Is UMCAS a medical school?
No. UMCAS - the Universal Medical College Application Service, is NOT a medical school. We are an application platform that provides a simple online application pathway to a handful of medical schools within the Caribbean region that participate with us, to make the application and on-boarding process simpler for you, the applicant.
Q. Is this a social network?
A. The simple answer to this is NO. UMCAS – The Universal Medical College Application Service is a streamlined, online application service that connects prospective students to the admissions departments of participating Medical Schools around the world, specifically working with Medical Schools outside North America that both Americans and Canadians tend to go to if they are unsuccessful at securing a seat locally.
Q. How come this service wasn’t available earlier?
A. Great question. We wondered the same thing. It sure would have made the lives of existing medical students, graduates and residents’ lives much easier. And they would have saved a lot of money and stress along the way.
Q. The medical school I want to apply to is not on the UMCAS list of participating medical schools. How come?
A. We had made every effort to provide an overview of the mutual benefits for both students and schools alike when we launched UMCAS. Remember that the majority of the medical schools participating in UMCAS are private, for-profit institutions throughout the globe. To be listed on UMCAS, all our participating medical schools have to forfeit their application fees so that UMCAS can provide a subsidized fee for you, the student! If a medical school of interest in not listed on UMCAS, then you’ll have no choice but to apply to that school separately and pay separate fees, etc… We would suggest that if you have to do this, do us a kind favor and encourage that school to reconsider joining UMCAS.
Q. Have I exhausted my local medical school options?
A. Whether you're from Canada, the USA or around the world, the most viable option to obtain a medical education is in your home town/state or country. Of course, because of the stiff competition and reduced number of seats, not everyone who wants to go to medical school in their hometown gets in. The alternative is getting into one of many recognized medical schools around the world – Caribbean, Europe, Asia.
Q. Do I have all the required information/documents before I apply?
A. Every medical school is different when it comes to their application process. Say ‘Good-Bye!’ to those long paper applications or multi-page PDF/online applications. To streamline the process and make your life easier, UMCAS created a universal application (that also acts as your user profile – visible by admissions officers ONLY). We reviewed applications from over 50 medical schools around the world and came to a consensus about the most important information that should be collected during the initial application process. Your UMCAS Dashboard/Application collects all the basic information that you’d expect to provide on a medical school application. From work experience to volunteer experience, MCAT scores to publications…it’s all there. But we went a little further. Now you can upload all the most commonly required documentation right on your dashboard, from personal statements and scholarship request letters, to reference letters, a police clearance report, passport photos and even your health clearance report in either .DOC, .JPG or .PDF format. But wait…there’s more! Moving in line with the evolving age of technology, we now give you an opportunity to upload a YouTube or Vimeo link to share a personal admission video. Do schools require this? NO. But we asked a handful of admissions officers who agreed that a personal video would definitely give an applicant an edge!
Q. Do I have to complete the entire UMCAS Application?
A. The simple answer to this is ‘YES’. Try to complete as much of the information as possible. That includes uploading as much of the supporting documents as you possibly can. We have built the platform to monitor your progress. The system will not allow you to move forward and apply to any schools until your application is at least 80% complete. The reason we put this fail-safe in place is so that admissions officers have as much information as possible before deciding the fate of your application. So we highly encourage you to re-visit your UMCAS dashboard frequently to edit, revise and add additional content before you purchase application credits through UMCAS to apply to our participating schools.
Q. I completed my UMCAS application. Why can’t I apply to any schools?
A. To ensure maximum completion of a UMCAS application, at least 80% of the information must be provided. That includes filling in as much of the fields as possible and uploading as much of the supporting documents as you can. We have some smart machine learning running in on the back-end so it tracks and computes everything. Keep track of the progress bar on the Top Right corner of your dashboard. It will initially be GRAY until you reach 80%. After that, it will turn GREEN. Green = Go!
