AMCAS Application for International Students: application procedure, requirements, eligibility, fees, and policies
AMCAS, the American Medical College Application Service, is a centralized medical school application processing service for students applying to medical colleges in the USA. AMCAS is a part of AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), a nonprofit organization responsible for regulating medical education in the USA. It is a primary application pathway for getting admission to most American medical colleges.
Thanks to AMCAS, international students now have to fill out a single application which is sent to multiple medical colleges in the USA. The following is a complete guide to the AMCAS application procedure for foreign students planning to study in the USA.
Overview of AMCAS application
The admission procedure for AMCAS can be summarized in the steps below:
- Submission of a completed online application
- Payment of fees plus taxes
- Upon receipt of the application, AMCAS verifies the coursework and calculates the GPAs (6 to 8 weeks during peak season)
- The verified application is sent to designated medical schools
- MCAT score is automatically sent as it becomes available
- Letters of evaluation are also forwarded to the designated medical schools as and when they are updated by the applicant (letters of evaluation are not required for the verification process)
For any queries and assistance concerning their application and payment status, students can contact AMCAS through their official website, social media/Twitter account, phone number (202-828-0600), or by submitting an inquiry through the contact form.
AMCAS application procedure
Before begging the application process, students must register with AMCAS to obtain a username and password. Previously registered students can use the same username and password. Applicants should not create several AAMC user ID numbers that may result in an investigation. The page logs out after thirty minutes of inactivity, hence, students should save their work often. The following paragraph outlines the application procedure for AMCAS applications. It involves the following sections and its steps:
Section 1-3 (background information): This section requires students to enter basic information (accurate) like name, birth date, school attended, ethnicity, gender, citizenship, race, etc.
Section 4 (coursework): Students should enter information about their coursework and transcripts in this section.
Section 5 (work and activities): This section is for students to enter information about their work experience, awards, extracurricular activities, etc.
Section 6 (letters of evaluation): Students can upload their letters of evaluation along with the names of the letter writers in this segment and indicate which schools should receive these letters.
Section 7 (medical schools): Students can enter the names of all of the medical schools to which they wish to apply in this section. They can review the recent edition of the Medical School Admissions Requirements available on the AMCAS website and also consult a prehealth advisor for some guidance in choosing the appropriate medical school.
Section 8 (essays): This section is reserved for personal essays (for the MD-PhD program, two essays are necessary, however, for the MD program, one essay is sufficient).
Section 9 (standardized tests): Students should list their MCAT test or other standardized test scores in this last section of the AMCAS application.
Students should submit their application after giving it a thorough assessment, as they will only be able to make a limited number of modifications once it is submitted. They can also print a copy of their application for a more thorough inspection before submitting it. Once submitted, applicants should monitor the progress of their application regularly, and verify the steps until designated medical schools have received their application.
All individual medical schools set the application deadlines for AMCAS applications and, students must submit their applications by 11:59 p.m. ET on the day of the deadline to avoid missing it. AAMCAS does not issue deadline extensions for any reason.
AMCAS application requirement for international students
AMCAS is not involved in any decision-making process regarding the admission process. The respective medical universities carry out admission decisions. Students should be aware that the AMCAS service is only provided to new medical university entrants (first-year entering classes).
However, advanced standing and transfer applicants will not be allowed to access AMCAS services. They must go the extra mile and apply to each university separately via their respective websites. Students can also use Gyanberry’s admissions and consulting services to apply to medical colleges in the USA for a smoother and hassle-free experience.
AMCAS also runs a Criminal Background Check Service on the applicants in facilitation with the participating medical schools to help schools assess applicants’ ability to become licensed physicians in the future. Therefore students interested in applying should have a clean criminal record.
AMCAS eligibility for international students
International students can use AMCAS services to apply to medical schools in the USA. However, several American medical schools have different regulations on enrolling international students, so students should double-check each school’s policy before applying via AMCAS.
The following is a list of medical schools in the USA that do not participate in AMCAS for application to their MD programs:
- CUNY School of Medicine – The Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program
- Baylor College of Medicine
- University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
- University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) John Sealy School of Medicine
- McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston
- Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine
- Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Medicine
- Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine
- The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School
- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
- University of Houston Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine
Students should be aware that unless their international transcripts or foreign courses have been accepted by an accredited university, AMCAS will not calculate their grade point average (GPA). In such circumstances, students might provide their transcripts through a supplementary application of the respective university. International students should also make sure to accurately mark their citizenship, visa status (if applicable), and English proficiency on the AMCAS and secondary college applications.
For applying to one medical school, the primary application fee for AMCAS is 170 USD*. A fee of 43 USD* is levied for each additional school. The applicable tax is calculated in the payout section. Students can use VeriSign’s secure credit card transaction services to pay their fees using credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. To make a payment, they must first input their credit card information, as well as their billing address, and then click “Continue.” Offline payments, such as cheques, money orders, or credit card information sent via mail, fax, email, or phone, are not accepted by the AMCAS.
If a student owes money to the AMCAS for services rendered in a prior year or current year for any AAMC services, such applications are placed on hold until the balance is paid. To prevent missing a deadline, students should double-check that the AMCAS program has received payment of all applicable fees. For pending payments, AMCAS normally sends an email notification; students can also call AMCAS at 202-828-0600.
AMCAS policies for prospective medical students
AMCAS has set various application and acceptance policies and protocols that students must follow to get timely communication of their AMCAS application results. Some of these protocols are included below:
- Provide all true and accurate information in all stages of the application, interview, and admission process at each institution to which the student applies.
- Before or on the school’s declared deadline date, students should submit all required documents, such as primary and secondary application forms, letters of recommendation, and transcripts.
- Students should notify the relevant school application services if their contact information, such as their email address, phone number, or billing address, changes.
- Students should inform all the schools regarding their availability for an extended period during the application or admission process.
- They must respond promptly to any school’s interview invitation and notify the school immediately if they are unable to attend.
- In fairness to other applicants, a student should withdraw his or her application if they do not wish to attend the program offered to them.
- If a student receives an invitation from more than one medical school, they should withdraw their application from schools that they do not wish to attend.
- Understand and comply with all the applicant’s responsibilities as well as with the application, acceptance, and admission procedures at each school or program to which they apply.
AMCAS also has policies in place for the collection, usage, and distribution of medical students’ personal information. It takes care to avoid the release of truly confidential personal data without the consent of the person concerned and to restrict the transfer of sensitive data to those situations that demand it.