Medical School Acceptance Rates: In-State vs. Out-of-State

Get Accepted! Find the service that best meets your needs:

How do Medical School Acceptance Rates compare for In-State vs. Out-of-State applicants? For many schools, the In-State Acceptance Rate is vastly higher. You can also sort programs based on the state or any of the columns in this table.

 

There are many factors to weigh in deciding where to apply to medical school. For starters:

  • Your competitiveness as reflected in your GPA and MCAT score (see Accepted’s Selectivity Index for more on that data)
  • The quality of your clinical exposure and community service
  • The personal qualities and character revealed through your commitments as reflected both in your essays, activity history, and recommendations
  • Your fit with specific schools

One element of that fit is how schools look at in-state (IS) and out-of-state (OOS) applicants. Accepted has compiled the data on acceptance rates for U.S. medical school included in the U.S. News 2021 rankings. In this table, you can see the different acceptance rates for in-state and out-of-state, the ratio of in-state to out-of-state acceptance rates and whether those ratios are none, negligible, modest, material, or huge. You can also sort the data by any of these elements.

<< READ: Tuition-Free Medical School: Everything You Need to Know in 2020-21 >>

How to Use the In-State vs. Out-of-State Tool

Which of your state’s medical schools prefer in-state applicants?

On a basic level, check to see if your local medical schools prefer in-state residents. Most medical schools associated with public universities and some private med schools that receive funding from states have strong preferences for in-state residents as evidenced by in-state acceptance rates that are at least double the out-of-state acceptance rates. Schools where the in-state acceptance rate is four times (or more) higher than the out-of-state rate have a “Huge” difference. Chances of out-of-state applicants being accepted are very low when the gap is that big.

Obviously if you live in a state where the medical school has a strong preference for in-state residents as evidenced by its in-state acceptance rate being double, triple, quadruple, or more than the out-of-state acceptance rate, and if your stats are even close to your local medical school’s class profile, you want to apply to your in-state school. In addition to a higher statistical chance of acceptance, if accepted you may pay lower tuition as an in-state resident. You may also benefit from being closer to home and your support network.  

Out-of-State Programs Open to Out-Of-State Applicants.

Conversely, if you live in a state with only one or perhaps no medical schools or in a state that has many more med school applicants than its med schools can accept (like California), you will need to consider out-of-state programs. In addition to applying to your local in-state schools, you must apply out of state to maximize the chances that you are accepted somewhere to study medicine. To enhance your chances of acceptance, you want to select primarily those out-of-state schools where there is no or negligible difference in acceptance rates between in-state and out-of-state applicants and where you are competitive.

On our chart, you can either sort the index by the Out-of-State Acceptance Rate, the Ratio of In-State to Out-of-State Acceptance Rates, or the In-State Advantage. If you choose the latter, also select the down arrow so that those with the least difference will be at the top. 

You will quickly realize that those schools with the least preference for in-state students tend to be among the most selective overall. But not all have average MCATs of 520+ and average GPAs of 3.9. Use Accepted’s Med School Selectivity Index and AAMC’s MSAR to determine the schools where you are likely to be competitive.

Easiest Med Schools to Get Into for Out-of-State Applicants

Here are the five U.S. medical schools with the highest acceptance rate for out-of-state applicants in the U.S. News medical school 2021 rankings

Medical School

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate

Lincoln Memorial University (DeBusk)

22.8%

University of Virginia

10.6%

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

10.3%

University of Missouri - Kansas City

8.5%

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

8.2%

Applying to programs more likely to accept you contributes enormously to a successful medical school application.

The Acceptance Rates shown above are calculated based on data from the 2021 US News rankings released in March 2020.

The term used in the In-State Advantage column is based on the ratio of the In-State Acceptance Rate to the Out-of-State Acceptance Rate as follows:

  • Ratio of 4 or greater: "Huge"
  • Ratio of 2 to 4: "Material"
  • Ratio of 1.5 to 2: "Modest"
  • Ratio of 1.25 to 1.5: "Negligible"
  • Ratio under 1.25: "None"
accepted

Accepted has been helping medical school applicants gain acceptance to top programs since 1994.

Get Accepted! Find the service that best meets your needs: