Last Updated on July 29, 2023
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top 10 medical schools in united states
Find the Best Medical Schools
A medical degree often takes years to complete but offers job security, a high average salary and the opportunity to save lives. Medical students can study in a speciality of their choosing, in many types of environments and often with new technology. The most successful medical students develop their scientific and interpersonal abilities simultaneously.
For full rankings, MCAT scores and student debt data, sign up for the U.S. News Medical School Compass.More
2022 Best Medical Schools: Research
The best medical schools for research are one step ahead of the pack, propelled by funding, cutting-edge technology and the research done by students and faculty. These schools are prime for those who want to make their mark in the medical field through discovery. READ MORE
- #1Harvard UniversityBoston, MA
- #2New York University (Grossman)New York, NY
- #3Duke UniversityDurham, NC
SEE FULL RANKING LIST
2022 Best Medical Schools: Primary Care
The best medical schools for primary care offer quality training in preventive medicine and public health for those looking to become a primary care physician or family doctor. This kind of physician’s job is to diagnose and treat patients for various medical issues. Students will gain skills in patient advocacy, motivational interviewing, how to form doctor-patient relationships and other tools relevant to a physician. READ MORE
- #1University of Washington Seattle, WA
- #2University of California–San Francisco San Francisco, CA
- #3University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
SEE FULL RANKING LIST
Search Medical Schools
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Medical Programs, Specialties and Additional Rankings
There are many avenues an aspiring doctor can take to contribute to the world of medicine. As you go through medical school and make strides in labs, clinics, the field and the classroom, you will discover specialities below that spark interest and choose one to be your focus.
- 2022 Best Medical Schools: Research
- 2022 Best Medical Schools: Primary Care
- Family Medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Most Diverse Medical Schools
- Most Graduates Practicing in Medically Underserved Areas
- Most Graduates Practicing in Primary Care Fields
- Most Graduates Practicing in Rural Areas
Additional Medical School Resources
Find out which schools are the most helpful with financial aid and which have the most primary care residents.
- Public Medical Schools That Award the Most Financial Aid
- Private Medical Schools That Award the Most Financial Aid
- Medical Schools Where Graduates Have the Most Debt
- Med Schools: Most Primary Care Residents
- A-Z List of Medical Schools
How to Prepare for and Apply to Medical School
If you’re applying for medical school, you may be grappling with how to choose the right programs, how to make your application stand out – and how to pay for your education once you decide where to go.
We’re here to help. As an unbiased resource, U.S. News provides advice based on data and expert interviews to help prospective medical school students make informed decisions.
We use data to rank the Best Medical Schools and particular specialties, like pediatrics or anesthesiology. We also have a profile on each school that features information such as the application deadline and popular residency and specialty programs. Sign up for a Medical School Compass account to unlock all this data and more.
Explore U.S. News’ library of resources, which covers learning the difference between D.O. and M.D. degrees, how to approach answering ethics questions in medical school interviews, and when to update a medical school application if you’ve been wait-listed.
Create a free U.S. News account and use our My Schools tool, where you can save schools and track your application status.
How Long Is Medical School?
Medical school itself typically lasts four years, but post-grad education is not finished at the end of those four years. After earning their degree, aspiring doctors usually complete a residency in a specialty such as radiology or dermatology. If you intend to focus on a subspecialty, such as treating a specific kind of cancer instead of becoming a general oncologist, you can also expect to complete a fellowship.
Altogether, medical school students can spend 10 years or more training to become doctors.
How to Get Into Medical School
Admission to medical schools is highly competitive. Students must have good grades – especially in science courses – and get a high score on the MCAT, but other factors can help increase your chances of getting into top medical schools. You should have strong recommendation letters; a resume that includes research, community service and other extracurricular activities you’re passionate about; a personal statement that reflects your character and dedication; and a strong reason for applying to medical school.
Be sure you know what to avoid as well, such as applying to too few schools, selecting programs that aren’t the right fit with your career goals, and submitting too soon or too late.
Students hoping to pursue an M.D. apply for medical school through the American Medical College Application Service, and those who wish to earn a D.O. apply through the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service.
What Do You Learn in Medical School and Why Enroll?
Medical school students learn how to diagnose and treat patients by completing hands-on clinical rotations. Students also learn through lectures, building upon foundations from their undergraduate courses, and classes generally move at a fast pace.
The medical school curriculum is rigorous, and it’s not unusual for students to spend 60 to 80 hours each week on school assignments.
Learn what you can expect in your first year of medical school here.
Is Medical School Worth It?
Medical school might be worth it for you if you have a passion for medicine and a grasp of the sacrifices and challenges that accompany being a physician. Medical school – and the medical profession – requires commitment. You shouldn’t consider this career simply on a parent’s or friend’s recommendation or because you see it as a way to earn a high salary.
Your reason for applying shouldn’t solely be to help people either; there are several career paths that allow you to serve others, including other opportunities in the health care field. Before you apply for medical school, be sure you’re dedicated to the process and to the work you’ll do as a doctor.
