Completing Applications

Applications to most medical schools must be filed through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), a centralized service to which the majority of medical schools subscribe. After submitting your electronic application to AMCAS, they will file your transcripts and forward your application electronically to the medical schools you indicate. Participation in AMCAS is indicated in the entry for each medical school in the Medical School Admissions Requirements handbook. To obtain the applications of non-AMCAS schools, you should call or write or go on line to each school directly with your request. 

Central application services also exist for other prehealth schools.

Read the instructions carefully before filling out the AMCAS application; completing them accurately is time-consuming. Begin the process early so that you are ready to submit your applications as soon as medical schools begin receiving them (June 1). Arrange for the Registrar to send a copy of your transcript to AMCAS even before you send in your application. Type your application, photocopy everything you send to AMCAS, and keep careful records of all transactions. About four weeks after you submit your AMCAS application, you should receive a notice indicating that your materials have been transmitted to the medical schools you have selected. After the schools receive your application from AMCAS, they may send you a secondary application. Some schools have their secondary application on-line. Most schools send these automatically; others screen the AMCAS applicants before sending these forms. Secondary applications may ask for additional essays (such as, "Why are you applying to this school?") along with other supplemental information and secondary application fees.

As a rule of thumb, you should apply to all schools in your home state and to Tulane. You can apply to other private and state institutions according to your qualifications. Because state schools favor their resident applicants, nonresident should be better qualified than in-state applicants to have a reasonable chance of being accepted. Medical schools differ in their admissions requirements. Therefore, you will need to determine those schools that you are qualified to attend. Check the most recent MSAR handbook, catalogs, and statistical information, and discuss your choices with the Health Professions Advisor. (For further information, please see the section on "Selecting a Medical School" in the handbook.)

Applying to medical school demands not only time but MONEY. There are fees associated with the AMCAS application and each school you apply too, require a fee with their secondary application. You will also need to budget money for travel to medical school interviews and for commitment deposits to hold any acceptances you are offered. (Most deposits are refundable up to a certain date, usually in May.) 

If you are serious about going to medical school, APPLY EARLY. AMCAS begin processing applications on June 1; therefore, that should be your target date for submitting your AMCAS application. Although for most medical schools the final deadline for applications is November 15--or later for a few schools--most medical schools process applications as they are received, a method known as "rolling admission." This means that the later you submit your applications, the fewer available places remain in the first year class and the longer the wait to learn of the schools' decisions. By the time those later deadlines are reached, students who got their applications in early May already have been offered places. There is a sharp decline in the number of interview invitations, and consequently possible acceptance students receive, with later applications. Some students are still for waiting for interviews months after schools have accepted their first students. Your chances for acceptance may be substantially improved by early submission. DO NOT DELAY. THE IMPORTANCE OF APPLYING EARLY CANNOT BE OVEREMPHASIZED.

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