Questions we’ll answer today

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  • Stanford University
  • Undergraduate Advising and Research

Questions we’ll answer today

    • What is AMCAS’ role in the medical school admissions process?
    • What does the current AMCAS application look like?
    • What are the common pitfalls faced by applicants and how can they be avoided?
    • How can the application be monitored once it has been submitted?
    • What is the Fee Assistance Program?
    • Where can I go for more information?

American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)

    • Nonprofit, centralized application service
      • Collects applicant information, transcripts, and letters of recommendation
      • Verifies academic records
      • Provides standardized grading information to participating schools
    • Most medical schools use AMCAS as the primary application method
    • Website:

The AMCAS Website Resources for Applicants

The AMCAS Website Current Year’s Application Resources


  • Can you use your unofficial transcript to fill out the coursework section of the AMCAS Application?
  • If your school has a forgiveness policy, do you need to list a course you failed or withdrew from if you repeated it and got a better grade?
  • If you are elected President of your student organization after you submit your application, can you go back and include that achievement?

The AMCAS Application

  • Identifying Information
  • Schools Attended
  • Biographic Information
  • Coursework
  • Work/Activities
  • Letters of Evaluation
  • Medical Schools
  • Essay(s)
  • Standardized Tests

The AMCAS Application Getting HELP when you have questions

  • Clicking the “Help” button will bring up a menu and information that reflects where you are in the application
  • If you would like help on a different section, click “Search” and type in what you need

The AMCAS Application The Transcript Request Form

  • Your identifying information
  • Address for your institution’s registrar
  • AMCAS address for the registrar
  • Transcript Request Form

The AMCAS Application Entering your coursework

  • Request copies of your OFFICIAL transcripts for you to use as you fill out the AMCAS Application
  • You MUST enter information and corresponding grades for every course in which you have ever enrolled, including:
    • AP & College Credit earned in High School
    • Study abroad
    • Withdrawals, Incompletes, Fails, and Repeats
      • Medical schools will see it all, regardless of your undergraduate forgiveness policy. Enter it correctly and completely the first time.

The AMCAS Application Entering Coursework

  • These fields will be verified against a copy of your official transcript after you submit the application

The AMCAS Application Course Classification and your GPA

  • You must assign each course a Course Classification (ex – Biology, Fine Arts, Philosophy, etc.) based entirely on its primary content
  • Course Classifications are used in the calculation of your AMCAS GPA
  • The BCPM GPA is comprised of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics courses
  • Course Classifications that are not "BCPM" will be calculated in your AO (All Other) GPA

The AMCAS Application Course Classification

  • Behavioral & Social Sciences (BESS)
  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Family Studies
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  •  Biology (BIOL) - BCPM
  • Anatomy
  • Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biotechnology
  • Botany
  • Cell Biology
  • Ecology
  • Entomology
  • Genetics
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Physiology
  • Business (BUSI)
  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Finance
  • Human Resource Studies
  • Management
  • Organizational Studies
  • Marketing
  •  Chemistry (CHEM) – BCPM
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Thermodynamics
  •  Communications (COMM)
  • Journalism
  • Media Production & Studies
  • TV, Video, & Audio
  • Natural/Physical Sciences (NPSC)
  • Agriculture
  • Animal and Avian Sciences
  • Forestry
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Horticulture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Meteorology
  • Natural Resources
  • Oceanography
  • Environmental Science & Policy
  • Other (OTHR)
  • All courses which do not fit appropriately into another category, including:
  • Architecture
  • Interdisciplinary courses
  • Library Science
  • Military Science
  • Sports (tennis, golf, aerobics, etc.)
  • Philosophy/Religion (PHIL)
  • Ethics
  • Logic
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Theology
  • Physics (PHYS) - BCPM
  • Astronomy
  • Physics
  • Special Studies (SSTU)
  • Afro-American Studies
  • American Studies
  • Gender Studies
  •  Computer Science/Technology (COMP)
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Telecommunications
  • Education (EDUC)
  • Counseling & Personnel Services
  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Educational Policy
  • Educational Administration
  • Health Education
  • Human Development
  • Physical Education (except for sports courses such as tennis, golf, aerobics, etc.  Use Other for these types of courses.)
  • Special Education
  • Engineering (ENGI)
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • English Language & Literature (ENGL)
  • English Composition & Rhetoric
  • English Creative Writing
  • English Language & Literature
  • Fine Arts (ARTS)
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Dance
  • Fine Arts
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Theatre
  • Health Sciences (HEAL)
  • Allied Health
  • Chiropractic
  • Dentistry
  • Hearing & Speech Sciences
  • Hospital Administration
  • Kinesiology
  • Medical Technology
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition & Food Sciences
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Osteopathy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician Assistant
  • Public Health
  • Pharmacology & Pharmacy
  • Sports Medicine
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • History (HIST)
  • History
  • Foreign Languages/Linguistics/Lit. (FLAN)
  • American Sign Language
  • Comparative Literature
  • Linguistics
  • Foreign Language(s) & Literature
  • Government/Political Sci/Law (GOVT)
  • Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Government
  • International Relations & Studies
  • Law/Legal Studies
  • Political Science
  • Public Affairs & Policy
  • Urban Policy & Planning
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics

