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AMCAS Communications February 2014

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1 AMCAS Communications February 2014
The 2015 AMCAS® Application AMCAS Communications February 2014

2 In this presentation… AMCAS Application How does AMCAS work?
2015 Application Dates & Participation The AMCAS Application Sections of the Application After Submission Verification Post-Submission Changes Criminal Background Checks Multiple Acceptance Data Fee Assistance Program More Resources for Applying In this presentation we’ll talk about the AMCAS process in general, we’ll cover important dates for the 2015 application, and then we’ll walk through the application itself. We’ll also go over what happens after you submit your application. At the end, I’ll cover additional resources that may be helpful during the application process.

3 How does AMCAS work? Application Submitted Application Processed
Online application completed and submitted to AMCAS Fees paid (or FAP award used) Application Processed All required official transcripts arrive at AMCAS Verification of coursework Calculation of AMCAS GPAs Application Delivered Verified application sent to designated medical schools Letters delivered on a rolling basis MCAT scores automatically received (before or after application is submitted The AMCAS process begins with you completing and submitting the application online. Once all of your required official transcripts are received, your application will join our processing queue where we will verify your coursework and calculate all of the AMCAS GPAs. Letters and transcripts do not have to be received before you may submit your application. Once your application is processed, which takes about 6 weeks during peak season, we’ll deliver the application to the medical schools you selected. Once letters are assigned to medical schools, we’ll send them electronically on a rolling basis.

4 2015 Application Dates Date Event May 1 2015 AMCAS application opens
January 2014 Fee Assistance Program opens April 1 2015 AMCAS Resources released May 1 2015 AMCAS application opens June 3 AMCAS application submission begins June 27 Initial transmission of application data to medical schools August 1 Early Decision Program deadline Sept.-Dec. Application deadlines You should already know that the 2015 AMCAS application is for applicants who will matriculate—or begin medical school—in the fall of During the first week of April, AMCAS Resources—including new video tutorials and the Quick Start Guide—will be available on our website. The AMCAS application will open on May 1st . You’ll be able to submit your application to AMCAS as early as June 3rd—which gives you about a month to work on completing it before submitting it. The first day that AMCAs will begin transmitting application data to medical schools is June 27th, which is the earliest date that you could receive secondary applications.

5 2015 Application Deadlines
Completed application must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET of the deadline date All required official transcripts must be received by AMCAS within 14 calendar days of the application deadline date EDP deadline for application and transcripts is August 1 AMCAS does not grant deadline extensions It’s important to understand exactly what AMCAS means by “deadline”. To qualify for an AMCAS deadline, your completed application must be submitted by 11:59 pm ET of the deadline date, and AMCAS must receive all required official transcripts within 14 calendar days of the application deadline date. Medical school deadlines are available on the AMCAS web site and within the AMCAS application. The majority of deadlines fall between October and December. If you are applying to be considered for an early decision program, your application and all of your official transcripts are due to AMCAS on August 1st. Medical schools also have secondary application deadlines so be sure that you’ve prepared accordingly. Visit:

6 Criminal Background Checks
2015 AMCAS Participation AMCAS Participation Application 143 Schools/Programs All MD granting schools in the United States with the exception of MD programs at Texas public schools AMCAS Letters 141 Schools/Programs See Criminal Background Checks 109 Schools/Programs See All eligible AAMC, LCME-accredited medical schools with the exception of Texas public MD programs participate. Texas Public MD programs have a separate application process, TMDSAS. However, Texas Public MD/PhD programs do participate in AMCAS. In addition, all but two schools receive letters through the AMCAS Letters service. AMCAS also facilitates the criminal background checks on a subset of applicants for many of the participating medical schools, which we’ll talk about in a bit more detail later. For complete participation listings: Application: Letters: CBC:

7 For all of the information you could ever want about AMCAS, visit Sign in for the AMCAS application is in the upper right of the AMCAS home page. Sign in for the 2015 Application will become active on May 1. On the AMCAS homepage you can also find the links to MCAT and the Fee Assistance Program, as well as links to the AMCAS Resources.

