Thanks to the AMCAS, international students interested in pursuing an M.D. degree will only have to fill out one application. That application will go out to whatever schools you select. If only medical school was this easy!
International students interested in applying for medical schools for a Doctorate of Medicine (M.D.) degree will need to familiarize themselves with the service called the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). The AMCAS is run by the Association of American Medical Colleges and it was set up in order to have a unified and standard application process for medical schools throughout the US. This means you will only have to fill out your information in the AMCAS one time and you will then be able to send that information to as many different medical schools as you would like.
The Application Process
Before beginning the process, you are required to certify that you have read the online instructions for the AMCAS application process. Reading the instructions will help you understand how the application process works and let you know what to expect.
The next step is creating an account with the AMCAS website. This just means creating a username and password which will allow you to come back to the application and check on its status throughout the process of applying. The application itself is split up between many different parts, each focusing on different types of information.
The first part is just general identification information. This includes your age, sex, name, and any alternate ID numbers that may help the people at AMCAS match you with the transcripts and any other information you will be sending in. An alternate ID is essentially just any alphanumeric code that you were identified by in school that might appear on a transcript. As a side note, your official transcripts do not have to be mailed to AMCAS before you can fill out your application, but they must arrive before AMCAS can send your application to your schools of choice.
Next, you will be asked to give information about all of the high schools and colleges that you have attended. Even if you never completed a class or received credit for anything, you will still have to list the school.
The third part of the application has to do with biographical information. You will be asked questions about your contact information, your address, your citizenship status, which languages you speak, and your criminal history.
You will be asked to enter your coursework in the fourth section of the application. This includes the grades for all of the high school and college courses that you have ever taken. Everything you input here will be cross referenced with your official transcripts by AMCAS so make sure everything you put down is correct.
The fifth part of the application will allow you to record up to 15 work experiences or activities that you feel are relevant to medical school. Do not bother putting any experiences that are not significant in some way, as they will not do anything to help your application. Try to focus instead on things that related directly to medical school.
After this you will be able to write some information about your letters of recommendation (which will need to be mailed to AMCAS), such as who wrote the letters and which school should receive which letter.
You can now select which schools you want to send the application to. Before selecting the schools, however, make sure to do your research on their policies towards international students, how well the school is ranked, what sort of programs are offered, and any other sort of information that may be relevant to you. There is no sense in applying to a college if they do not accept international students or offer the program you want.
Depending on what program you applying to, the next section will have you either write one or three essays. If you are applying to an M.D. or Ph.D. program you will have to write a personal comments essay, an M.D. or Ph.D. essay, and a Significant Research Experience essay. If you are not applying to an M.D. or Ph.D. program, you will only need to complete the personal comments essay.
When your application is done all that is left checking on your application's status and waiting to be contacted by medical schools.