- You should complete sections one, two, and three in May. Once you complete these two sections, AMCAS staff will know which transcripts to expect. This will facilitate processing of your application. It is important to have transcripts sent to AMCAS as soon as you can after spring grades are listed.
- You need transcripts from every college at which you have taken classes, including college courses taken during high school if a college transcript is available for the courses. Print out the official AMCAS transcript request forms (available on the main menu of the application), send them to the registrar(s) office(s) at every college/university where you have taken a course, and request that the form is included and mailed to AMCAS along with the official transcript.
- Transcript exemptions are granted for courses taken during the academic year at Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore and the University of Pennsylvania through the four college consortial program.
- Procedures for reporting study abroad courses differ significantly depending upon the study abroad program and the specific application service.
Most medical schools participate in a centralized common application service that provides an online application, collects transcripts in order to verify academic information, and calculates standardized GPA.
Once an applicant's information is verified, the processed medical school application is made available electronically to each medical school where the applicant has applied.
There are three major centralized common application services:
- American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)
- centralized application service for most allopathic (M.D.) medical schools.
- American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Services (AACOMAS)
- centralized application service for osteopathic (D.O.) medical schools
- Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Services (TMDSAS)
- centralized application service for the Texas state allopathic or osteopathic medical schools
The application and the annual AMCAS Instruction Manual (available in early May), will provide you with necessary instructions. Read the instructions thoroughly. Plan to submit your completed application in June regardless of when you plan to take the MCAT exam. You will have a better chance of admittance to schools with rolling admissions if you submit your application in June or early July.
The following are tips to help with the AMCAS primary application (the other applications are very similar).
MD-PhD Applicants: If you are interested in applying to MD-PhD Programs, refer to the MD-PhD page on the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) website.
Sections One, Two, and Three: Identifying Information; Schools Attended; and Biographic Information
Section Four: Course Work
- Applicants should list all official grades and credit units exactly as they appear on the issuing institution transcript. (Haverford courses should be listed as one credit on the application).
- The centralized medical school application service calculates GPAs that standardize differences in grading systems across universities. An undergraduate science and math GPA and an overall undergraduate GPA are calculated. The selection of courses included in these calculations differs for each application.
- The overall undergraduate GPA includes all undergraduate level courses taken by the applicant, including undergraduate courses taken during high school, summers, or after graduation from college.
Section Five: Work and Activities
- You are limited to a maximum of 15 experiences. Length of space to describe each experience is limited to 700 characters (including spaces and punctuation).
- You will be asked to identify up to 3 of those 15 experiences that are the most meaningful to you, and write a 1,325 character essay (including spaces and punctuation) about each experience. The prompt is: "This is your opportunity to summarize why you have selected this experience as one of your most meaningful. In your remarks, you might consider the transformative nature of the experience: the impact you made while engaging in the experience, and the personal growth you experienced as a result of your participation."
Section Six: Letters of Evaluation
- You should list Jodi Domsky, Coordinator of Health Professions Advising as the Contact/Author for your committee letter. Do not list the letters of recommendation in the packet individually on your primary application. Your committee letter from Haverford will be a single PDF that includes both a copy of your committee letter and all of the other recommendation letters that you requested. Later in the application, you must select the schools to which you are applying, and then assign your Committee Letter to each individual school.
- We will upload a PDF of your pre-medical committee letter directly to AMCAS sometime during the summer.
- AMCAS will process your application regardless of whether or not your committee letter has been uploaded.
- Section Seven: Medical Schools
Section Eight: Essay(s)
The essay/personal statement is your opportunity to convey a personal perspective to admissions committees on your experiences, motivation, achievements, and passion for medicine. You should reflect upon what you have learned from your experiences; the narrative should reveal your values and personal attributes through the telling of your story and your individual journey. The statement is your opportunity to provide a mature and deeper context to your background and motivation for pursuing a career in medicine.
For the AMCAS statement you are allowed a maximum of 5,300 characters (including spaces and punctuation); it is approximately one full page single spaced. Do not underestimate the time and effort required to write the personal statement.
MD-PhD Applicants: If you indicate that you will be applying to a school’s MD-PhD program, you will be required to submit two additional statements:
- The MD-PhD essay in which you state your reasons for wishing to pursue the combined MD-PhD degree: 3000 character limit (including spaces and punctuation).
- An essay describing your significant research experiences: 10,000 character limit (including spaces and punctuation).
Section 9: Standardized Tests
- Your MCAT scores are automatically released to AMCAS. You should submit your application in June whether or not you have taken the MCAT or the MCAT scores have been released yet.