guitarguy23

7+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2009
445
71
171
Status
Medical Student
I'm a master's student applying this cycle for Fall '11, and I just wanted to get an idea of how many schools a lot of you are applying to.

I hear numbers like 20, 30 and sometimes 40 schools people apply to and I want to figure out how many I should probably apply to (considering I'm a graduate student and not an undergrad).

Any general advice about a rough amount of schools I should apply to as an MS student getting a research degree? Thanks!
 
Jan 14, 2010
145
0
0
Status
Other Health Professions Student
With MD and DO schools, my total will be 20-30. I am not the best candidate so this approach makes sense.
 

Mast Cell

So Blessed!
5+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2009
43
0
91
Ohio
Status
Medical Student
I don't think it matters if u're a masters student or not, actually. I think 20 is pretty normal. Chances are, u're not gonna want to finish all ur secondaries when they come in, so it'll actually be less than that. If ur app seems more competitive, then u can probably apply to less schools (10 can be risky - u never know what the schools r looking for, even if ur gpa & mcat scores r amazing). Just be sure to apply broadly...some ppl get a little too cocky when choosing schools to apply to.
 

VTBuc

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 13, 2009
535
7
91
Roanoke, VA
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I only filled out 6 secondaries because I ran into a financial crisis. However, I'd say at the minimum you ought to do 12. Ideally, I would have done 20.
 

FuSoYa

10+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2008
518
0
0
Status
Medical Student
I'm a master's student applying this cycle for Fall '11, and I just wanted to get an idea of how many schools a lot of you are applying to.

I hear numbers like 20, 30 and sometimes 40 schools people apply to and I want to figure out how many I should probably apply to (considering I'm a graduate student and not an undergrad).

Any general advice about a rough amount of schools I should apply to as an MS student getting a research degree? Thanks!
Depends on what state you're from (California residents typically apply to a lot more schools than the avg. applicant.) Also depends on your GPA/MCAT numbers, i.e. how competitive you are as an applicant.
 

194342

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2008
7,990
1,318
181
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'm doing 25-30. But, I will have a crap ton of time to do secondaries this summer/fall and don't mind it.
 
Oct 13, 2008
5,324
924
281
Status
Resident [Any Field]
20 but will re-re-re-revise my list before I apply. Gonna try to get it down to 15 like Cole. Most of my schools are "top tier" (whatever that means) so I figure there's a lower chance than usual at each of those schools.
 

Appless

10+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2009
5,091
1
0
Status
I'm doing 25-30. But, I will have a crap ton of time to do secondaries this summer/fall and don't mind it.
secondaries seriously dont take that much time. I did over 40 and didnt find it to be all that bad. I think SDN greatly exagerates the time it takes to do these. There are so many overlapping questions and so many secondaries ask the same things (i.e how can you add to diversity, tell me about a tough time in your life and what you learned, tell me about something interesting etc...)
 

194342

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2008
7,990
1,318
181
Status
Resident [Any Field]
secondaries seriously dont take that much time. I did over 40 and didnt find it to be all that bad. I think SDN greatly exagerates the time it takes to do these.
I sorta thought that was what was going on. I know the cost will suck but I want to have some choices when I'm picking...
 

Geekchick921

Achievement Unlocked: MD
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2007
8,829
165
281
34
Status
Resident [Any Field]
secondaries seriously dont take that much time. I did over 40 and didnt find it to be all that bad. I think SDN greatly exagerates the time it takes to do these. There are so many overlapping questions and so many secondaries ask the same things (i.e how can you add to diversity, tell me about a tough time in your life and what you learned, tell me about something interesting etc...)
$$$$$$$$!!!!
 
Nov 25, 2009
112
1
41
Virginia
Status
Medical Student
i applied to 18 total schools this cycle. i have pretty average/mediocre stats for MD schools, and out of those 18 i have received 5 interview invites: 2 accepts, 2 pending, and 1 declined the invite. so, i would say i'm pretty happy with the number of schools i applied to, b/c 18 secondaries was doable in terms of time and money (sort of, lol) and 5 interviews gives you a pretty decent chance of an acceptance somewhere. good luck this year!
 

Mast Cell

So Blessed!
5+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2009
43
0
91
Ohio
Status
Medical Student
i applied to 18 total schools this cycle. i have pretty average/mediocre stats for MD schools, and out of those 18 i have received 5 interview invites: 2 accepts, 2 pending, and 1 declined the invite. so, i would say i'm pretty happy with the number of schools i applied to, b/c 18 secondaries was doable in terms of time and money (sort of, lol) and 5 interviews gives you a pretty decent chance of an acceptance somewhere. good luck this year!
18 for me, as well! it all worked out...

