Medical School Acceptance Rates in the USA: Statistics + Guide

April 25, 2024
7 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 4/25/24

Are you applying to medical school? This article will tell you the medical school acceptance rates and more!

Becoming a physician is a noble pursuit that demands commitment, resilience, and academic excellence. In the United States, aspiring doctors face a rigorous selection process, with med school acceptance rates serving as a pivotal benchmark in their pursuit of this noble profession. 

However, behind these seemingly straightforward statistics lies a complex interplay of factors that influence who gains entry into these esteemed institutions and who faces disappointment.

In this article, we delve into the intricate landscape of medical schools with the highest acceptance rates in the USA. From the evolving dynamics of admissions criteria to the impact of societal trends on applicant pools, we aim to provide aspiring physicians with an understanding of what it takes to navigate this path.

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Medical School Acceptance Rates in the US

This table provides a detailed breakdown of acceptance rates for medical schools across the United States, from Ivy League universities to regional colleges, offering valuable insights into the varying levels of selectivity among institutions.

Medical School Acceptance Rate Percentage of
Percentage of Out-of-State
Alabama-Heersink 4.18% 84.9 15.1
South Alabama-Whiddon 4.92% 92.3 7.7
Arkansas 7.18% 97.7 2.3
Arizona 1.68% 75.4 24.6
Arizona Phoenix 2.04% 50.0 50.0
California 2.68% 97.7 2.3
California Northstate 3.23% 88.2 11.8
Drew 6.26% 72.1 27.9
Kaiser Permanente-Tyson 0.65% 54.0 46.0
Loma Linda 3.43% 48.9 51.1
Southern Cal-Keck 2.15% 79.6 20.4
Stanford 1.01% 32.6 67.4
UC Davis 1.67% 95.6 4.4
UC Irvine 1.62% 86.0 14.0
UC Riverside 1.42% 98.8 1.2
UC San Diego 1.61% 76.6 23.4
UC San Francisco 1.96% 69.9 30.1
UCLA-Geffen 1.34% 57.7 42.3
Colorado 1.84% 43.1 56.9
Connecticut 2.58% 75.9 24.1
Quinnipiac-Netter 1.26% 13.7 86.3
Yale 1.64% 6.7 93.3
George Washington 1.11% 2.2 97.8
Georgetown 1.25% 2.5 97.5
Howard 1.50% 2.4 97.6
FIU-Wertheim 1.94% 81.8 18.2
Florida 2.54% 84.4 15.6
Florida Atlantic-Schmidt 1.65% 65.8 34.2
Florida State 1.79% 98.3 1.7
Miami-Miller 1.99% 46.8 53.2
Nova Southeastern-Patel 0.95% 60.4 39.6
UCF 2.42% 62.5 37.5
USF-Morsani 3.30% 46.2 53.8
Emory 1.08% 39.6 60.4
MC Georgia Augusta 7.92% 99.6 0.4
Mercer 12.58% 100.0 0.0
Morehouse 1.57% 68.2 31.8
Hawaii-Burns 3.24% 83.1 16.9
Iowa-Carver 4.48% 65.8 34.2
Carle Illinois 2.25% 14.1 85.9
Chicago Med Franklin 2.03% 56.2 43.8
Chicago-Pritzker 1.34% 17.0 83.0
Illinois 3.18% 56.0 44.0
Loyola-Stritch 1.42% 30.6 69.4
Northwestern-Feinberg 1.85% 28.3 71.7
Rush 1.18% 23.4 76.6
Southern Illinois 7.11% 100.0 0.0
Indiana 5.96% 78.0 22.0
Kansas 6.56% 74.4 25.6
Kentucky 4.85% 77.6 22.4
Louisville 2.92% 73.0 27.0
LSU New Orleans 5.01% 91.3 8.7
LSU Shreveport 3.69% 95.3 4.7
Tulane 1.21% 23.7 76.3
BU-Chobanian Avedisian 1.38% 27.4 72.6
Harvard 2.07% 12.3 87.7
