US Medical School Acceptance Rates

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Rebecca Nolan

Group Content Manager

Acceptance rate medical schools: a student taking one-one tutoring class for medical school admission

Getting accepted into a medical school in the US can be daunting. With the increasing competitiveness of medical school admissions, the acceptance rates have dropped significantly over the years. In 2022, the average acceptance rate for medical schools in the US was 43%. 

However, you can increase your chances of getting accepted with the right preparation and approach. In this blog post, we’ll look at US medical school acceptance rates and how you can boost your chances of acceptance!

Understanding US Medical School Acceptance Rates

Medical school acceptance rates vary widely across the US, ranging from as low as 2% to as high as 15%. The acceptance rate for a particular medical school can depend on various factors. This includes the school’s reputation, location, curriculum, and facilities. The acceptance rate for Harvard Medical School, one of the most prestigious medical schools in the US, was just 2.8%. On the other hand, some medical schools with less renown may have a higher acceptance rate.

However, it’s important to note that acceptance rates don’t always reflect the quality of education or the caliber of students at a medical school. Some medical schools with higher acceptance rates may still produce excellent doctors who make significant contributions to medicine.

Top 10 Medical Colleges With Lower Acceptance Rates (Hard to Get Admission)

The table below represents the top 10 medical colleges with significantly low acceptance rates that make it difficult for students to get admission:

School NameAcceptance Rate
Kaiser Permanente (Tyson)1.1%
Stanford University1.4%
Texas Christian University1.4%
New York University – Long Island1.5%
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine1.8%
New York University (Grossman)2.1%
University of California – Riverside2.1%
University of California – Davis2.2%
University of California – Los Angeles (Geffen)2.2%
George Washington University2.3%
A student preparing for the entry test and searching for the medical schools acceptance rate

Factors that Influence US Medical School Acceptance Rates

Several factors can influence medical school acceptance rates in the US. Some of these factors include:

  • The number of applicants: The higher the number of applicants, the lower the acceptance rate.
  • The quality of applicants: Medical schools typically receive applications from many highly qualified candidates, making it challenging to select the best ones.
  • The admission criteria: Each medical school has criteria that can affect the acceptance rate. Some schools may focus more on grades and test scores, while others may consider extracurricular activities, research, and volunteer work.
  • The availability of seats: Some medical schools have limited seats, which can impact the acceptance rate.
  • The competition level: The level of competition among applicants can also affect acceptance rates. For example, if a particular medical school is highly competitive, the acceptance rate may be lower than a less competitive school.
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Tips for Boosting Your Chances of Getting Accepted

While US medical school acceptance rates may seem discouraging, there are several things you can do to increase your chances of getting accepted. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Focus on academics: Medical schools place a high value on academic excellence, so make sure you have excellent grades and test scores.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities: Medical schools also value well-rounded applicants who participate in extracurricular activities such as research, volunteering, and community service.
  • Gain clinical experience: Medical schools look for applicants with clinical experience, so try to get experience in a healthcare setting by shadowing a doctor or volunteering at a hospital.
  • Build strong relationships with faculty members: Getting to know faculty members at your undergraduate institution can help you secure strong letters of recommendation, increasing your chances of getting accepted.
  • Take the MCAT seriously: The MCAT is a critical component of medical school applications, so thoroughly prepare for the MCAT.
  • Apply broadly: Don’t limit yourself to just one or two medical schools. Apply to several schools to increase your chances of getting accepted.
Acceptance rates of medical schools: a student sleeping while studying


US medical school acceptance rates can be intimidating, but with the right preparation and approach, you can improve your chances of getting accepted. Remember that acceptance rates vary widely between schools and that a lower acceptance rate does not necessarily mean a higher quality education. Instead, focus on building a strong academic record, gaining clinical experience, and participating in extracurricular activities that show your commitment to medicine.

Remember to take the MCAT seriously and apply to various schools to increase your chances of acceptance. With dedication and hard work, you can achieve your dream of becoming a doctor and making a difference in medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

→ Is getting accepted into a less prestigious medical school easier?

It’s possible that some less prestigious medical schools may have higher acceptance rates than more prestigious schools. However, the quality of education and caliber of students can still be high at these schools.

→ What should I do if I am not accepted into a US medical school?

If you aren’t accepted into a US medical school, don’t give up on your dream of becoming a doctor. Consider reapplying after improving your academic record and gaining more experience in the field. You could also consider applying to medical schools outside of the US or pursuing a related field in healthcare.

→ Do US medical schools have different acceptance rates for international students?

Yes, some US medical schools have different acceptance rates for international students. In general, international students face additional hurdles, such as language barriers and differences in educational systems.

→ Is getting accepted into a medical school easier if you apply early?

Some medical schools offer early decision or action programs, which can increase your chances of acceptance if you apply early. However, these programs typically have strict requirements and deadlines, so research them carefully before applying.

→ How many medical schools should I apply to?

The average number of medical schools that applicant apply to is 16. Applying to 10-20 medical schools is generally recommended to increase your chances of acceptance. Be sure to apply to a mix of reach, target, and safety schools. It’s important to remember that applying to too few schools can limit your options, while applying to too many can be overwhelming and expensive.

RNolan Profile picture
Rebecca Nolan
Group Content Manager
Certifications: BA History of Art, PGCE Education, PGC Advanced Educational Practice
Education: University: University of East Anglia
Lives in: London

Rebecca studied at History of Art at UEA before deciding on a career in education. Having worked with children from 3-18 years old, she has worked both in the UK and international schools including Dubai and Zurich, where she was Head of Primary. Rebecca has extensive knowledge in curriculum design and has worked with various curricular models including English National Curriculum and International Baccalaureate.

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