8 The AMCAS Application Identifying Information Schools Attended
Biographic Information Course Work Work/Activities Letters of Evaluation Medical Schools Essay(s) Standardized Tests Now, we’ll go ahead and jump into the application. There are 9 sections in the application, and I’ll talk about each one in a bit more detail.

9 Accessing the Application
Use the same username and password that you used for MCAT or the Fee Assistance Program, otherwise click “register” Access the application in the upper right of the AMCAS homepage at Log in using your AAMC account—you already have an AAMC account if you registered for the MCAT, applied to the Fee Assistance Program, or signed into via the web site. If you don’t remember your password, click “Can’t remember.” If you don’t have an AAMC account, click “Register here” to complete registration.

10 Only complete registration if you do not have an AAMC ID number
AAMC Registration Only complete registration if you do not have an AAMC ID number AAMC registration collects your basic information and pre-populates some responses in your AMCAS application. The registration system will complete an automatic check for duplicate registrations. If you are a re-applicant, you should use the same username and password you used in the past.

11 AMCAS Main Menu This is a screenshot of the main menu in the AMCAS application. This page is always just a click away from anywhere in the application by clicking the Main Menu button in the top right. The sections of the application are accessible from the both the horizontal bar at the top and the list in the center of the page. The sections automatically display Complete or Incomplete based on whether all of the required fields in that section of the application have been filled in. The action buttons on the right become active when certain information has been entered into the application. The application’s status is always displayed in the left column and clicking on the Details link will provide more information on what that status means, as well as detailing the status of transcripts and letters.

12 1. Identifying Information
The first section of the application is called “Identifying Information” and is composed of much of the information you entered during registration, including your names, ID numbers, birth information, and sex. Be sure to include any school-issued ID numbers which will help AMCAS match your transcripts to your application when we receive them.

13 2. Schools Attended In the “Schools Attended” section, the second section of the application, you are required to enter information about any post-secondary institutions you have attended, regardless of credit earned or transferred. Full instructions on which schools you must enter are available by clicking “Help” at the top of the screen in the application. These Help icons are scattered throughout the application to assist you along the way.

14 2. Schools Attended In the schools attended section, you’ll also determine which official transcripts are required by AMCAS, and you can request exceptions for those that are not required (although this is rare, as the majority of transcripts are required by AMCAS). A link to a transcript request form, which facilitates proper matching of your transcript to your application, is in this section.

15 2. Schools Attended If you participated in a study abroad program—which to AMCAS means that you were sponsored by a domestic institution and credit has been transferred—then you should carefully read the sections on Study Abroad and Foreign Coursework in the AMCAS Instruction Manual. You should also watch the tutorial on entering study abroad coursework to determine how you should enter this information in your application.

16 2. Schools Attended As in most of the sections of the AMCAS application, when you have entered all of the required information, you can review it on the summary screen before moving on to the next section.

17 3. Biographic Information
The next section, biographic information, is pretty self-explanatory, so we’ll leave it at that.

18 4. Course Work The fourth section of the application is Course Work. This is typically the section that takes the most time to complete. We provide links to our video tutorials that demonstrate how to enter some of the different types of coursework you might have on this page in the application. We also strongly recommend that you request an additional copy of your official transcripts to keep for yourself and use while completing this section of the application. You will see that the schools you entered in section two are shown here in the schools attended box.

19 4. Course Work Use a personal copy of your official transcript to complete this section For each course ever taken at a postsecondary institution, regardless of whether credit was earned, you will fill in information about the course, including: Academic Year and Term, the Year in School, the course number and name, the grade or symbol on the transcript if applicable and the credit hours shown on the transcript, if applicable. You will indicate if there was a lab associated with the course and choose any applicable special course type by using the checkboxes. One note on entering these courses—AMCAS requires applicants to enter the final grades for all attempts at any course that has been repeated, regardless of your institution’s grade forgiveness or covering policies. That means that all grades from all attempts of any course will be factored into your AMCAS GPA. Failure to do so will result in your application being returned to you which, could result in missed deadlines and forfeited fees.