I actually found secondaries pretty time consuming cuz you really have to be in the right mindset to do them. some r quick and easy but some of those essays r terribly boring/annoying. there's no way i could've gotten thru 40 of them, let alone pay for that many.
 
Dec 18, 2009
641
0
0
under the sun :)
Status
Medical Student
For me:

Primaries: 32

Secondaries: 25 (many dropped out because of my laziness to complete yet another one, I was no longer interested, or I wasn't qualified (ex school starts in May)

Interviews: 5

Waitlists: 3

Acceptances: 2

I had average GPA, below average MCAT, decent ECs, and average research.

I'd say research the schools before you submit the primaries because you might end up deciding not to do the secondaries and that would have been a waste of your money on the primaries. Secondaries get old really quickly but many are quite similar. It really depends on YOU how many you do...I know someone who had a STELLAR app and he applied to 35 schools...
 

bobsmith

10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2008
3,499
19
251
Status
People will probably disagree with me, but I think if you choose schools wisely, you probably don't need to go beyond 20 schools. I suppose if you want to apply to more reaches, it doesn't hurt to go beyond 20 (if you can afford it time/money-wise), but you should be able to find a good mix of schools that fit you if you just apply to 20.

I also agree that secondaries really don't take that long. If you set aside a few hours each day, you can crank through them pretty quickly. I think the problem for most people is that they fall behind on a few and then, before they know it, they're staring at a pile of 20 secondaries and don't know where to start.

The other issue is that there's no deadline that forces you to work to get your secondaries done early. I had my primary verified at the end of July, but since one of my science letters wasn't available until the end of August, that gave me a pseudo-deadline and it worked out pretty nicely for me. So if you set deadlines for yourself and stick to them, you should be fine.
 
Aug 1, 2009
239
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
People will probably disagree with me, but I think if you choose schools wisely, you probably don't need to go beyond 20 schools. I suppose if you want to apply to more reaches, it doesn't hurt to go beyond 20 (if you can afford it time/money-wise), but you should be able to find a good mix of schools that fit you if you just apply to 20.
+1 This!
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
7+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2009
16,071
5,296
181
Status
Medical Student
I'm applying to around 6~ DO schools and probably around 14+ MD schools when I apply.
 
Jan 2, 2010
1,090
0
0
Reality, or so i think.
Status
For me:

Primaries: 32

Secondaries: 25 (many dropped out because of my laziness to complete yet another one, I was no longer interested, or I wasn't qualified (ex school starts in May)

Interviews: 5

Waitlists: 3

Acceptances: 2

I had average GPA, below average MCAT, decent ECs, and average research.

I'd say research the schools before you submit the primaries because you might end up deciding not to do the secondaries and that would have been a waste of your money on the primaries. Secondaries get old really quickly but many are quite similar. It really depends on YOU how many you do...I know someone who had a STELLAR app and he applied to 35 schools...
average gpa as in 3.6 wise?
 

AH3

Mar 3, 2010
215
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I've got a list of about 20 right now. I'll probably take a few off and may add one or two, but I won't go above 20. I could see it going anywhere between 15-18 in the end for me.
 
Feb 15, 2010
46
0
0
Status
Probably 15 give or take by the time I apply and one OD that is close to where I live now. My stats are alright but not outstanding enough to really apply to less than 15.
 

Auriga

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2009
597
1
141
Cali
Status
Resident [Any Field]
22 for me. I had polar opposite stats, 3.0 GPA and 38 MCAT...with W's and F's sprinkled on my transcript several years ago. I had no idea whether schools would auto-drop me in the discards or open my app (which like 6 did anyways), so 22 was kind of even undershooting it in some ways.

For me the question was how badly did I want to get in THIS year as opposed to having to go through it all again next year.

Apply earlier and you'll have better chances even with fewer schools.
 

Ilovewater

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 27, 2009
909
9
251
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'd say 15 is more than enough if you choose wisely. Thinking back about my application, I think I applied to way too many schools. Since I applied mainly to schools within my range, I didn't need to apply to so many. If you're really insecure/worried/paranoid about not getting in, then I'd say apply around 20 just to have a peace of mind. However, I still think 15 is a lot.
 

whimsical

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2008
1,424
0
91
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm aiming to have no more than 15 - both for cost reasons and because I know I won't be able to fill out a million secondaries when the time comes.
I'm in the same place. Plus I'm lazy and cheap. Need to get to work cutting down that list...
 

bearforce

10+ Year Member
Sep 10, 2008
124
0
0
Hometown: Upstate NY,
Status
Pre-Medical
Depends on personal stats + what you are looking for in a school i narrowed my list down to 18 schools (pretty much all east cost), but i should have narrowed it down to like 10...what it came down to in the end. Dont apply to schools where you would not be happy and def. think about cost of secondaries + flights + taxis + drycleaning + food....= alot of fn money. I wouldnt apply to 25+ schools unless you were international or had some other situation.
 

