Best Medical Schools in the US
If you want to become a physician, then you need a game plan for how to apply to—and get into—the best med schools. There are many reasons students might want to attend best medical schools in the US. Med students can expect to receive a rigorous but rewarding education at world-class facilities, gaining the training they need to succeed in everything from patient care to lab-based research.
Many of the best medical schools in the US are also considered some of the top medical schools in the world. But just what does it take to get into top medical schools?
There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to building your own personal list of medical schools. That’s why we’ve created this guide to the Best Medical Schools in the US. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the top medical schools in the US.
- Statistics from the best medical schools in the US, like medical school acceptance rates, the average GPA needed to get into the best med schools, and medical school rankings
- Application requirements at top medical schools in the US, including Johns Hopkins and Harvard
- Our list of the best med schools, including the top 25 best medical schools in the US
- A list of medical schools by state, including the best medical schools in California, Texas, Florida, and New York
- Top medical schools in the US by specialty, including the best medical schools for surgery, research, and primary care
- How to choose the best med schools for you
Medical school rankings are a great place to start learning about the best medical schools in the US. But just what does it take to get into these schools? Before we dive into some medical school rankings, let’s take a look at the admissions process.
Demystifying Medical School Admissions
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably wondering how to get into medical school. Getting into the best medical schools in the US is no easy task. After all, these are some of the top medical schools in the world for a reason. So, students should begin preparing early.
Those applying to the best medical schools in the US will need to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). You’ll submit this score as part of your application. Most people study for 4-6 months prior to taking the test. Additionally, your scores will remain valid for up to 2-4 years depending on the school’s application requirements. You’ll want to take the MCAT when you have the time to study and prepare.
Typically, students will need to submit all of their applications by June. Schools will then review applications and, in July, request select students to write additional essays. Pre-writing various prompts can be helpful, as requests will come in concurrently, and you’ll need to send them back as soon as possible.
Following this secondary round, students can expect to be invited for interviews in September through March. Depending on the school and your circumstances, you may hear back as early as mid-October.
Before beginning your applications, you’ll need to decide which of the best medical schools in the US you actually want to apply to.
Students will want to do research on the best medical schools in the US even before they’ve completed their undergrad degrees. If you’re considering applying to the best medical schools in the US or beyond, it is never too early to begin contemplating medical specialties. These include research, primary care, and surgery.
You can find a list of medical schools anchored by specialty-specific medical school rankings. While many of the top medical schools in the US will likely be somewhere on each list of medical schools, there will be some variation. So, the best medical schools for surgery won’t necessarily be the same as the best med schools for other specialties.
In-state vs. out-of-state
Another important consideration when evaluating top medical schools in the US is relative location. The best med schools will take into consideration whether you’re applying from in-state vs. out-of-state. This is because some schools actually prioritize in-state applicants during the admissions process.
So, rather than looking at the best medical schools in the US, you may want to look at the top schools in your home state. If that’s the case, you may be more interested in the best medical schools in California, the best medical schools in Florida, or the best medical schools in Texas. In-state tuition will also be significantly lower than out-of-state, so keep that in mind as you build your list of med schools.
Each of the best medical schools in the US will have their own set of requirements. You may find that the Stanford medical school requirements will look different from the UCSF medical school requirements. Later on, we’ll discuss general requirements you’ll likely see at the top medical schools in the US. And remember, if you’re looking beyond the best medical schools in the US to the best medical schools in the world, you may encounter some unique and additional steps in the application process.
What percentage of applicants get into medical school?
Admissions at the best med schools, including the top medical schools in the US and the top medical schools in the world, are extremely competitive. According to U.S. News and the Association of American Medical Colleges, only 41% of applicants are admitted to medical school.
Having gone through your undergraduate application process, you likely already have a sense of how competitive the best medical schools in the US can be. However, applying to med school is an even more rigorous and challenging process. To give you a better sense of medical school acceptance rates, let’s look at a few top medical schools in the US and their acceptance rates.
Medical school acceptance rates
In 2022, 6,914 students applied to Harvard Medical School. Of those applicants, 226 were admitted, making Harvard’s acceptance rate just 3.3%. Yale is also competitive. 4,709 students applied to Yale’s medical program in 2020, while just 100 students were admitted. This puts Yale’s acceptance rate at 2.1% for that admissions cycle. So, if you’re thinking of applying to Yale, be sure to check out the Yale medical school requirements.
Just from these two schools alone, it’s clear the best medical schools in the US are extremely competitive. Next, let’s look at one of the best medical schools in New York, Columbia. Columbia admitted 140 new students to their class of 2026 with an acceptance rate of 1.9%. UPenn has an acceptance rate of 2%, and the Duke acceptance rate is 2.1%.
No matter where you look, from the top medical schools in California to the best medical schools in Texas, you’ll likely find low acceptance rates. Most classes at top medical schools in the US are only 100-150 students, so spots are limited. That means you’ll need a “how to get into medical school” strategy.
Reviewing the Case Western ranking or the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine acceptance rate or the Washington University in St. Louis medical school requirements can be overwhelming. So, let’s break down how to strengthen your application to these top schools.
How to strengthen your application
Medical school acceptance rates show the admissions process is certainly competitive at the best medical schools in the world. However, there are ways to strengthen your application.
High MCAT scores and high GPAs will certainly increase your chances of earning an interview at top medical schools in the US. So, performing well in your undergraduate courses is crucial if you want to get into the best medical schools. You’ll also want to give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the MCAT to boost your chances of getting into the medical school of your choice.
What is the average GPA for medical school?
Students hoping to be admitted to medical school should have at least a 3.5 GPA to remain competitive. They should also focus on getting As and Bs in all science-related courses.
