Best Pre-Med Schools

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Obtaining an undergraduate degree and completing your medical school prerequisites is an exciting step in becoming a doctor. If you are considering attending medical school after undergraduate school, you may wonder where to start and what is the best pre-med school to attend. You can complete pre-med tracks at schools all over the country, and choosing the right school can seem like an impossible task.

Aside from school rankings when choosing a pre-med school, there are many factors to consider, but it is important to be informed about the most prestigious pre-med schools. This article has compiled a list of the top pre-med schools in the US.

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15 Best Schools for Pre-med in the US

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Acceptance rate: 12%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 70%

Johns Hopkins is known to be one of the best medical schools in the United States. For pre-med students, Johns Hopkins provides many opportunities for clinical and research experience. The advising track is also very tailored towards pre-med student success.

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Acceptance rate: 6%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 86%

Yale is an ivy league school whose pre-med program is above the national average.

Harvard University

Boston, MA

Acceptance rate: 5%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 93%

Harvard University is one of the most prestigious schools in the United States. It has an excellent pre-med program and high-quality biological sciences departments. Harvard's medical school is also one of the top medical schools in the nation.

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University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Acceptance rate: 9%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 78%

The University of Pennsylvania is home to the Perelman School of Medicine, one of the top medical schools in the country. UPenn has majors that offer pre-med focus options and provides many research opportunities for undergraduate students.

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Acceptance rate: 5%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 75%

Stanford pre-medical association exists to help pre-med students get the resources and advantages they need for success. Some pre-med advisors help through every step of the process.

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

Acceptance rate: 27%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 90%

UNC Chapel Hill has specialized training tracks for pre-med students, offering opportunities for several disciplines in medicine, especially research opportunities.

Columbia University

New York, NY

Acceptance rate: 6%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 91%

Columbia University, as an ivy league school, is one of the top universities in the nation. Its pre-med program meets the prerequisite requirements for most medical schools.

Duke University

Durham, NC

Acceptance rate: 11%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 85%

Duke, one of the most prestigious schools in the US, offers a variety of options for their pre-med program, including study abroad programs and research opportunities. Duke University Medical School is one of the top medical schools in the nation.

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University of Washington

Seattle, WA

Acceptance rate: 45%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: Not published

University of Washington is one of the best state universities for pre-med students. Pre-med students at UW have many research opportunities, and the school focuses on public health.

Boston University

Boston, MA

Acceptance rate: 29%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 80%

Boston University has an excellent pre-med program that provides advising for multiple health-related fields. Boston University is known for helping students set and meet professional goals, complete medical school requirements, and complete medical school applications.

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Acceptance rate: 14%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 76%

Cornell University is an ivy league and is one of the most well-known universities in the United States. It has a Health Professions Advising Center to help pre-med students prepare for careers in the medical field.

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Acceptance rate: 17%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 75-80%

Georgetown hosts a top medical school with excellent opportunities for undergraduate pre-med students. Further, it guarantees admission to their medical school to high-performing students at the end of their sophomore year - meaning students can attend Georgetown University School of Medicine without taking the MCAT.

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Acceptance rate: 9%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 80%

Northwestern University's Health Professions Advising Office provides many resources for its pre-med students. They help students throughout their undergraduate years and prepare them for multiple disciplines.

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

Acceptance rate: 7%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 82%

The University of Chicago has an excellent reputation for its pre-med track. The school offers cohort-based programs to help students get early experience in their pre-med journey.

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

Acceptance rate: 19%

The acceptance rate for Undergraduate students or Alumni applying to medical school: 84%

The University of Notre Dame in Indiana has a top-ranked pre-med program but is also unique. Notre Dame has an Arts and Letters pre-health supplementary major, which encourages students to study art and humanity courses in opposition to the classic style of pre-med programs, which are much more focused on math and science.

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What Makes a School Good for Pre-Meds?

There are a number of ways to finish pre-med requirements during your undergraduate career. These requirements can be completed at many universities, but some schools are better than others for pre-meds. Here are some other criteria to consider:

Curricular Opportunity

Many students do not major in a pre-med program. They fit pre-med classes into a different major. While biology is usually biology-related, sometimes students want to major in the arts or humanities while taking pre-med requirements as electives. Students must ensure the school of choice allows this combination of classes.

Reputation

Medical school applications can be strengthened by attending a school that has a reputation for a good pre-med program or a reputation as a generally elite university.

Extracurricular Opportunity

A medical school application must showcase extracurricular activities such as volunteer work, community service, and leadership. Showcasing involvement in extracurricular opportunities connected to the medical field or health care is especially important.

Medical School Placement Assistance

Attending a school for your undergraduate degree that offers advising throughout the process of obtaining your degree and completing your pre-med requirements can be an important part of getting into med school. Due to the difficulty of getting into medical school, having dedicated advisors to help you can be the key to your success.

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Pre-Med Courses

Course requirements for medical school acceptance can vary between schools, but commonly required courses include:

  • Biology - 2 classes with labs
  • Physics - 2 classes with labs
  • General chemistry - 2 classes with labs
  • Organic chemistry - 2 classes with labs
  • Biochemistry - 1 class
  • English - 2 classes
  • Math - 2 classes

It is also common for schools to require statistics, psychology, and writing classes.

You should also check the requirements at the medical schools you are applying for, to ensure you aren't missing specific requirements unique to individual schools.

While these classes may not be explicitly required for medical school applications, they can be valuable for students to enroll in.

  • Genetics
  • Statistics
  • Calculus
  • Ethics
  • Public health
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Since pre-med students do not major in pre-med but instead work pre-med requirements into another major, they often choose science-heavy majors that are easy to work the requirements into. Common majors for pre-med students to choose from include:

  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Social Sciences
  • Math

Other Med School Requirements

Besides the many classes you must take, other steps are needed for your medical school application and acceptance. These include:

  • MCAT score and GPA minimum requirements
  • Personal statements, often about why you want to pursue medicine
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Extracurriculars that are relevant to the medical field
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Pre-Med Scholarships on Bold.org

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Frequently asked questions about Pre Med

What is the #1 pre-med school in the US?

Johns Hopkins is usually considered the best pre-med school in the United States and is also known for having one of the best medical schools in the US.

What is the best pre-med major?

Biology and Chemistry are two of the best majors to choose, as they naturally lead to taking pre-med classes.

What GPA is good for applying to med school?

Most schools are looking for applicants with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

What is the hardest pre-med major?

Organic chemistry is considered the hardest major for pre-med and is even called the "pre-med killer."

What is a good MCAT score?

Generally, an MCAT score of 510 or higher with at least 127 in each section is considered ideal.