The Primary Application: Health Professional Central Application Services
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.
- Similarly, applicants may apply to all but one of the osteopathic medical schools through a separate online application service--American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS).
- All medical schools in Texas (MD and DO) are a part of a third application service,--Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service(TMDSAS).
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.
Beginning First Week of June: Submit Primary Application
Example of AMCAS:
AMCAS Window of Submission: June 1st – Nov. 1st
Nine Sections of AMCAS Primary Application:
- 1. Identifying Information
- 2. Schools Attended
- 3. Biographic Information
- 4. Course Work
- 5. Work/Activities
- 6. Letters of Recommendation
- 7. Medical Schools
- 8. Personal Statement
- 9. Standardized Tests
- -Medical and dental school applicants have the choice to apply through the Early Decision Program (EDP) This allows an applicant to file an application by an earlier date. Students file an application to one school, usually by August 1st, and are guaranteed an admission decision by October 1st. If you plan to apply as an EDP candidate, you may not apply to any other medical school prior to being informed of the school's decision; and, if offered admission, you must accept the offer. If not accepted, you are immediately placed in the regular applicant pool at that school, and you will be able to apply to any other schools of your choice. The EDP option is beneficial to applicants who are certain of their choice of schools, as well as those who meet and exceed admissions criteria of a particular program.
- -Remember to request official transcripts from EVERY school you have attended post-high school and forward to AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS, etc.
- -Most health professional schools follow a rolling admissions schedule. Rolling admission means that offers for interview and admission are made continuously through the application cycle. Schools do not wait until all of their application deadlines have passed prior to reviewing completed applications. In theory, completed applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first served basis. Submitting all the elements of the application early in the application cycle has distinct advantages. Completing the primary application early will improve your chances of being invited for interviews and being accepted by schools that use a rolling admission process.
July-September: Supplemetal (Secondary) Applications
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:
- -Additional biographic information
- -Short answer statements and essays
- -Letters of recommendation
- -Application fees
September- April: Admissions Interviews
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.