Knowing the Impact: COVID-19 & Medical School Admissions

For those with interests in pursuing careers in the medical or healthcare field and who are looking to attend medical school, we know you have been working up to this moment for your entire college career. It is more important than ever to be informed on COVID-19 and, for applicants everywhere, specifically how the pandemic is impacting your admissions processes. Here is what you need to know:

Firstly, there is some good news! Applications are processed entirely online, as all applicants are required to submit their materials through AMCAS or AACOMAS, so there is no shift in that regard. That being said, there are adjustments that institutions everywhere are making regarding grading policy, testing, and more.

With regards to grading, select colleges and universities across the country have chosen to implement a universal Pass/Fail policy for this semester, and admissions offices at medical schools know this – do not worry, you will not be judged for this if it is reflected in your GPA!

Also, as you’re likely aware, MCAT testing dates are being canceled and postponed due to the outbreak. Students registered for canceled testing dates are being offered refunds and free rescheduling. The Princeton Review’s website offers a comprehensive look at canceled MCAT testing dates, so look out for further testing dates and additional information. These cancelations will impact the timing of when you have your completed applications, so get in touch with admissions officers if you have concerns about this. It is uncertain right now the extent to which there will be an extended period or greater leeway as far as submission deadlines go, but you can check the AAMC calendar for dates and deadlines of services and more that will undoubtedly be changing rapidly.

A huge part of your med school applications is your extracurricular participation. With schools moving online and remote learning taking priority, one way to continue to show initiative in your extracurriculars is to encourage group members (even if you are not on leadership or executive boards) to meet and collaborate virtually! You can do this by using video chatting platforms such as GoogleMeet or Zoom, which allow enough participants on each so you’ll likely be able to accommodate everyone in your organization at once. This can help you stay connected and stay on top of your organization’s goals for the semester!

Something else to keep in mind is that both current and incoming medical students are missing out on clinical and other hands-on experiences right now, but you will not be poorly assessed because of factors outside of your control. Everything you have worked toward to ensure your application is strong and distinctive remains of high importance, and your experiences are valid. Continue to work diligently on your applications, and use the resources around you to succeed!

If you have further questions about the medical school application process or would like to talk about your options going forward, register on Handshake for a 30-minute virtual career coaching appointment and meet with one of our team. You can also reach out to the Pre-Med/Pre-Dental Office at with any questions!

By Clarice Pennock
Clarice Pennock Career Intern Clarice Pennock