Coronavirus (COVID-19) and AMCAS
Updated: November 5, 2020
Attention: 2021 AMCAS Cycle Update
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. Please review the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) and Participating Medical Schools and Deadlines for updates provided by medical schools.
Prior to the start of the 2021 cycle, AMCAS provided additional transcript delivery options for institutions. This resulted in a high number of duplicate transmissions and significantly increased the number of transcripts for processing. Due to this increase in transcript submissions, processing timelines have been modified. Please review transcript processing timelines and the transcript FAQs below for more information.
Data transmission to medical schools began July 10. AMCAS staff are diligently working to process applications in a timely manner. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the verification process may take up to eight weeks once your application reaches “Ready for Review.”
2021 Application Cycle
Our Services Contact Center (SCC) is available at email@example.com or (202) 828-0600. They are experiencing higher than expected call volume and working diligently to answer your inquiries as quickly as possible and ask for your patience. Due to the increased volume of inquiries, please allow 10-15 business days for a response. We recommend checking transcript processing timelines and referencing the transcript processing tool before contacting the SCC for the status of your transcript.
We have identified an issue with transmission of Parchment transcripts to AMCAS from some institutions. If your institution uses Parchment as a vendor, please wait 15 business days for it to be marked “Received.” After this time, if your transcript is not marked “Received,” please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
Email Subject: Parchment Transcript Issue
My transcripts sent by Parchment have not been marked as received and it has been over 15 business days.
- What institution/school was it sent from?
- When was it sent?
If your transcript is past the posted AMCAS status date, please contact your registrar to confirm the date the original transcript was sent to AMCAS. Reference the transcript processing tool for a timeline of when AMCAS should have marked your transcript as “Received.” If your electronic or mailed transcript is past the corresponding “Latest processing date” on the chart, you should discuss with your registrar your options to have the transcript resent. You will receive an email once your transcript is processed and has been marked “Received.”
Subject: Transcript Issue
- Vendor or delivery method
- Institution/school sending transcript
- How many business days have passed from the date sent (not the date requested)
Please have your registrar contact email@example.com with the subject line “Instructions” for email instructions. If you are submitting a request through a third-party vendor that is requesting an email, please use firstname.lastname@example.org. If you had your transcript sent to email@example.com, transcripts cannot be accepted to this email address and must be resent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mailed transcripts are being received and processed by AMCAS. Paper transcripts should be mailed to AMCAS along with an AMCAS Pre-barcoded Transcript Request Form to help us match your transcript(s) to your application. This form is found within the application. Mail paper transcripts to: AMCAS, attn: Transcripts, AAMC Medical School Application Services, P.O. Box 57326, Washington, DC 20037.
Please note, if sent by U.S. mail, most transcripts take approximately 10 calendar days to arrive at AMCAS from your institution. In general, it takes approximately 15 business days from the day your transcript(s) arrived at our facilities for us to process them and mark them as “Received.” You will receive an email from AMCAS once your transcripts are processed.
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.
Mailed transcripts take longer to receive and process than other methods. If possible, please have your registrar contact email@example.com for email or fax instructions.
Medical schools are aware of these issues and are taking them into consideration. AMCAS has worked 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.
Transcript processing begins once your transcripts are delivered to AMCAS. It can take up to 15 days for your transcript to be processed once downloaded. Please review transcript processing timelines for more information.
Please send an email to the Services Contact Center at firstname.lastname@example.org with the below information and allow 10-15 business days for the request to be processed.
If attached to the incorrect application cycle year:
Subject: Transcript attached to the incorrect application cycle year
I am requesting that my transcript be moved from AY 2020 to AY 2021
- AAMC ID
- Applicant name
- Date transcript was sent
For a transcript attached to the incorrect school:
Subject: Transcript attached to incorrect school
- AAMC ID
- Applicant name
- Institution/school applied to
- Institution/school it should be moved to
- Date transcript was sent
Due to August 1 falling on a Saturday, the EDP deadline is Monday, August 3 for the 2021 cycle. We are continuing to work with the admissions community to determine if changes need to be made to AMCAS cycle dates later in the year. Some medical schools have made the decision to not offer an EDP this cycle. Please reference the AMCAS EDP website to monitor if changes were made (you can also use Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) to determine which schools offer EDP).
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, the Participating Medical Schools and Deadlines, and Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) online-database for updates.
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.
AMCAS Application and Operations
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. As a result of coronavirus restrictions, the verification process may take up to eight weeks once your application reaches “Ready for Review.” We will post updates of processing timing on our website.
Please refer to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and The MCAT Exam for updates and more details about the evolving changes related to the MCAT exam. Regardless of when you test, your MCAT scores will be automatically added to your AMCAS application. You can submit your AMCAS application without MCAT scores. Medical schools are aware of the MCAT cancellations and adjusting their application review processes.
Once you have submitted your application and all transcripts are received, verification may take up to 8 weeks.
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.
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 Medical School Admission Requirements (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.
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.
Medical Schools Processes
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 Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) and/or the medical schools’ websites to confirm the requirements for each school to which you are applying.
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.
The AAMC has provided resources to medical schools on conducting interviews during the coronavirus pandemic, though this is determined by each school. Applicants can also reference the Virtual Interview Tips for Medical School Applicants (PDF). Please contact the medical school to discuss their policies and procedures for moving forward with interviews.