According to US News, the median GPA for incoming med students to schools included on their Best Medical Schools in the US list was 3.75. However, this included individual school averages as low as 3.46. For the top 10 schools, however, this average jumped to 3.81 (for primary care) and 3.88 (for research). So, the higher the medical school rankings, the higher your GPA will need to be. Let’s take a look at what some of the best medical schools in the US have to report regarding GPAs.
Cornell admissions does not have a set minimum GPA. However, students should note Cornell admissions does require a minimum “C” grade in all prerequisite courses. Similarly, Baylor admissions does not have a minimum GPA requirement. In fact, you’ll likely find that many of the best medical schools in the US don’t report a minimum GPA. So, admissions criteria like the Stanford Medical School requirements won’t include GPA minimums. However, there is a general understanding that these schools look for outstanding academic performance.
If students are hoping to get into one of the best medical schools in the US, they should aim for an excellent GPA. However, this does not necessarily mean a perfect GPA. Medical school admissions officers agree that GPA isn’t everything. They also understand that it is incredibly hard to ace every science class you take in undergrad.
Medical School Requirements
Next, we’ll discuss some of the elements required to apply to the best medical schools in the US. The top medical schools in the US will all have a unique set of requirements. However, in general, students should expect a rigorous application process. To have a competitive application, students must demonstrate strong academic performance, including a high GPA and a high MCAT entrance exam score.
If students have a strong GPA and test score, admissions will then look at factors such as letters of recommendation, volunteer work, research, and any other field-related experiences. They’ll also look to see if you’ve completed all of the necessary prerequisite courses to enter medical school.
Medical school prerequisites
As stated, the best medical schools in the US will all have their own specific requirements. That being said, you’ll likely see many similarities across top medical schools in the US. Overall, students will need to have completed college-level courses in the following subject areas:
- English or another writing-intensive academic discipline
Other non-major related courses, such as humanities, arts, or foreign language classes, can all be beneficial as well, though not required. To get a better sense of what official requirements might look like at the best med schools, let’s look at the Johns Hopkins Medical School requirements and the Harvard Medical School requirements.
Johns Hopkins Medical School Requirements
Johns Hopkins is one of the best medical schools for surgery and is considered one of the top medical schools in the world. To make the application process as clear as possible, Johns Hopkins outlines all of their prerequisites, requirements and policies for prospective applicants to their M.D. program.
First, students must take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The test must be taken no later than September of the year their application is submitted and no earlier than four years prior to the date of expected matriculation.
Second, students must have completed the required academic courses at an accredited institution. Johns Hopkins now accepts prerequisite courses taken online and also accepts prerequisites taken at a community college. Required courses include:
- Biology (one year/8 semester hours of college biology with laboratory – a separate course in genetics is recommended)
- Chemistry (one year/8 semester hours of general college chemistry with laboratory, one semester/4 semester hours of organic chemistry with laboratory, 3 semesters of biochemistry, no lab required)
- Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences (24 semester hours, including at least two writing-intensive courses)
- Mathematics (6 semester hours of calculus and/or statistics)
- Physics (one year/8 semester hours of general college physics with laboratory)
Third, students should have earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A) degree from an accredited institution.
Additional requirements include:
- Demonstrating communication skills and teamwork skills
- Fulfilling the conditions of admission
- Letters of recommendation
If all aspects of the application are submitted and the requirements are sufficiently met, the Committee on Admission will review and select which applicants will be invited to submit additional essays and complete an interview.
Harvard Medical School Requirements
Harvard tops the list of best medical schools in the world for clinical medicine. So, let’s look at the Harvard Medical School requirements. These eligibility requirements are outlined slightly differently than Johns Hopkins.
First, students must complete all required prerequisite courses, including:
- Biology (one year of biology with laboratory)
- Chemistry/Biochemistry (two years of chemistry with laboratory, including courses in inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry
- Physics (one year of physics, laboratory desirable but not required)
- Mathematics (one year of math, including courses in calculus and statistics)
- Writing (one year of expository writing – can be satisfied by humanities or social science courses involving substantial essay writing)
In addition to these courses, students are highly encouraged to complete courses in behavioral sciences, like psychology or sociology. Harvard also encourages students to take courses in literature, languages, and the arts and humanities.
Second, students must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Test scores must be submitted no later than October, and scores over three years old will not be accepted.
Third, students must submit their letters of evaluation (another name for what are essentially letters of recommendation). Students must submit at minimum three letters of evaluation and may submit up to six for consideration.
If all requirements are met, each student’s application will be evaluated holistically. This is based on a combination of factors including academic records, essays, MCAT scores, letters of evaluation, extracurriculars, and experiences including summer occupations, research, and community work.
Doing Your Own Research
As you can see, there are certain differences between the Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical School requirements. Both schools require prerequisite courses, MCAT scores, and letters of evaluation/recommendation. While Johns Hopkins explicitly says students must have earned a B.S. or B.A., this is implied in Harvard’s requirements.
Looking at the core prerequisite course categories, both schools have similar requirements regarding biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and writing. You’ll likely see similar courses included for other top medical schools in the US. Take a look at the Yale medical school requirements, the Stanford medical school requirements, and UCSF medical school requirements and see how they compare!
Overall, be sure to do your own research for whatever schools you choose to apply to. In general, there shouldn’t be many surprising requirements at any of the top medical schools. Still, you’ll want to make sure you have the right information for your how to get into medical school strategy.
How many medical schools are in the US?
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) database, there are 170 medical colleges. This also includes 13 colleges in Canada. So, there are many different schools to choose from, which makes doing your research extra important.
