Most health professional schools utilize a centralized application service. These centralized application services provide standardized information to each of their participating health professional schools based on the submission of the primary application.
Most allopathic medical (M.D.) schools belong to a centralized application service known as the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), commonly referred to as the primary application, which allows applicants to apply through one initial application online.
Note: Some individual health professional schools do not participate in a central application service. You must contact and apply to each of these schools directly. For a list of non-participating programs, please visit the links above.
Example of AMCAS:
AMCAS Window of Submission: June 1st – Nov. 1st
Nine Sections of AMCAS Primary Application:
Once applicants submit their primary application, each professional school will notify the applicant directly regarding the need for any additional material. Some schools screen the primary application before sending the secondary; others send a secondary automatically. Note: Do not procrastinate! Completing your secondary applications, and making arrangements for your letters of recommendation to be submitted, should be a top priority once applicants have submitted their application. Numerous strong applicants are disappointed each year because they failed to follow through with supplemental applications in a timely manner.
The Secondary Application consists of:
Upon completion of secondary applications, applicants who are of the greatest interest to schools are contacted to arrange for campus visits and interviews. Admissions interviews are conducted by admission committee members including admission staff, medical students,and physicians. An admissions interview is the last stage of the application cycle.
Applicants are notified of an admission decision shortly after an interview. Admission offers can range from immediate acceptance, placement on a "wait" or "alternate" list, or a decision of non-acceptance.
AAMC-member medical schools agree to abide by a uniform set of recommendations to govern the process of accepting first-year students. These are referred to as “traffic rules.” Please see Traffic Rules for Applicants: AAMC Recommendations for Medical School and M.D.-Ph.D. Candidates; American Dental Education Assocation (ADEA) Traffic Rules.
Once accepted to a medical or dental school, the applicant is to "withdraw" his or her application from any school they do not wish to attend via written correspondence and accept an offer of admission to only one medical or dental school if no admission deferment is desired.