Another reason may also be because you didn’t purchase enough credits to apply to your schools of interest. We built a simple application process where you purchase credits at discounted prices and then use those credits to apply to each medical school of interest. 1 Credit = 1 Application Submittal per Medical School
Q. How much does it cost to apply?
A. If you were to apply individually to each medical school of interest using the conventional model, you would spend anywhere between US $75 to $150 per application. So applying to 10 schools would run you upwards to US $1,500 just on application fees. (Let’s not forget the cost of mailing out your documents to each of these ten schools). If you tally it all up, you’ll end up spending nearly TWO GRAND just to apply. Well at UMCAS, we’ll have none of that! That’s why we created four distinct application fee packages to fit every student:
1 School US $ 75
3 Schools US $ 200
5 Schools US $ 300
10 Schools US $ 500
Q. Are there any refunds?
A. We created four economically-conscious application fee packages to cater to every student. If you want to give yourself the best chance of getting in, we will suggest that you apply to 5 or 10 schools. However, if you’re sure about certain schools and you can’t see yourself going anywhere else, then choose the lower price points. That being said, once you’ve purchased your credits, they are non-refundable and non-transferable. Therefore, before you apply, we encourage you to visit the ‘Medical Schools’ page and do your homework, learning about any and all Medical Schools of interest. If there’s an upcoming information session or open house at one of the Medical Schools, be sure to attend if you can! It’s always good to be well-informed before you make any rational decision. After all, you’ll be required to make rational decisions as a physician and you can only do so once you have all the information present.
Q. Is my information secure?
A. We have tried hard to make sure that our platform is secure and protected using industry-standard encryption practices.
Q. Who gets to see my UMCAS application/dashboard?
A. Your UMCAS application/dashboard is for ‘Your Eyes Only’ BUT it's also what the admissions officers will view and review WHEN and ONLY WHEN you apply to their respective Medical School. Admissions officers, in turn, will be able to communicate with you once you open this line of communication. They can request additional information to help them make a decision about your application or even schedule interviews and ultimately send you your acceptance letter! When you do get accepted, your communication will then carry over into your medical school’s internal email methods. Apart from those select admissions officers, no one else can view your dashboard unless you want them too…hence the reason we have Social Media share icons for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But it’s entirely in your control!
Q. How is the information on my UMCAS Application/dashboard Verified?
A. Let’s put it this way. The truth always comes out. If UMCAS finds out that you chose to lie, mislead, forge or falsify any information on your UMCAS application, we will KICK YOU OUT from our online platform and notify all of our participating medical schools about your disgusting habit. Please don’t let us do this because we want you to succeed! Other than that, we expect that the information you provide is true.
Q. Is my credit card information visible to UMCAS or any Medical Schools?
A. NO. UMCAS proudly uses the Stripe payment gateway to process all transactions and as such, neither UMCAS or the Medical Schools have access to your credit card information. You can sleep peacefully at night knowing this!
Q. I got accepted! Now what?
A. Congrats! You’re about to join an elite breed of people. The 1% of the global population who have the privilege of wearing an “MD” behind their name. Now the real journey begins! Once you receive your acceptance letter from a Medical School, your conversations will carry over into your Medical School’s internal email system, and you will no longer need to access UMCAS…for the application services anyways. But don’t rush off and close your account! Keep it active. We’ll be working to update and revise the UMCAS platform to include cool features like “Student Spotlights” and our own UMCAS “Alumni Wall.”
We have great ideas for UMCAS, and we would love to have you be a part of that process! We’ll also email you (we promise not to spam) special announcements from time to time through you UMCAS account.
Q. How do I close my UMCAS account?
A. We would hate to see you go but if you choose to close you UMCAS account, please send us an email to email@example.com with "CLOSE ACCOUNT" in the subject heading and your reason for leaving us. =(
Q. I got rejected. Now what?
A. First things first. Don’t get discouraged. If we had a penny for every time we spoke to a practicing physician who ‘didn’t get in’ the first time around, we’d be RICH! Sometimes, admissions officers just don’t ‘see’ you the way they should. That’s why the comprehensiveness and completeness of your UMCAS application/dashboard are vital. We suggest that you take a look at your dashboard and revise any information that is worth revising. Make sure you have all the required supporting documentation uploaded. If your marks aren’t the greatest, then try to offset them with amazing extra-curricular activities or volunteer work.