Applying to Medical School

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An overview of the medical school application process.

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How do I start the application process?

To apply to most medical schools in the United States, you will need to use the AAMC’s centralized application processing service, the American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®).

The AMCAS program collects, verifies, and delivers application information and MCAT® exam scores to each school you choose. The AMCAS program does not make admissions decisions; each participating school is responsible for making its own individual admissions decisions.

To apply to an MD program at a public medical school in Texas, you will need to apply using the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS).

How much does it cost?

There is an application fee to process your application and this includes one medical school designation. For each additional medical school selection there is a separate cost. For all current AMCAS application fees visit the AMCAS website and review the information below the “AMCAS Application Fees” subheading. AMCAS fees may vary from year to year.

Applicants in need of financial aid may apply to the AAMC Fee Assistance Program. Fee Assistance Program awardees receive a waiver for AMCAS fees (for up to 20 medical schools), reduced registration fees for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), and more.

What is a secondary application?

This is an additional school-specific application completed after a medical school receives your primary application. It helps explain why you’re interested in that particular institution; how your goals, experiences, and plans align with their mission and goals; and how/what you would contribute and develop as a learner at that institution. Basically, it’s an opportunity to answer the question, “Why this school?” A secondary application will likely have an associated application fee. Fees and required forms will vary from school to school.

Will I need to interview?

Most medical schools require an interview, though the process varies by school. Interviews can take place on or off campus. They can be conducted by one admissions committee member, by multiple members of the committee, or by off-campus interviewers, such as practicing physicians. Generally, the interviewers complete evaluations that are added to the rest of your application materials.

We have more information on interviewing on our website, and in The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions as well as the Medical School Admission Requirements™ website.

What is the timeline for applying?

The AMCAS application typically opens during the first week of May each year for the following year’s medical school class. Since AMCAS submission doesn’t open until the first week of June, you’ll have about a month to begin working on your application before you can submit it. You’ll begin the application process in the spring in order to begin medical school in the fall of the following year.

For specific application dates and deadlines, visit the Medical School Admission Requirements, the AMCAS website, and the websites of your potential medical schools.

How do I choose the right medical school for me?

U.S. medical schools offer a variety of excellent educational experiences in a variety of settings. Some schools, whether public or private, vary in size, curriculum, and character. To find out which schools might best meet your needs and goals, you can read more on deciding where to apply and use the Medical School Admission Requirements.

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