Common Application Services

AMCAS, AACOMAS and AADSAS are often scheduled to give on-campus presentations in the Spring. Check the google calendar for updates.

Medical, Dental, Optometry, and Podiatry Schools all utilize common application services. For answers to specific questions regarding these processes or to initiate an application, please visit their individual websites:

ProgramApplication ServicesAvailable
Allopathic Medical School (MD) AMCAS-American Medical College Application ServiceEarly May
Osteopathic Medical School (DO)AACOMAS-American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application ServiceEarly May
Texas Medical/Dental SchoolTMDSAS-Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application ServiceEarly-Mid May
Dental SchoolAADSAS-Associated American Dental SchoolJune 1
Optometry SchoolOPTOMCAS-Optometry Centralized Application ServiceLate June
Podiatry SchoolAACPMAS-Amercian Association of College Application ServiceLate August

What does a centralized application service do?

  • Collects applicant information.
  • Collects a set of transcripts for each applicant.
  • Verifies the academic record, i.e., checks to see that the academic history you reported on your application agrees with that shown on transcripts from schools where you have done college-level academic work.
  • Calculates GPA using pluses (+) and minuses (-).
  • Provides all other application information to professional schools.
  • At the end of the cycle, reports data on applicants to professional schools and to University of Maryland Health Professions Advising Office.

Why do they standardize grading information?

There is no national standard for awarding credits and grades. Some schools are on a course credit system; some are on a semester hour basis. Some award pluses and minuses, such as UMD, some do not. Professional schools need a standardized format in order to compare applicants. Consequently, common application services "normalize" grading systems and calculate what they refer to as an "AMCAS GPA" or an "AADSAS GPA," for example. That is the GPA that the professional schools use for their admissions review. In addition, many students have taken courses from more than one undergraduate institution. The application service formula will put all of your undergraduate course work into one calculation.

How do I know what GPA will be reported?

GPA Calculation

  • Total GPA: list all classes attempted regardless of the grade received.
  • Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math GPA: list all science and math courses (dental applicants should omit math courses as they are not part of the AADSAS calculation)
  • Post Baccalaureate GPA: list classes taken after you finished your 1st undergraduate degree. Do not include Masters or Ph.D. program course work.
  • Graduate GPA: list classes that have counted towards a Masters or Ph.D. program.

Professional and graduate schools, and the application services they use, expect you to include ALL attempted classes (although not "W" withdrawals). Even if UMD has let you retake the course and counts only the higher grade in your GPA, professional schools require that you use both grades in your GPA calculation. This means that your calculated
GPA may be different from the one that appears on your transcript.