Applying to Medical School
Important details for applications
We ask that you please read the entire sets of instructions before filling out your applications. Bookmark the instructions on your computer and use them for reference as you are filling out your applications. To quickly find a topic while filling out an application use the help feature on the site. Follow directions completely and precisely! Mistakes may delay your application from being processed.
Depending on your choice of medical program, you may need to apply to one, two or all of the three medical school application services.
AMCAS (Allopathic/MD Schools)
The American Medical College Application service is used by most allopathic (MD) medical schools. Application and instructions are available at: https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/ You can also contact AMCAS directly at email@example.com or 202-828–0600, or visit www.amcas.org for more information. The application for each year is available to complete sometime at the beginning of May, but cannot be submitted until early June.
TMDSAS (Allopathic/MD Schools in Texas)
The Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service (TMDSAS) processes medical and dental school applications for Texas schools. Application and instructions are available at: https://www.tmdsas.com You can also contact TMDSAS directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-499-4785. The application for each year will be available to complete and submit approximately at the beginning of May.
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine application service is used by most osteopathic (DO) medical schools. Application and instructions are is available at: https://aacomas.aacom.org/ You can also contact AACOMAS directly at 301-968-4190 or visit www.aacom.org for more information. The application for each year is available to complete sometime at the beginning of May, but cannot be submitted until early June.
Letter Tracker: Submitting Letters and Packets
The PPAC Letter Tracker is a free option for managing letters of recommendation (evaluations) and provides a central location. There are three steps to using letter tracker: (1) request letters on Letter Tracker, (2) fill out the evaluation section on your application, and (3) request a packet on Letter Tracker.
Step 1: Request Letters
Create an account on the PPA website (ppalettertracker.byu.edu) using a BYU netID.
After logging in, click “request new letter.” Enter the necessary information for the letter writer and click “submit.” The letter writer will then receive an email telling them who requested the letter and how to write and submit a letter to Letter Tracker.
Before submitting a letter request, you can waive the right to view the letter. We encourage waiving this right because this provides a more honest evaluation and because schools give these letters more consideration.
Letters will be uploaded to the Letter Tracker account as they are received. You will receive an email notification when a letter is uploaded, and the receipt will appear on your Letter Tracker account.
For more questions review the Student Letter Tracker tutorial on our website.
Step 2: Evaluation Section on Your Application
These bullets may or may not apply to your application depending on the application service you use.
The evaluator should be Dr. Kaiser. Dr. David Kaiser Prehealth Advisor Brigham Young University email@example.com 3328 WSC 801-422-3044 Provo, UT 84602
Pick a “Due Date.” Regardless of the chosen date, the letter secretary will submit your packet in 3–5 business days.
Write a “Personal Message.” You must write a message to submit a request, but it will be read only by the letter secretary. Select “Permission to contact reference” and “permission for schools to contact reference.”
State the letter type as “HP(E) Committee Packet” or “Committee Letter,” and state the institution as “Brigham Young University.”
When you have completed the application portion, you will receive a letter ID. You will use this ID when completing your packet request in your Letter Tracker Account.
Step 3: Request a Packet
Log in to Letter Tracker, click “Packets,” and then click “Request a packet.” Do no request a packet until all your letters are received.
On the following page, select the application services you want to send packets to and include the ID numbers from each application service.
Select the letters for the packet. AMCAS and AACOMAS allow six letters in a packet. TMDSAS and AADSAS allow four letters in a packet. AADSAS will also allow you to send in one separate letter along with your packet, but it cannot be uploaded through Letter Tracker. This fifth letter must be uploaded directly to AADSAS by the letter writer.
Finally, after choosing the letters for your packet(s) click “Submit.”
You will receive an email confirming that the letter packet has been sent. Processing time for packets may take 3–5 business days; please keep this in mind for deadlines. For more questions, review Requesting a Letter Packet tutorial on our website.
*Remember: Because this is a two-step process, letter packets cannot be sent until they are requested from both letter tracker and the application service. Once a PDF file is uploaded, it cannot be changed. Additionally, the PPAC does not send transcripts, personal comments, pictures, etc.
Q: Do I have to use BYU Letter Tracker, or are there other ways to collect letters?
A: It is completely your choice as to whether or not you use this free service. There are other third party letter-collecting agencies such as Virtual Evals or Interfolio that cost a small fee. You can also ask your letter writers to upload letters directly to the application service and forego a letter-collecting agency altogether.
Q: Why use Letter Tracker?