Overall, it is clear that more and more students are applying to medical schools, making the application process more competitive. However, the AAMC continues to project a physician shortage. They anticipate a significant gap in meeting the medical needs of America’s growing and aging population. Bipartisan legislation is in the works to add more Medicare-supported residency positions to help meet the shortage. You can read more about this here.
What is the #1 medical school in the US?
There are many different medical school rankings you might use to determine the best medical schools in the US. To help students decide between top medical schools in the US, U.S. News provides rankings in different areas and across different specialties. So, depending on what you would like to focus on, the best medical schools in the US may vary.
In the arena of research, Harvard Medical School comes in first among the best medical schools in the US. The University of Washington is ranked the best medical school in the US for primary care. Additionally, you can find rankings for the best medical schools in the US for:
- Family medicine
- Internal medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
Additionally, you can find a list of medical schools with the most graduates practicing in medically underserved areas, primary care fields, and rural areas. You can also find a list of the most diverse medical schools in the US, which includes Howard University, Florida International University (Wertheim), and University of California–Davis.
Still wondering how to get into medical school?
Up next, we’ll cover the top 25 best medical schools in the US. You’ll get to see the Case Western ranking, along with where the Washington University in St. Louis Medical School and the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine fall on our list. Then, we’ll look at some of the best medical schools in Florida, California, Texas, and New York.
Top 25 Best Medical Schools
Now, let’s take a closer look at the best med schools in the US. Below, we’ve included a list of medical schools that showcase the 25 top medical schools in the US. Our list of medical schools is ordered according to their medical school rankings from U.S. News.
These are not only the best medical schools in the US, but also some of the best medical schools in the world. All of these schools will provide an outstanding education to prepare you for your future medical career. Their prestige also means they’ll have some of the most competitive medical school acceptance rates.
Medical schools for research
Our list ranks the top medical schools in the US according to the strength of their medical research programs. However, not all schools on this list will be the best med schools for every student. You may be more interested in other medical school rankings, like the best medical schools for surgery or primary care. If these are more aligned with your how to get into medical school goals, keep reading. Later, we’ll examine the medical school rankings at the top medical schools in the US for different specialties.
For now, let’s dive into our top 25 best medical schools in the US for research. While this list is a great starting point, you’ll want to supplement it with your own research. There’s so much more to learn about the best medical schools in the US before you apply. Explore the links we’ve provided to decide which of the best medical schools in the US are right for you.
Top 25 Best Medical Schools
The number one school on our list of top medical schools in the US is Harvard Medical School in Cambridge. According to U.S. News, Harvard is one of the top universities nationwide, and its medical school is one the best medical schools in the world. Because of this, the Harvard medical school requirements are very strict. The average MCAT score is 520 and the average GPA is 3.9.
Up next is the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Johns Hopkins is second only to Harvard on the list of best medical schools in the world. The Johns Hopkins medical school requirements are similar to the Harvard Medical School requirements—and both are competitive. Last year, only 118 applicants were accepted to JHU. So, while the Johns Hopkins medical school requirements are straightforward, students can expect a competitive admissions process. However, admitted students can access their cutting-edge Simulation Center and other incredible resources.
The next of the top medical schools in the US is UPenn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Founded in 1765 in Philadelphia, UPenn was the country’s first medical school. Today, it continues to be one of the top medical schools in the world. UPenn admitted 149 students last year. These students had an average GPA between 3.63-4.0 and an average MCAT score between 511-528.
Another great university on our list of medical schools is Columbia’s Vegelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Columbia’s admission requirements are similar to the Harvard Medical School requirements. To get into this top New York university, students will need an impressive academic record. Columbia admitted 140 students last year with a median GPA of 3.9 and a median MCAT score of 522.
Rounding out the top 5 best medical schools in the US is the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham. Duke prides itself on research, and the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. programs are even more popular than the M.D. program. The Duke acceptance rate is extremely competitive. To get into Duke, students must have a minimum MCAT score of 500. After the 2022 interview process, only 105 of 4798 applicants were admitted.
The first of our top medical schools on the West Coast, Stanford Medical School is located in Northern California. The Stanford Medical School requirements expect students to have strong academics, as Stanford only admits 90 students per class. With a median MCAT score of 518, the majority of admitted applicants score at least 512. Overall, as one of the best medical schools in the US, the Stanford Medical School requirements are similar to those at other top universities.
Our next top medical school, UCSF Medical School, is also located in California, this time in San Francisco. The UCSF Medical School requirements are similar to those at other top schools. UCSF is competitive, with only 2% of applicants attending UCSF. Additionally, more than half of students are from populations currently underrepresented in medicine. In-state residents make up the majority of admitted applicants, as 71% are Californians. This is something to keep in mind in addition to the UCSF Medical School requirements, especially if you are applying from out-of-state.
Located in Nashville, the Vanderbilt School of Medicine is one of the best medical schools in the US southern region. Vanderbilt is one of the top medical schools in the US for audiology and speech-language pathology. The most recent med school class at Vanderbilt featured 96 students, about 9% of the total who applied. Additionally, over 80% of Vanderbilt’s students will follow a traditional M.D. pathway.
One of the top medical schools in the US and one the best medical schools in the Midwest is WashU. Washington University in St. Louis Medical School is located in St. Louis. This past year, WashU admitted 124 students into its medical program. They had an average GPA of 3.86 and an average MCAT score of 520. So, you can imagine their requirements as on par with the Harvard Medical School requirements.
The last school in the top 10 best medical schools in the US is Cornell Weill Medical School. While Cornell is located in Ithaca, their medical school is located in New York City. This past year’s class was only 106 students, making Cornell admissions for medical school extremely competitive. Other Cornell admissions requirements include a minimum grade of C in any undergraduate course.
