Travel during secondary apps?

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Jan 13, 2013
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Hi, I was accepted on an overseas mission trip mid-July to mid-August. WIll I have to decline due to secondary applications? When are they usually sent out? How long do you have to return them? Are they online or sent in the mail? Thanks so much!


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May 15, 2011
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First of all, welcome to SDN! In the future, try to do a google search or search the forums before posting a new thread, as all of these answers are easily found and/or are asked often.

WIll I have to decline due to secondary applications?
No. Will you have internet access at all during the trip?

When are they usually sent out?
A few schools send them out when you submit your AMCAS (primary application), however most schools will send the secondary when you are "complete" - aka you have your AMCAS verified and your MCAT and LORs are submitted. The earlier you submit your AMCAS, the faster you get verified, and the sooner you get secondaries.

How long do you have to return them?
Some schools have deadlines (only one I know of for sure is WVU, but I know there are others). Usually a good rule of thumb to follow is 2-3 weeks after receiving it.

Are they online or sent in the mail?
They're usually sent via email or you are emailed with some kind of login information for the application website. There are a few schools that require you to print out the application and mail it in. Some schools require you to send in a 2x2 photograph. Every school will be slightly different, but I'd say the majority of them are online.


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Jun 26, 2012
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Congrats! If you submit the primary as soon as possible (June5-6ish), secondaries can come out as soon as June 28-July 1st. Some programs are slower than others, of course. It's always better to get them in sooner rather than later, and if you're applying broadly there are a decent amount of essays to do (I would liken it to a part time job worth of work haha). If you are trying to start them when you get back from the trip you might be a little late with some of them. Typically you should complete them in 2 weeks-ish. They are all online so if you have Internet access on this trip you should be fine!

If not, one tactic would be to look up the secondary prompts from this year and write them all out. They tend not to change too much, and if you have them prewritten you may be able to turn them in very soon after the mission completes and still be ok. Otherwise, I wouldn't say it'd be terribly late, but you wouldn't be early either. When it comes to apps I find it's best to take no chances haha. Good luck!