Massachusetts-Chan 3.80% 66.5 33.5
Tufts 1.45% 26.2 73.8
Johns Hopkins 2.01% 12.5 87.5
Maryland 2.59% 81.0 19.0
Uniformed Services-Hebert 6.99% 11.4 88.6
Central Michigan 1.27% 76.9 23.1
Michigan 1.84% 51.8 48.2
Michigan State 2.61% 79.4 20.6
Oakland Beaumont 1.66% 55.2 44.8
Wayne State 3.79% 62.3 37.7
Western Michigan-Stryker 2.05% 39.3 60.7
Mayo-Alix 1.96% 9.3 90.7
Minnesota 4.03% 82.6 17.4
Missouri Columbia 4.74% 83.6 16.4
Missouri Kansas City 7.18% 64.0 36.0
Saint Louis 2.93% 33.7 66.3
Washington U St Louis 2.18% 5.6 94.4
Mississippi 44.47% 100.0 0.0
Duke 1.40% 13.6 86.4
East Carolina-Brody 8.22% 100.0 0.0
North Carolina 3.51% 88.2 11.8
Wake Forest 1.20% 38.6 61.4
North Dakota 4.48% 48.6 51.4
Creighton 4.05% 4.0 96.0
Nebraska 6.37% 79.5 20.5
Dartmouth-Geisel 1.08% 3.3 96.7
Cooper Rowan 2.46% 77.7 22.3
Hackensack Meridian 2.62% 51.9 48.1
Rutgers New Jersey 2.97% 83.9 16.1
Rutgers-RW Johnson 2.84% 88.5 11.5
New Mexico 5.38% 93.5 6.5
Nevada Reno 4.21% 82.9 17.1
UNLV-Kerkorian 4.23% 72.7 27.3
Albany 1.08% 28.7 71.3
Buffalo-Jacobs 3.03% 90.8 9.2
CUNY 100.00% 100.0 0.0
Columbia-Vagelos 1.92% 17.4 82.6
Cornell-Weill 1.47% 30.2 69.8
Einstein 2.03% 49.2 50.8
Mount Sinai-Icahn 1.41% 26.7 73.3
NYU Long Island-Grossman 0.59% 50.0 50.0
NYU-Grossman 1.24% 7.0 93.0
New York Medical 2.08% 57.7 42.3
Renaissance Stony Brook 2.49% 77.2 22.8
Rochester 1.68% 26.0 74.0
SUNY Downstate 2.97% 85.5 14.5
SUNY Upstate-Norton 3.11% 77.1 22.9
Zucker Hofstra Northwell 1.97% 64.6 35.4
Case Western Reserve 2.51% 18.1 81.9
Cincinnati 2.86% 57.1 42.9
Northeast Ohio 3.73% 73.0 27.0
Ohio State 2.74% 54.5 45.5
Toledo 3.14% 64.0 36.0
Wright State-Boonshoft 2.01% 80.2 19.8
Oklahoma 7.92% 90.9 9.1
Oregon 2.38% 72.0 28.0
Drexel 1.92% 32.6 67.4
Geisinger Commonwealth 2.19% 65.2 34.8
Jefferson-Kimmel 2.49% 28.7 71.3
Penn State 1.31% 31.0 69.0
Pennsylvania-Perelman 2.61% 11.5 88.5
Pittsburgh 1.69% 37.8 62.2
Temple-Katz 1.66% 38.3 61.7
Caribe 9.45% 85.7 14.3
Ponce 9.70% 65.0 35.0
Puerto Rico 13.90% 98.0 2.0
San Juan Bautista 5.52% 46.9 53.1
Brown-Alpert 1.62% 11.1 88.9
MU South Carolina 4.67% 91.3 8.7
South Carolina Columbia 3.50% 75.0 25.0
South Carolina Greenville 2.51% 70.0 30.0
South Dakota-Sanford 6.36% 73.2 26.8
East Tennessee-Quillen 1.94% 81.8 18.2
Meharry 1.54% 18.1 81.9
Tennessee 6.65% 90.2 9.8
Vanderbilt 1.45% 10.5 89.5
Baylor 4.06% 82.7 17.3
Houston-Fertitta 1.23% 96.7 3.3
TCU-Burnett 0.94% 25.0 75.0
Texas A&M 3.56% 86.4 13.6
Texas Tech 3.64% 90.1 9.9
Texas Tech-Foster 2.72% 94.4 5.6
UT Austin-Dell 0.95% 90.0 10.0
UT Houston-McGovern 4.25% 95.0 5.0
UT Medical Branch-Sealy 4.47% 94.3 5.7
UT Rio Grande Valley 1.18% 92.5 7.5
UT San Antonio-Long 4.31% 88.4 11.6
UT Southwestern 4.20% 87.1 12.9
UT Tyler 1.06% 97.5 2.5
Utah-Eccles 4.12% 72.8 27.2
Eastern Virginia 2.11% 50.3 49.7
Virginia 2.78% 46.2 53.8
Virginia Commonwealth 2.61% 53.8 46.2
Virginia Tech Carilion 0.81% 16.0 84.0
Vermont-Larner 1.42% 27.0 73.0
U Washington 3.89% 53.5 46.5
Washington State-Floyd 4.96% 88.8 11.3
MC Wisconsin 2.75% 52.3 47.7
Wisconsin 2.68% 68.4 31.6
Marshall-Edwards 3.91% 56.9 43.1
West Virginia 2.14% 69.6 30.4

