Pre-med is a college track made up of specific courses that a student chooses to take as prerequisite courses for medical school. It’s almost related to a major. Students can decide to major in any field of their choice, but they are required to take all of the required pre-med courses to stay on the pre-med track.
Studying medicine can prepare scholars for a wide range of careers, but most people choose to pursue their education before entering the workforce. Depending on the education and work history of graduates, graduates may become general practitioners, registered nurses, health educators, medical researchers, allied health managers, forensic science technicians and clinical laboratory technologists.
Right here on infolearners, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on top 10 pre med schools, best safety schools for pre med, best non ivy league schools for pre med, pre med majors, medical schools requirements, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.
Picking a College as a Pre-Med: Factors to Consider
Your GPA is very important when it comes to med school. A strong GPA supersedes class rank or position so you should be looking for colleges where you can perform well.
Most medical schools follow a mathematical formula to assess students. This formula takes in the numerical value of GPA. For example, having a 3.9 GPA and ranking #35 in your class is better than a 3.5 GPA and being #15 in your class for the sake of getting admitted into medical school.
This does not mean that you shouldn’t aim to be amongst the brilliant students on campus. GPA is important, but class rank shouldn’t be left out. Most college classes are graded in such a way that being at the top of your class gives you a high GPA. For example, it’s better to have a 3.95 GPA at Bates College than a 3.35 GPA at Princeton. Moreover, narrow down to schools that have moderate to strong grade inflation and avoid schools that have grade deflation.
Science GPA plays a vital role in med school admissions, and at the same time, the rigor of your major is very crucial. A high GPA in an “easy” major won’t be enough; a rigorous course load will still be needed to validate a high GPA.
Additionally, you should generally avoid your state’s flagship university because they have many academically competitive students who didn’t have the financial means or extracurricular activities to attend top-tier universities. So getting As in your pre-med classes will be a lot harder.
A good MCAT score is also important for medical school admission. Look for a college with a good curriculum that will teach and prepare you well for the MCAT exam. MCAT science materials are covered by most colleges through their pre-med classes. However, also ensure that the college you choose has good sociology, psychology, and general education English classes that cover in-depth reading techniques. The college that reinforces these other MCAT components helps a student perform much better in MCAT.
Med school requires financial commitment for a student and his/her family. Most families will prefer to save money on undergraduate studies so they can afford to pay $200,000 throughout the four years of med school. Luckily, top-tier colleges usually offer at least some assistance to families with under $200,000 per year in household income and grant great financial aid. There is a lot of competition in flagship state schools so it’s not recommended you apply to those. Explore private schools that offer a strong merit aid package.
Pre-med school and medical school combined require 10-12 years of commitment to school, residencies, and fellowships. This can be very hard for even the most passionate and brilliant students. If by the time you apply you’re still unsure, apply to schools that will easily allow you to switch majors and programs without you applying internally. So you might want to apply to the most competitive school possible and get admitted to a good school regardless of if you’re on the pre-med track.
Medical School Requirements
Your MCAT Score
Some schools have a minimum MCAT score and GPA requirements and will filter out applicants who don’t meet them.
Usually, you’ll need to respond to prompts on both the primary and secondary applications. The topics vary, but typically you’ll be asked to explore the reasons you want to pursue medicine, the events that have shaped you, and your passions, experiences, achievements, and interests.
Letters of Recommendation
Most medical schools require three letters of recommendation, usually two letters from science faculty members and one from a non-science discipline, although this varies from school to school. If your undergraduate college has a formal pre-med committee, a committee letter is usually required to present an overview and evaluation of your undergraduate performance and candidacy.
Most medical schools will want to see relevant extracurricular activities, including research, clinical experience, and volunteering and community service. You can gain exposure to the profession by shadowing physicians, working as a scribe, or contributing to the medical community by assisting practicing professionals with research.
