Medical School Acceptance Rates

2021 USN Ranking: Research 2021 USN Ranking: Primary Medical School Total Enrollment Median MCAT Score Median Undergrad GPA Acceptance Rate Selectivity Score
Selectivity Index
4 35 New York University (Grossman) >> 430 522 3.96 2.5% 2015 100.0
6 38 Mayo Clinic School of Medicine (Alix) >> 362 520 3.92 2.4% 1989 98.7
4 30 Stanford University >> 489 519 3.89 2.3% 1972 97.9
1 10 Harvard University >> 712 519 3.93 3.3% 1972 97.9
6 31 Columbia University >> 580 521 3.90 3.5% 1961 97.3
17 24 University of Chicago (Pritzker) Medical >> 358 521 3.91 4.3% 1950 96.7
3 14 University of Pennsylvania (Perelman) >> 612 522 3.90 4.4% 1946 96.6
22 4 Baylor College of Medicine Medical School Overview >> 758 518 3.93 4.9% 1936 96.1
6 11 University of California—Los Angeles (Geffen)  731 517 3.83 2.4% 1933 95.9
2 20 Johns Hopkins University >> 476 521 3.94 6.0% 1930 95.7
12 26 Duke University >> 502 519 3.86 4.0% 1923 95.4
6 2 University of California—San Francisco >> 643 518 3.84 3.8% 1914 94.9
11 38 Cornell University (Weill) >> 442 518 3.88 5.1% 1907 94.6
84 58 West Virginia University 446 508 3.86 2.8% 1906 94.6
18 35 Northwestern University (Feinberg) 632 520 3.91 6.4% 1903 94.4
23 1 University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill 752 512 3.87 4.0% 1902 94.4
40 47 University of Florida 561 515 3.89 5.1% 1901 94.3
18 31 Vanderbilt University 398 520 3.84 5.3% 1891 93.8
38 35 Brown University (Alpert) >> 598 515 3.77 2.8% 1887 93.6
21 26 University of California—San Diego >>  532 516 3.80 3.8% 1886 93.6
31 9 University of Colorado 744 512 3.82 3.7% 1883 93.5
40 43 Albert Einstein College of Medicine >> 779 515 3.81 4.3% 1878 93.2
14 17 University of Pittsburgh >> 597 517 3.80 4.5% 1876 93.1
94+ 94+ Florida State University 480 506 3.78 2.2% 1871 92.8
15 5 University of Michigan—Ann Arbor >> 689 516 3.81 5.0% 1868 92.7
20 58 Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai >> 578 518 3.82 5.7% 1866 92.6
6 31 Washington University in St. Louis 470 521 3.90 8.2% 1865 92.5
44 81 University of California—Irvine 405 516 3.76 4.0% 1863 92.4
34 16 University of Rochester 423 516 3.82 5.7% 1859 92.2
26 26 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center >> 911 516 3.86 7.0% 1852 91.9
62 63 University of Arizona—Tucson 497 509 3.72 2.3% 1850 91.8
34 12 University of Maryland 629 515 3.83 6.6% 1842 91.4
58 68 George Washington University >> 745 512 3.70 2.9% 1839 91.3
34 10 University of Iowa (Carver) 609 514 3.85 7.1% 1838 91.2
70 81 Wayne State University 1,192 511 3.81 5.6% 1838 91.2
31 34 University of Alabama—Birmingham 799 509 3.84 6.0% 1837 91.2
34 38 Ohio State University >> 813 514 3.79 5.7% 1837 91.1
24 56 Case Western Reserve University 943 518 3.81 7.0% 1835 91.1
38 20 University of Utah >> 500 512 3.75 4.7% 1830 90.8
94+ 94+ Florida Atlantic University (Schmidt) 256 511 3.74 4.3% 1829 90.7
40 15 University of Minnesota 1,019 510 3.77 4.9% 1828 90.7
94+ 94+ Cooper Medical School of Rowan University 395 510 3.71 3.4% 1828 90.7
62 56 University of Hawaii—Manoa (Burns) 293 511 3.76 4.9% 1827 90.7
74 58 Saint Louis University 717 514 3.85 7.7% 1827 90.6
52 68 Wake Forest University 546 513 3.67 3.0% 1826 90.6
57 52 Thomas Jefferson University (Kimmel) 1,126 515 3.72 4.7% 1826 90.6
24 25 Emory University 582 514 3.70 4.0% 1826 90.6
31 47 University of Southern California (Keck) >> 747 517 3.70 4.6% 1825 90.5
47 20 Indiana University—Indianapolis 1,436 511 3.90 8.6% 1822 90.4
50 75 University of Miami (Miller) 809 513 3.71 4.3% 1821 90.4
79 73 University of Missouri 460 509 3.75 4.7% 1819 90.3
