Coronavirus (COVID-19) and AMCAS

The AAMC continues to monitor guidance about the coronavirus from the CDC and WHO and we are modifying our operations as needed to best support the medical school community during this rapidly changing situation. Below please find answers to some of our most common questions. Please contact medical schools directly about changes to their specific dates, policies, and requirements.

Updated: May 27, 2020

Attention: 2021 AMCAS Cycle Update

Submission to AMCAS will open on May 28. AMCAS staff will be diligently working to process applications in a timely manner. As a result of coronavirus restrictions, the verification process may take up to eight weeks once your application reaches “Ready for Review.”

The 2021 AMCAS application is open and data transmission to medical schools has been delayed two weeks. This transmission delay – moving from June 26 to July 10 – will give applicants additional time to complete their applications during this rapidly changing situation. 

The AAMC has been working closely with the medical school admissions and pre-health advisor communities to consider the impacts on applicants due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Medical schools are aware of the many challenges applicants are facing and understand the need to be flexible in their admissions approach during this application cycle. 

2020 and 2021 Application Cycles

At this time, for the 2021 application cycle, AMCAS is delaying the transmission of applicant data to medical schools by two weeks to July 10. The AAMC is continuing to monitor guidance from the CDC and WHO and we have processes in place should we need to make additional operational adjustments during this rapidly changing situation. If we anticipate delays in application processing due to our mandatory telework status, we will post an update on processing timing on our website.

At this time, for the 2021 application cycle, AMCAS is delaying the transmission of applicant data to medical schools by two weeks to July 10. We continue to work with the admissions community to determine if further changes need to be made to the 2021 AMCAS application cycle dates as a result of federal policies and closures due to restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. Please check the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) online-database and contact schools directly for school-specific requirements that may have changed.

2020 Application Cycle

At this time, there are no anticipated changes to Application and Acceptance Protocols for Applicants. Please continue to follow school-specific policies and requirements. Additionally, look out for communications from schools about deadlines and requirements.

The timeline of admissions decisions are made by each school. Please contact the school(s) directly about their specific dates, policies, and requirements.

At this time, there are no anticipated changes. Please continue to follow school-specific policies and requirements. Additionally, look out for communications from schools about deadlines and requirements.

The orientation dates are determined by each school. Please contact the school(s) directly about their specific dates, policies, and requirements.

2021 Application Cycle

The AAMC is carefully monitoring and assessing the rapidly changing environment caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). One element of our assessment includes discussing the impact with the medical school admissions community and external companies such as Pearson VUE – who owns the testing centers where the MCAT is administered – and reviewing applicant comments. We will provide updates as quickly as possible. Please refer to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and The MCAT Exam for updates and more details about the evolving changes related to the MCAT exam.

At this time, AMCAS is delaying the transmission of applicant data to medical schools by two weeks to July 10. We continue to work with the admissions community to determine if further changes need to be made to AMCAS cycle dates. Please continue to monitor school-specific websites regarding their deadlines and requirements for the upcoming cycle.

At this time, a decision has not been made to change the Early Decision Program (EDP) deadline. We are working with the admissions community to determine if changes need to be made to AMCAS cycle dates. Please reference the AMCAS EDP website to monitor if changes are made (you can use MSAR to determine which schools offer EDP).

Applicants are encouraged to reference school-specific grading requirements for the most current information. Additionally, there are tools and resources available to assist medical schools, applicants, and pre-health advisors understand the potential impact of alternative grading policies on applicants’ cumulative and Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math (BCPM) GPAs:

  • AMCAS developed a resource to provide a comparison of an applicant with letter grades against pass/fail grades to understand how the pass/fail grade may impact a GPA calculation, which is available here.
  • The AMCAS GPA calculator, which is available here.
  • The 2021 AMCAS applicant opening cycle webinar recording and slides.

AMCAS is working with the medical schools to address these issues. The AMCAS Advisory Committee is encouraging schools to be flexible and take these challenges into consideration when reviewing applications this cycle and screening for applicants. Please also check MSAR and/or the medical schools’ websites to confirm the requirements for each school to which you are applying.

There will not be a question about the impact of COVID-19 on the AMCAS application. Medical schools that would like additional information have been encouraged to include this in their secondary application.

Admissions committees in medical schools nationwide are aware that there may be difficulties and delays in completing letters of recommendations and committee letters to support your application. The AAMC has encouraged schools to take these challenges into consideration when reviewing applications this cycle, as well as look at their school-specific policies and requirements and plan to adjust as needed. Please review school-specific policies on MSAR and/or on each school’s website to confirm requirements. We suggest you reach out to schools directly if you have questions about their policies. Please note: We do not expect an impact to the AMCAS Letter Writer Application and Interfolio does not anticipate any disruptions of services due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Medical schools are aware of these issues and are taking them into consideration. AMCAS is working with the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) to understand challenges related to transcript delivery. Most schools have indicated transcript delivery should not be impacted. If you believe there will be delays with your transcript(s) from your institution(s), please contact the institution(s) directly to clarify their process and timeline. 

We encourage all schools to submit electronic transcripts, though AMCAS continues to accept official paper transcripts from all institutions. Visit your institution's website for more information and/or guidance on changes to their processes. Paper copies will be processed upon receipt, however, please note that there may be a delay.

The AAMC has provided resources to medical schools on conducting interviews during the coronavirus pandemic, though this is determined by each school. Please contact the medical school to discuss their policies and procedures for moving forward with interviews.

We understand prospective applicants are facing challenges in completing experiences such as physician shadowing and volunteer work during this semester. The AMCAS Advisory Committee has encouraged schools to take these challenges into consideration when reviewing applications this cycle and screening for applicants. Please check directly with the medical schools to which you are applying to confirm their requirements.

MSAR Advisor Reports that are usually unavailable to applicants are now “unlocked” and available to all applicants. Due to the current situation, reports typically provided to some pre-health advisors are now available to help quickly disseminate information as it is updated by AAMC-member medical schools. Reports will be updated and republished regularly as medical schools update their profiles to reflect evolving policies, dates, or procedures. Please review MSAR profiles and individual medical schools’ websites for the most current information. Additionally, MSAR will expand eligibility requirements to be based on the purchase date.