Medical schools also want to know what kind of person you are, so your application will also ask for non-medical extracurriculars. It’s kind of like the Common App all over again, though the activities section for medical school is more extensive, and you’ll be asked to write approximately 500 words about each of your three most important extracurriculars.
Keep in mind that individual medical schools may have additional requirements or recommendations. Most schools also conduct interviews, extending invitations to a small percentage of candidates after reviewing their applications.
Pre med majors
- Biological Sciences and Human Biology: More than half of med-school applicants study biological sciences during their undergraduate years. Majoring in biology means that your major requirements and pre-med requirements will overlap significantly. That being said, studying science exclusively can be intense and exhausting. If you major in biology on the pre-med track, you may want to carefully select a unique minor or interesting elective courses to avoid burnout.
- Physics, Chemistry, and Other Physical Sciences: Just like the natural sciences, the physical science major courses typically overlap with the pre-med requirements. Though the coursework will differ slightly, the risks and benefits of physics and chemistry are about the same as those of biology.
- Psychology, Economics, and Social Sciences: Social science applicants make up about 10% of medical school admissions. The requirements for these majors have some overlap with the pre-med requirements, but students will need to spend most of their elective units completing pre-med courses.
- Philosophy and the Humanities: Humanities majors are less popular for pre-med students because they leave all pre-med requirements to be completed with electives. This will take planning on your part and will require clear communication with your advisors. That being said, humanities graduates who pursue medicine may be more personable and well-rounded than students who exclusively focus on the sciences. Philosophy is a popular major for pre-med students in the humanities.
- Math, Statistics, and Related Majors: While math majors are not actually a popular major for pre-med students, they have the highest MCAT scores and GPAs of all applicants and thus, typically have favorable positioning in medical school admissions.
Best Pre Med Schools In Southeast
- VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY (overall rank: #6)
- TULANE UNIVERSITY (overall rank: #22)
- COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY (overall rank: #24)
- DUKE UNIVERSITY (overall rank: #25)
- DAVIDSON COLLEGE (overall rank: #30)
- EMORY UNIVERSITY (overall rank: #31)
- RHODES COLLEGE (overall rank: #37)
- CENTRE COLLEGE (overall rank: #48)
- UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND (overall rank: #53)
- FURMAN UNIVERSITY (overall rank: #56)
Top 10 Pre Med Schools
1. Harvard College
Location: Cambridge, MA
U.S. News Ranking: 2
Acceptance rate: 4.5%
Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1460-1580 SAT, 33-35 ACT
Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,788
Harvard college is located in Cambridge, MA, and has some of the smartest students in the world, numerous Boston medical facilities, and groups. Harvard offers a lot of invaluable teachings to its pre-med students. The college’s grade inflation is rampant, and the median grade is an A-. It’s first on our list of best pre-med colleges.
2. Johns Hopkins University
Acceptance rate: 4.9%
U.S. News Ranking: 9
Undergraduate enrollment: 6256
Johns Hopkins is one of the most reputable medical schools and an institution for medical research. Its solid reputation has been maintained throughout the years.
The university’s med school is affiliated with a teaching hospital considered one of the best in the US. A student at Johns Hopkins has the opportunity to use a variety of clinical and research facilities. Additionally, it is where the International Medical Aid was founded and is currently a stellar NGO that provides pre-med internships to anyone lucky to join.
Johns Hopkins University has an advising program track for their undergraduate pre-med students that include group meetings, personal appointments, and a variety of other programs designed to help anyone who aspires to be a student of med-school to succeed. Undergraduate pre-med school students can also build their resumes through well-organized, student organizations.
There is a total undergraduate enrollment of 6256 students at Johns Hopkins University.
3. Duke University
Acceptance rate: 7.8%
U.S. News Ranking: 10
Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1500-1560 SAT, 33-35 ACT
Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,682
Duke is a very academically competitive college located in Durham, NC. It boasts a high 85% med school acceptance rate and students have access to a wide variety of resources, such as personalized advising to research and internship opportunities. This is provided by Durham and Duke’s prestigious School of Medicine.