29 7 Oregon Health and Science University 630 512 3.70 4.0% 1819 90.2
55 67 University of Texas Health Science Center—San Antonio 859 515 3.80 7.1% 1818 90.2
94+ 75 East Tennessee State University (Quillen) 288 508 3.81 6.3% 1814 90.0
29 43 Boston University >> 709 517 3.75 6.5% 1813 89.9
68 49 Virginia Commonwealth University 785 511 3.72 4.8% 1810 89.8
27 18 University of Wisconsin—Madison 731 512 3.74 5.5% 1810 89.8
70 63 University of Oklahoma 658 509 3.85 7.7% 1809 89.7
50 19 Dartmouth College (Geisel) 390 514 3.66 3.9% 1808 89.7
62 38 University of Kansas Medical Center 851 510 3.85 8.0% 1806 89.6
70 84 Hofstra University 403 516 3.80 7.9% 1806 89.6
44 87 Georgetown University 810 512 3.63 2.9% 1805 89.5
58 68 Rush University 553 512 3.69 4.5% 1804 89.5
13 2 University of Washington 1,113 510 3.68 4.1% 1800 89.3
53 38 University of Connecticut 444 512 3.76 6.6% 1798 89.2
66 90 Temple University (Katz) 831 511 3.70 4.9% 1798 89.2
53 52 Tufts University 840 514 3.66 4.6% 1795 89.0
40 7 University of California—Davis >> 463 510 3.63 3.1% 1794 89.0
58 84 Stony Brook University—SUNY 564 514 3.80 8.2% 1793 89.0
74 75 Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School—New Brunswick 721 512 3.70 5.4% 1792 88.9
29 6 University of Virginia 615 518 3.89 11.7% 1779 88.3
94+ 88 Wright State University (Boonshoft) 473 505 3.66 4.1% 1773 87.9
47 26 University of Massachusetts—Worcester 643 514 3.77 8.6% 1771 87.9
66 43 University of Vermont 478 511 3.70 6.4% 1770 87.8
81 52 University of New Mexico 423 506 3.74 6.6% 1768 87.7
44 43 University of Cincinnati 705 515 3.75 8.9% 1759 87.3
91 92 University of California—Riverside 284 508 3.66 5.5% 1757 87.2
94+ 94+ Florida International University (Wertheim) 488 508 3.71 6.8% 1757 87.2
91 90 University of South Carolina 394 507 3.68 6.6% 1743 86.5
84 68 Augusta University 916 511 3.80 10.6% 1736 86.1
62 12 University of Nebraska Medical Center 519 511 3.77 10.1% 1732 85.9
94+ 94+ Howard University 477 504 3.52 2.5% 1730 85.8
91 94+ Drexel University 1,038 510 3.64 6.9% 1728 85.8
55 58 University of Illinois 1,283 513 3.75 10.3% 1726 85.6
94+ 94+ Marshall University (Edwards) 335 502 3.6 5.3% 1711 84.9
90 73 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 732 508 3.81 11.6% 1711 84.9
74 63 University of Tennessee Health Science Center 685 511 3.80 12.1% 1707 84.7
94+ 92 Oklahoma State University 462 503 3.72 9.3% 1697 84.2
94+ 49 Eastern Virginia Medical School 598 512 3.54 6.4% 1696 84.2
94+ 84 Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine 2,252 503 3.62 6.9% 1695 84.1
68 81 University of Kentucky 639 505 3.78 11.3% 1693 84.0
94+ 72 University of North Texas Health Science Center 915 507 3.76 11.7% 1683 83.5
88 75 University of Missouri—Kansas City 465 508 3.81 13.5% 1674 83.1
94+ 62 East Carolina University (Brody) 327 506 3.76 12.4% 1667 82.7
58 88 Medical University of South Carolina 685 510 3.75 15.5% 1616 80.2
81 63 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences 696 508 3.73 16.5% 1582 78.5
94+ 94+ Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine 1,991 501 3.60 12.4% 1580 78.4
94+ 94+ Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center—Shreveport 542 504 3.70 27.1% 1359 67.5
94+ 75 Lincoln Memorial University (DeBusk) 1,084 500 3.55 25.3% 1326 65.8
88 75 Loyola University Chicago (Stritch) 678 0 - n/a 3.60 2.9% 0 n/a 0 - n/a

Med school admissions stats matter

While there are many subjective and qualitative factors that contribute to an effective medical school application, the objective, quantitative factors play a significant role both in your acceptance and in how you should choose where you apply.

