Centralized Application Services
There are two ways to apply to health professions schools: through a centralized application service or through direct application to individual schools. The vast majority of schools participate in centralized application services.
The centralized application services provide standardized information to participating health professions schools from a single form that you complete. The advantage of applying through a centralized service is that initially only one set of application materials and official transcripts need to be submitted, regardless of the number of schools to which you apply. The application services provide detailed admission information to health professions schools, in addition to processing the primary application. All application services require a basic processing fee, plus a sliding scale fee depending on the number of schools to which you request the application be sent. Certain fee reductions or waivers are available to students with financial need.
The lists below identify the services that oversee the centralized application processes of each professional school association. Check with the respective application service regarding which one to utilize for your intended course of study:
- AMCAS (Allopathic Medicine)
- AACOMAS (Osteopathic Medicine)
- AADSAS (Dental)
- AACPMAS (Podiatric Medicine)
- CASPA (Physician Assistant School)
- PharmCAS (Pharmacy School)
- OptomCAS (Optometry)
- PTCas (Physical Therapy)
- OTCas (Occupational Therapy)
Deciding Where You Would Like to Apply and How You Will Finance Your Education
As you consider which schools to apply to, consider these questions:
- What grades/scores/extracurriculars are schools looking for? Do I meet those requirements?
- What sort of city do I want to be in for the next four years big or small?
- Is it important for me to be near people who are my support system like family and friends?
- If I have a strong ethnic identity, is there a community for me at the school and/or in the city where it's located?
- What is the culture of the medical school? Are faculty members and my peers committed to my success? Does the medical school recognize the importance of the human side of medicine? Of community service?
- What about financial considerations? Is there a state institution that provides financial benefits to its resident students?
Early management of educational loans and finance has significant long-term benefits. Your Pre-Health Advisement Dean is the best starting place for resources, help with applications, information on financial aid and other funding options, and financial aid awarding policies and procedures. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) offers several resources including information on programs such as MEDLOANS, MD2 , and DEBTHELP: http://www.aamc.org/students/financing/start.htm