4. Columbia University
Columbia university acceptance rate 2021: 5.8%
Undergraduate enrollment: 6,245
Columbia University offers a sample pre-med course curriculum that is meant to assist you in meeting the minimum applications set for medical school applications. The university also has top-notch services, designed specifically to advise pre-med students, and assist them in getting and maintaining a competitive edge. This edge will be required when you finally decide to submit your medical school application and get admitted
Columbia’s Medical School is ranked 31st when it comes to primary care and 6th best medical school based on research. A pre-med advisor is assigned to an undergraduate of this university which gives an opportunity to gain immensely from informative meetings that have the Premedical Committee as a sponsor. You’ll have relatively easy access to various hospitals and clinics that offer countless opportunities for you to benefit from research and clinical experience because Columbia University is also conveniently located in NYC.
Columbia University’s total undergraduate enrollment is 6,245.
Unfortunately, just like Stanford, Columbia University doesn’t avail stats on the number of their graduates that eventually have successful admission into med school yearly.
5. University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)
Acceptance rate: 7.7%
U.S. News Ranking: 6
Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1460-1550 SAT, 33-35 ACT
Undergraduate Enrollment: 10,183
UPenn is one of the best pre-med schools in the USA, and it boasts up to a 76% med school acceptance rate. The university’s core pre-med courses and suggested courses emphasize all aspects of the test to prepare students well for the MCAT. Facilities like the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are nearby so UPenn is an excellent location for pre-med students.
6. Washington University in Saint Louis (WashU)
Acceptance rate: 14%
U.S. News Ranking: 19
Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1480-1550 SAT, 33-35 ACT
Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,751
Washington University in St. Louis, MO offers pre-med students access to MCAT prep classes, mock interviews, writing workshops for med school applications, two local hospitals, and a four-year advising program. WashU provides constant hands-on assistance and meaningful research to ensure that their pre-med students are on the right path.
7. Rice University
Acceptance rate: 8.7%
U.S. News Ranking: 17
Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1470-1560 SAT, 33-35 ACT
Undergraduate Enrollment: 3,978
Rice University is located in Houston, TX, and provides a database of internship opportunities, relevant research, and pre-med advising orientations. Moreover, Rice’s Joint Admission Medical Program helps Texas students from low-income families to pay for med school. Houston has large hospitals that provide research and volunteering opportunities.
8. Stanford University
Acceptance rate: 4.4%
U.S. News Ranking: 6
Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1420-1570 SAT, 32-35 ACT
Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,087
Stanford University is located in Stanford, CA, and offers various extracurricular and research options to their undergraduate students. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors have the opportunity to shadow doctors at Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto VA Hospital, and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital through their Stanford Immersion in Medicine Series (SIMS) Program. It’s one of the best pre-med colleges in USA.
9. Northwestern University
Acceptance rate: 9.1%
U.S. News Ranking: 9
Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1450-1540 SAT, 33-35 ACT
Undergraduate Enrollment: 8,231
Northwestern is located in Evanston, IL and it offers pre-med students access to a wealth of resources through the school’s Health Professions Advising. This includes local shadowing opportunities and MCAT advice/training to GPA calculators. Northwestern completely prepares its pre-med students for med school.
10. Brown University
Acceptance rate: 7.1%
U.S. News Ranking: 14
Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1420-1550 SAT, 32-35 ACT
Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,043
Brown University is located in Providence, RI. It offers pre-med students lots of resources such as clinical experience and volunteer opportunities, to get experience in the medical field. Students also get the opportunity to get hands-on experience working with Brown EMS as an EMT.
Brown is a great option for students who want to complete medical school science course prerequisites while pursuing a non-STEM major. There’s an open curriculum; no general education requirements are required, and students can take any course they want, as long as they finish their major requirements.