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Basics of the Primary Medical School Application

Tino Mkorombindo is a third year MD/MBA candidate at the University of Louisville School of Medicine/College of Business. You can follow him on instagram, twitter, or linkedin.

Congratulations! You are now preparing to overcome a crucial step in the journey to becoming a physician! Here we will discuss what you need to know to make the process of applying to medical school simpler, cheaper, and less stressful. Allopathic Medical School (M.D. Degree) Applications are submitted to the American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®) or  The Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service. You can also find more information about applying to Osteopathic Medical Schoo (D.O. Degree)l Programs here.  

For Allopathic Medical Schools, you must submit your payment at the time of AMCAS application submission. The application officially opens May 1, and applicants can begin submitting applications to medical schools on May 30. Early decision program transcripts and submitted applications are due August. 1. Your application must be submitted to AMCAS (not processed) by 11:59 p.m. ET to meet the deadline. AMCAS does not grant deadline extensions for any reason. All the other application deadlines are set by the medical schools. You can find individual medical school deadlines here. You can also utilize the “Choose Your Medical School” tool to determine where you want to apply.

The most recent processing fee is $170, which includes one medical school designation. Additional medical school designations are $40 each. If eligible, you can apply for the Fee Assistance Program to help. It allows students to apply to up to 20 schools for free and receive other benefits for the medical school application process. To qualify, a student’s household can earn up to 300% of the federal poverty level established by the Department of Health and Human Services. The federal poverty level for a family of four is $25,750.

You can ONLY pay online by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). AMCAS will not accept any offline payments, including checks, money orders, or credit card information sent via mail, fax, email, or telephone.

Many of the frequently asked questions about the application process are addressed by the AMCAS programs here. They provide beneficial tools and tutorials that are worth exploring as well as a helpful calendar for applicants. A complete guide for applications is available.

Sections on the AMCAS Application: 
  1. Identifying information
  2. Schools attended:
  3. Biographical information:
  4. Course Work:
  5. Work/Activities
  6. Letters of Evaluation:
  7. Medical schools
  8. Essay(s)
  9. Standardized tests
Certifying and submitting your application:

 Before you submit your application, be sure to proofread it carefully. The AMCAS recommends using the “Print Application” feature and proofreading a hard copy of your application. Once your application has been submitted, only the areas listed below can be revised. More information about this can be found here

  • ID Numbers.
  • Name, including Full Legal Name, Preferred Name, and Alternate Names.
  • Contact Information, including Permanent and Preferred Mailing Addresses.
  • Alternate Contact Information.
  • Date of Birth, Birth Address, and Sex.
  • Letters of Evaluation (only additions of up to 10 letters and notifying AMCAS of a letter no longer being sent).
  • Next MCAT testing date.
  • Add Medical Schools and change existing Program type (deadlines, fees, and restrictions apply).
  • Release application information to your prehealth advisor.

To submit your application, you must agree to a series of statements, which take the place of a legal signature. This signifies that you have read this information and appropriately followed the instructions in the application.

The Verification Process

After you certify and submit your application and transcription, your application will be placed in line for processing. The AMCAS staff will then verify your application to ensure content is as stated. After it’s verified, they will return the application to you, and you will check it for any errors. You must then click the “Resubmit Application” button on the Main Menu of the application to officially update and save any changes you make after your initial submission. If you do not officially resubmit the application, your changes will not be saved. Processing typically takes up to 6 weeks. The earlier you submit your application (closer to opening day on May 30), the shorter your processing time will be.

It is your responsibility to check the status of your application regularly; you can do so by clicking on the “Details” link on the Main Menu of the Application. 

Withdrawing your application

You have the option to withdraw your AMCAS application from consideration.  Please note that withdrawing your application is FINAL. Once you do so, you can no longer apply for the current application year, and the $170 application fee is non-refundable. You will receive back your payment for each school whose deadline has not passed. If you need to withdraw your application from consideration after your AMCAS application has been processed, you will need to contact the medical schools directly.

To withdraw, you must do so online by selecting “Withdraw Application” from the right side of the main menu. This option is only available after submission when your application is in the following statuses: Submitted to AMCAS-Ready for Review, Submitted to AMCAS–Waiting for Transcripts, and Returned. You can not withdraw your application in the following statuses: Submitted to AMCAS-Under Review or AMCAS Processing Complete. 

More information on the process can be found here! Comment below or contact us if you have any questions!

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