Criminal Background Check Service

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The AAMC-facilitated Criminal Background Check Service is conducted to help medical schools procure appropriate national criminal history reports.

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The Association of American Medical Colleges recommends that all U.S. medical schools procure a national background check on applicants upon their conditional acceptance to medical school. This is to ascertain the ability of accepted applicants to eventually become licensed physicians in the future, enhance the safety and well-being of patients, and to ensure the public's continuing trust in the medical profession.

Medical schools that participate in the AAMC-facilitated Criminal Background Check Service may require applicants to undergo a separate national background check process, if required to do so by their own institutional regulations or by applicable state law. Medical schools not participating in this service may also require applicants to undergo a separate national background check process.

Participating Medical Schools

To determine if a school participates in the AAMC-facilitated Criminal Background Check Service, visit the AMCAS® Participating Medical Schools and Deadlines page. Please note, that this list is subject to change.

Background Check Process

Certiphi Screening, Inc. will procure a background report on early decision program applicants once they are accepted and on all other applicants at the point of acceptance after January 1.

Once you have provided consent via email, Certiphi Screening, Inc. will procure a national background check on you. Once the report is complete, you will be able to review the report prior to its distribution to your designated medical schools.

  • You will have ten (10) calendar days from the date you receive your background check report to review it before it is made available to your designated, participating medical schools. If you do not review this report, the report will be distributed after this period elapses.
  • You will be provided with an opportunity to contest the contents of the report within the specified ten (10) calendar day period.
  • Review the criminal history searches that will be conducted during the background check process.

Once you have reviewed and released this report, or after the specified ten (10) calendar day period has elapsed, the report procured on you will be made available to the participating medical school(s) who offered an acceptance and initiated the request for this report.

If you have submitted an AMCAS application to a criminal background check participating school, you may obtain a preliminary background report prior to the request and release of the background report to participating institutions by visiting Application Station and entering the code CERTAP2025.

Applicants are responsible for the discounted cost of the preliminary background report, which is $71, plus any fees for international research. For more information contact Certiphi Screening's Applicant Services team at (800) 803-9582 or

Additional Notes

  • The preliminary background report is for your information only and will not be made available to any school participating in the AMCAS background check program.
  • Upon your initial, conditional acceptance to an additional participating medical school, the report will be made available to additional participating school(s) offering the acceptance after January 1.
  • The report procured during this process will not be released to any party other than the medical schools requesting this report. On the report, history including infractions and juvenile records will be displayed to the applicant but medical schools vary on the content they can and will view.

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The 2025 AMCAS application is now open. If you wish to start medical school in Fall 2025, please complete and submit the 2025 AMCAS application.

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