Complete the AMCAS Application

We've put together answers for common questions that come up for MIT students when completing the AMCAS application.

For more information or clarification, you can review the AMCAS resources provided by the AAMC, or contact an AMCAS representative by email or by phone at (202) 828-0600, Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm ET. Please note they are closed Wednesday, 3-5 pm ET.

Frequently Asked Questions About the AMCAS Application

Freshman Year and Pass/Fail Courses
Grading System & GPA
Transcripts 
Incompletes 
Transfer Credit
AP Credit
Dean's Letter/Certificate
MCAT
Letters of Recommendation
General AMCAS questions
Study Abroad

Freshman Year and Pass/Fail Courses

Q - What do I indicate under "Course Type" and in the Official Transcript (OT) Grade box for my Pass/No Record freshman year classes?
A - Put "P" in the Transcript Grade field and check the "Pass/Fail" box in the "Special Course Types" section.

Q - Can I put a letter grade for the classes I took during my first semester?
A -  Don't put letter grades for courses that are marked with a "P" (Pass) on your official transcript. Instead, put "P" (Pass) on the AMCAS application.

GPA

Q - How do I convert my MIT GPA to a 4.0 scale for the AMCAS application?
A - You should not convert your MIT GPA. AMCAS will make the conversion for you. You can see what the conversion will be using the Registrar's website.

Q - How does AMCAS calculate GPA? Do they include graduate GPA with the Undergraduate GPA?
A - The AMCAS application provides a GPA for freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year and a cumulative GPA for all four of them. The graduate GPA is separate. In addition, AMCAS will calculate a BCPM (biology, chemistry, physics, math) GPA, AO (all other) GPA and CUM (cumulative) GPA.

Q - Are engineering courses included in the BCPM (biology, chemistry, physics, math) GPA that is calculated by AMCAS?
A - Your engineering courses will not be included in the BCPM GPA unless you classify your engineering course as a biology, chemistry, physics, or math course. Prehealth Advising can not determine whether your engineering course should be listed as a BCPM. If you are considering listing an engineering course as a BCPM speak with the appropriate academic department or professor for guidance. In the end it is up to your judgment. AMCAS will accept what you list to be included in the BCPM GPA as long as the transcript doesn't conflict with your classification.

Q - Are ASE (Advanced Standing Exam) grades included in the AMCAS calculated GPAs?
A. Yes, ASE grades are included in the AMCAS calculated GPAs, despite that they are not included in the GPA calculated for the MIT transcript.

Transcripts

Q - How can I have my transcripts provided to AMCAS and the MIT Prehealth Credential Service?
A - Applicants may request transcripts using the MIT Online Transcript Request.

Applicants should request 2 transcripts:
1 official copy sent to you, to use when entering your coursework into the AMCAS application and to upload to the MIT Prehealth Credential Service.
1 official copy sent to AMCAS. Once you enter MIT as a school attended in the AMCAS application, you can download the Transcript Request Form. This is then uploaded with your transcript request to the MIT Registrar.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Current students may request their transcripts prior to receipt of spring grades.  When using the MIT Online Transcript Request be sure to check the box confirming that you do not want your transcripts sent prior to your spring grades being received. 

Q - If I cross-registered and took courses at Harvard or Wellesley do I need to have transcripts submitted to AMCAS from these schools?
A - Cross-registered courses should appear on your official MIT transcript. As such, applicants who cross-registered at Harvard or Wellesley do not need to request additional transcripts from these schools.

Q - Should I include +/- modifiers to my letter grades?
A - Do not include modifiers. Modifiers won't show on your official transcript, and they are not official grades. You should only put the letter grade.

Q – What “year in school” should I select if I have been granted sophomore status in the second semester of my freshman year? 
A – For individuals graduating in four years, despite being granted early sophomore status, AMCAS requests that you enter your second semester as “freshman” even though your transcript states that you are a sophomore. Applicants with early sophomore standing should enter all courses taken in the first full year at MIT as a freshman year in school. This is the only exception to the rule of entering your course work information exactly as it appears on the official MIT transcript.

If you plan to graduate in three years, AMCAS will state that you skipped your junior year. If you plan to graduate in two years, AMCAS will state that you skipped your sophomore and junior year.

Please review the AMCAS Instruction Manual section on course work for more details on selecting the appropriate academic year and term on your transcript.

Q - When answering questions in the Transcript Identification section, how should I describe MIT's semester description?
A - MIT's semester description is 4-1-4. (4 months in the Fall, 1 month during the winter break, and 4 months in the Spring)

Q - How do I classify courses that were initially an incomplete, and later are assigned a letter grade? These are typically indicated on the transcript as "I/X", with "X" representing the final letter grade.
A - This happens most frequently with UROPs. You should list the grade on your AMCAS as I/A (or I/B, I/C, depending on your grade), just as it is listed on your transcript. You also should click the "Incomplete" box for this course. During the AMCAS verification process they will confirm that the letter grade is calculated appropriately into your GPA.

Q - How do I list a one unit UROP?
A - One unit UROPs should be listed with the rest of your coursework.

Q - How do I list a course that begins in the one semester but is completed in another semester? Ex. 8.01L is on the fall transcript with a "T" for a grade, and it is listed on the transcript for IAP with an actual grade. 
A - List the course, 8.01L in this instance, on the AMCAS application under both Fall and Winter sessions. Select "deferred grade" for the semester that does not have an actual grade.

