Pre-Med Application Process
The majority of U.S. medical schools require students to apply through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). This entails completing one standardized application, which is then processed by AMCAS and sent to the individual medical schools you have designated.
AMCAS application opens on or around May 1
AMCAS application opens for submission on or around June 1
AMCAS initial data submission happens on or around June 25
See FACTS: Applicants, Matriculants and Enrollment US Medical School Applicants Data for comprehensive data and statistics about U.S. medical school applicants.
Sections of the AACOMAS Application
The AMCAS application process is quite long and takes time. There will be Biographical, Family, and Personal Information sections that will require facts and details of your life. There is the Personal Statement section, which contains the essay for the application. Everyone is required to submit an essay. This essay should be done very carefully and proofread several times. There will also be Work Experience, Extracurricular, Volunteer, and Community Service sections that will allow each applicant to describe these sort of activities they have done since the start of college (do not include anything from high school). Next, there is a section where you can mention any Award, Honors, Scholarships achieved during college or after. Your MCAT, transcripts scores, and letters of recommendation will be added to your application profile. You can get forms off the application site to give to the Registrar for your grades and to the people writing your letters. Lastly, you will also have to complete a Colleges and Coursework section and pick the schools you want to submit your application to.
Letters of Recommendation
To request letters you need to complete the: Gustavus Letter of Recommendation Online System
Use the AMCAS “Transcript Request Form”, available within the AMCAS application, when requesting from the registrar that official transcripts be sent to AMCAS. You must submit a college transcript from ALL colleges attended (including post secondary option courses, summer school classes, and even courses from which you withdrew).
Following completion of your initial application through AMCAS (or non-AMCAS schools), most medical schools will send secondary applications to the applicants they deem competitive. In general, the materials requested include: a “pre-medical committee letter”; essays that answer additional questions posed by the individual medical schools; and supportive letters from employers, friends, and/or people in the medical professions. You should plan to have all this information completed and returned by the November 15th deadline.
For example, the University of MN - Duluth Supplemental Application has asked the following:
- Given the goals of this school, please justify why you should be accepted for the next entering class.
- Describe your participation in any health care or social care activities.
- What do you feel are some of the more important responsibilities of a physician?
- Describe a crisis situation in your life. How did you deal with it and how did it affect you?
- Describe your experiences in a rural setting.
- Briefly describe your career plans in the event that you do not attend medical school.
If all goes well, you’ll have an opportunity to interview at some of your selected medical schools from October through March of your senior year. Plan on financing trips to these schools, as you are responsible for all costs of transportation and lodging. Because the interviews occur during the academic year, it will necessitate making arrangements with your professors regarding absence from class.
U of M shortcourse: Interviewing for a Health Profession
Get interview feedback from students interviewing at various Medical Schools through the Student Doctor Network.
Interview Stream is a great place to practice.
Notification of Acceptance
November to May is the typically timeline for notification.
*Special Note: for those who decide to apply following their senior year of college, their timeline will just be shifted accordingly. There is NO disadvantage to applying later than your junior or senior year… many of our current students in medical school have done just that. Sometimes it is advantageous to acquire more experience, and giving yourself an extra year(s) can often allow this to happen.
Updated 4/2/2014 HB