Our next school is also one of the best medical schools in New York City. NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine is a leader in increasing accessibility when it comes to medical school. The approximately 100 students in each M.D. class are supported with a full tuition scholarship. To be admitted, students should strive for an average GPA of 3.92 and an average MCAT score of 522.
12. Yale University
12th on our list of top medical schools in the US is Yale School of Medicine in New Haven. Yale medical school requirements are highly competitive as their medical school acceptance rates are less than 5%. Admitted students have a median GPA of 3.9 and a median MCAT score of 520. The Yale medical school requirements are on par with those of Harvard and UPenn.
One of the oldest graduate medical education programs is also one of the best medical schools in the US. The Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine has three locations in Rochester, Phoenix, and Jacksonville. They also have a competitive acceptance rate at 4.5 percent. Students who apply to Mayo Clinic also have a high average GPA (3.94) and high average MCAT score (522).
Located in Evanston, the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is one of the top medical schools in the US. It’s also one of the best medical schools in the US for students looking for a quality medical education in the Midwest. The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s class comprises 150 students. Their GPA and MCAT scores are impressive, with average figures at 3.9 and 520 respectively.
One of the few public universities on this list of the best medical schools in the US is the University of Michigan Medical School. Located in Ann Arbor, UMich welcomed 168 students into their 2022 incoming medical school class. UMich also has an equal balance of in-state vs out-of-state students; just under half of admitted students were Michigan residents.
The next school on our list of top medical schools in the US is the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Last year’s incoming class consisted of 153 students. The median GPA for applicants was 3.88 and the median MCAT score was 517. Like other top medical schools, Pittsburgh prioritizes applicants who have clinical or research experience.
Another of the best medical schools in the US, the University of Washington School of Medicine is located in Seattle. This school seeks to educate physicians in the WWAMI region who are residents of these states. The total incoming class numbered 270 students in 2022. Only 23 out of 5681 applicants from outside the serviced region were accepted.
Another one of the best medical schools in the US is the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Icahn students often publish original research during their time at this Manhattan medical school. Nearly a third of the student body are from populations underrepresented in medicine. Mt. Sinai also has fifteen training hospitals where physicians can hone their skills. The school will welcome 120 new students in 2023.
California is home to the next school on our list of top medical schools in the US. Located in Los Angeles, the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine is certainly one of the best medical schools in California. Students accepted to UCLA have average MCAT scores of around 514. Their incoming class of students represents 42 states and countries, and 34% are first-generation medical students.
Rounding out the top 20 best medical schools in the US is the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Enrollment at Pritzker is around 90 students per class. Within this elite group, every student scored above the 68th percentile on the MCAT (507). University of Chicago medical students are also diverse, with 35% of the class from underrepresented backgrounds.
Located in San Diego, the UCSD School of Medicine is one of the best medical schools in the US. 140 students made up the 2022 incoming class. The average undergraduate GPA was 3.77 and the average MCAT score was 515. Most students (82%) majored in some form of biology or chemistry as an undergraduate.
One of the best medical schools in Texas and the best medical schools in the US is Baylor College of Medicine. At their campus in Houston, students can expect to learn how to deliver patient-centered care to diverse populations. According to the Baylor admissions website, entering M.D./Ph.D. students in 2022 had an average GPA of 3.81. They also boasted an average MCAT score of 518 (which is in the 95th percentile).
23. Emory University
Atlanta, GA is home to the next school on our top 25 list of best medical schools in the US. At the Emory School of Medicine, accepted students had an average 3.77 GPA and an average 514 MCAT score. In 2022, Emory received nearly 13,000 applications and enrolled 148 new medical students into their highly competitive program.
Going back to Texas, up next is the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Compared to the best medical schools in the US, UT Southwestern has one of the larger medical programs. The average incoming class is about 237 students, nearly double that of other top programs. However, that doesn’t make it any less competitive. The average GPA for incoming students is 3.88 and the average MCAT score is 518. Additionally, 90% of students are Texas residents, and many students speak a second language.
Finally, we have the last school on our list of the best medical schools in the US. Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is located in Cleveland, OH. Although the Case Western ranking is #25 nationally, in Ohio, the Case Western ranking is #1. This is in part thanks to its affiliation with the Cleveland Clinic. Their M.D. program welcomed 171 new students in 2022 selected from over 8,000 applicants. The lowest accepted MCAT score was 506 and the highest was a perfect 528.
Medical Schools by State
Map of the best medical schools
Above, you’ll find our map of the best medical schools in the US. As you can see, the best medical schools are spread throughout the nation.
On the east coast, you’ll find many of the best medical schools, including those in the Ivy League. Some notable med schools in this area include Harvard, Yale, UPenn, and Johns Hopkins.
Toward the center of the country, you’ll find the best medical schools in the Midwest. These include UChicago, WashU, and Vanderbilt.
Finally, as you work your way to the west coast, you’ll find even more great medical programs. Some top medical schools on the west coast include UCLA, Stanford, and UCSD.
Overall, no matter where in the country you hope to study, you’ll be able to find strong medical programs with a variety of offerings.
Choosing the right program
Some students may be looking for the best med schools in a specific state. Next, let’s look at some great schools that may not be as highly ranked among the top medical schools in the US.
Below, we’ve compiled the medical school rankings of the best medical schools in California and the best medical schools in Texas. We’ll also look at the best medical schools in Florida and the best medical schools in New York.
Each list of medical schools will highlight great schools in specific states. Some of the top medical schools in any given state are also considered some of the top medical schools in the world. You’ll likely recognize some of the schools from our list of the top medical schools in the US.
