Frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS®) application process. For more detailed FAQs on the AMCAS Letter of Evaluation process including information for letter authors please visit the AMCAS How to Apply section of the site.
Early Decision Program
What is the Early Decision Program?
The Early Decision Program gives you the opportunity to secure an acceptance from one Early Decision Program-participating medical school by October 1*, while still allowing sufficient time to apply to other schools if you are not accepted.
For the AMCAS Application Cycle the Early Decision Program is:
- AMCAS: August 1* (application and official transcripts)
- Non-AMCAS: contact the medical school admissions office or refer to the Medical School Admission Requirements website.
If your application is received by the stated deadline, but one or any of your transcripts are late, you will not meet the Early Decision Program deadline. You may still apply to the regular applicant pool.
The Early Decision Program is generally a restricted program, in that applicants may be bound by program agreements and other requirements directly from the respective medical school. To apply through the Early Decision Program, you must:
- Apply to only one U.S. medical school by the stated deadline date (August 1* for AMCAS participating schools). You may not apply through the Early Decision Program if you have already submitted an initial or secondary application (AMCAS or non-AMCAS) to a U.S. medical school or a M.D. degree program for the current entering class;
- Provide the school with all required supplemental information by the stated deadline date (August 1* for AMCAS participating schools);
NOT submit additional application(s) (AMCAS or non-AMCAS) until:
- receipt of an Early Decision Program rejection; or
- receipt of a formal release from the Early Decision Program commitment; or
- the October 1* notification deadline passes. Contact your Early Decision Program school if you have not been notified of your status by October 1*.
- Familiarize yourself and comply with the school-specific Early Decision Program policies and agreements of the program to which you were accepted, including any school-specific impacts if you decide to change programs types and apply to other medical schools.
All Early Decision Program applicants accepted by a medical school must adhere to the tenets of the Early Decision Program. This includes, but is not limited to, applicants accepted to the current entering class, delayed matriculants from a previous entering class, and all other applicants who are required by the medical school to submit an Early Decision application to the current entering class. Medical Schools agree:
- To notify Early Decision Program applicants of admission decisions by October 1*; and
- To defer applicants to the regular applicant pool, if appropriate.
*If August 1 or October 1 falls on a weekend/holiday, the deadline will apply to the next business day.
How do I designate additional schools once I've been released from my Early Decision Program agreement?
Should you receive either a rejection or a formal release from an Early Decision Program commitment, follow these instructions to designate additional schools:
- After entering your username and password, visit the Medical Schools section of your AMCAS application;
- Choose the Edit option for the school you have designated as your Early Decision Program designation;
- Change your selection of the type of program to which you are applying from Early Decision to Regular, then click Next;
- Designate additional school(s) per instructions provided on the screen and in Help;
- Visit the Change Notification Process section of your application, then click Submit on page one of this section;
- Select the applicable Early Decision Program release option from the provided selections, then certify the Early Decision Program release statement and click Accept;
- Re-certify and officially update your application by clicking on the Resubmit Application button on the Main Menu to save your changes.