AMCAS applications open in early May of each year.
Unless you plan to take a gap year, you should begin preparing your med school applications during the spring semester of your junior year of premed studies (before May of your application cycle year).
Specific deadlines for submitting your application depend on the school you’re submitting to and may range from September to December. The application and interview process generally runs through March of the following year, and the admissions process starts that May (around when you’ll be graduating from your undergraduate program).
AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) is one of the 3 primary applications for prospective medical students in the United States. Applying to medical school is a significant process that requires a lot of preparation, paperwork, and time — for good reason.
Let’s review the ideal timeline of applying to med school with AMCAS for your best chance to get into medical school.
The AMCAS 2023-24 application opens on May 2, 2023. This date applies specifically to the AMCAS application for MD programs (allopathic medicine).
Other medical school applications for US students include AACOMAS (for DO programs) and TMDSAS (for Texas medical schools). The opening date for AACOMAS is May 4, 2023, and the opening date for TMDSAS is May 2, 2023.
Some students choose to apply to all 3 programs, but this is not a requirement.
Application deadlines can often be school-specific, but they typically fall between mid-October and early November in your application year.
Even though those are the deadlines, we do not recommend waiting until the last minute for any part of this journey. Your chances of matriculation may depend on applying early — especially for schools that accept students on a rolling basis.
Decide which medical schools you’ll apply to. The specific schools determine details of certain aspects of the process, such as exams you’ll need to take, ideal MCAT scores, and more.
January 2024 is the last month to submit primary applications. We do not recommend waiting this long, as it is likely to hurt your chances of being accepted by any med school. Most med school application deadlines are actually in November, so waiting this long also greatly limits which schools you may apply to.
Aim to submit your med school application as early as possible, preferably in June of your cycle year. The longer you wait to submit, the lower your chances of being accepted get.
Deadlines for submitting your application via AMCAS depending on the schools you’re applying to. Check the AMCAS database for application deadlines of your preferred schools.
IMPORTANT: If you put your application off until just before the deadline, remember that you must request your transcripts no later than 2 weeks before your school’s application deadline. Otherwise, your application will not be processed by the deadline and you won’t be included in that school’s applicants for the cycle year.
You will need to take the MCAT no later than 35 days before your school’s AMCAS application deadline. Verify your MCAT score release date against your school’s application deadline. In general, this probably means the latest you can take the MCAT will typically be sometime between September and November (during the fall semester of your senior year of undergrad).
But waiting this long to take the MCAT is not a wise choice. We recommend taking the MCAT no later than June 29, 2023, but preferably before the end of April.
A few of the least competitive medical schools (typically outside of the U.S.) don’t require the MCAT in your AMCAS application. You may also be exempted from the MCAT if you apply to certain BS/MD programs at U.S. medical schools.
Your MCAT score is typically a critical application data point that admissions committees use in student selection to medical school. Scores help admissions officers interpret grades and other academic data from undergraduate institutions with different curricular focuses and grading standards.
During the 2020-21 and 2021-22 application cycles, additional schools in the U.S. suspended their MCAT requirements due to the lingering effects of COVID. However, these changes have been reversed for the 2023-24 cycle.
You should submit your secondaries as soon as possible after they are requested by the medical school. According to our suggested timeline, this means you should submit your secondary applications in July of your application cycle.
Yes, there is a precedent for AAMC moving the date that schools receive applications in extreme situations. The last time they did this was in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Our Physician and Writing Advisors provide expert guidance with your personal narrative and school list strategy, writing your personal statement, and interview preparation. Our goal is to help you prepare a great application so you can stand out!
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