Early Decision Programs?

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Big Easy
Jun 1, 2010
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I've seen people posting about early decision on these forums, and I realized I have no idea what this is.

I'm assuming it something alng the lines of telling a school that you will go there no matter what if they accept you.

I already submitted my application to 8 schools, so maybe It's already too late. But I don't even remember seeing anything about EDP on the Med school application.

Does signing up for this really increase your chances? what are the benefits/disadvantages?


Full Member
Jun 27, 2009
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Whatever I know is from reading threads on this board so...

In my understanding early admissions programs require you submit your primaries to only ONE school, so yes, it would be too late for you, between June and early August. Schools will then make a decision (accept/rejected) by October. If you are accepted: terrific, you just saved thousands of dollars and months of headache/stress. If not: you will probably be cast into the regular pool of applicants for said school, and can now submit primaries for whichever other schools you wish to apply to. Granted, you will be quite late in doing so and will likely be at a severe disadvantage for the cycle (as opposed to had you decided to submit primaries for all the schools in June).

Generally, I do not think that EDP programs give applicants an advantage the way one would be inclined to believe they do. They do not transform what would otherwise be an average or below average applicant (for that particular school) into a shoo-in. Apparently schools are not phased by this display of loyalty, and do not significantly bump up EDP applicants.

Given this, I have heard that the only reason for one to apply as an EDP would be if you ABSOLUTELY MUST attend a particular school (for example: you must stay in the area for familial reasons). A school being your top choice is apparently not considered to be enough of a reason. Also, you must be an above average applicant for that school.

But since you have already applied, none of this really pertains to you. :)


Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 20, 2010
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Also since one would be late in the game for submitting applications to other schools if rejected EDP, it's typically recommended that a person have above average stats, ECs, etc for the school that one is applying EDP to in order to maximize chances of success.

No UC schools have EDP. The only ones in CA that offer it are the private ones - Stanford, Loma Linda, and USC.


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10+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2009
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Yes it is too late for you.

Early Decision Program (EDP)


Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR™)
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)

To apply through the Early Decision Program (EDP), applicants must follow these guidelines:

  1. Apply to only one U.S. medical school by the stated deadline date (August 1 for schools that participate in AMCAS);
  2. Provide the school with all required supplemental information by the stated deadline date (August 1 for those schools that participate in AMCAS); and
  3. Attend only this school if offered a place under the EDP.
If these guidelines are met, applicants will be notified of the school's admission decision by October 1.
If not accepted under the EDP, applicants will automatically be placed in the regular applicant pool by the school and may then apply to additional schools. EDP regulations apply to both AMCAS and non-AMCAS participating schools.
For the 2010 entering class, 79 medical schools will offer admission through the Early Decision Program. Since most participating schools only admit a small portion of their entering class through the program, only applicants with an excellent chance of admission to a particular school should apply under this program.
Before submitting an EDP application, students are strongly urged to refer to the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR™). The MSAR provides specific admission criteria for each medical school in the United States and Canada including participation in the EDP. For those schools which have an EDP, the MSAR lists not only the deadline dates, but also any specific residency requirements. (Some schools will consider only in-state residents through the EDP; others will consider out-of-state residents only if they apply as Early Decision applicants.)

Worked for me, and I barely met the schools MCAT requirement. Granted, my GPA was significantly higher and I think that my EC's were above average. I don't know anyone that applied EDP to my school and didn't get it, but that varies pretty wildly from school to school.