as well?
    Some advice from a veteran:
    What if I'm a non-Texas resident, do I still have a chance at Texas schools?
    Texas medical schools are required by Texas law to take at least 90% Texas residents. The odds are against you but if you're truly interested and can demonstrate a tie to the state of Texas then it might be worth a shot.
     
  5. Anastasis

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    I've already written my AMCAS personal statement, how should I change it to fit the TMDSAS prompt?
    What is with the wonky character limit for the personal statement?
    Instead of giving you a strict character limit like AMCAS does, TMDSAS limits your personal statement to 62 lines with 80 characters per line. Another downside is that the text box on TMDSAS doesn't limit the length of the imputted lines to 80 characters but if you attempt to save a PS with lines longer than 80 characters, the excess characters will be cut off. This means that proofing your PS after entering it is absolutely essential to ensure that none of your PS has been lost.

    A suggestion to mimic the format in Word:
    What are the optional essays? Should I fill them out?
    The optional essay prompts are:
    Fill them out if you have something important to say. It's been generally agreed upon that Adcoms can spot BS a mile away. But if you really do feel there is something to be added to your application, then these are the essays for you.
     
  6. Anastasis

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    Transcripts: Again, transcripts are sent directly to the TMDSAS office in Austin. You do not need to send transcripts directly to schools (some require that you send transcripts to them after being accepted and before matriculation but you will deal with that later).
    -The only "Texas" exception to this rule is Baylor (not a TMDSAS school) who requires that you submit transcripts to them after being invited to interview before they will extend you an offer of acceptance.

    When I'm entering my coursework, I noticed there are several specific categories and then a "other science" category. What falls into what?
    The specific categories are to make sure you have all the prerequisite courses. Anything that you took as a prerequisite course should be labeled the appropriate category (For example: If you took a genetics course for one of your upper level biology credits, that course should be labeled as "Biology Lecture")

    So what are the Texas pre-recs?

    · 2 semesters of English
    · 1 semester of Calculus or Statistics
    · 2 semesters of Introductory Biology with lab
    · 2 semesters of upper-level Biology
    · 2 semesters of Inorganic Chemistry with lab
    · 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry with lab
    · 2 semesters of Physics with lab

    What about AP courses?
    AP courses are accepted at Texas medical schools if they are listed with specific course numbers and course hours on your college transcript. Lump sum credits are not accepted by TMDSAS.

    Entering coursework, what does "last taken" mean?
    If you did not repeat the class then it was the last time you took the course. Select "yes".

    TMDSAS asks for future coursework, how do I enter that?
    You enter the coursework you expect to take but instead of entering a letter grade, you choose "NY".

    Do I choose "yes" for "Last time taken?" when entering future coursework? Also, what if I change my mind about classes?

    My university uses a +/- system. How are those reported?
    TMDSAS does not use a +/- system. The letter grade alone is used to calculate GPA (i.e. a B- or a B+ will both be calculated as a B)

    What if I repeated a course, is the first grade still considered as part of my GPA?
    Yes. You will be asked if you repeated a class when entering classes into TMDSAS but all grades will be used to calculate GPA.

    Which courses are considered part of the Science GPA for TMDSAS? Is that different from AMCAS?

    All Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Math, along with other recognized sciences (ie. Astronomy, Meteorology, etc) if taught in a different department and Engineering courses are part of the TMDSAS science GPA (AMCAS does not include engr classes as part of the BCMP).

    From Jota:
     
  7. Anastasis

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    How are extracurriculars entered in TMDSAS?
    You are allowed a box to enter information in the following categories:


    What is this Chronology of Activities thingie? Didn't I just fill out a activities section?
    Yes you did. Don't stress yourself out about this. The schools are trying to get an overview of how you've spent the last four years and how all your ECs fit together.


    How many letters of recommendation do I need to submit? What kinds? I have a committee, should I use that letter?
    What forms do we use for TMDSAS LOR?
    The form can be found here.

    When should I start asking for letters of recommendation?
    Generally - start asking in the early spring before the summer you plan on applying. You want to make sure to have everything ready as early as possible. Your undergraduate premed office may have more specific deadlines.
     
  8. Anastasis

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    Which schools have secondary applications?
    Southwestern
    Texas A&M
    Texas Tech
    TCOM

    I noticed that several of the schools have seconadary applications to be filled out. We can fill these out and turn them in as soon as we submit primary application, right?
    As soon as you can! You don't need to wait on schools to contact you.
     
  9. Anastasis

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    When should I expect to start hearing about interviews?
    In past years, early applicants began to receive interview invites in July. Generally, Texas schools begin interviewing in August.

