What’s Next for Medical School Admissions During COVID-19 Pandemic

April 29, 2020


While many graduating medical school students are starting their careers quicker than expected, those on the other end of the spectrum – pre-med students who with applications readied for the fall 2020 or 2121 admissions cycle – feel stymied. As federal and state officials await analysis and recommendation on how to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, closures, cancellations, suspensions and re-openings of all sorts of businesses from restaurants and gyms to courthouses and colleges, including medical schools, abound.

“The AAMC has been working closely with the medical school admissions and pre-health advisor communities to consider the impacts on applicants due to coronavirus (COVID-19),” the Association of American Medical Colleges wrote in a recent release. “Medical schools are aware of the many challenges applicants are facing and understand the need to be flexible in their admissions approach.”

Requested flexibility includes leniency for students having trouble getting their transcripts from colleges and universities that are closed and taking into consideration students’ inability to complete required volunteer hours due to pandemic-related closures of volunteer programs.  

Thus far, the AAMC intends to open the AMCAS application as planned on May 4, but will delay transmitting AMCAS applicant data to medical schools by two weeks. This transmission delay from June 26 to July 10 will afford applicants additional time to complete their applications without impacting AMCAS operations, including application processing and verification.

A few definite changes to be aware of:

  • New dates and shortened exam times for the MCAT: The MCAT will be administered June 28, September 28 and September 29 with three appointment times each day at all testing locations. The normally 7.5-hour test will last five hours and 45 minutes, allowing for higher capacity and compliance with social distancing requirements. Registration opens May 7.
  • Distance interviewing: While medical schools continue to conduct admissions interviews, most are being conducted online, particularly for prospective students impacted by travel restrictions.
  • Virtual second look days: Final recruitment weeks typically involve admitted students visiting campuses to celebrate and get excited about attending, or, for students with multiple offers, a chance to shop around before making a decision on their school of choice. This year, however, COVID-19 travel restrictions and physical contact limitations have forced mostly virtual tours.

WOLFPACC applauds all endeavors designed to help medical students continue their study and career paths while remaining safe and respectful of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 and the Coronavirus. Find out how we can help boost your studies with live, online classes.