Finding the best medical schools in the US for you
There are many benefits to narrowing down your list of schools to the best med schools in your home state. That’s because many of the best med schools also offer reduced tuition to in-state residents.
Of course, students should consider the academic strengths of the best med schools. However, the environment in which these top medical schools in the US are located can be equally important. Medical students will be living, studying, and potentially completing their residency in the same state. So, choosing the right place to attend school is very important.
We’ll start by looking at the medical schools in California. For context, 7 out of the top 10 medical schools in California are part of the UC system. For a closer look at the UC system in general beyond just their medical school rankings, check out this webinar.
Medical Schools in California
Here are the top 10 best medical schools in California.
Top 10 California Medical Schools
First is Stanford Medical School, which U.S. News’ medical school rankings lists as the #1 medical school in California. It’s also tied for 5th on the list of best medical schools in the US. Radiology and Surgery are listed as their best medical specialties. Additionally, students can explore the Stanford Medicine Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP) and Medical Scientists Training Program (MSTP). These learning opportunities are what helps make Stanford one of the top medical schools in the world.
Second on the list of the best medical schools in California is UCSF School of Medicine. With a 4-1 student-to-faculty ratio and eight different specialties ranking in the top 10, UCSF is an excellent school. It’s also a great choice for California residents looking to get a quality medical education without a lot of student debt.
UCLA is the third school on our list of the best medical schools in the US. This is primarily because of its partnerships with excellent local hospitals and opportunities for students to work in underserved communities. Students also have access to a top 10 pediatrics program and many streamlined dual-degree opportunities.
Another of the best medical schools in the US is UCSD Medical School. Through their Integrated Scientific Curriculum, students can build a strong foundation for clinical practice. UCSD also encourages their students to use their education to serve local communities, which they can do through the school’s free clinic.
Located in LA, USC’s Keck School of Medicine is next on our list of the best medical schools in California. USC is a top 50 school for both research and primary care, according to U.S. News. Keck also boasts one of the largest and most diverse training hospitals in the country.
We return to the public university system with our next school, UC Irvine Medical School in Irvine. Last year, UC Irvine admitted 114 students out of over 6,000 applicants. These admitted students had an average GPA of 3.78 and an average MCAT score of 514.
Located in Sacramento, UC Davis Medical School boasts a diverse incoming class of 133 medical students. More than 50% of UC Davis students come from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. Admitted students were accepted with an average GPA of 3.58 and an average MCAT score of 509.
The last UC system school on our list is UC Riverside School of Medicine in Riverside. UC Riverside enrolled 81 students in their med school’s class of 2026. They had an average MCAT score of 509 and nearly 40% were from populations underrepresented in medicine.
Pomona is home to the Western University of Health Sciences. Western University is a graduate school for students looking to enter a variety of health professions. Although they do not offer a traditional M.D. program, the flexibility of options makes it a good place for students to begin their careers in medicine.
The final school on our top medical schools in California list is Touro University, located in Vallejo. Touro offers a DO rather than an M.D. program but still covers important areas such as public health, radiography, and sonography. However, all of their medical programs are geared toward helping underserved populations.
Best Medical Schools in Texas
Here are the top 10 best medical schools in Texas.
Top 10 Texas Medical Schools
At #1, Baylor College of Medicine is one of the best medical schools in the US. Baylor is part of the world’s largest medical complex and their program is highly ranked in both research and patient care. This means med students get to have a wide range of clinical experiences during their education.
The next school on our list of the best med schools in Texas is UT Southwestern Medical School. (It also appears on the top-25 list of best medical schools in the US). Students can also specialize in Community or Global Health with their M.D.
Located in San Antonio, UT Health Science Center has schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Dentistry on its campus. Their medical facilities cater to Veterans and the Hispanic communities of South Texas. This feature makes UT’s San Antonio campus ideally suited to future doctors who want to practice in the region.
Another campus of the UT Health Sciences Center, McGovern serves the greater Houston population. Students at McGovern often come from Texas and stay in Texas for residency and additional fellowships. Students can earn their M.D. at McGovern while also pursuing interests in Public Health, Business, or Research.
The next school on our best medical schools in Texas list is Texas A&M School of Medicine. In 2021, their incoming class of medical students had average MCAT scores of 510 and average GPAs of 3.77. Students also can incorporate Engineering into their M.D. track, a program not offered at many medical schools.
Located in Lubbock, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is yet another quality public medical school in the state. Students entering Texas Tech in 2023 achieved average GPAs of 3.82 and average MCAT scores of 509. This puts Texas Tech’s selectivity on par with other schools in the state.
Continuing to explore the different regions of Texas, we turn to North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. Of the entering class of 234 students, 212 were Texas residents. The average GPA of these students in 2021 was 3.81 and the average MCAT score was 509.
At Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, students can earn DO degrees in Huntsville. Students at Sam Houston State often practice in rural areas underserved by other doctors. The average GPA for students is 3.81 and the average MCAT score is 506.
Located in Fort Worth is the Burnett School of Medicine at Texas Christian University. TCU brings in students from all over the country, not only residents of Texas. The 2022 incoming class has an average GPA of 3.66 and an average MCAT score of 509.
The final school on our best medical schools in Texas list is Texas Tech’s secondary campus in El Paso. The Foster School of Medicine campus is right on the Texas-Mexico border. It has similar graduation pathways to its sister campus in Lubbock, with additional language integration and community engagement.
Best Medical Schools in Florida
Here are the top 5 best medical schools in Florida.
Top 5 Florida Medical Schools
Though it doesn’t make the list of top medical schools in the US, UF’s College of Medicine is still the best in Florida. Accepted students typically have a GPA of around 3.79 in scientific courses and an MCAT score of around 514. Approximately 135 students are accepted into the program each year.