20 4. Course Work Average # of courses entered: 52
On average, applicants enter about 52 courses in this section of the application, from usually 2 or 3 schools. Once you’ve entered all of your courses, you can review them and make edits as necessary on the summary screen. Average # of courses entered: 52 Average # of schools: 2-3

21 5. Work/Activities Maximum of 15 entries
Applicants can enter 3 additional date ranges for repeated activities Maximum of 3 “Most Meaningful” Section 5, “Work and Activities”, is where you have an opportunity to share with medical schools all of your work experiences and activities. You may add up to 15 entries in this section; for most activities, you are required to list a contact person and either an or phone number, so that medical schools may verify this information if they so choose. You may select up to 3 experiences as the “Most Meaningful” where you will be provided with an additional prompt and asked to reflect on the experience in writing.

22 Work/Activities You can now indicate repeated activities
Up to four separate date ranges Future end dates up to the start of the matriculation year (up to August 2015) You will specify the total hours spent on this activity for each date range Work/Activities entries will be shown in the order they are entered within the online application These entries are still sorted by each medical school’s preference during application review You can include repeated experiences so instead of entering a summer job three times, you would enter it once and indicate repeated date ranges for those periods during which you held this position. You can enter up to four separate date ranges for a single experience, and you can also enter future dates up to the start of your potential matriculation year (so for the 2015 cycle, this would be August 2015).

23 6. Letters of Evaluation You can submit your application before your letters are received by AMCAS. The sixth section of the application for you to enter contact information about who will be submitting Letters of Evaluation on your behalf. You will indicate which type of letter will be sent for each letter entry—a committee letter, a letter packet, or an individual letter. Up to 10 letter entries may be added to the application, but that does not mean that medical schools wish to receive 10 letters per applicant. AMCAS allows this many entries to permit you to target specific letters to certain schools if you want to. Most applicants have 2 or 3 letters. Letter packets cannot be broken up once they are received by AMCAS. If you are working with a pre health advisor or a career center to send your letters to AMCAS, you may want to check with them for specific instructions about filling out this section. Remember, you can submit your application before AMCAS gets your letters since they are not required to verify your application.

24 6. Letters of Evaluation You are required to provide contact information for your letter authors. This allows us to pre-populate the Letter Request Form with the appropriate information and the Letter Request Form helps us in matching letters if they are sent by mail.

25 6. Letters of Evaluation Letter Request Form
Applicant’s identifying information AMCAS uses this barcode to attach the letter to the correct application Letter ID and Letter Type The author’s address Methods the author can use to send their letter to AMCAS This is what the letter request form looks like. Full instructions about getting your letter to AMCAS are provided on this form. Please make sure to give this form to your author or the office that will be sending your letter(s) to AMCAS.

26 6. Letters of Evaluation Many medical schools require that letters of evaluation are on official letterhead and bear the signature of the author While AMCAS has no requirements for letters, please bear in mind that many medical schools require that letters be on official letter head and bear the signature of the author—so remind your authors about this formality when you provide them with the letter request form.

27 7. Medical Schools Be sure to select the correct program type and be mindful of program and transcript deadlines In the Medical Schools section, you will select the schools you are applying to. You can find schools by state, deadline date, or program type. Once you select a school, additional information about that institution’s participation in AMCAS Letters and the AAMC-facilitated background checks is displayed (we’ll talk about CBC’s later). The deadline dates are also shown on this screen after you select a school. You won’t be able to select a school if their deadline date has already passed.

28 8. Essay(s) You’ll also complete an Essay section, section eight of the application. You’re provided with 5300 characters—which is about one page—to reflect on why you wish to attend medical school. Feel free to click the Help Text on this page for suggestions of things to think about when writing this statement. We recommend that you type directly into this field and avoid copying and pasting, as formatting problems may occur, and no changes may be made to this section once the application has been submitted. We also recommend that you very carefully proofread your essay before submitting. For those of you applying to an MD/PhD program, you are also required to complete two additional essays—one on your motivations for pursuing an MD/PhD program and one detailing your research experiences.

29 9. Standardized Tests Contact MCAT 202-828-0690
Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm ET Finally, the last section of the application is the Standardized Tests section. MCAT scores are automatically released to AMCAS. If you have already received your score, you should verify that it is captured correctly in your application. You can submit your AMCAS application without MCAT scores, but you should indicate your intended future MCAT testing date and keep that information updated throughout the application process. This is especially important for applicants who already have an MCAT score in their application. Medical schools have no other way of knowing that you intend to take an additional MCAT. If you don’t indicate that you plan to take another test at a future date, they could review your application with the score that is already present in your application and make a decision before they have received a new score. If you are re-taking the MCAT and don’t indicate your upcoming testing date, medical schools may review your application without waiting for your new score.

