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Harvard Medical School Requirements, Tuition and Housing

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Rebecca Nolan

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Harvard Medical School is a prestigious institution known for its top-notch medical programs and cutting-edge research. With rigorous admissions requirements and thriving student life, it’s no wonder that HMS produces some of the best medical professionals in the world.


Harvard Medical School (HMS) is a prestigious medical school located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest medical schools in the United States. It was founded in 1782 and is part of Harvard University. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredits HMS.

Graduates of HMS have gone on to become leaders in the field of medicine, including Nobel laureates, heads of state, and industry leaders. After completing their studies at HMS, students have a wide range of options available to them. These include pursuing post-graduate research or residency programs, or embarking on a career in the medical field.

Medical Programs Offered

HMS offers several medical programs, including the traditional Doctor of Medicine (MD) program, a joint MD-PhD program, and a Master of Medical Sciences in Immunology (MMSc). The MD program provides students with a comprehensive education in the medical sciences. It emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, and hands-on clinical experience.

HMS has state-of-the-art facilities, including the Harvard Medical School Quad, which houses four research buildings and the Tosteson Medical Education Center. The Tosteson Medical Education Center is a modern facility that includes lecture halls, clinical skills labs, and simulation labs. These provide students with a comprehensive learning experience.

Teaching and Curriculum at Harvard Medical School 

Harvard Medical School (HMS) is one of the most prestigious medical schools in the world, known for its excellence in research, education, and clinical care. The following is a detailed overview of the teaching and curriculum at HMS, using the official website of the school as a reference (

Curriculum Overview:

The curriculum at HMS provides a comprehensive and integrated medical education, with a strong emphasis on scientific and clinical skills, as well as social and ethical issues in medicine. The curriculum is divided into four years, with each year building upon the previous one, and includes the following components.

Year 1: The foundation of medical knowledge

The first year of the curriculum builds a strong foundation in the basic sciences. Topics include anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, physiology, microbiology, and immunology. This year also includes courses in medical ethics, patient care, and communication skills, as well as a longitudinal course in healthcare delivery systems and population health.

Year 2: Integration and application of knowledge

The second year of the curriculum integrates and applies the knowledge gained in the first year to clinical scenarios. Students take courses in pathophysiology, pharmacology, and clinical skills. They also participate in clinical clerkships in various specialties, such as surgery, medicine, pediatrics, and psychiatry.

Year 3: Clinical training

The third year of the curriculum focuses on clinical training, with students rotating through various clinical clerkships in different specialties. These incldde obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, and emergency medicine. Students also participate in a longitudinal course on patient care and quality improvement.

Year 4: Electives and career exploration

The fourth year of the curriculum is flexible, allowing students to tailor their education to their interests and career goals. Students can choose from a wide range of electives, including research, global health, medical education, and public policy. Students also participate in a longitudinal course on career development. These include workshops on residency application, job searching, and professional development.

Harvard Medical School Teaching Methods:

HMS uses a variety of teaching methods to promote active learning and critical thinking.

Lectures: Large group lectures are used to introduce new concepts and provide an overview of the material.

Small group sessions: Small group sessions are used for interactive learning and discussion. They include problem-based learning, case-based learning, and team-based learning.

Clinical experiences: Clinical experiences are an integral part of the curriculum. They include clerkships, sub-internships, and electives.

Technology-enhanced learning: HMS uses various technology-enhanced learning tools, such as online modules, simulations, and virtual patient encounters.

Harvard Medical School assessment:

Assessment at HMS is designed to measure student progress and ensure that they meet the learning objectives of the curriculum. Assessment methods include

Exams: Written and practical exams are used to assess knowledge and skills.

Clinical evaluations: Clinical evaluations are used to assess clinical skills, professionalism, and communication skills.

Projects and assignments: Projects and assignments assess critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills.

