The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)
The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is a non-profit, centralized application processing service for applicants to the first-year entering classes at participating U.S. medical schools. (AMCAS) is a program of The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) (http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/start.htm).
Applicants to medical schools that do not participate in AMCAS, as well as all advanced standing and transfer applicants, should contact schools directly for application instructions. You should also contact schools directly for application information regarding joint or special programs, such as BA/MD, MD/Ph.D., MD/JD and so forth.
AMCAS does not render any admission decisions and does not advise applicants where to apply. Each participating school is completely autonomous in reaching its admissions decisions. AMCAS provides only the application processing service. The AAMC and AMCAS neither endorse, nor have any relationship to, commercial counseling services concerned with admission to either U.S. or foreign medical schools.
This application may be downloaded from the AMCAS website or may be available on a diskette from your premed advisor. You must also request an official transcript from each college of registration in the United States and Canada (make sure that you do not have hold from the school prevent sending transcripts). AMCAS then assembles your application file, verifies it and forwards the application to your designated medical schools. AMCAS also sends your MCAT scores for tests taken since April 1991, provided you have released them to AMCAS.
Regardless of the number of AMCAS schools to which you apply, you submit just one application to AMCAS via the Web, so you need a computer! Don't leave any questions blank! Also, try to maximize use of the available space. On the application, You have a section for a Personal Statement. You can use this section to explain any perceived problems with your application (e.g., low grades or scores), but the primary thrust of this section should be positive. Strut your stuff! Compose the Personal Statement in a word processor and run a grammar check and spell check. Have someone else read and critique the statement (your premed advisor, if possible). Edit your AMCAS application until you feel it is ready for submission. Then, sleep on it, and read it again the next day. If you are still pleased with the application, then go ahead and submit it. It will be sent to all of the medical schools you selected. Watch the mail for secondary applications, sent directly from individual schools. Good luck!
The AMCAS application generally becomes available in December. Deadlines to complete the application vary for different schools and programs, but the Early Decision Program deadline is August 15 and many other schools require that the AMCAS application be received no later than October 15 (earliest deadlines) or December 15 (latest deadlines). You can start work on your application even before you take the April MCAT. Be advised that schools require MCAT scores before processing your AMCAS application, so if you wait until August to take the MCAT for the first time, your application will not be reviewed until the scores become available in November!
All deadlines are set by the individual medical schools and represent when materials (application and fees) must be received by AMCAS. Submitting materials as early as possible avoids any processing delays or missed deadlines. You are responsible for ensuring that all required information is received by AMCAS according to the school-specific deadlines set forth in the application. In addition, applicants are responsible for checking the status of their submitted application.
AMCAS will not issue refunds for missed deadlines. You will be eligible for a refund of your AMCAS application fees — minus non-refundable service fee — if you withdraw your application before it has begun the verification process. You will receive a refund only for those schools for which the published deadline has not yet passed at the time you withdraw your application.
You pay fee for applications per designated school. Generally, it is higher for the first school and less per additional school. Those unable to pay this fee may apply for a waiver through the AAMC Fee Assistance Program (FAP):
For more information about the fees please visit AAMC and AMCAS official web sites
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recognizes its responsibility to treat with care the information it collects about individuals involved in medical education, and to respect their privacy relative to sensitive data concerning them. To meet this obligation, the Association has developed privacy policies:
to prevent the exposure of truly confidential personal data without the permission of the individual involved, to limit the distribution of sensitive data to those situations which require it, and to permit distribution of non-sensitive, directory information wherever a useful purpose can be served.
Two significant responsibilities of the AAMC are to promote integrity in the processes associated with entry into medical school or a graduate medical education program, and to encourage high standards during the course of enrollment. These policies and procedures (http://www.aamc.org/students/applying/policies/investigations.htm) have been developed to advance this purpose by addressing cases which arise in the application process while ensuring the rights of all concerned parties.
The AAMC requires applicants to present accurate and current information at the time application materials are submitted and during all phases of the admission process for entry into medical school or a graduate medical education program. It is the policy of the AAMC to investigate discrepancies in credentials, attempts to subvert the admission process, and any other irregular matter that occurs in connection with application activities.