The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS) are centralized services designed to benefit both medical school applicants and medical school admission committees. They collect, coordinate and process applications and data. There are only a handful of U.S. medical schools that do not participate in either AMCAS or AACOMAS. It is necessary to apply to most Texas medical schools through the Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service (TMDSAS), and schools in Ontario utilize the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS).
The AMCAS application will be available via the AAMC site www.aamc.org in early May for submission starting in early June. The fees for 2014 matriculation have not yet been released as of this printing. The AMCAS fee for 2013 was $160 for the first school and $33 for each additional school. The AACOMAS application will also be available in May, at https://aacomas.aacom.org, for submission after June 1. The fee for AACOMAS in 2013 was $175 for the first school and $32 for each additional school listed at the time of submission. The fee for adding more schools at a later date was $50 for the first and $32 for each additional one added on the same date.
The deadlines are available on the application sites, but do not be lulled into complacency by these dates. As many schools admit on a rolling basis, it is very important that you apply early. It is in your best interest to submit your AMCAS application in June. If you expect MCAT results in June or early-mid July, it is advisable to wait until you receive the scores, but be prepared to submit your application right away once you have had an opportunity to factor your MCAT performance into your application plans and selection of schools. You have a bit more leeway with an AACOMAS application, but timing is important here, too.
AMCAS and AACOMAS will need to receive one official transcript from every U.S. college or university at which you have registered for courses. You must also provide a transcript from any study-away program that was offered through a U.S. institution. Applicants should request that their official transcripts be forwarded to AMCAS or AACOMAS by using the Transcript Request Forms that can be downloaded from each application service web site. If you are still in school, we recommend that you submit an AMCAS and/or AACOMAS Transcript Request Form to the Office of Student Records before leaving campus, selecting on the Bowdoin request form the option to hold for spring grades. Updated Bowdoin transcripts are typically ready to be mailed by mid June
We suggest that you request, at the same time, personal copies of your transcripts for use in completing the Academic Record section of each application. Please send us a copy of all non-Bowdoin transcripts (unofficial is okay) to include in your Health Professions File.
The two application services vary a bit in their approach to coursework taken at foreign institutions for which the grades do not appear on a U.S transcript. AMCAS does not want to receive these transcripts. The AACOMAS application asks that you submit these transcripts to an evaluation service that will translate the grades into U.S. equivalents. Names and contact information for these services are provided in the AACOMAS instruction manual.
It is very important that you read carefully the directions that accompany the AMCAS and AACOMAS applications. Be sure to make use of the Help features that are available. Failure to follow instructions accurately may result in significant delays in the processing of your application.