15 Best Pre-Med Schools in the US | Complete 2024 List

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Updated:
March 19, 2024
7 min read
Contents

”Mary

Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 3/19/24

The path to becoming a doctor starts with going to college for pre-med. A top school for the pre-med degree will ensure you succeed in medical school and beyond. 

Are you dreaming of becoming a doctor? The first step is gaining admission to a reputable pre-medical program. A good pre-med school will guarantee a great pathway for your MD. If you meet the requirements, with a solid GPA and competitive application, you’ll have a good chance at acceptance.

Listed below are the top universities with good medical programs:

Can you Get Into a Medical School without Pre-Med?

An undergraduate degree is required to apply to any medical school but there isn't a designated pre-med program you must complete. Any student completing a bachelor's degree with the intention of pursuing medical school can be considered pre-med. 

However, since most medical schools have science prerequisites, many pre-med students choose science majors. 

The 15 Best Schools for Pre-Med

Many of the schools on this list stand out as Ivy League or equivalent schools, making them incredibly competitive and difficult to get into. Consider adding them to your list of the best possible pre-med schools to apply for.

Only some schools have a dedicated pre-med degree. Students interested in pre-med should research each school’s program carefully. Below is a list of pre-med schools in the U.S. 

Harvard University

Harvard

Ranking: #3 in U.S. National Universities

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Average GPA: 3.9

Average SAT Score: 1530

Average ACT Score: 34.5

Acceptance Rate: 3.4%

In-state tuition: $54,269 per year

If your first choice is Harvard University, you’ve picked a great school for pre-med. The university offers a flexible Harvard premedical program designed for students to earn the pre-med requirements they need at their own pace.  

As one of the top colleges in the United States, Harvard is the number one option for a pre-med curriculum. Harvard is also among the hardest to get into Ivy League schools, a group of private colleges in the northeastern United States famous for an extremely competitive application.

For first-year Harvard applicants, the deadline for Early Decision is November 1st, with notifications coming out in mid-December. The deadline for regular decisions is January 1st, with notifications coming out by the end of March. 

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins

Ranking: #9 in U.S. National Universities

Location: Baltimore, Maryland 

Average GPA: 3.9

Average SAT Score: 1530-1560

Average ACT Score: 34.5

Acceptance Rate: 7%

In-state tuition: $62,840 per year

Johns Hopkins University is renowned for its school of medicine. With their pre-health advising, Johns Hopkins can set you on the fast track toward medical school. If you want to jump into their program, you’ll get a boost by being an undergrad.

Johns Hopkins has two rounds of Early Decision applications. The deadlines for them are November 1st and January 3rd. Decisions are released on December 16th for round one and February 17th for round two. The regular decision deadline has the same January 3rd date but decisions are released a month later, on March 17th. 

Johns Hopkins is the best answer for a non-ivy league option for a pre-med school. The university is considered one of the Ivy Plus Schools, a private college that rivals any Ivy League school.

Stanford University

Stanford University

Ranking: #3 in U.S. National Universities

Location: Stanford, California

Average GPA: 3.9

Average SAT Score: 1500-1580

Average ACT Score: 33-35

Acceptance Rate: 3.6%

In-state tuition: $19,231 per quarter 

Stanford is a great school for students looking to start pre-med. While they lack a set pre-med program, they offer guidance through pre-health academic advising to better prepare students and alums planning for medical school.

The early action deadline for Stanford is November 1st and decisions are released by mid-December. The regular decision deadline is January 5th, with decisions released in early April.

Yale University

Yale

Ranking: #5 in U.S. National Universities 

Location: New Haven, Connecticut 

Average GPA: N/A

Average SAT Score: 1540

Average ACT Score: 35

Acceptance Rate: 5%

In-state tuition: $64,700

Yale is known for its comprehensive pre-med resources, including Health Professions and STEM Advising and their Yale Office of Career Strategy, where students can benefit from one-on-one medical school application counseling from Yale Medical School’s admissions committee members.

Yale’s early action deadline and Questbridge National Match Day are November 1st. Regular decision applications are due January 2nd. 

The University of Pennsylvania

UPenn

Ranking: #6 in U.S. National Universities 

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Average GPA: 3.9

Average SAT Score: 1510-1560

Average ACT Score: 34-35

Acceptance Rate: 4%

In-state tuition: $58,620 per year 

The University of Pennsylvania offers great pre-med courses. While working with an advisor, you’ll plan the academic core classes for med school and your overall degree.

Early Decision applications are due on November 1st and decisions are released in mid-December. Regular decision deadlines are on January 5th and decisions are released in April.

Columbia University

Columbia

Ranking: #12 in U.S. National Universities

Location: New York City, New York 

Average GPA: 3.9

Average SAT Score: 1525

Average ACT Score: 34-35

Acceptance Rate: 4%

In-state tuition: $65,524 per year

Columbia University offers a Postbac Pre-med curriculum program designed for graduates who need the prerequisites for med school to take those classes with undergrads.