    What days of the week do schools interview?
    Texas A&M: Thursdays
    Texas Tech: Wednesdays (or Fridays @ El Paso)
    UTMB: Fridays
    Southwestern: Saturdays
    San Antonio: Mondays
    Houston: Fridays (but some Wednesdays before the school year begins)
    TCOM: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays

    When are the first/last interview dates for each school? (This will be updated as schools post interview schedules for the fall)
    Texas A&M:
    Texas Tech:
    UTMB: Beginning of August
    Southwestern: September
    San Antonio: September
    Houston: Beginning of August
    TCOM: Beginning of August

    Schools usually interview through December.

    Do TMDSAS schools like to reschedule their interviews? Which ones do and which ones don't?
    Tech will give you a drop down list of dates to choose from so you should be able to work around anything that might come up. Southwestern will allow you to decline a date if there is a conflict and recommend a different interview date.


    What are the interview days like at each school?
    How many interviews/interviewers can I expect at each school?
    What kind of questions can I expect at each school?
    For this, your best bet is to refer to the SDN interview feedback for each school.
    Texas A&M
    Texas Tech
    UTMB
    Southwestern
    San Antonio
    Houston
    TCOM

    General Texas Interview Tips

    Texas is pretty conservative, What should I wear to an interview?
    Advice from a veteran:
     
  10. Anastasis

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    What is a prematch offer?
    Starting November 15th until December 31st, Texas schools can offer acceptances to Texas residents.

    If I accept it, can I still interview/take acceptances at other schools?
    Yes, even if you have accepted a prematch offer you are still allowed to accept offers of admission from othe Texas school and even interview at other schools. The date that may be included in your acceptance letter is the date by which you must respond to the school accepting or declining the position. You may accept multiple offers of admission but must chose only one by January 15th and withdraw from the others.

     
  11. Anastasis

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    What is "the Match"?
    The match is the process by which those without prematch offers and those wishing to attend a school other than their prematch offer will attempt to "match" to that school. You need to rank all schools at which you interviewed and from which you haven't withdrawn.

    When is my match list due?
    You should submit your match list by January 15th, regardless of whether or not you have prematch offers.

    Will I hurt my chances for an acceptance if I rank more competitive schools higher on my list?
    No. :) Rank the schools in the order in which you want to attend them.

    If I have a prematch offer but I want to rank another school higher, do I risk losing my prematch acceptance?
    No. You will retain that offer and it will only be withdrawn if you are succesful at matching to your higher choice school.

    When is your match posted?
    Usually at midnight - don't worry! SDN is always very supportive. There will be a thread where you and your fellow TX residents can participate in a mass freak out leading up to the posting of the match results.
     
  12. Anastasis

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    2007 Texas Waitlist Thread

    Well - I didn't match/didn't match at top choice, what now?
    You are "still active" at any school you ranked higher than your match school - or if you didn't match at all, you are "still active" at any school at which you interviewed. That does not necessarily mean that you will be on the waitlist for those schools, just that you have the potential to be on the waitlist.

    So, how do waitlists work at each school?
    UT-H: Will send out letters about the waitlist. You can also call the office to check on whether or not you're on the waitlist

    Note:
    According to TMDSAS any applicant holding an acceptance for any Texas school (including Baylor) cannot be offered another acceptance from a Texas school after June 15th. So if you have an acceptance and are on several waitlists, you will be removed from those waitlists after June 15th.

    So say you are accepted to a Texas school but are still waiting on a higher ranked school, if you already have an acceptance at an out of state school which you know you would attend over your current Texas acceptance, it might be beneficial to withdraw from that Texas school in order to remain on the other waitlist for longer.
     
  13. Anastasis

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  14. Anastasis

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    In general, try not to worry about this stuff. We know you won't listen though (we didn't) so here's a brief explanation of some terms:

    LMFU: Last Master File Update.
    *Every year the conspiracy theory emerges that changes in LMFU means an acceptance/match but no concrete evidence has ever shown up and TMDSAS has denied that changes in LMFU mean an acceptance/match.

    Validation Date: the date that TMDSAS validates your coursework.
    *In theory this is done only after you have been accepted to a medical school but do NOT assume because this date hasn't changed that you are not receiving an acceptance.
     
  15. Anastasis

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    What about MD/PhD applicants?

    * For MD/PhD Combined Programs ONLY *

    Applicants to the joint MD/PhD program at UT Southwestern, UT Medical Branch at Galveston and UT Health Science Center at Houston must complete the AMCAS application for the combined program and pay the required application fee to AMCAS.

    Joint degree applicants who also want to be considered for the MD only program at the above schools MUST submit a TMDSAS application in addition to the AMCAS application. Applicants cannot apply to the MD only program through AMCAS.

    Applicants to the MD/PhD programs at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and the DO/PhD at University of North Texas/TCOM need ONLY to select the appropriate program on the TMDSAS application.


     
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