Applying to Allopathic Medical College
The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is the centralized online application service for the U.S. colleges of allopathic medicine programs. Please visit the Association of America Medical Colleges' AMCAS website to learn more about the application process and participating schools.
The applications open May of each year and close April of the following year. It is important to review the AMCAS website to know the dates and deadlines pertaining to that application year.
To view the AMCAS application deadlines by school visit The Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR). It is an online database that provides information, deadlines, requirements, and more on each participating MD program.
AMCAS charges $170 for the first program you apply to and $42 for each additional program. Some programs will have additional supplemental fees. You can learn more about this on each school's website. The AAMC Fee Assistance Program (FAP) provides financial assistance for the primary application and most secondary applications. See Fee Assistance Program for more details.
This is the initial application submitted through the AMCAS. It consists of your personal information, schools attended, course work, transcripts, test scores, letters of evaluation, school selected, personal statement and essay, work and activities, and extracurricular activities.
It is recommended that you create an account in advance and pre-complete your personal information and profile. Once the application opens in May, you will be able to enter:
- Colleges attended
- All official transcripts directly to AMCAS
- All Coursework
- Persons writing reference letters (AMCAS sends a request via email. Make sure that you ask your reference providers well in advance - immediately upon verification of your application.)
The AMCAS applications open at the beginning of May, however, submission is not permitted until the end of the month. See the submission date for your specific application year. You are permitted to work on your application over the course of the month but submission can only occur on or after the submission date.
Upon completion the applicant may submit their application and wait as the verifications process begins. Verification is the process that ensures all of your coursework is entered correctly and consistently. Additionally, during this process your GPAs are calculated and degrees are confirmed as awarded. If there are a significant number of mistakes your applications will be returned to you for corrections. This process takes approximately 4-6 weeks for AMCAS applications.
Once your application in verified, it will be sent to the medical schools you are applying to, where the admission committees will begin to review them. Some schools will send all of their applicants a secondary application. Other schools go through an initial screening process, and screen based on GPA and MCAT scores to determine which applicants will be invited to submit a secondary application. It is important to review the deadline given by the schools and submit within 1-2 weeks of receiving the secondary application.
Secondary applications are focused on the interests of the school you are applying to. It will consist of a variety of essays on topics such as: What are you interested in?; Why are you interested in our medical school specifically? What is a challenging situation you’ve had to overcome?; What is a non-medical activity that has had a significant impact on you? You will find good resources on this topic from Kaplan and AAMC on our Resources page.
Most schools have fees to submit a secondary application. This can range from $30 to $250, depending on the school. This can add up so it is important to determine in advance if this is a school of interest for you. The AAMC's Fee Assistance Program (FAP) can also cover most of your school's secondary application fees, but not all.
After the initial application process, applicants may be invited for an interview. Interviews usually begin in September and continue until February (occasionally March). Depending on the school, there are different types of interviews that can be conducted. See "The Application Process" for more information.