The AMCAS Application Course Classification and your GPA

Study Abroad

  • Courses taken at any of the BOSP campuses are considered exactly as if they were taken on campus. They should be listed just as any other course.
  • Courses taken at an overseas campus of a U.S. institution or an American college overseas
      • Courses MUST be listed under the institution attended
        • Official transcripts are required
  • Courses taken independently at a foreign institution, credit transferred to a U.S. or Canadian institution
      • Courses should be listed under the foreign institution
        • Transcript exception must be requested
      • Institution accepting the credit must be listed in the “Schools Attended” section of the application
        • Official transcript is required

Avoid Delays to your Application

  • Begin the application as soon as you can
  • Keep your contact information up to date
  • Be aware of your deadlines, submit ahead of time
  • Enter all coursework exactly as it appears on your transcript and be sure all fields are complete
  • Beat your transcript deadlines - send your transcript requests as soon as you begin the application.

Submitting your Application

  • Focus on completeness and accuracy over early submission. If your application contains too many errors, AMCAS will send it back to you.
  • Use the “Print Application” button to double-check your data. If you submit with errors and typos, medical schools WILL see them.
  • Check the Main Menu of your application to ensure it was successfully submitted
  • Early is good. Error-Free is better!

The AMCAS Application The ONLY changes after submission

  • Name and Contact Information
  • Required and Alternate IDs
  • Indication of MCAT test date
  • Letters of Evaluation can be added and assigned to medical schools, but NOT deleted
  • Medical schools can be added if the deadlines have not passed
  • If you do make a post-submission change, you must RE-SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION
    • This will not cause processing delays

Letters of Evaluation

  • You may create up to 10 letter entries
  • Committee letters, letter packets, and individual letters each count as ONE entry
  • You can designate specific medical schools to receive specific letters
  • The letter request form guarantees that AMCAS will match the letter to your application - print one for each letter entry and give it to your letter-writer
  • Letters do not have to be entered before you submit your application

Letters of Evaluation

  • Author
  • CDC
  • Applicant
  • Letter Request Form
  • AMCAS Letter Request Form
  • Medical Schools
  • or
  • Non –AMCAS participating

The AMCAS Application Adding Letters in the Application

The AMCAS Application Adding Letters in the Application

The AMCAS Application Adding Letters in the Application

The AMCAS Application Adding Letters in the Application

  • The fields marked with an asterisk are required…
  • … but the other fields are very helpful to have… just in case

The AMCAS Application Adding Letters in the Application

The AMCAS Application Adding Letters to the Application

  • Your identifying information
  • Your letter-writer’s address
  • AMCAS address for your letter-writer to use
  • Used by AMCAS to attach letter to your application
  • Methods your letter-writer can use to send their recommendation to AMCAS
  • Letter Request Form
  • Many medical schools require that your recommendations are on official letterhead and bear the signature of the author
  • *

The AMCAS Application Adding Letters in the Application

  • If you have already submitted your application, you MUST hit submit again in order to save the letter you just added

Fee Assistance Program

  • For applicants whose families are at or below 300% of the federal poverty level
  • No distinction between dependent and independent
  • Reduces MCAT fee from $230 to $85
      • Upon registration for the MCAT, FAP recipients are sent free copies of the MSAR and the Official Guide to the MCAT exam
  • Provides 14 free medical school designations in the AMCAS application (normally $32 each)
  • You must have FAP approval before registering for the MCAT or submitting your AMCAS application

Criminal Background Checks

  • AAMC recommends that all U.S. medical schools procure a “CBC” upon each applicant’s initial acceptance
    • Enhances the safety of patients
    • Bolsters general trust in the medical community
    • Confirms the ability of accepted applicants to become licensed physicians
  • The AMCAS application requires you to report felonies and misdemeanors

A Tale of Two Sallys

  • Sally A
  • Read the AMCAS Instructions
  • Began her application early
  • Used her official transcript to complete the application
  • Included that course she bombed and repeated
  • Printed her application to proofread it and was able to fix a couple of errors
  • Submitted her application on time and met deadlines
  • Sally Z
  • Just realized her first deadline is today!
  • Used her unofficial transcript to enter coursework
  • Decided to leave off that course she bombed and repeated
  • Found lots of typos and other errors after she submitted
  • Had her application returned and missed her deadline

The Applicant’s Responsibilities

  • Read the AMCAS Instruction Manual prior to submitting the AMCAS application
  • Notify AMCAS of any changes in your contact information
  • Know the admissions and residency requirements at each school you are applying to
  • Keep track of and meet your deadlines
  • Accurately complete the application
  • Review your verified coursework immediately after AMCAS processing is complete

Your Information Resources

  • AMCAS Website:
  • “Help” tab within the AMCAS Application
  • Medical School Admissions Requirements Guide
  • Medical school websites and admissions offices
  • Applicant and Advisor Relations Team
  • M-F 9:00 am EST to 7:00 pm EST
  • 202.828.0600

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