Harvard Medical School MD Program Grading:

HMS uses a grading system that is based on Honors/Pass/Fail (HPF) for all courses except for the clinical clerkships, which are graded on an Honors/Pass/Fail (H/P/F) system. The grading system is designed to promote collaboration and reduce competition among students and focus on learning rather than grades.

Overall, the curriculum at Harvard Medical School is designed to provide a comprehensive and integrated medical education that prepares students to become leaders in medicine and healthcare. The curriculum is flexible, allowing students to tailor their education to their interests and career goals, and the teaching methods are designed to promote active learning and critical thinking

Admissions Requirements

The admissions requirements for HMS include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, completion of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), and demonstrated academic excellence. The school also recommends that students have previous experience in research and healthcare settings.

Additionally, HMS offers a pathway for students who have completed a Ph.D. or other advanced degree in the sciences. These students can apply to the MD-PhD program, which allows them to complete their medical education and receive a combined MD-PhD degree.

Based on data from Motivate MD, the average GPA of admitted students at HMS is 3.88, and the average MCAT score is 519. The school receives approximately 7,000 applications each year and enrolls around 165 students per class.

Average GPAAverage MCATApplicantsClass Size
Harvard Medical School admissions statistics for the MD program

Student Life

As part of Harvard University, HMS offers a vibrant student life with a wide range of activities and opportunities for students to get involved. The campus is located in Cambridge, a bustling city with a rich history and diverse population. Students can explore the city’s many museums, parks, and restaurants, or take part in one of the many student organizations on campus.

Extracurricular Activities

HMS offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including student-run interest groups, cultural organizations, and athletic teams. Students can also participate in community service projects and global health initiatives.

Student Accommodation

HMS does not offer on-campus housing for students, but there are many housing options available in the surrounding areas. Students can choose to live in dormitories or apartments, or they can share housing with other students. The school provides resources to help students find housing that meets their needs and budget.

About the University

Key Information


Email: [email protected] 

Phone number: (617) 432-1550

Course Information

Courses Offered: Doctor of Medicine (MD), joint MD-PhD program, Master of Medical Sciences in Immunology (MMSc)

Course length: The MD program is 4 years long, while the joint MD-PhD program takes 7-8 years to complete. The MMSc program varies in length depending on the specific track chosen.

Graduate Entry: Yes, HMS offers a graduate pathway through its joint MD-PhD program for students who have completed an advanced degree in the sciences.

Tuition fees: The tuition for the 2022-2023 academic year is $66,800 for the MD program and $62,200 for the MMSc program. The joint MD-PhD program is fully funded and provides students with a stipend and benefits. Additionally, there are a variety of financial aid options available to help students cover the cost of tuition and living expenses.


→ What is the MCAT score needed to apply to Harvard Medical School?

Harvard Medical School does not have a minimum MCAT score requirement, but the average MCAT score for accepted students in the 2022/2023 cycle was 519. However, a strong MCAT score alone is not sufficient to secure admission to the program.

→ How hard is it to get into Harvard Medical School?

The acceptance rate for the Harvard Medical School class of 2026 was 3.8%, making it one of the most selective medical schools in the country. In 2022/2023, the school received over 7,000 applications for just 165 spots.

→ What support services are available to students at Harvard Medical School?

Harvard Medical School offers a wide range of support services to its students, including academic advising, career counseling, mental health services, and financial aid. The school also provides opportunities for research and clinical experiences through its affiliated hospitals and research centers.

→ What is the medical school with the lowest MCAT score requirement in the US?

Several medical schools in the US have lower MCAT score requirements than the national average, but it is important to note that MCAT score is just one of the many factors considered during the admissions process. Among the schools that accept students with a lower MCAT score, some of them are the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Lincoln Memorial University.

→ What other factors should I consider when selecting a US medical school?

In addition to MCAT score, you should consider factors such as the school’s curriculum, clinical experience, faculty, research opportunities, location, cost, and student support services. You may also want to consider factors such as the school’s match list and student satisfaction.

About the university

Key Information
Course Information
University Life
Admissions Tests
Academic Requirements

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