Applying to Med School FAQ

Questions from time line survey

revised April 2021


What exactly does PMAC mean?

It stands for Premedical Advisory Committee. This is the committee that writes your “committee letter”, and is composed of faculty members, deans, professional advisors, and physicians from the University and community. More information about the composition and role of the committee can be found here.


Some very closely related questions: When do I meet with the pre med advisory committee? When do I set up my meeting with the pre med advisory committee? I’m not exactly sure when/how to start applying for medical school/MCAT. I’m also a little lost of what I need to turn into the premed committee. What materials do I need to turn in to the UofA premed advisory committee?

Applicants don’t actually meet with the PMAC as a whole. Here is how it works:

  1. You apply to PMAC prior to uploading your final application to AMCAS, TMDAS, and/or AACOMAS.
  2. You are interviewed by one or more members of PMAC.
  3. PMAC meets (without you) to discuss your application. After the discussion, each member rates your application on a five-point scale.
  4. The committee-average score is included in your committee letter, along with a summary of your activities, an account of your PMAC interview, and a statement explaining the score.


You turn in to PMAC:

  1. a web form, which is specific for the UofA premed program
  2.  a copy of your AMCAS/TMDSAS/AACOMAS application
  3. a picture of yourself
  4. a waiver form for PMAC

And you arrange to have letters of recommendation sent to PMAC.


Is there a source with a timeline for everything all in one place? What is the timeline for the PMAC cycle. Has the date that PMAC will be conducting interviews been decided yet? If so, could that be posted on the listserv?

Yes and no. Everything would include med school timelines, which are variable. The PMAC 2021 timeline is here. There is a pdf with the most current general information posted here and on the premed Blackboard site. Specific dates vary from year to year.


If the PMAC interviews are in July (June, Sept, etc), when will we receive the letter to complete our applications?

Depending on the availability of your MCAT score, if you interview in July, the committee letter uploads at the end of July or early August.

If you interview in Sept or October, the committee letter uploads approximately 10 days after the committee meeting in which your application is discussed, assuming that you have submitted your primary application.


 I also do not know how or when I sign up for my PMAC interview.

Applicants are assigned interviewers and time slots beginning immediately after the PMAC application deadline. 


Can someone still apply to DO schools or Texas schools if applying in the fall?

Yes, but schools with rolling admissions will have already selected much of their class by the fall. It is strongly discouraged, in other words.

For AMCAS letter requests, who should I put as the contact for my committee letter?

Mack Ivey
Chair, Premed Program
Dept of Biological Sciences
Univ of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701


When applying to med school, how long does it take for you to know if you’re accepted?

This varies by school. UAMS informs a few (20-25) early applicants in December, and an even smaller number in January. Most hear in late February. Those on the alternate list could find out as late as July.


How many shadowing and volunteer hours are recommended?

There is no definitive answer to this, but in general, a strong application lists multi-year volunteering, and enough shadowing to give evidence of knowledge and appreciation of the variety of medical specializations.


I will likely be abroad throughout the months of July - December. Will this have any impact on my application outside of returning to the US for interviews?

Not necessarily. After your PMAC interview, your presence in the US probably will be required only for med school interviews. However, previous applicants have reported that the stress of the application process is compounded by being overseas.


I want to do the UAMS Summer Scholars Program (or other summer program) before I take the MCAT, but will that affect me being able to apply on time?

As long as the program allows you to take the MCAT by late July, your application for the fall cycle will not be affected.



If I plan on applying only to UAMS, what would be the advantage of going ahead and taking the MCAT in early June instead of waiting until late summer?

There is no real strategic advantage. Tactical advantages include: re-take flexibility; getting it over with, so as to focus on the rest of the application and then enjoying the summer; possible early interview at UAMS; possible early admission to UAMS.


Not sure if ARCOM in Fort Smith is rolling admissions.

It is.

When should I ask professors about recommendation letters?

Ideally, in the spring of the year you apply. Soon after taking the MCAT, at the latest.

When do PMAC application materials need to be turned in to achieve the earliest interview?

As early as possible.


How long does it take for MCAT scores to come back?

About a month. 

If I am applying to UAMS, is fall early enough to turn in my application materials, or should I turn them in sooner?

Fall is early enough.


Not sure if I should take a gap year or not.

Feel free to schedule a meeting with a premed advisor to discuss this. Gap years are becoming increasingly more common, as application dates get earlier, and costs increase.


Could we talk more about early decision and how that would affect our chances of getting into other schools?

Early decision is not intended to affect your chances of getting into other schools. However, early decisions are not announced until Oct 1. You will need to check with the other schools to determine the likelihood of success of applications made after Oct 1. (For UAMS, there is no adverse effect.)


By the time our MCAT exam date is completed, how much time should we prepare in organizing and completing our application for medical school?

Plan on it taking at least two weeks.

Is it possible to submit another MCAT score after an application has been submitted?


How exactly do I use the AMCAS (or TMDSAS) request form to get transcripts sent from the UofA?

You first fill out the AMCAS/TMDSAS request form, and then deliver it to the Registrar either in person or online. There is a UofA transcript request form that you fill out as well. It’s online, but they also have print copies at the Registrar’s office.  If you’re on campus, I recommend just walking the AMCAS/TMDSAS form(s) over to the Registrar’s office (Silas Hunt).  That way, you can make it clear that they need to include the AMCAS/TMDSAS forms along with the transcripts when they mail them out.  If you’re not on campus, you can request transcripts through UAConnect, and email the AMCAS/TMDSAS form to

updated 5/13/2020 (with thanks to Andrew Palmer)

The AAMC explained here who they would accept eTranscripts from:

(Credentials Solutions is a service that both UARK, and NWACC use.)

 To get them:

 Navigate to

  1. Enter all personal information and click next
  2. Choose standard official PDF and select when you want to release your transcript (and click next.
  3. Choose “select an application service” and in the dropdown box that appears, select “AAMC MEDICAL SCHOOL APPLICATION SERVICES (AMCAS)” which should be near the top. Then click next.
  4. Input your AAMC ID number and the Transcript ID into the boxes provided. The transcript ID number for each school is provided in the “Transcripts” box in “schools attended” in AMCAS. AAMC stresses how important it is not to mix up the transcript ID’s of your schools, otherwise the transcripts will be attributed to the wrong school in your application. Click Next.
    1. On this page it states “you will not have to send in the AMCAS Transcript Request form because we will automatically include this information with your transcript.”
  5. Review your information to make sure everything is correct and click next.
  6. Fill out the payment information (in 2020 it didn’t cost any more than the normal transcript price).


The service provided email notifications throughout the processing and notified applicants when AMCAS received the transcript. You can also check on the status of your transcript at any point using the link sent to your email.