You can’t underestimate the importance of these medical school admission rates and stats. They frequently constitute numerical screen tools and determine who gets secondary applications. And they should influence you when you choose the programs to apply to.

The most important medical school applicant stats are:

  1. Your MCAT
  2. Your undergraduate GPA

The most important medical school admissions stats are:

  1. The median MCAT for matriculants
  2. The median GPA for matriculants
  3. The overall, in-state, and out-of-state acceptance rates

How to use your stats to choose which med schools to apply to

Medical school acceptance rates for the class that entered in 2018 at schools ranked by US News ranged from a low of 1.9% at the University of Arizona (Tucson) to a high of 15.6% at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. However, since most med school applicants apply to multiple medical schools, if you look at the applicant pool as a whole the picture is not quite as bleak. Per AAMC for the class that matriculated in 2018, 52,777 applicants submitted 849,678 applications and in the end 21,622 matriculated at an allopathic medical school. Bottom line: 50.5% of applicants who applied to allopathic medical schools matriculated.

That 50.5% is certainly a lot more encouraging than the 1.9 – 15.6% acceptance rates at individual programs, and it doesn’t include applicants who opted to go to osteopathic medical schools. At the same time, that 50.5% still means it’s roughly 50-50, and you want to maximize your chances.

Ideally you want to apply mostly to programs that you want to attend and that are somewhat likely to accept you. “Somewhat likely to accept you” means that your stats are close to or above the median. You don't want to apply solely to the easiest medical schools to get into without considering if you actually want to attend that school. Yes, you can apply to a couple of dream schools where you are less competitive, and you should apply to a few schools where your stats are above average and where you would also be happy to attend.

Keep in mind as you apply that medians are medians because applicants are accepted with GPAs and MCATs that are below the median. However, the further away your scores are below the median, the less likely you are to be accepted, especially if both your GPA and MCAT are weak.

Keep also in mind the impact of in-state (IS) vs. out-of-state (OOS) acceptance rates as you choose your target schools. Many medical schools associated with public universities have significant preferences for in-state residents. They frequently also charge lower tuition to in-state residents. Those two facts, if applicable in your state, suggest that you should apply to your IS school(s) in addition to any OOS schools that appeal to you.

Why are GPA, MCAT scores, and acceptance rates important when you apply to medical school?

 

The GPA

Your undergraduate GPA reflects your academic performance in college and over time. Since a foundational element of admissions is that past behavior predicts future behavior, that number is really important.

Schools want to know that you know how to perform in a demanding academic environment, particularly in the sciences. Your GPA tells them how you’ve performed in the past and also reflects how you’ve performed relative to your peers.

The median GPA in the table above is a median. People were accepted with GPAs below the median as well above the median. To gain a fuller understanding of the GPA range at a given school you can check:

  • Each school’s website
  • AAMC’s Medical School Admissions Requirements (a good investment)
  • U.S. News Medical School Rankings

While the median GPA provided here is a good initial check when assessing the competitiveness of your GPAs, make sure that you don’t stop there; look into the larger range of GPAs as you assess your competitiveness at particular schools.

Also consider the trend in your GPA, your science GPA, your postbac grades (if relevant), and extenuating circumstances that may make your GPA look shinier than it is at first glance.

Where does your GPA fall relative to the median GPA at your target medical schools?

If your GPA is at or above the median GPAs for your target schools, great!

If it’s significantly below the median or if both your GPA and MCAT are below the median, then you’ll want to explore the following free resources:

The MCAT

The MCAT allows medical schools to compare students on a common measure. Grading standards vary among schools, among professors, and among TAs. There is an element of subjectivity to the grading system.