Aside from a time investment, higher education is also a financial investment and will likely cause you to rack up student loan debt.
How Much Does Medical School Cost?
Full-time tuition at some of the medical schools that top the U.S. News rankings can be upwards of $50,000 per year.
The price tag for medical school varies according to multiple factors, such as whether the school is private or public and whether you’d be paying in-state or out-of-state tuition. Scholarships and other financial aid can also help alleviate some of these expenses.
Students should also plan for other costs when applying to medical school, including application fees, travel expenses for in-person interviews or campus visits, and acceptance deposits.
When Should I Apply to Medical School?
The AMCAS and the AACOMAS typically open their applications in May for the fall of the following year, and applying in the early summer can be beneficial to you. If you apply early, you can be among the first to choose your interview days, screeners can take more time to review your application and you’ll demonstrate your planning skills by showing you had all your materials ready.
You should start preparing for your medical school applications two to three years before you’re ready to apply. You’ll need to have time to study for and take the MCAT, pass prerequisite courses, and develop an understanding of the medical field by shadowing a doctor or getting clinical experience.
If you’re unsure what kind of medical school would best fit your goals or you have a busy senior year, consider taking some time after completing your undergraduate studies to apply for medical school.
Following a month-by-month plan can help you stay on top of deadlines and ensure you’re not scrambling to get everything done at the last minute.
More About Medical Schools
What Research Impresses Med Schools?
Research in any academic discipline can help someone’s med school candidacy, experts say.
Ilana KowarskiFeb. 8, 2022
Incorporation Questions on the MCAT
Sharpen your reading and critical analysis skills to perform better on these medical school admission exam questions.
Cassie KosarekFeb. 8, 2022
Name-Dropping and Med School Applicants
Consider this advice about when to mention important names – and how – and when to refrain.
Kathleen Franco, M.D., M.S. Feb. 1, 2022
Bad Premed Semester: Med School Still?
Rather than panic after a college semester of weak grades, follow this advice.
Renee Marinelli, M.D.Jan. 25, 2022
Premeds and Social Health Determinants
Understanding nonmedical factors that affect patients can improve the care you provide as a future doctor.
Ali Lotfi, M.D. Jan. 18, 2022
Virtual Doctor Shadowing: What to Know
Premed students should be aware of the pros and cons of shadowing a doctor remotely.
Cassie KosarekJan. 11, 2022
Popular Premed Summer Internship Tips
As an aspiring doctor, start looking now for summer opportunities to get deep exposure to your health care interests.
Rachel RizalJan. 4, 2022
4 Skills to Develop Before Medical School
Learning to handle criticism is an important skill to develop before studying medicine.
Azadeh Salek, M.D.Dec. 21, 2021
Med School Hopefuls and Criminal Records
A criminal record doesn’t have to hold you back as a medical school applicant and future doctor. But be honest.
Kathleen Franco, M.D., M.S. Dec. 14, 2021
No Med School Interviews? What to Do
Assess the quality of your application and weigh applying in future admissions cycles.
Cassie KosarekDec. 7, 2021
Delivering on the Promise of Medicine
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation’s very best in education. These numbers are important, but we’re more than numbers – we’re a community of seekers and dreamers. Using the latest tools and teachings available to scientists and doctors, we become healers, caregivers, discoverers and inventors.
- The Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB) Graduate Program at Johns Hopkins The BCMB Graduate Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine trains independent research scientists for productive career. Read more
- The Johns Hopkins Program in Molecular Biophysics Faculty and graduate students at The Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine share their experience with the Program in Molecular Biophysics. Read more
- The Johns Hopkins Pharmacology Graduate Program The Johns Hopkins Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences offers a multidisciplinary graduate program designed to prepare highly qualified individuals to be future leaders in academic and industrial biomedical research. Read more
- From the Blog: My Intern Year on a Knee Scooter A devastating injury followed by subsequent complications — all within his first year of medical training. Nakul Bhardwaj discusses his path and lessons learned in his journey toward recovery and in his role as a concurrent patient and resident physician. Read more
- From the Blog: The Legacy You Leave Why global neurology? In a presentation featured by the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association, Dr. Deanna Saylor addresses the answer to this question and shares her experiences developing neurologic research, care and training in Zambia. Read more
- From the Blog: One Down, Many to Go: Remembering My Mom One Stitch at a Time Medical student Palak Patel remembers her mother’s mastectomy as she assists on an operation for a patient with breast cancer. Read more
Life at Johns Hopkins Academic Departments
VIRTUAL TOUR Tour the Johns Hopkins Baltimore Campuses
Join us in celebrating our community — from faculty to students — on their achievements. View Kudos
RESEARCH AND EDUCATION ARE FINELY INTERTWINED
Pioneers in Research
From basic to translational to clinical research, our medical and graduate students, residents and fellows study with Nobel laureates, Lasker Award winners and National Academy of Science members. In the Lab Research begins in the lab, which is why we prioritize lab facilities that drive discovery and advancement in research. Meet Our Research Faculty Our faculty members expand what’s possible through biomedical research, laying the foundation to deliver the promise of medicine.