Common Questions about Applying to Grad School During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

By now, everyone is aware of, if not affected in some way, by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For current students, instruction has likely moved online for the foreseeable future. If you’re not a student yet, the most important thing to know is that, yes, you can still apply to a graduate program, though it might not be the same process it was pre-pandemic. Check the websites of your schools of interest or Centralized Application Services (CASs) for the most up-to-date information about changes to the process.  

Some common questions that students in your position are asking include:  

  • “Are application deadlines being moved back?” 
  • “What do I do if my school canceled standardized tests?” 
  • “Will schools still be able to access my transcripts?” 

These are all extremely important questions and the answers may vary. For instance, premed students who have not yet taken the MCAT may not be able to apply to medical schools this fall. However, this could change at any time as experts get a better idea of how many Spring tests will be affected. Students who are already in the middle of applying to medical schools and are now reaching the interview phase will most likely be doing interviews online

Harvard Medical School, UNC-Chapel Hill and John Hopkins are all still encouraging prospective grad students to apply, but to do so online. Harvard’s application process is managed through AMCAS®, the American Medical College Application Service® provided by AAMC. AAMC reports that services will operate as usual, and there are no changes in milestones or timelines at this point. UNC-Chapel Hill has posted updates on standardized testing that can be sorted by country and test type. 

These are just a few examples of ways grad schools are altering their admissions processes to comply with social distancing orders; however, be sure to continue to check for updates on your school’s website, as changes are likely to occur. If you plan to use a Liaison-powered CAS to apply to your programs of interest, you can find the most up-to-date information about application status updates on Liaison’s COVID-19 Application Updates for Students page.

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