The MCAT is something all medical school applicants – whether applying to allopathic or osteopathic schools – have in common. And it’s scoring is consistent.

MCAT scores also correlate somewhat to performance on the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK exams (see here for details). Medical schools want to know that if they admit you, you will not only be likely to handle the workload at medical school, but also likely to pass these critical exams.

Other factors to consider when evaluating your MCAT:

  • The breakdown of the MCAT scores. A really low score on one part of the exam can hurt even if the overall score is competitive.
  • Taking the MCAT multiple times. Some schools will use your highest score. Some will take the average. Some will take the most recent score. Most will consider trend if you take the MCAT multiple times.

Where does your MCAT score fall relative to the median score at your target medical schools?

If you have an MCAT that you are satisfied with, fantastic! Check it off your to-do list. If you are not satisfied with your MCAT, here are additional resources for you:

Medical Schools with the Highest Median MCAT Scores

School Median MCAT Score

NYU Langone

522

Penn (Perelman) 521
Chicago (Pritzker) 521
Yale 521
University of Washington St. Louis 521

Medical Schools with the Lowest Median MCAT Scores

School Median MCAT Score

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

500
Howard University 503
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine 503
Florida State University

505

University of South Carolina 506

Clearly there’s a significant range in median MCAT scores at different schools. Not only that, but some applicants are admitted with MCAT scores below the median.  

IS vs. OOS medical school acceptance rates

As mentioned above, overall acceptance rates vary from a high of 15.6% for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to a low of 1.9% for the University of Arizona at Tucson. However at UA Tucson, the in-state acceptance rate is 13% and the out-of-state acceptance rate is a meager 0.8%. At the University of Tennessee the in-state acceptance rate is 32.5% and the out-of-state acceptance rate is 4.6%. Obviously in determining whether it makes sense for you to apply to these two programs (and many others), the difference between in-state and out-of-state acceptance rates can be more important than the overall acceptance rate.

You can find the overall, in-state (IS), and out-of-state (OOS) acceptance rates at Accepted’s tool: Med School Acceptance Rates: In-State vs. Out-of-State. You’ll also find it very easy to determine which schools have strong preference for IS and which have no or negligible preference.

Schools with the Strongest Preference for In-State Applicants

School

Overall Acceptance Rate In-State Acceptance Rate

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate

Ratio of IS to OOS
Florida State

2.4%

6.1%

.1%

45.98

University of Washington

3.7%

20.6%

.7% 28.72

University of New Mexico

8.6%

41.6%

1.6% 26.79

West Virginia University

3.1%

38.9%

1.5% 26.64

University of Oklahoma

9.0%

45.2%

1.8% 25.63

Those are pretty telling numbers if you live in Florida, Washington, New Mexico, West Virginia, or Oklahoma.  

They tell a very different story if you are considering those programs and don’t live in those states.

If you live in a state with no or few medical schools, you have to look out of state. You might find these programs more welcoming.

Schools with the Highest Out-of-State Acceptance Rates

School

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate Overall Acceptance Rate

University of Virginia

10.3%

11.1%

Washington University of St. Louis 10.3% 10.2%
Case Western Reserve 8.9% 8.8%
Northwestern (Feinberg) 7.5% 7.5%
Saint Louis University 6.9% 7.3%

Moving forward with the medical school admissions process

Some of you are probably thinking: these programs are really hard to get into! You’re right. That’s why we also recommend that you apply to 20-25 programs and don’t stop with these top or bottom five. Look at both tools as well as the other resources we provided.

Finally, don’t go it alone. Consider getting professional help to guide you as you attempt to take the next step towards the professional career of your dreams.

Yes, medical school admission stats are serious business. Evaluating your stats vis-a-vis your target schools’ stats and keeping in mind in-state vs. out-of-state acceptance rates is a first step in choosing the most appropriate schools for you. And those are the medical schools where you are most likely to get accepted.

Choosing those “most appropriate” medical schools to apply to can save you lots of time, money, and heartache. You need to evaluate all the stats discussed here as well as the qualitative factors that go into a successful medical school application to apply effectively.

If you’d like help in choosing those programs, advice on mitigating weaknesses, or guidance in presenting your best self in primary and secondary applications and interviews, check out Accepted’s outstanding Medical School Admission Consulting Services.

Competition is intense. Get Accepted.

Med school admissions: What you need to know to get accepted.