The Early Decision deadline for Columbia is November 1st, with decisions coming out in mid-December. The deadline for regular decisions is January 1st and decisions come out in April. 

Duke University

Duke

Ranking: #7 in U.S. National Universities

Location: Durham, North Carolina 

Average GPA: 4.0

Average SAT Score: 1490-1570

Average ACT Score: 34-35

Acceptance Rate: 6% 

In-state tuition: $63,450 per year

With the help of the Duke Office of Health Professions Advising, students can make their schedule to help fulfill all the pre-med requirements they need for medical school.  

While getting into Duke may prove challenging since It’s a prestigious Ivy Plus school, the following application inclusions are important to help you stand out. 

The early decision for Duke has a deadline of November 1st. The release comes out in mid-December. The regular decision has a deadline of January 3rd, with a release by early April.

Northwestern University

Northwestern

Ranking: #9 in U.S. National Universities

Location: Clarkston, Illinois

Average GPA: N/A

Average SAT Score: 1460-1540

Average ACT Score: 33-35

Acceptance Rate: 7%

In-state tuition: $21,629 per quarter 

Northwestern University offers a unique Undergraduate Premedical Scholars Program that gives students their pre-med requirements before accepting them directly into Northwestern’s medical school. If Northwestern is your dream among the best schools for pre-med, consider applying. 

The application deadline for Early Decisions is November 1st, with decision releases in mid-December. Regular decision applicants face a January 2nd deadline and will hear back by late March.

Brown University

Brown University

Ranking: #9 in U.S. National Universities

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Average GPA: 3.9

Average SAT Score: 1510-1570

Average ACT Score: 34-36

Acceptance Rate: 5%

In-state tuition: $65,656

Brown University is considered one of the best schools for pre-meds. They offer in-depth support to aspiring med students through their Health Careers Advising, including detailing which prerequisites to take and helping students find opportunities to gain experience in health professions. 

Early Decision applications are due November 1st at Brown and decisions for this application come out in mid-December. Regular applications are due on January 3rd and applicants are notified of decisions on March 28th. 

Cornell University

Cornell

Ranking: #12 in U.S. National Universities

Location: Ithaca, New York 

Average GPA: N/A

Average SAT Score: 1510

Average ACT Score: 34

Acceptance Rate: 7%

In-state tuition: $43,888 per year

Cornell is a great Ivy League university for pre-med. While they don’t offer a major, their pre-health resources and advising will set you on the right education track for pre-med. You can then focus on any of Cornell’s 40 majors for your undergrad degree.  

Cornell’s Early Decision deadline is November 1st, with decision releases in mid-December. Their regular decision deadline is January 2nd, with decision releases in early April.

The University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Ranking: #12 in U.S. National Universities

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Average GPA: 3.75-4.0

Average SAT Score: 1510-1560

Average ACT Score: 34-35

Acceptance Rate: 4.8%

In-state tuition: $63,801 per year

The University of Chicago is known for its cohort programs. These programs give pre-med students the chance to explore the medical field, hone their skills, and start building competitive applications. 

For instance, their year-long clinical service fellows program helps first-year students understand what it means to serve patients. Fellows complete 2-4 hours of clinical volunteering at hospitals, clinics, and community organizations.

The University of Chicago’s deadlines are as follows:

Application Type Due Date Decision Release Date
Early Action November 1st Mid-December
Early Decision I November 1st Mid-December
Early Decision II January 2nd Mid-February
Regular Decision January 2nd Late March

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

Ranking: #20 U.S. Colleges Nationally

Location: Notre Dame, Indiana

Average GPA: N/A

Average SAT Score: 1450-1530

Average ACT Score: 33-35

Acceptance Rate: 12%

In-state tuition: $62,693

The University of Notre Dame offers a unique pre-health supplementary major that allows students to pursue any major in the College of Arts and Letters while acquiring the education, skills, and experience they need to get into and thrive in medical school. 

Applications at Notre Dame open on August 1st. Restrictive early action applications are due November 1st and regular decision applications are due January 1st. 

UNC-Chapel Hill

UNC Chapel Hill

Ranking: #22 U.S. Colleges Nationally

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina 

Average GPA: N/A

Average SAT Score: 1415

Average ACT Score: 31

Acceptance Rate: 17%

In-state tuition: $26,118 per year 

UNC offers a top-ranked public university to help you meet your pre-med requirements. With their health professional’s advice, you’ll succeed in medical school. 

UNC-Chapel Hill's Early Decision deadline is October 15th, and admission decisions are sent out on January 15th. UNC's regular decision ends on January 15th and decisions come out on March 31st. 

