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AAMC Traffic Rules for Medical Schools: Application and Acceptance Protocols



The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has established “traffic rules” which describe appropriate behavior for both applicants and medical school admissions officers to adhere to during the AMCAS application process. Please refer to another blog post on the AMCAS traffic rules for applicants. The AMCAS traffic rules for medical schools are as important as those which apply to applicants. In 2015 the traffic rules were given a new name:  Application and Acceptance Protocols.

These rules help ensure that applicants are treated both uniformly and fairly.  Included in the protocols are the following requirements:

  • Schools must publish and adhere to their admission procedures and if they participate in an application service they must honor its requirements. In plain English this means that medical schools have to follow the rules set by AMCAS.
  • Medical schools must notify the AAMC of admission decisions with the timeframe that’s appropriate, as set by AMCAS. Between August 1-March 15 notification must take place within one month; after March 15th decisions must be reported within seven days.
  • No acceptances can be issued prior to October 15.
  • By March 15 schools must have extended at least the same number of offers as spaces in the incoming class.
  • Before April 30 schools must allow applicants two weeks to respond to an acceptance offer and they can hold as many acceptances as they wish.
  • After April 30 schools may penalize applicants who hold more than one acceptance. At this point schools can force applicants to respond to an offer in less than seven days and submit a deposit.
  • Applicants must be allowed to stay on other schools’ waiting lists if they are holding an acceptance elsewhere.
  • No school’s acceptance deposit can be more than $100 and all deposits are refundable prior to April 30th.

If at any time an applicant feels that a school has violated these rules it should be reported to the AAMC.

–Liza Thompson, Expert Medical School Admissions Consulting

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