Applying for medical school is equal parts stressful and exciting. Creating a strong application requires time, thought, and organization. But, when you receive an acceptance letter in your mailbox or inbox, it’ll be all worth it.
Below is some general information on submitting medical school applications within the U.S. and what information is required.
U.S. medical school applications are submitted and processed entirely online. This allows both applicants ad institutions to stay organized and meet deadlines.
The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMCA) collects and distributes all applications to U.S. Medical Schools. Their centralized online platform, The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), allows you to submit a single application, regardless of how many schools you are applying to.
There is a processing fee of $170 to apply. You will be charged an additional $41 for each school you apply to. If you cannot finance these fees, the AAMC has a fee assistance program in place.
The AMCAS application is broken into nine sections. Here is an outline of some of the sections and their submission requirements. For more information on each section, visit the AAMC’s website.
Background Information (Sections 1-3)
The first three sections of the AMCAS require you to input general personal identification information and educational information. In this section, you’ll upload information about your high school education and college. You must also submit your contact information.
Courses and Activities (Sections 4 and 5)
This portion of the application can be closely compared to a resume or CV. In the Course Work section, you must submit official school transcripts
In the Work and Activities section requires you will list awards, publications, and extracurriculars (like clinical experiences) that present you as a strong applicant. You can enter up to 15 entries and indicate the three you believe to be the most influential to your character.
Letters of Evaluation (Section 6)
When applying for medical school, you must submit at least three letters of evaluation, also called letters of recommendation. You may wish to provide programs with specific letters of recommendation; for this reason, applicants can include up to 10 letters.
Rather than uploading them personally, the AMCAS Letter Service allows letters to be submitted online by each author. Additional information on how the process is available here.
Medical School Selections (Section 7)
In this section, you’ll indicate which schools AMCAS should share your application with. Some programs may have additional application requirements. If this is the case, AMCAS will detail it or, you will be directed to the school that will provide additional information.
Essays and Exams (Sections 8 and 9)
The final two portions of the application require you to upload essays and test scores. The general application requires you to submit a single-page Personal Comments essay. Depending on the program you are applying to, an additional essay may be requested.
You’ll also have to record your MCAT scores from an exam that was taken within the last three years. Submitting an MCAT older may handicap the processing of your application.
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