Source: MSAR

Factors Influencing Trends in Medical School Acceptance Rates

The landscape of medical school acceptance rates is not static; it evolves in response to a myriad of factors that shape applicant pools, admissions criteria, and institutional priorities. 

Understanding these influential factors is crucial for prospective students seeking insight into the fluctuating trends of acceptance rates. Here, we delve into some key determinants that contribute to the dynamics of medical school admissions:

  • Demographic Shifts: Changes in population demographics, such as shifts in age distribution, racial and ethnic composition, and socioeconomic status, can influence the number and characteristics of individuals applying to medical school.
  • Admissions Policies and Criteria: Each medical school sets its own admissions policies and criteria, which can vary widely in terms of emphasis on academic performance, extracurricular activities, research experience, and personal attributes.
  • Educational Pipeline Initiatives: Programs targeting underprivileged communities, rural areas, or groups underrepresented in medicine may increase the number of qualified applicants from these backgrounds, potentially affecting acceptance rates at institutions that prioritize diversity and inclusion.
  • Healthcare Industry Trends: Trends in the healthcare industry, such as shifts in healthcare delivery models, advances in medical technology, and changes in healthcare policy, can influence the perceived demand for physicians in different specialties.
  • Economic Factors: Economic conditions, including fluctuations in tuition costs, availability of financial aid, and job market prospects for medical graduates, can impact individuals' decisions to pursue a career in medicine and their choices of where to apply.
  • Public Health Crises and Global Events: Public health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can have profound effects on medical school admissions. 

Insights on Why Medical School Acceptance Rates Shouldn't Be the Only Focus

While medical school acceptance rates are undeniably important, fixating solely on these figures can obscure a broader understanding of the medical school application process. 

It's crucial to recognize that these rates are influenced by a multitude of factors beyond just academic performance, such as the competitiveness of the applicant pool, the strength of one's extracurricular activities, the quality of recommendation letters, and even chance. 

Placing too much emphasis on acceptance rates might overshadow the significance of personal growth, resilience, and the diverse paths individuals take to succeed in medicine. 

A more nuanced perspective would highlight the holistic nature of medical school admissions, encouraging aspiring doctors to focus on developing a well-rounded portfolio of experiences and skills, and fostering a commitment to lifelong learning and patient care rather than being disheartened by the formidable acceptance rates alone.

Understanding the Impact of Your Medical School Application on Acceptance Rates

Understanding the impact of one's medical school application on acceptance rates is crucial for prospective medical students. Every component of the application, from GPA and MCAT scores to letters of recommendation and personal statements, plays a pivotal role in shaping the likelihood of acceptance. 

A well-rounded application that showcases academic excellence, relevant experiences, and a genuine passion for medicine can significantly boost one's chances. Conversely, weaknesses in any aspect of the application can present hurdles. 

By recognizing this impact, applicants are empowered to strategically enhance their strengths, address weaknesses, and present a compelling narrative to admissions committees. Each element of the application is a chance to make a positive impression, highlighting not just academic prowess but also the personal qualities and experiences that demonstrate readiness and dedication to a career in medicine.

