Amcas: Frequently Asked Questions



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AMCAS: Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is AMCAS?

    • AMCAS stands for the American Medical College Application Service. It is a non-profit, centralized application processing service for applicants to the first-year entering classes at participating US medical schools. It is created by the AAMC, The Association for American Medical Colleges (www.aamc.org). AMCAS is the primary application for most of the allopathic medical schools in the US. The schools that do not use the AMCAS are:

      • University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine

      • University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences

      • Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine

      • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine

      • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas Southwester Medical School

      • University of Texas Medical School at Galveston

      • University of Texas Medical School at Houston

      • University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio

      • NOTE: The MD/PhD applications for many of the above listed schools DO use AMCAS. Check with each school for details.

  • AMCAS is STEP one of getting into medical school. STEP two is filling out SECONDARY applications.

  • Keep in mind: Every school you apply to has a different secondary application. If you apply to 10 schools, you may have to write 10 additional essays. Some secondaries are easy to fill out, others are very tedious! (UM has a very tedious secondary application!)

  • Step 3 is getting an interview. Dress to impress using our helpful tips from last meeting!

  • And step 4 is GETTING ACCEPTED !!!

  • To access: go to www.aamc.org/amcas. The application is usually available on or around May 1st, and the earliest you can submit the application is on or around June 1st. NOTE: You will apply for medical school a YEAR BEFORE you plan to enter medical school. Thus, if you plan to go to medical school directly after graduating from UM, you will apply during the summer between your Junior and Senior years (since you will enter med school the summer after Senior year).

  • When you open an AMCAS application you will be provided with many helpful instructions on how to properly fill out the application. You will also be assigned an AMCAS ID number. This number is your ID number for all schools you apply to. Often, schools will ask you for your AMCAS number, so it’s a good idea to memorize it.




  • AMCAS takes about a month to fill out! Main reasons why:

    • The personal statement takes a long time to think about! You want to show it to as many people as possible….even strangers!

    • The experiences sections take a long time to think about as well, especially if you haven’t been keeping track of your activities.

  • Typing in every name of class, credit, and grade can be tedious

  • Everything else: not too bad!




  • Exact Order of AMCAS

    • Identification: Name, SS#, AMCAS ID #

    • Date of Birth, birthplace, citizenship

    • Contact Information: Your preferred contact address/#, permanent address/#, Alternate contact info (reference – can put close friend! Someone dependable!)

    • Biographic Info: date of birth, hometown, legal residence, ethnicity, Parent/sibling info (occupation, academic background), description of disabilities and/or disadvantaged background (if applicable).

    • Additional application info: If you’ve ever been convicted of a felony or Institutional action etc…

    • Academic Record: This is a list of all college level course work you have done. This includes AP/IB courses taken in high school. To fill out this section, you will need to order transcripts from all the colleges you’ve attended (including summer school). You’ll also need to send transcripts directly to AMCAS. The Academic Record requires you to type in all the courses you’ve taken, when you took them and the grade you received. Then AMCAS will calculate your GPA.

    • Education: All the colleges you’ve attended. (Remember to request transcripts be sent from each of these schools to AMCAS and to yourself).

    • Standardized tests, including MCAT: AAMC also proctors the MCAT so they will send official record of your scores to your schools.

    • Experience: Will go over separately in another station! Most tedious section! About 6 pages total.

    • Essay: Will go over separately in another station. Character limited.

    • Schools you’re going to apply to and their designation: MD, MD/PhD, etc.

    • AMCAS notes & Explanations: small tips on things AMCAS really needs you to be aware of…




  • How to prepare for AMCAS & General tips.

    • NUMBER ONE IMPORANT FACT: APPLY EARLY. “Early” means the end of June. At the LATEST, mid July. The application is available at the beginning of May so use all of May to fill out the application. The essay takes the longest time, but you can start on that before the AMCAS becomes available

    • Make sure ALL of your letters of recommendation letters are IN ASAP! Other applicants may back up a certain professor’s schedule and he/she may not have time to get to yours early enough! (Math counts as a science!) You are required to have three science, one non-science, and at least one no more than 2 outside letters of rec in order for the Premed office to write you a Composite Letter of Recommendation (which is preferred by most med schools, and easier on your part).

    • Make sure to check ALL grammar, spelling, and sentence structure! Print out a copy of your application before you submit it to check everything with a fine tooth comb.

    • Do not beat yourself up for anything on your application!!! What is done is done! You are applying because you know you are a strong applicant!


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