30 Certification Statement
After completing all the sections of the application, you should submit it. In order to submit, you are required to indicate agreement to the Certification Statement. When you submit your application, you will also have to pay a flat processing fee, as well as a fee for each additional school to which you choose to apply. Fees change with every application cycle, so to find out how much fees are for the 2014 application, please check our website. If you are in need of financial assistance, you should apply for the Fee Assistance Program, which we’ll talk more about near the end of this presentation.

31 After Submission… Verification Post-Submission Changes
Criminal Background Checks Multiple Accept Data Once you’ve submitted your application, there are a few other things that will happen that you should know about—specifically how AMCAS verifies your application, changes you can make, criminal background checks, and acceptance reports.

32 AMCAS Verification Transcripts
Once your application is submitted and all required official transcripts are received, your application will join the verification queue You should consult the AMCAS Instruction Manual and video tutorials to ensure that all coursework is entered accurately Academic Change Requests From date of “Ready to Review” application status, about 6 weeks All Official Transcripts Received Application Submitted Verification Queue The first item is verification. As I mentioned at the beginning of this presentation, you are placed in the verification queue as soon as AMCAS receives all of your required official transcripts and you have submitted the application. You should use the Official Transcript Request form that is generated from within the AMCAS application. Once an application has joined the queue, it could take up to 6 weeks to complete processing, especially during peak submission times, which typically runs from July to September. AMCAS performs a line-by-line comparison of the information that you entered into the application to the information provided on the official transcripts; it’s at this stage of the process that we calculate your AMCAS GPAs. After processing is complete, you have the opportunity to submit an Academic Change Request if you notice that an error has been made to your application during verification. We post weekly updates about processing on Facebook and Twitter, so follow us to keep track of the status of your application. Processing updates are provided on Facebook and Twitter!

33 AMCAS Verification 2014 Application Cycle 2013 Application Cycle
# of business days to complete verification 2013 Application Cycle These graphs show you the peak submission times during the 2013 and 2014 cycles. The shaded portion shows you the time period of the application cycle when it took AMCAS more than 15 business days to complete the verification process for a submitted application. During the last application cycle, some unforeseen delays caused a backlog of applications, which extended verification times. However, verification time depends heavily on the number of applications AMCAS gets and when they are submitted—so these charts are only for reference.

34 Post-Submission Changes
Once your application is submitted you can make changes to limited content of your application using the “Update Application” button. If you need to make a change after your application has been submitted, click on the “Update Application” button that will become available after your application is submitted. There is no processing delay or fee for updating your application—unless you’re adding an additional medical school. For more help with post-submission changes, see our video tutorial available on our website.

35 Post-Submission Changes
Only these items can be updated or changed in your application after it has been submitted: ID Numbers Name Including full legal name, preferred name, and alternate names Contact Information Mailing addresses Alternate contact information Date of birth, birth address, and sex Letters of Evaluation Notification that a letter will no longer be sent Addition of up to 10 letter entries Next MCAT testing date Addition of Medical Schools or changes to existing program types Deadlines, fees, and restrictions apply Release application information to school-designated pre-health advisor Only the items on this list can be updated or changed in your application after it has been submitted: ID Numbers Name, including Full Legal Name, Preferred Name, and Alternate Names Contact Information, including Permanent and Preferred Mailing Addresses Alternate Contact Information Date of Birth, Birth Address, and Sex Letters of Evaluation (although the only elements of this section that can be edited are the addition or removal of up to 10 total letter entries) Next MCAT testing date Adding Medical Schools and changing existing Program Types (deadlines, fees, and restrictions apply) Releasing application information to your school-designated pre-health advisor.

