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Pre-Professional

Medical School Admission and Application Procedures

Application Service

The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS)

Students apply to medical schools through AMCAS for allopathic medical schools and AACOMAS for osteopathic medical schools. Centralized applications simplify the process by requiring applicants to submit only one set of application materials. There are a few U.S. schools that do not participate in a centralized application (you apply to those schools directly).

The AMCAS or AACOMAS application is available on the website around May each year. The earliest the completed AMCAS can be sent in is June 1. Applying early (between June 1 and July 15 or so) means that your application will get to the medical schools early for their consideration. In any case, be sure you send it in before the application deadlines at the schools where you're applying.

Application Fee Assistance is available. Students may apply for waivers through The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) or AACOMAS Fee Assistance Program (FAP) but be aware that application deadlines come early. Refer to the application website for more information.

MCAT

The MCAT is the required entrance exam for medical school. It aids medical schools in identifying medical school candidates who are broadly educated in the social sciences and humanities as well as the sciences. The MCAT "assesses mastery of basic concepts in biology, chemistry and physics; facility with scientific problem solving and critical thinking; and writing skills." (MCAT Student Manual, p. 1).

There are four sections on the exam: Verbal Reasoning (passages from many different disciplines--85 minutes); Physical Sciences (physics and general chemistry--100 minutes); Writing Sample (60 minutes); and Biological Sciences (biology and organic chemistry--100 minutes). Each section, excluding the Writing Sample, is scored on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 15 (highest).

The MCAT is changing in Spring 2015. Please consult with your pre-medical advisor for further information.

The MCAT is taken when you have completed, or have in progress, all the premed prerequisite courses (general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology and physics). Registration for the MCAT is only done online. For registration and administration dates visit the MCAT website.

Preparation for the exam can be in a number of ways. There are professional preparatory courses, prep books, and software available. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) sells several full-length practice exams. Becoming familiar with the exam itself is very important to a student's success. An individual's method of preparation should consider your learning style, organizational ability, self-discipline, and finances. MCAT preparation varies from one individual to another.

Additional Information

WHERE TO APPLY

Because medical and other state funded education is heavily taxpayer supported, public medical, dental and other professional schools give a high percentage of their slots to residents of their home state. Your best odds will be to apply to the public-supported schools of your state of residence. Kentuckians will want to apply to the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville medical schools. Medical school applicants whose official state of residence is elsewhere would apply to the public schools in that state. In addition, you may apply to private medical schools, and perhaps to public medical schools in other states (knowing that competition is keen for out-of-state slots). Use the MSAR book and information gained from web sites, to determine the instate/out-of-state admits, and the average GPA and MCAT scores for students admitted to various schools. Consider location, programs, tuition, and where you think you will likely practice once you complete your education.

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APPLICATION ESSAYS

If required, essays are very important parts of your application to professional school. Take time to think carefully about who you are and what experiences have shaped your life. How have you come to this point of seeking a career in medicine? The essays that you write should be so much "you" that no one else could have written any portion of them. Admissions officers want to learn more of who you are. In addition to careful attention to content, please be sure that your essay is error-free. Have someone proof your essay to ensure that spelling and grammar are correct.

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TRANSCRIPTS

In most cases, official copies of your transcript(s) need to be sent directly to centralized application, unless otherwise noted. Make sure to check the application instructions. Transcripts can be requested from the Registrar's Office. A transcript from each and every post-secondary school you have attended must be submitted. Besides your UK transcript, be sure to request official ones from any community college or 4-year institution where you attempted or earned credit; any college from which you earned credit while in high school; correspondence programs; summer programs; military education; etc. You will need personal copies of your transcripts for use in completing the academic portion of your application. Review them carefully to be certain that all coursework and grades are recorded accurately.

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