Before you start filling in your electronic medical school application, be aware that you will need to gather a few things.
- Your official high school transcript
- Your personal statement
- A record of all of your extracurricular activities including the dates you participated in them and a description of what you did
- Your MCAT score
You will want to start gathering this stuff around April of the application year to stay on track.
The Primary Application for MDs
The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)
AMCAS is the centralized application processing service for U.S. medical schools of allopathic medicine. In addition to completing the general AMCAS application, you will also need to submit the appropriate supporting materials to AMCAS. These include your official transcripts, MCAT score transcripts, letters of recommendation and personal statement. After completing an online application on the AMCAS website, submitting the appropriate supporting materials and paying a fee, AMCAS verifies the components of your application and forwards it to the allopathic medical schools of your choosing.
We recommend that you submit your primary application during June of the application year – i.e. the year before you plan to start medical school. You can begin inputting your details into MCAS starting in May
The Primary Application for DOs
The American Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS)
AACOMAS is the centralized, online application service for U.S. schools of osteopathic medicine. Similar to AMCAS, you complete one application to AACOMAS and send it with the required supportive materials (same as above) to the AACOMAS service. Once submitted, AACOMAS verifies your application for accuracy and forwards it along with the rest of your supportive materials to the osteopathic medical schools you select through their site.
An important thing to realize about AMCAS and AACOMAS is that they are not directly involved in the admission decision-making process. Instead, these services act as intermediaries between applicants and medical school admissions committees. They simply streamline the application process by requiring you to only submit one set of application materials.
Read the next section of our Definitive Guide to Becoming a Doctor —>