Georgetown University

Georgetown University

Ranking: #22 U.S. Colleges Nationally

Location: Washington, District of Columbia

Average GPA: N/A

Average SAT Score: 1410-1540

Average ACT Score: 32-35

Acceptance Rate: 12%

In-state tuition: $64,896

Georgetown University offers an Early Assurance program for its high-performing undergrads that guarantees their admission to medical school, one of the best in the nation! They also offer excellent pre-med advising to help you get into your top med school choices.

Georgetown’s early action application deadline is November 1st and they release admissions decisions on December 15th. Regular decision applications are due January 10th and decisions are released April 1st. 

Washington University at St. Louis

Washington University at St. Louis

Ranking: #24 in U.S. National Universities

Location: St. Louis, Missouri 

Average GPA: N/A

Average SAT Score: 1530

Average ACT Score: 34

Acceptance Rate: 11%

In-state tuition: $61,750 per year 

The University of Washington can fast-track students toward a medical degree. Students can take the pre-med undergraduate class requirements through the Washington University pre-health program while earning their bachelor’s. 

Students can apply for Early Decision until November 1st. Applicants will hear back by December 16th. The second round of Early Decision goes until January 1st, and students get admission responses by February 16th. Regular decision deadlines are on January 1st, with response releases on April 1st. 

Things to Consider When Choosing Pre-Med School 

Choosing the best undergrad for medical school is a critical decision on your path to becoming a medical professional. Here are several important factors to consider when making this choice.

Academic Reputation

Focus on the strength of a school’s pre-med program, faculty qualifications, and class sizes. A robust reputation in these areas can enhance your educational experience and increase your chances of success in medical school admission.

Research Opportunities

Look for schools with well-equipped research facilities and programs that align with your interests and help you add an extracurricular activity for your medical school application. 

These opportunities offer students a chance to delve into the world of scientific exploration and medical investigation, providing them with unique experiences and knowledge that can be transformative for their future medical careers. 

Fortunately, there are tons of pre-med summer programs out there as well! 

Choosing the Best Pre-Med School

With so many options to choose from, choosing the right pre-med school can be overwhelming. But don’t worry! You can use the below selection quiz to find a pre-med school near you that suits all your needs. 

FAQs: Best Pre-Med Schools

Below, you’ll find common questions about pre-med schools and their application process. 

1. What College Has the Best Pre-Med Program?

The college that has the best pre-med program in America is Harvard University. The quality of education while on a pre-med focus for your science degree sets Harvard apart. If you’re looking for a medical school after, Harvard is also a great choice if you reapply.

2. What Is the Easiest Pre-Med School to Get Into?

The easiest pre-med schools to get into are those with the highest acceptance rate, but they won’t be the best. Most of the best pre-med schools have extremely low acceptance rates because of their competitive applications. The easiest pre-med schools to get into are the less popular and prestigious sones

Students should apply for the pre-med college that fits their GPA with the best pre-med track, not because it’s easy. 

3. What is the Best Major to Choose to Get into Pre-Med School?

There isn’t one best pre-med major. As long as you take the necessary prerequisite courses to join medical school, you should choose any major that interests and challenges you.  

4. What Is the Hardest Pre-Med Major?

Of all the science and health majors you can take while fulfilling your pre-med requirements, majoring in chemistry is considered the hardest. Most students trying to qualify for pre-med pick a science major because their pre-med core requirements fit best into a science degree. Chemistry is the most difficult science degree to take.

5. Is Majoring in Pre-Med Worth It?

Pre-med is worth majoring in if you intend to become a doctor. However, most schools only offer pre-med as a series of required college classes to prepare and qualify you for medical school.

The courses are part of a science degree, like biology or chemistry. You’ll need knowledge from specific courses to pass the med school exam. 

6. What Are the Best Non-Ivy League Schools for Pre-med?

Since they are extremely competitive, Ivy League schools may not be achievable for some. Here are some great examples of non-Ivy League schools for pre-med:

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Stanford University
  • Duke University
  • Washington University at St. Louis
  • Northwestern University 
  • UNC-Chapel Hill

These schools provide a quality of education equivalent to that of Ivy League schools. 

7. Why Are Pre-Med Schools So Competitive?

Pre-medical programs are competitive because medical schools are. Success in medical school requires exceptional academic performance, which begins with a strong foundation during your undergrad. These programs are demanding, requiring students to demonstrate their capability to excel in rigorous academic curricula.

Final Thoughts

Pre-med is not a college major. It is a list of required college classes you must take to prepare for the medical school exam. With them, you will meet the requirements to attend medical school. To qualify for med school, students need guidance to meet their pre-med class requirements from a reputable college.

Finding a great school for pre-med is an important step toward becoming a doctor. The best pre-med schools offer the highest quality of education for the classes that medical schools want to see on your transcript. Any top pre-med school will provide the knowledge students require for med-school. 

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