Next on the list of the best medical schools in Florida is the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. They enroll about 200 incoming students per year. Nearly 40 students earn a Masters in Public Health alongside their M.D. degree. The average GPA for those students in the Class of 2025 was 3.75 and the average composite MCAT score was 514.
Located in Tampa, The USF Morsani College of Medicine is 3rd on the list of best medical schools in Florida. Last year’s incoming class of 177 new students was the most academically accomplished in the school’s history. The average GPA was 3.89 and the average MCAT score was 517, placing the class in the 94th percentile nationally.
Our next school on the list of best medical schools in Florida is the FSU’s School of Medicine in Tallahassee. The most recent class of 120 students had an average GPA of 3.7 and an average MCAT score of 506.
The last school on our list of best medical schools in Florida is the University of Central Florida School of Medicine in Orlando. Like Florida State, they also admit an incoming class of around 120 students per year. The average GPA for the 2021 incoming class was 3.81 and the average MCAT score was 511.
Best Medical Schools in New York
Here are the top 5 best medical schools in New York.
Top 5 New York Medical Schools
New York is home to some of the best medical schools in the US. As one of the top medical schools in the world, it is no surprise that Columbia is first up. The highlight of the campus is unquestionably the 14-story Vagelos Education Center, a state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2016.
Second is Cornell, another of the best medical schools in New York. For those thinking about how to get into medical school, medical school acceptance rates are tough around the country. Cornell is one of the most selective (3.9%) for those considering attending school in New York.
The best med schools in New York are concentrated in New York City’s Manhattan borough. NYU Grossman School of Medicine is no exception. In addition to quality education, students can even get discounted tickets for games and shows around the city!
Next on the list is another top-25 school, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Unlike many other schools, Icahn is completely focused on graduate programs in health care fields. This means that students can choose from a wide variety of medical education pathways.
Lastly, we have the only school on the list of best med schools in NY not in New York City. University of Rochester School of Medicine is located in Rochester, in upstate New York. Their most recent incoming class had 105 students. Together, they had an average GPA of 3.82 and an average MCAT score of 516.
Considering Medical School Specialities
When researching the best medical schools in the US, it’s important to consider what specialty interests you. Medical specialties are the area within medicine that you choose to focus on. This is similar to how, for example, an international studies major may focus on Latin America. Because medicine is such a broad field, medical students must decide which branch of medicine to study and subsequently practice.
The best medical schools in the US will vary based on your chosen specialty. Medical specialties include pediatric surgery, internal medicine, neurology, emergency medicine, family medicine, and many more. There are even subspecialties within many specialties. Not all of the best medical schools in the US will offer all specialties. So, it’s important to consider the top medical schools in the US for you based on different programs.
When applying to the top medical schools in the US, your intended specialty can play a crucial role. Keep in mind that choosing a specialty is similar to choosing a major. You don’t have to know your specialty before applying, or even in the first couple of years of study. However, it’s good to have an idea of your interests and future goals when building your list of medical schools.
Different best medical schools in the US lists
Of course, there are many “top medical schools in the US” lists to help you navigate your options. Just as there are more general lists, there are also best med schools lists that focus on specific specialties.
No matter your specialty, getting into medical school is extremely competitive. When considering how to get into medical school, be sure to check acceptance rates and requirements. In addition to researching specialties, these are all important steps in preparing your application. Tools such as the MSAR database can aid in your research when applying to the best med schools.
Now, let’s explore some of the best schools for a few different popular specialties among med students.
Best Medical Schools for Surgery
Let’s start off our specialty-focused lists of top medical schools in the US with one of the most popular: surgery. Within surgery, there are many subspecialties to choose from, such as general, pediatric, and neurological. With that in mind, surgery programs that interest you among the top medical schools in the US may vary. However, many will provide similar opportunities.
According to U.S. News, here are the top 5 best medical schools for surgery in the US:
Top 5 Medical Schools for Surgery
Med students studying at Johns Hopkins will do so at one of the best medical schools in the world. Here, many students will study in the Section of Surgical Sciences. Those in their second, third, or fourth year in the program will complete an eight-week clerkship. Rotating every two weeks, students will get to experience a variety of subspecialties in surgery. This includes cardiac, orthopedic, transplant, urology, and more.
The next school on our list of the best medical schools for surgery is the University of California–San Francisco. UCSF’s Department of Surgery offers over 70 clinical, research, and education programs. The surgical program aims to educate students with three core values in mind: clinical excellence, compassionate care, and innovative research.
Next, we have one of the best medical schools in the US. As a top med school, it isn’t surprising that Harvard is also among the best medical schools for surgery. Harvard Medical School is also one of the oldest medical programs in the nation, having started in 1782. Today, students will need to meet the Harvard Medical School requirements in order to gain admission. But, if they do, they’ll have ample options for surgical residencies at the world’s best hospitals.
Our only southern school on our list of best medical schools for surgery is Duke. Their surgical program focuses on both research and clinical studies. The program’s goal is simple: train world-class general surgeons. There are a variety of clinical settings in which students may complete their residency programs. However, the Duke acceptance rate is among the lowest in our list of medical schools. So, make sure your GPA, MCAT, and extracurriculars are up to par before applying!
The Michigan Medicine Department of Surgery emphasizes clinical independence. The program trains students to be among the elite leaders in the surgical world. Students will be able to practice what they study in Michigan’s Clinical Simulation Center. They’ll gain hands-on experience through a simulated surgical experience, allowing them to hone their skills early in their studies.
When looking at these top medical schools in the US, you may be intimidated by their prestige. There is no single strategy for how to get into medical school. But, if you’re considering applying to any of the best medical schools in the US, you should plan carefully. The best medical schools in the US are now more selective than ever due to an increase in applicants over the past few years.
