timeline for AMCAS?

can someone clarify for me what is the first date that AMCAS will take applications for the fall 2004 entering class? And at what point should I request transcripts?
slightly bewildered,

try here:
you should be able to get everything about the AMCAS and related deadlines at aamc.org. The earliest date for filing has been early June over the past few years, but the exact date has varied.

usually, the application form is available in the spring - well in advance of June - maybe april or may ?
transcripts can take awhile to come - and you'll need them to fill out the application accurately - and then you also ask the school to send to AMCAS directly - using the specific cover sheet that you print out from within the AMCAS application.
if you are out of school - I'd request transcripts to yourself now - so that if there is anything amiss you have time to correct it - and can start filling out AMCAS when it is available.
then, when AMCAS is available, print out the requests for the AMCAS copies and send to your school(s).
if you are still in school, you have to decide if you want to include your spring grades or not - depending on when you file AMCAS and when the grades come out. e.g. - if you want to file on June 1 (assuming you can) and grades come out June 12 – whatcha gonna do? Wait to submit to include spring grades?

thanks for the link, Mary, that was helpful. I looked at the aamc/amcas site…it says that the application for the 2003 entering class is currently available, & no mention about the 2004 one. Aren't we past the deadlines for 2003? I thought all of the schools' deadlines were in the fall for the following fall?
I'm only taking 1 class this spring (woohoo, all I have left is Organic II!), so I don't think I'll hold off my application for that one last grade.

I think the last dog died, AMCAS-wise, on Dec. 31. So they are probably not going to have the 2004 stuff up just yet. (If you don’t know, you’ll find out soon enough, so I’ll let you in on the bad news: AMCAS has a terrible reputation among med school applicants for inefficiency - sorry. They lose stuff, they promise that the application software will be online on such-and-such a date and then keep pushing the date back, the online application process two years ago was so incredibly frustrating that people were getting up at 3am to try and do it without getting kicked off, yadda yadda yadda. It is definitely one of the more frustrating features of the allopathic application cycle.)
At least for advance planning purposes, you can go by the deadlines as listed for 2003. The 2004 deadlines aren’t likely to be significantly different. For that matter, looking at the 2003 application gives you a heads-up about what to expect - e.g. the amount of space for the personal statement, how volunteer and other activities are listed, GPA calculated etc. It can be helpful to play around with the old application prior to being ready to file the new one.
Note that if you send a transcript before your spring grade is finalized, you WILL have to arrange for an updated transcript at some point. I was also surprised to be asked to send another copy of my transcripts to GWU after I’d been accepted. rolleyes.gif
Lisa makes a good point and come to think of it, I did this too - get a copy of your transcripts now so you can check 'em to make sure they’re OK. I also did it to see how long it would take the various schools to process my requests, so that I would know just how long in advance of AMCAS’s “not before” date I should request them. (In my case, all schools were exceptionally prompt and so I sent in my requests around the “not before” date - not in advance.)
This is the mindless tedium of the application process - gotta pay attention to it and keep on top of it and be a detail person even if that’s not your usual style! Sigh, it feels like yesterday that I was fretting about all those details… and now I’m only a few months away from starting the crap all over again with residency applications. (yikes! How’d that happen??)

Just to add to what Lisa and Mary make sure that you get your LOR's lined up soon. Professors are notorious for taking their time to write these and even more to mail them to schools. I know it is kind of early but believe me you do not want everything done and you are on hold at some school because of a late LOR. If you have a pre-med advisor that will be willing to hold on to these, and possibly make copies and send them off to schools as secondaries come in, it will not hurt to start collecting the LOR's now. I will doing this come January 6th when my school starts. I am asking about five professors for LOR's and have them submitted to my pre-med advisor whom is always on top of things. Then depending on how many letters each school requires he will pick the best letters to submit or write a composite (some med schools prefer a composite along with evaluations).

this also gives you time to think about your LoRs - if you are short an academic one, look at your spring schedule and think about going to office hours and making a personal connection -

Is it ok to fill out a 2003 app. with the intention of not certifying it by submission? The reason I ask is because I understand that some of the information that has been filled out on a previous year's app. will be populated onto a current year's app. A good way to get a headstart on an important, but arduous, task, perhaps?

It can give you a head's up, but because AMCAS will probably change things I am not going that route. I have looked at the 2003 application with a friend whom applied and I did download the humongous (sp?) pdf file on how to fill it out, but that is all I am doing for now. I will have plenty of time to fill it the 2004 once the MCAT is over. My school is starting early and finishing on the first week of May. I have been toying with the PS for months now, and that is the most time consuming thing. I have all my transcripts and know what to put in so that is cool too. If you have never seen the actual AMCAS I would highly recommend that you go ahead and check it out, it can be daunting. This will also give you the opportunity to see if what you want to put for EC's and whatnot and start getting phone numbers lined up for contact persons.

At the national AAMC conference in SF this November, we were told that the AMCAS application will be slightly different for EC 2004. It was hard to tell if these differences will be transparent to the applicant or not. And, some may not occur at all (if past history with AMCAS web-based modifications is any indication). Usually AMCAS opens for “filling out” (but not submitting) in early May. Usually. But, if they have some glitches during the beta testing, it may be slightly later than “early May.” First date for submission may be in “early June,” but if there are bugs, it may be pushed back a bit.
Looking at the EC2003 application is something you should all do so that you are familiar with its look, and how the experiences are categorized.
As for why the EC2003 application is still up… in the past, applicants who were deferring still had to fill out (without fee) the current application, after the first of the year. I don’t know if that is still in place, but if it is, it could account for the availability of the EC2003 app.
If you want your spring grades to count in your AMCAS gpa, don’t submit until you have them. If you don’t, or it doesn’t matter, get your transcripts going in May.


The filling-out of the application isn't the hardest part; it's the waiting for each new page to load! Anyway, I think it is fine to start making a Word file using their worksheet, which is somewhere on that site–it is a .pdf or word file that has the information they're looking for in paper form–then when the 2004 app. comes on line, you can just cut and paste from your worksheet file into the AMCAS app itself. I wouldn't count on their computers doing anything–be it saving your data from 2003 into 2004, or anything else. The less you interact with that beast the better. Of course, I'm one of those who applied the most disastrous first year of the web version's existence… so… grain of salt, maybe. Still, keep that data on your computer, not theirs.
sf/boston joe