AP & Transfer Credits

Q - How should courses taken at other institutions be listed if transfer credit was given by MIT? Do I list the courses twice (once under MIT and once under the institution where I actually took the course)?
A - Do not list the course twice. Indicate the school you attended and list the course you took there. Do not list the transfer credit course under courses taken at MIT. AMCAS will verify the transfer credit by reviewing all of the transcripts you submit. Transcripts should be submitted for all college institutions attended, except for courses taken through cross-registration with Harvard or Wellesley as these courses will be included on your official MIT transcript.

Q - How do I note AP credit on the AMCAS application?
A - List only the classes that you have received AP credit for at MIT. There is a check box option under "special course types" on the AMCAS application which allows you to note a course as having been completed with AP credit.

Q - Which school year and semester do I list AP credit classes under? How many units constitute one class?
A - You should put "Freshman" as the school year you received AP credit. The number of AP credits is equivalent to the units given for that class. For example, for 8.01 it would be 12. However, for electives it may be different. At the time of admission, you should have received a letter from their office indicating the number of units MIT gave you. You can also find that information on your transcript.

Q - How do I classify general AP credit units (18 general elective units) gained during Freshman year as a result of other AP scores (AP Spanish Literature and Language), but for which no credits specific to one course were earned (as they were for the AP Biology-7.012 and AP Calculus-18.01 exams)?
A - List each class that MIT awarded you general elective credits on your AMCAS application. If you received general elective credits for more than one class you will need to divide the general elective credits on your official transcript accordingly. AMCAS will verify that the total number of general elective credits you listed on your AMCAS application add up to the total general elective credits listed on your official MIT transcript.

Q - How do I list courses placed out of through an ASE, rather than the typical college board AP tests? 
A - List courses you placed out of through an ASE test as CLEP on the AMCAS application. Courses placed out of by an MIT test are represented by "P&" on your official transcript, so unless you note the course as CLEP they will assume the credit was AP.

Dean's Letter/Certificate

Q - How do I send a Dean’s Certification Letter to schools that participate in the AMCAS letter service?
A - If a school that you are applying to requests a Dean’s Certification (ex: Washington University at St. Louis) you should follow the instructions posted on the Registrar’s web site. Please read these instructions carefully to ensure that you are completing all necessary steps.

MCAT

Q - How many MCAT scores will AMCAS show on my application?
A - All MCAT scores received in 2003 or later will automatically be released to AMCAS if you did not void your scores at the time of the exam.

Q - Can I submit the AMCAS application without having an MCAT score?
A - Yes, you can submit the AMCAS application without having an MCAT score but will need to indicate when you expect to take the MCAT. The AMCAS application will be processed without the MCAT score and shared with schools. Once your new MCAT score is available it will be automatically posted on your AMCAS application online. Individual schools will make decisions on a case-by-case basis on whether they will wait for the new MCAT score before reviewing your application or extending an interview offer.

Letters of Recommendation

Q - When should I submit my letters of recommendation? Are they part of the primary application?
A - Individuals using the Prehealth Credential Service should enter letter information into the AMCAS application as explained in the AMCAS Q&A workshop.  Letters are not distributed to medical schools until August, and therefore arrive separate from the Primary Application.

General Questions

Q - Should I enter the classes I intend to take next year, or only the classes I have already completed in the coursework section of the application?
A - List courses in which you are currently enrolled and the classes you expect to enroll in prior to entering medical school. Indicate "Current/Future" as the course type. Do not request a transcript exception if the future classes will be at MIT. Only request a transcript exception if the future class will be taken at a different institution that you have not attended in the past.

Q - Do I need to convert MIT units to semester hours or will AMCAS do this for me? 
A - List your units exactly as they appear on your transcript. As opposed to the past, students no longer have to make the conversion. AMCAS will do this for you.

Q - Do MIT Physics courses include a lab? 
A - Physics courses classified as an X or T course may be classified as a lecture and lab on your AMCAS. (8.01X, 8.02X, and 8.01T)

Q - What should I do if I am uncertain of how to list a particular course taken at MIT?
A - Review the list of options AMCAS provides and talk with faculty or members of the course department. AMCAS will accept the course classification you select as long as your official transcript doesn't classify the course differently.

Q - Do I fill out the AMCAS form for MD-PhD application or is there a separate form?
A - Use the regular AMCAS application. When you select the schools you are applying to, you will be asked to specify the program type and you will select MDPhD. In addition, on the AMCAS you will be required to fill out two additional essays for MD-PhD programs.

Q - Where on my application should I disclose a learning disability?
A - Please consult the MIT Student Disabilities Services office (5-104, 617-253-1674), to discuss your particular disability. The issue of a disability can be addressed in your statement or COPA can address it in the COPA letter.

Q - What activities should I include on the Post-Secondary Experience portion of the application? How much information should I provide?
A - List activities that you were actively involved in only. You do not have to fill each of the 15 slots for activities on the AMCAS application. If the title of the activity or organization alone does not explain the activity, provide a very brief statement explaining the activity or organization and include specifics describing your role (position held, etc). To stay within the character limit (1325 characters) it is recommended that descriptions be written in resume style.

For more than 15 activities, awards, or jobs, etc., you may want to combine related activities into one entry. Specific examples include research projects that resulted in publications or organizational leadership for which you were awarded an honor.

Study Abroad

Q - How do I note study abroad credit on the AMCAS application?
A - Under the "Colleges Attended" category on the AMCAS application list the institution attended while studying abroad. In addition list the classes you took at that institution and request a transcript exception. AMCAS only wants your official transcript from schools within the United States. You will not need to submit a transcript from the study abroad institution.

Do not list your study abroad classes under the MIT Course Work. AMCAS will automatically include your study abroad credits when calculating your total number of credits earned.