Applying to Medical School

An overview of the medical school application process.

How do I start the application process?

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

AMCAS collects, verifies, and delivers application information and MCAT® exam scores to each school you choose. AMCAS 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 use the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS).

What is a secondary application?

Schools often request additional information from applicants in the form of a supplemental, secondary application. This may include a request for letters of recommendation, an essay, and additional forms. A secondary application will likely have an associated application fee. Fees and required forms vary from school to school.

How much does it cost?

For the 2017 application cycle, the AMCAS processing fee is $160, which includes one medical school. Additional medical schools may be added at a cost of $38 each. AMCAS fees are subject to change.

Applicants with financial need may apply to the Fee Assistance Program (FAP) offered by the AAMC. Fee Assistance Program awardees receive a waiver for AMCAS fees (for up to 16 medical schools), reduced registration fees for the Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®), and more. Visit the Fee Assistance Program website for application requirements and additional benefit information.

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.

For more information on interviewing, see The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions.

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 are public and some are private, and they vary in size, curriculum, and character. To find out which schools might best meet your needs and goals, begin by consulting the AAMC’s The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions and reading Deciding Where to Apply.

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