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Applying to Medical School

Since different schools have different applications and application procedures, it is important that you get current catalogs and application information during your junior year. Many application deadlines will be in the fall of your senior year. You should discuss the application and the application process with your faculty advisor well ahead of deadlines.

The application process for most medical schools is handled by the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), a non profit, centralized, processing service. The chief exceptions are Texas state-supported schools, foreign medical schools, and a few private schools, but check the AMCAS instruction booklet's list of participating schools to make certain of the status of the schools to which you are applying. You can obtain AMCAS application forms and instructions from your Pre-Health Professions faculty advisor or by writing:

American Medical College Application Service
Association of American Medical Colleges
Section of Student Services
1776 Massachusetts, Ave., N.W., Suite 301
Washington, DC 20036 - 1989

If you are applying to AMCAS-participating schools, you submit only one set of application materials and official transcripts regardless of the number of schools to which you are applying. Included in the application materials is a form on which you list the schools you wish to apply to. When the AMCAS transmits your application to a medical school, you will receive an official notification of this transmittal. The schools to which you apply will then contact you if they require additional information. Some colleges charge a fee in addition to that levied by the AMCAS; check Medical School Admission Requirements.

Unless you are applying under the Early Decision Program (see below), application deadline dates vary for AMCAS schools, very often November 1 or December 1 of the year prior to admission. Again, be sure to check Medical School Admission Requirements for specific information. You should consider the deadlines ironclad. You must have completed application materials and the correct service fee on file with the AMCAS by the deadline, or you will not be considered for admission. If you are late by a day you wait until next year. There is a two week extension past the application deadline for AMCAS to receive all official transcripts, but you should not push your luck. Apply for your transcripts well in advance of deadline dates; two months would not be unreasonable.

Read all the information included in the AMCAS application packet carefully before you fill out the application forms. They are nit-pickers and will reject your application if, for instance, your signature on the form is in anything other than black ink or you type any information outside the designated borders.

If you are applying to a school which does not participate in AMCAS, write the school's admission office for an application. Usually, you will receive a preliminary application. If the school is interested in you, they will then request further information, letters of recommendation, etc. Procedures vary, however, so you should consult Medical School Admission Requirements or the school's catalogue for more specific information.

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