Best Medical Schools for Internal Medicine
You’ll notice that our list of best medical schools for surgery looks quite similar to that of internal medicine. Most of the best medical schools in the US will have ample “best” programs. Regardless, let’s learn a bit more about what their internal medicine programs offer.
Here is a list of the top 7 medical schools in the US to study internal medicine.
Top 7 Medical Schools for Internal Medicine
Topping our list of the best medical schools in the US for internal medicine is Johns Hopkins. One unique offering of the program is its “exceptional training with a personal touch.” The program offers a wide array of internships and even study-abroad opportunities. These experiences focus on either clinical practice or research, depending on the program and location. Here’s more information on the Johns Hopkins Medical School requirements and how to apply to the internal medicine residency program.
Gaining acceptance to this program at Harvard is challenging, to say the least. However, if you do so, you’ll study with faculty who are the best in the world of internal medicine. Through clerkships, research, and residencies, students will have their pick of subspecialties. Graduates of Harvard’s internal medicine program go on to become experts in cardiology, gastroenterology, emergency medicine, and more!
When deciding to specialize in internal medicine at UCSF, students will choose from two different tracks. Both aim to create meaningful change in healthcare and focus on equity and accessibility. Depending on your chosen track, the hospitals at which you do your residencies will vary. However, students will gain the highest quality experience and learning of internal medicine in each.
Students of the Duke Internal Medicine Program will complete three years of training from internships to residency. They’ll gain experience in different subspecialties such as neurology, oncology, pulmonology, and cardiology. From the preliminary program, students may go on to different pathways such as global health and research.
A leader in medical advancements since their opening in 1850, UMich again makes our list of best medical schools. Their mission focuses on three core aspects: education, patient care, and research. Students will gain experience in a variety of settings including the University Hospital, a cutting-edge facility. The Clinical Simulation Center also serves as an important part of student’s education in internal medicine.
Students in the Internal Medicine program at UPenn will receive an individualized learning experience. Faculty works with its interns and residents to help them reach their future career goals. Philadelphia provides a wonderful setting in which students can learn in one of the best medical schools in the US. Residents and interns serve a local, diverse community, as well as those who travel to receive Penn’s renowned medical care.
Like UPenn, UCLA Internal Medicine is another new name to grace our list of best med schools for internal medicine. Dedicated to teaching the “art and science of clinical medicine,” students at UCLA will graduate ready to excel in any clinical setting. An emphasis is placed on academic medicine as well as patient care. Residents will study at four different hospitals, allowing them to get a wide range of clinical experience.
This list of medical schools highlights institutions with the highest medical school rankings in internal medicine. Consider that these are some of the top medical schools in the world when planning your applications. Take time to research the Harvard Medical School requirements, UCSF Medical School requirements, and Johns Hopkins Medical School requirements. That way you’ll know exactly what to expect when applying to the best medical schools in the US.
Best Medical Schools for Primary Care
Let’s continue with our top medical schools in the US according to different specialties. Our lists for the best medical schools in the US for internal medicine and surgery were quite similar. However, as we look at the best med schools for primary care, you’ll notice many new additions.
Here is the list of the best medical schools in the US for primary care.
Top 5 Medical Schools for Primary Care
The primary care specialty at UW Medicine is actually a part of the internal medicine department. However, students on a primary care track will learn in an ambulatory setting. This means an outpatient setting, which includes both medical and non-medical facilities. The program is individualized to each resident’s career goals, so students can pursue personalized training options.
Serving patients in the Twin Cities, students will study within the Primary Care Internal Medicine Pathway. Residents will receive mentorship from some of the best primary care internists during their education. While part of the larger residency program, students will gain specific training in outpatient settings and procedures. Three different locations will serve as the home of the program, allowing students to gain well-rounded clinical experience.
A public research university with two hospitals in Portland, Oregon, provides students with a unique, quality education. This university does not actually have a specific “primary care” track. However, the education provided is one that will give any student interested in the specialty a comprehensive foundation. In fact, the university’s clinics focus on primary care. The community is passionate about transforming health. Students interested in primary care may choose a variety of programs including family medicine, women’s health, pediatrics, and more.
This university leads the nation in rural health training and family medicine. Students learn to serve their communities, with approximately 40% of graduates going on to practice in the state. There is no specific primary care track, however, students interested in this area will likely specialize in the Clinical Department. This department is home to family medicine, internal medicine, family & community medicine, and others that fall within primary care.
The only one of our best medical schools in the US to make each of our specialty lists is UCSF. The program is a part of the internal medicine program in the UCSF Primary Care General Internal Medicine Residency (UCPC). The curriculum focuses on clinical medicine, health systems, and practice improvement. While highlighted on each of our specialty lists, the UCSF medical school requirements won’t vary based on your chosen specialty.
As we’ve seen, the best medical schools in the US for primary care may not necessarily have a “primary care pathway.” However, that doesn’t make them inferior to those that do. This list of medical schools with the best primary care programs is a great place to start your research. However, be sure to do your own to learn more about the nuances of each school’s programs.
Researching different medical schools
When doing research, remember those nuances also apply to med school requirements. For example, the Stanford vs. Yale medical school requirements will be similar, but not exactly the same. That being said, getting into the best medical schools in the US will require similar strategies. You’ll need competitive grades, MCAT scores, and strong extracurriculars. Making sure you’re well informed on each program’s application process is the best way to prepare.
Finally, when considering the top medical schools in the world, consider more than rankings and lists. For example, the Case Western ranking is #25 of the best medical schools for research in the US. However, on your college list, the Case Western ranking may be #1 due to your most important ranking factors. While these top medical schools in the US specialties lists are helpful, they will likely vary from your personal list!