A: Letters can be uploaded anytime. If you have your letter writers upload letters directly to the application service, they have to wait until the application services open. Letter Tracker provides you with access to your letters for five years. You can also use these letters for other medical-related scholarships or programs. If you do not use Letter Tracker, your letters will not be saved. Another benefit is that the letter secretary will check each letter for the required letterhead and signature. If you have a problem with your letters, it is much easier to work through the letter secretary than an application service.
Q: Who should write my letters?
A: The most important consideration is that you meet the requirements of each school you are applying to. Go to each school’s website to see the requirements. The next most important factor is ensuring that each letter writer knows you well enough to provide an adequate description of you. The status or title of the letter writer does not matter. Confirm that they will provide a positive recommendation and a well-written letter.
Q: How many letters can I have on file at the Preprofessional Advisement Center?
A: You can store as many letters as you want on Letter Tracker. However, avoid the inconsideration of asking for letters that will not be used.
Q: Can I specify which letters go to which schools?
A: If you send your letters in a packet, they cannot be specified to a school, no matter if you are using Letter Tracker or another application service. AMCAS and AACOMAS do allow specific letters to be sent to specific schools if you have the letter writers upload their letters directly to the application service, instead of through Letter Tracker.
Q: My letter writer’s secretary uploaded my letter and the secretary’s name shows, is this okay?
A: Only the letters will be sent to the schools, not any information on Letter Tracker. When you create a packet, just remember whose letter is under what name and select the correct letters.
Q: Can I submit my application before I have collected all my letters?
A: Yes! As soon as you have completed your application, submit it. To complete the endorsement portion, all you need to do is fill out the required information. The letters do not need to be completed yet. Letters will not be looked at until after your application has been verified and sent to the schools. This happens a few weeks after you have submitted your application or around secondary time.
Q: Can I send a fifth letter to AADSAS?
A: AADSAS accepts one letter packet and one extra letter, if desired. This fifth letter must be uploaded directly to AADSAS by the letter writer. It cannot be uploaded through Letter Tracker. Preprofessional Advisement Center ◘ 3328 WSC Provo, UT ◘ 801.422.3044 ◘ prehealth.byu.edu◘ firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: How many letters can I have in a packet? A: You can submit six letters in a packet to AMCAS and AACOMAS. You can submit four letters to TMDSAS and AADSAS.
Q: How many packets can I send to each application service (AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS, AADSAS)?
A: One. Letter Tracker sends only one packet per application service. All schools within the application service will receive the same packet of letters. Before submitting a packet request, please confirm that Letter Tracker has received all letters.
Q: How do I submit additional letters besides my packet?
A: Each application service allows you to submit additional letters to the schools. However, our office will only send one packet to each school. Any additional letters will need to be requested by you and uploaded directly to the application service via the letter writer.
Q: If my letter packet has more letters than the requested amount, is that going to be a problem?
A: No. Sending schools a letter packet with more letters than they allow is acceptable. We send our letter packet in a single PDF to make it easy for them to upload and pick out the letters they prefer.
Q: Does BYU have a Committee Letter?
A: BYU does not have a Committee Letter or a Prehealth Advisor Letter. Instead, we have letter packets. Due to the large number of applicants, BYU does not write a Committee Letter. You will fulfill the Committee Letter requirement on the application by submitting a letter packet.
Q: What is the turn-around time for a packet?
A: Packets are processed within 3-5 business days. If your packet has not been processed within this time, it is due to one or more of your requested letters not having a letterhead and/or signature. If that is the case, we will contact your letter writer for correction. Your packet will be processed once the corrected letter is submitted. By logging into Letter Tracker, you can check that your letter writers are uploading their letters and see when your packet is submitted. You will also receive an email at that time, notifying you of the submission. Q: How will I know the status of my letters and packets?
A: A confirmation email is sent whenever a letter is uploaded to Letter Tracker. Letters are automatically uploaded. An email is also sent when your packet has been processed. If you have a question about whether your letter or packet has been uploaded/submitted, you can check by logging on to your Letter Tracker account.
Q: Can I reuse my letters if I am reapplying?
A: You can reuse letters as long as they were uploaded on Letter Tracker. We recommend half of your letters be current. This means either getting new letters or updating your old ones. To update old letters, stay in contact with your letter writer. They can add additional things you have done within the last year and change the date. This will show schools that you have improved since you last applied. If this is not a possibility, you can just have them change the date on the letter. To update your letters, request the letter on Letter Tracker again. Once they have uploaded the letter, ask the letter secretary to delete the older one. If your letter writer does not have the previously submitted letter, you can request the letter secretary send them a copy.
*Remember: Letter packets cannot be sent until they are requested. Once a PDF file is uploaded, it cannot be changed. Additionally, the PPAC does not send transcripts, personal comments, pictures,