36 Criminal Background Checks
CBC Schedule Participating medical schools have Criminal Background Checks on their accepted or waitlisted applicants facilitated by the AAMC Applicants will receive an notification from our vendor, Certiphi Screening, Inc., initiating the background check Applicants have 10 calendar days to review their report for irregularities, after that time it will automatically be sent to the medical school(s) There is no additional charge to the applicant for this service Application Status CBC Procured Accepted, Early Decision Program Upon Acceptance Accepted, Regular After January 1 Alternate List After May 15, by school’s request only The AAMC recommends criminal background checks on all accepted applicants to assist medical schools in evaluating the ability of an individual to attain appropriate licensing in the future and to ensure trust in the profession of medicine. Criminal background checks are run on applicants accepted into an early decision program as soon as they are accepted. Background checks are run on applicants accepted under regular decision after January 1, and run on a rolling basis if the medical schools’ decisions come after that date, and on applicants placed on an Alternate List after May 15 and only at the request of the medical school. Reports on applicants that have been placed on an alternate list are not visible to the medical school until that applicant is accepted. Applicants have the opportunity to review their criminal background check report before it is sent to medical schools. There is no additional charge to you for this service.

37 Multiple Accept Data Medical schools cannot view the number or names of other schools that you have applied to Medical schools have access to: Multiple Accept Data (February 10) This report allows medical schools to see other schools to which an applicant they have accepted is also currently holding an acceptance decision The National Acceptance Report (April 1) This report lists all applicants with a current Acceptance or Matriculated action Applicants often ask AMCAS if medical schools can see the number and names of other schools they have applied to. The answer is no, medical schools can never see information about the other schools you have applied to. However, beginning February 10 of the application cycle will be able to see Multiple Accept Data. This means that for every applicant a medical school has accepted, they can see at which other schools those applicants are currently holding an acceptance action. Beginning April 1 of the application cycle, medical schools have access to the National Acceptance Report, which lists all applicants with a current Acceptance or Matriculated action. For more information read the AAMC Traffic Rules for Applicants on the AMCAS website. See the Traffic Rules for Applicants for more info

38 2014 Fee Assistance Program
Benefits Reduction of MCAT Registration fee from $275 to $100 Free copy of The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam & access code for The Official MCAT Self-Assessment Package® (if award is used to register for MCAT exam) Free access to MSAR Online Waiver of AMCAS application fees for up to 15 medical schools Benefits are only valid for the calendar year in which the award is granted. Apply: Apply for fee assistance before registering for the MCAT or submitting an AMCAS application. Benefits cannot be applied retroactively. I’d like to take a moment to highlight some important and useful resources you can use while applying. Perhaps most importantly, the AAMC offers the Fee Assistance Program for applicants with financial need. You should complete the fee assistance program application well in advance of when you intended to register for an MCAT testing date or submit your AMCAS application as benefits are not retroactive. Fee assistance awards are valid only for the calendar year in which it has been granted. To start your Fee Assistance application, go to

39 AAMC Resources for Pre-Meds
Aspiring Docs SMDEP MSAR Fee Assistance Program MCAT AMCAS FIRST I encourage you to check out the AAMC’s whole collection of resources for pre-meds. You can access all of these tools and information from our Student Hub, at For updates, information, and more resources to help you on your path to becoming a physician, follow us on and on Facebook at /AAMCPreMed Find information and advice about pursuing a medical career with Aspiring Docs Gain valuable hands-on experience with the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) at medical school campuses Learn about and compare medical school admissions requirements with the MSAR Apply for the Fee Assistance Program if you think you qualify Prepare for and take the MCAT Exam Apply with AMCAS – now that you know all about it! And start planning how to pay for medical school with tools and information from FIRST Find all of AAMC’s pre-med resources on our Student Hub: @AAMCPreMed

40 AMCAS Resources Visit for:
Video tutorials Instruction Manuals and Quick Start Guide FAQs Course Classification and AMCAS GPA Guides Connect with us for AMCAS updates and videos: @AMCASinfo For resources about the application process and AMCAS, visit You can begin looking through the Quick Start Guide, the AMCAS Instruction Manual, or watch video tutorials by going to the AMCAS resources section of the website to help you understand the application process. For processing updates and other AMCAS-specific information, follow us on Twitter and watch our video tutorials on YouTube. We encourage you to get in touch with any of our services here at AAMC. Best wishes for your application to medical school!


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