The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application is the primary application to apply to allopathic (M.D.) schools. The application should be submitted as early as possible as the admissions process is conducted under a rolling admissions basis.
The different sections of the AMCAS application include:
- Demographic information (personal information, criminal history etc.)
- Academic information (schools, colleges attended): Coursework, Grades, Transcripts
- Compared to osteopathic schools there are two main differences with coursework. First, AMCAS includes Math as part of the science GPA (AACOMAS does not). Second, AMCAS will average a repeated course grade with the original grade. AACOMAS will count the more recent grade and disregard the original grade.
- You will need to submit transcripts from all universities/colleges you have attended. You will also be entering in coursework that you have completed at these schools with the course units and grades received. AMCAS staff will review the coursework information you entered and compare it to the transcripts you have submitted. This process can lead to significant delays in the verification of your application if you have mistakes.
- MCAT score (already released to AMCAS, whereas you will have to submit it to AACOMAS)
- Extracurricular activities
- You will be given 15 fields to enter information about outside of school activities, honors, awards, research and publications.
- Each field will allow you to write up to 700 characters (including spaces and punctuation)
- You can select up to 3 activities to be designated as “Most Meaningul” and then you will be given an additional 1325 characters to explain the impact of this activity on your life and decision to pursue a career in medicine.
- Regardless of how you enter the activities they will be displayed in chronological order
- You will need to provide a contact (phone number or email address) for someone who can verify each activity
- Personal Statement: You will have up to 5300 characters (including spaces and punctuation) to enter your personal statement. Be sure to copy your statement from Microsoft Word to a basic text editor like Notepad or TextEdit to check the formatting. Then copy the essay from these more primitive text editors into the AMCAS application.
- Letters of Recommendation: Either before or after you submit the AMCAS application you can enter your letter writers’ information and receive a Letter ID# for each LOR you are going to send to the AMCAS Letter Service. Once your letters are received by AMCAS you will have to assign LORs to specific schools that you have applied to.
- Choosing which schools to apply to: You will select specific medical schools you would like to send the primary application to.
- Print your application: To thoroughly and properly review your application you should print it. Then review all of the information you have entered very carefully. Once you submit your application you will only be able to change limited kinds of information
- Certify your application: You will read several statements and agree that they are true
- Submission & Payment: You will need to make a payment as you submit the AMCAS primary application. The AMCAS processing fee is $160, which includes one medical school designation, and additional medical school designations are $34 each. You can pay online by credit card (Visa/MC) or check. No offline payments are allowed.
- Remember that not all medical schools have the same deadlines for receiving the primary application
- Verify Your Application: After you submit your application, AMCAS has to verify it. AMCAS verifies your application by checking to see that the coursework information you entered is consistent with the transcripts they have received. The verification process can take from 2-8 weeks so plan accordingly. This is why we recommend submitting your application on the first day possible (including ensuring that your transcripts reach AMCAS by this day). Once verification is complete AMCAS will send the application back to you and you must check it to see if there are any errors
- Keep in mind that every time you make a change to your application you must re-certify and resubmit your application. This means if you add additional schools to apply to, or if you change your letters of recommendation assignments, etc. you must re-certify and resubmit the application in order for the changes to be saved
Once your application is submitted
- Following verification of your primary application, medical schools will screen the data mainly focusing on your GPA and MCAT and determine if you qualify for a secondary/supplemental application. The secondary application is sent by the individual school and not through AMCAS.
- In fact, once you have submitted the AMCAS and your LORs and your application is verified you should not need to use the AMCAS application for the rest of the application process unless you are updating information (demographic, LORs, etc.)
- The secondary/supplemental application will ask for some detailed information (personal information, criminal history, premedical coursework) as well as have short essays on different topics.
- Read more from AMCAS
- The Medical School Application Process: Overview
- Choosing Where to Apply to Medical School
- A Complete Listing of Science Courses for Allopathic Medical Schools (Coming Soon)
- The Personal Statement