DrSmooth

Secret Recipe Soda
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
325
0
91
Status
Medical Student
I think 29 is a nice round number. Last year the AMCAS total came in just under $1000. Secondaries were reasonable. And you greatly increase the number of reach schools you can apply to. If you have the time and money, more schools = more options, and you just never know where your application will get traction. Interestingly, all my acceptances came from my bottom 10 schools (although a few were actually top 10 in rankings) which I would not even have applied to had I only applied to 20 schools. I will forever be thankful I spent the extra $$$.
 

dweji16

5+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2010
159
1
91
Status
Medical Student
All of them... all 150+ of them...



yeah right. maybe 30ish? including DOs... since my stats are so bad, maybe more than that if I feel desperate and have the time.
 

MaryLennox

10+ Year Member
Jan 20, 2008
1,184
2
0
Status
Medical Student
i think that if you do your research about schools and apply wisely, you can get away with 15 or less. it also depends on your stats.

my stats were on the unimpressive side, but i was broke too. i applied to 15 schools, mostly realistic choices but a few reaches. i wish i could have applied to more. i would apply to as many schools as you think you have a shot at/would attend and can afford to apply to.

i was lucky- i have 2 acceptances (of 3 interviews, 3rd one still decision pending but i think its just like a pre rejection hold.) anyway i didnt get my first invite til like the end of sept, so i spent like 2 months waiting and agonizing over whether i applied to enough schools and wishing i had more on my list. so while 15 worked out for me, i would have felt more comfortable through the process knowing that i had more potential schools in the pipeline.
 
Dec 13, 2009
140
0
41
Loooziana
Status
Medical Student
i applied to 2. Apply where you think you'd wanna go. Don't be one of those people that occasionally post here thats like "oh, i got an acceptance, but im thinking i might turn it down and apply again next year because i really don't like that the school i got accepted to has an odd number of trees...im more of an even number person"

see if you can picture yourself living in a certain city,location,whatever before applying and wasting money. its ok if you only apply to like 10 schools.... at least to me.
goodluck!
 

LRAccord624

MSIII
Oct 18, 2009
747
6
0
Houston
Status
Medical Student
I applied to 10. 7 in Texas + Baylor, then two out of state. I thought it was a lot... I apparently didn't know much about the application process! Oh well, it worked out.
 
Jul 30, 2009
268
1
0
Status
Pre-Medical
My stats are decent +3.7, 30-35.

I applied to 13 schools, got all 13 secondaries, 7 interviews and I'm waiting for final decisions, but I've got at least one acceptance and one waitlist.

Don't throw away thousands applying at 30 schools and, realistically, if you're a good applicant, you wouldn't be able to go to 20+ cross-country interviews, it's just too costly and strenuous.

Make wise decisions.
 
Dec 30, 2009
191
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I think the majority apply to 13-15 schools depending on grades, MCAT scores etc. It's always nice to have 1 or 2 reach schools in there.
 
Jan 2, 2010
1,090
0
0
Reality, or so i think.
Status
if i had like a 3.4 - 3.5 gpa and like a 33 mcat, and average ECs, how many should i apply to? i live in NY and i am asian :).
 

IDoIt4Love

Breathe...just believe.
10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2008
431
2
0
Status
Medical Student
~13 applications, 4 interview offers, 2 acceptances, 2 wait-lists. Slightly above-average overall GPA and MCAT scores, 3.45 BCPM.
 

BlitzSleep

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2006
571
2
241
D-Town
Status
Pre-Medical
inb4 over 9000

I'm applying to as many as I can afford (which isn't much) probably no more than 15
 

chman

5+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2009
3,003
15
101
Status
Pre-Psychology
One million

 
Aug 6, 2010
82
1
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I saw a few of you that said 1 or 2.

I am only applying to 1, because that is my only choice. I have twin daughters starting high school this year and a husband who is a PhD engineer with Intel. I cannot leave Portland, and I guess I am lucky we have a medical school, OHSU.

Still I hate having to put all my eggs in one basket.

Anyone one else out there land locked by family or other obligations?

Anyone with advice on getting in when you only have one chance? My application looks great, still it seems like it would be pretty easy to get over looked.