Understanding the Significance of Medical School Admissions Statistics for Applicants

For aspiring medical students, understanding the significance of medical school admissions statistics is paramount in navigating the path to becoming a physician. These statistics offer a glimpse into the competitive landscape of medical school admissions, providing valuable insights into the average GPA and MCAT scores of accepted students, as well as acceptance rates. 

Armed with this data, applicants can gauge their competitiveness and tailor their application strategies accordingly, whether it involves strengthening academic credentials, pursuing meaningful extracurricular activities, or seeking mentorship. 

However, it's crucial to approach these statistics with a balanced perspective, recognizing that they are just one piece of the puzzle. While they provide a benchmark for success, they do not define an applicant's worth or potential as a future physician. Instead, they should serve as a motivator for continuous improvement and a reminder of the dedication required to excel in the medical field.

Utilizing Admissions Statistics: A Checklist for Medical School Selection

When embarking on the journey to medical school, selecting the right institution is paramount. Utilizing admissions statistics effectively can help applicants make informed decisions that align with their academic strengths, career aspirations, and personal preferences. Here's a checklist to guide prospective students in leveraging admissions statistics for medical school selection:

Research Acceptance Rates 

Start by researching the acceptance rates of medical schools you're interested in. Look beyond the overall acceptance rate and delve into acceptance rates for specific applicant categories, such as in-state versus out-of-state applicants or those from underrepresented backgrounds. Understanding these rates can help you gauge your competitiveness and narrow down your list of target schools.

Evaluate Academic Metrics 

Examine the average GPAs and MCAT scores accepted at each medical school. Compare these metrics to your own academic achievements to assess your competitiveness. Consider whether your academic profile aligns with the averages reported by each institution and prioritize schools where your credentials are competitive.

Consider Holistic Admissions 

Explore whether medical schools employ holistic admissions processes that consider factors beyond academic metrics. Look for schools that value diverse experiences, personal attributes, and non-academic achievements in their admissions criteria. Highlighting your unique qualities and experiences may increase your chances of acceptance at institutions with holistic review processes.

Analyze Matriculation Data

Review matriculation data to gain insights into where accepted students ultimately choose to enroll. Consider factors such as geographic location, program reputation, and institutional culture that may influence matriculation decisions. Identifying schools with high yield rates can help you prioritize institutions where you're more likely to receive an acceptance offer.

Assess Specialty Match Rates

Investigate the residency match rates of medical school graduates in your desired specialty or specialties. Look for schools with strong track records of placing students in competitive residency programs or specialties aligned with your career goals. High match rates in your preferred specialty can indicate a strong residency preparation and support system at the medical school.

Explore Demographic Diversity

Consider the demographic composition of the student body at each medical school, including diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and life experiences. Look for institutions committed to fostering diversity and inclusion, as diverse learning environments enrich the educational experience and better prepare future physicians to serve diverse patient populations.

Review Institutional Resources

Evaluate the resources and support services offered by each medical school, such as research opportunities, clinical facilities, mentorship programs, and student support services. Consider how these resources align with your academic and career interests and whether they enhance your overall learning experience.

Seek Student Perspectives: 

Reach out to current medical students or alumni to gain insights into their experiences at the institutions you're considering. Ask about the quality of education, student life, faculty support, and any challenges they encountered during their medical school journey. Hearing firsthand perspectives can provide valuable insights that may not be captured in admissions statistics alone.

Proven Tips for a Successful Medical School Application and Acceptance

Securing acceptance to medical school is a competitive and multi-faceted process that requires careful planning, preparation, and persistence. To increase your chances of success, consider the following tips as you navigate the application journey:

Start Early

Begin preparing for the medical school application process well in advance. Take the time to research different medical schools, understand their admissions requirements, and familiarize yourself with application timelines and deadlines.

Maintain a Strong Academic Record

Academic excellence is a cornerstone of a competitive medical school application. Strive to maintain a high GPA throughout your undergraduate studies and excel in challenging coursework, particularly in science and math courses relevant to medicine.

Excel on the MCAT

Prepare thoroughly for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) by dedicating ample time to study and review relevant content areas. Consider enrolling in a preparatory course or utilizing study materials from reputable sources to maximize your score potential.

Gain Relevant Experience 

Seek out clinical, research, volunteer, and leadership experiences that demonstrate your commitment to the field of medicine and develop your skills as a future physician. Engage in shadowing opportunities to gain firsthand exposure to various medical specialties and patient care settings.

