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Guidelines for the Consideration of Applications for Transfer or Advanced Standing - GSA - AAMC

Preamble: These guidelines are established:

  1. to assist medical schools in the handling of applications

    1. from individuals currently enrolled in a medical school who are interested in transfer to another medical school,
    2. from individuals previously, but not currently, enrolled in a medical school who are interested in enrollment with advanced standing at a medical school, and/or
    3. from individuals with specialized education and training who are interested in enrollment with advanced standing at a medical school, and
  2. to ensure communication and cooperation among medical schools and between medical schools and the AAMC.

    1. Once a student enters medical school, it is expected that the individual has chosen a school where he/she will remain for completion of the entire undergraduate medical curriculum. However, circumstances may arise that cause an individual to seek transfer to another medical school. A medical student has a right to apply for transfer from one medical school to another medical school. A medical school has a responsibility to provide a transcript of the individual's academic record and a letter of evaluation, if requested by the student, to another medical school.
    2. Medical schools should not recruit applicants for transfer from other institutions. The acceptance of transfers should be limited to students who demonstrate compelling circumstances as one of the reasons for their request for transfer.
    3. Each medical school determines whether or not it will accept transfer students.
    4. Schools that accept transfer students should develop and publish criteria for the acceptance of transfer applicants or applicants for advanced standing.
    5. Schools that accept transfer students should develop and publish the timetable for the availability of transfer application material; deadline dates for the receipt of applications and for the receipt of transcripts, the school letter of evaluation, and faculty recommendations; and the date for notification of acceptance. The application materials should include information about the approximate number of places available for transfer students for the next academic year and the criteria for selection.
    6. Applications for transfer or advanced standing should include an official transcript and an official letter of evaluation from the Dean/Associate Dean for Student Affairs or other appropriate official of the applicant's current school.

      1. The transcript should document the individual's entire academic history at the medical school, including notation of any leaves-of-absence, schedule modifications, and an explanation of the grading system. If any of these items are not included on the school's transcript, they should be included in the letter of evaluation.
      2. The letter of evaluation should state the eligibility (or expected eligibility) of the individual for promotion to the next academic year at the student's current school. The letter should address the academic and non-academic qualifications of the individual for the eventual practice of medicine. Specific comment should be included on any infractions of the school's code of ethical and behavioral conduct.
      3. The application for transfer or advanced standing should include a question asking the applicant to state whether he or she has ever been the recipient of any action by any postsecondary institution for unacceptable academic performance such as dismissal, disqualification or suspension, or for conduct violations.
    7. It is recommended that a school's transfer application deadline be no later than May 1 preceding the academic year of anticipated enrollment.
    8. It is recommended that the school accepting the student telephone or email the Associate Dean of Student Affairs or other appropriate official at the student's current school at the time an acceptance is offered. A copy of the letter of acceptance should be sent to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the institution where the applicant is currently enrolled at the time of acceptance.
    9. The letter of acceptance for a transfer should state clearly the starting date, the year of the curriculum that the student will enter, any conditions of acceptance (such as a passing score on the USMLE), and implications for the transfer student if all conditions of the transfer are not met.
    10. Ideally, an individual should not be permitted to enroll as a transfer student at the receiving school prior to receipt of an official letter of acceptance by the student and confirmation by the receiving school that the student has resigned from the student's current school. If another arrangement is used, it should be with the full understanding of both schools.
    11. Medical schools are expected to report acceptances of Advanced Standing/Transfer Students to the AAMC by adding and updating the acceptee's information in the Student Records System (SRS).
    12. Medical schools are expected to notify the AAMC when an accepted applicant withdraws as a candidate for admission so that the Advanced Standing/Transfer Student Master Acceptance List can be maintained accurately.

Developed by the Group on Student Affairs Steering Committee, March 20, 1995

Approved by the AAMC Executive Council, June 22, 1995

Updated July 18, 2016