Another list of medical schools to consider
There are plenty of top medical schools in the US that didn’t make the previous lists. For example, UNC is among one of the best medical schools in the US for family medicine. Focusing on both the current and future needs of their patients, UNC educates some of the best doctors in the nation. If you’re looking for schools in the Midwest, you might consider some of the best medical schools in the US for research. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine ranks as #13 and Washington University in St. Louis Medical School ranks as #5.
Considerations for Medical School
Cost is a huge factor when it comes to many further education programs. There are plenty of top medical schools in the US that will be more affordable than some that made our list. One of the best medical schools in New York when it comes to affordability is NYU Long Island Medical School. This university is among the least expensive medical schools in the nation. The program focuses on primary care, but there are over 20 specialties to choose from.
When considering the best medical schools in the US, diversity is another important consideration. After all, it will greatly affect your medical school experience. You may want to look at HBCU colleges or others that prioritize similar values. Here are the top 3 most diverse medical schools:
Diversity, specialty, and affordability are all important factors when crafting your list of the best medical schools in the US. However, location might be important as well.
Earlier, we provided our lists of the best medical schools in California and the best medical schools in Texas. We also looked at the best medical schools in Florida and the best medical schools in New York.
Consider searching for the best med schools in any other state! You’ll find that some of the best medical schools in Texas are Baylor, University of Texas, and Texas A&M. As for the best medical schools in Florida, the University of Florida and the University of Miami top the charts for the best research programs.
Studying outside of the US
If you’re looking to study abroad, you may be interested in the top medical schools in the world. While many of the best medical schools in the US are among the best programs internationally, there are more options. The University of Toronto and the University of Oxford rank in the top 10 Best Global Universities for Clinical Medicine.
When applying to the top medical schools in the world, keep in mind each school’s requirements. Here are some quick links to help you with your research:
- Stanford Medical School requirements: Eligibility and Recommendations
- Harvard Medical School requirements: Eligibility Requirements and Prerequisite Courses
- Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine requirements: Courses, AMCAs, MCAT, and more
- Washington University in St. Louis Medical School requirements: Academic requirements, Letters of Recommendation, and MSAR
We’ve covered a lot in this Best Medical Schools in the US guide. Now let’s talk about how to choose the top medical schools in the US that are right for you.
How to choose the best medical school for you!
As you begin applying, consider what you want from your medical school experience as well as your future career goals. This will help you to create a best med schools list just for you! But, let’s review some factors you may want to consider when making this decision.
How to Choose the Best Medical School
Consider specific specialties
Think about what specialties interest you. At many schools, you may not have to decide a specialty right away. However, at the very least, you’ll want to make sure that your school offers any that are of potential interest. Are you interested in the best medical schools for surgery or family medicine? Knowing your specialty will help you choose the best medical schools for your specific interests and career goals. Research schools in the tract of your choosing and add ones of interest to your list!
Consider your odds
While medical school rankings don’t tell you everything about a school, they’ll likely affect medical school acceptance rates. Consider the medical school rankings of the best med schools on your list. Likewise, consider each of the medical school acceptance rates. Now, factor in your GPA and MCAT scores. (You can use the MSAR tools to compare your scores to averages at the schools you’re considering.) Most importantly, make sure you meet each school’s requirements.
Figuring out how to get into medical school will take dedication and careful planning. You’ll want to focus on not only your GPA and MCAT but also your extracurriculars and practical experiences. The admissions teams at the best medical schools, such as Baylor admissions and Cornell admissions, are looking for well-rounded students. Check out this article to assess your odds of admission to one of the top medical schools in the US. Additionally, learn more about the relationship between MCAT scores and acceptance rates before applying to the top medical schools in the US.
Consider what is important to you
Additionally, think about your personal preferences and needs. Is the location important? Maybe you’re only considering the best medical schools in California or those in a large city. Different locations will provide unique opportunities. For example, studying in California will be completely different than in Georgia. Search for the best colleges in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, North Carolina, or any other state of interest!
Consider the class sizes, faculty, and internships. Do you want a small school with personalized attention? Or are you set on a large university with the best research facilities? Use all this data in order to craft a list of your top medical schools.
Choose what’s right for you
Most importantly, keep in mind that there is no single “best medical school.” Rather, there are many top medical schools in the US. So, your job is to find the best fit for you. Consider your skills, interests, and future goals rather than solely relying on medical school rankings. While medical school rankings can tell us a lot about medical school acceptance rates, your ranking system should be personalized. Attending one of the best medical schools in the world for you will provide ample opportunities. No matter what the medical school rankings say!
Best Medical Schools in the US Takeaways
In this guide, we’ve discussed some of the best medical schools in the US. (Which are also some of the best medical schools in the world.) We’ve also looked at acceptance rates and specialties. In order to impress top schools’ admissions teams, such as Harvard or Cornell admissions, you’ll need a competitive med school application.
GPA and MCAT scores are the most important factors when applying to the top medical schools in the US. However, it will take much more to gain acceptance. You’ll want to not only meet the Harvard medical school requirements, Stanford medical school requirements, or Yale medical school requirements—but exceed them.
Applying to the best medical schools in the US can feel overwhelming. Whether you’re searching for the best pre-med schools or studying for the MCAT, our tools can help you prepare for the medical school admissions process.
It’s never too early to start strategizing when considering the best medical schools in the US. Gaining admission to the top medical schools is more competitive than ever before. So, make sure you do all you can when applying to the top medical schools in the US. Good luck!
This article was written by Stefanie Tedards, senior advisor Alex Baggott-Rowe, and Sarah Kaminski. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.