Craft a Compelling Personal Statement

Use your personal statement to convey your passion for medicine, highlight formative experiences, and articulate your motivations for pursuing a career in healthcare. Be authentic, reflective, and concise in your writing, and ensure that your statement effectively communicates your unique qualities and aspirations.

Obtain Strong Letters of Recommendation: 

Request letters of recommendation from individuals who know you well and can speak to your character, academic abilities, and suitability for a career in medicine. Choose recommenders who can provide specific examples and insights into your strengths and contributions.

Prepare for Interviews: 

If invited for interviews, thoroughly prepare by researching each medical school, familiarizing yourself with its mission and values, and practicing common interview questions. Through confident and thoughtful responses, showcase your interpersonal skills, professionalism, and readiness for medical school.

  • Demonstrate Personal Growth and Resilience: Highlight instances of personal growth, resilience, and perseverance in your application to demonstrate your ability to overcome challenges and adapt to adversity. Admissions committees value applicants who demonstrate resilience and a commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Tailor Your Application Strategically: Customize your application to each medical school by highlighting relevant experiences, aligning with institutional missions, and addressing specific prompts or requirements. Tailoring your application demonstrates your genuine interest in each school and increases your chances of standing out to admissions committees.

Stay Organized and Manage Expectations: Keep track of application deadlines, requirements, and communications from medical schools to ensure that you submit materials accurately and on time. Manage your expectations throughout the process and understand that acceptance to medical school is competitive and may require multiple application cycles for some applicants.

Frequently Asked Questions about Medical School Admissions

Here are a few common questions about medical school admissions.

1. Which Medical School Is Easiest to Get into the USA?

While some medical schools may have higher acceptance rates than others, factors such as applicant demographics, admissions criteria, and institutional missions all contribute to the complexity of the selection process. 

It's important to note that the concept of an "easiest" medical school to get into in the USA can be somewhat subjective and variable depending on individual applicant profiles, preferences, and goals. 

Instead of solely focusing on acceptance rates, prospective medical students are encouraged to consider a variety of factors, including academic strengths, personal interests, geographic location, and program offerings, to identify the schools that align best with their individual needs and aspirations.

2. How Hard Is It to Get Into Medical School in the USA?

Getting into medical school in the USA is widely regarded as a challenging and competitive endeavor. With a limited number of seats available and a high volume of qualified applicants, the admissions process is rigorous and selective. 

Prospective medical students must demonstrate exceptional academic achievements, including high GPAs and competitive scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). They must also possess strong interpersonal skills, meaningful clinical experiences, and a genuine commitment to the field of medicine. 

Holistic admissions processes may also consider factors such as diversity, resilience, and service to the community. While the difficulty of gaining acceptance varies among medical schools, applicants should be prepared to invest significant time, effort, and dedication into preparing their applications and navigating the admissions process effectively.

3. Is a 3.7 GPA Good for Medical Schools in the USA?

A GPA of 3.7 is generally considered to be strong and competitive for medical school admissions in the USA. While medical schools typically have minimum GPA requirements, the exact GPA cutoff varies among institutions and can also depend on other factors such as MCAT scores, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. 

A GPA of 3.7 reflects consistent academic excellence and demonstrates a strong foundation in the prerequisite coursework necessary for medical school. However, it's important to note that medical school admissions are holistic, meaning that GPA is just one aspect of the overall application. 

Applicants with a GPA of 3.7 should focus on excelling in other areas of their application to further strengthen their candidacy for medical school acceptance.

4. What GPA Do You Need for Best Medical Schools in the US?

The GPA required for admission to the best medical schools in the US typically falls between 3.8 and 4.0. While specific GPA cutoffs can vary among institutions, top medical schools generally have highly competitive admissions standards and seek applicants with exceptional academic records.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the landscape of medical school acceptance rates in the USA requires careful consideration of various factors. While acceptance rates provide valuable insights into the competitiveness of the admissions process, they are just one piece of the puzzle. 

Ultimately, while the path to medical school may be challenging, it is also immensely rewarding for those who are passionate about dedicating their lives to the pursuit of healing and service to others.

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