Medical Schools in Arkansas: What You Need to Know

March 18, 2024
5 min read


Reviewed by:

Akhil Katakam

Third-Year Medical Student, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Reviewed: 9/25/23

Arkansas: home to scenic mountains, Walmart, and Johnny Cash. But what about medical schools? We’ll break down everything you need to know about Arkansas medical schools.

A medical career is a dream that many aspire to achieve. There’s daunting work and grueling hours, but after it all, there’s nothing that compares to the fulfillment of helping those in need. The unique and intimate relationship doctors build with their patients is unparalleled and brings fulfillment like nothing else.

Needless to say, planning out your journey has to start somewhere. Every pre-med student should know the ins and outs of crafting a decent med school application. You’ll need to prioritize getting a high GPA and competitive MCAT score along with participating in a slew of extracurriculars to impress the admissions committee to make sure you come across as a well-rounded candidate.

The good thing about Arkansas is it has a selection of medical schools that offer different perks. Although each has its own unique advantages and specialties, they all provide a quality medical education. That’s why it’s good to familiarize yourself with how each one works and what programs they have.

So, without further delay, let's get into the best medical schools in Arkansas!

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Medical Schools in Arkansas

So, how many medical schools are in Arkansas? 

There are currently three medical schools operating in the state of Arkansas. The first, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine (UAMS), is a public university that grants MDs. It is the only school in the state that teaches allopathic medicine.

The other two, Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) and New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University (NYITCOM-Arkansas), are private medical schools that specialize in osteopathic medicine. If you are interested in pursuing a DO instead of an MD, these schools can provide that.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine (UAMS)

UAMS can provide a lot of opportunities for students as an Arkansas med school. The school was founded in 1879 and remains the only MD-granting medical school in the state. With a 5.60% acceptance rate, UAMS is slightly more competitive than average. The average matriculate has a 3.78 GPA and an MCAT score of 507.

What’s notable about UAMS is that it actually houses two campuses. The first campus, located in Little Rocks, has about 155 students per class. It also has extensive opportunities for medical specialties with 22 clinical departments. To boost your odds of acceptance, consider getting the right clinical experience.

The Fayetteville campus is considerably smaller, with an average class size of only 20. You’ll also have the option to be a part of the three-year track program to earn your MD. This program is designed for exceptional medical students who have an interest in primary care medicine, such as family medicine, pediatrics, and internal medicine. 

Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM)

At ARCOM, you’ll have a wonderful experience learning about osteopathic medicine in Fort Smith. The school admits 150 students each year. To be on par with the rest of your cohort, you should maintain a cumulative and science GPA of 3.5 and 3.4, respectively. Although there are no minimums to apply, this will help your chances of acceptance.

Scoring an MCAT of at least 500 will show you’re capable of handling ARCOM’s curriculum and course load. If you need help studying for the MCAT, don’t be afraid to reach out for a free consultation with one of our admissions experts. A high MCAT will keep your options open for all medical schools in Arkansas.

An innovative “helix” curriculum is a core part of the ARCOM learning experience. Students will learn to engage and integrate foundational biomedical concepts in order to advance through higher-level learning. Team-based learning helps solidify student comprehension and prepare them for realistic medical cases.

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University (NYITCOM-Arkansas)

Located in Jonesboro, Arkansas, with its first class in 2016 of 115 students, NYITCOM-Arkansas is an excellent school to study osteopathic medicine. The school remains a pioneer in telemedicine education, falling in line with its values of serving disenfranchised communities.

What’s more exciting, students will receive a population health certificate after their studies. This can be supplemented by certificates in additional areas, such as telemedicine, global health, evidence-based medicine, and health IT. In addition, all students will undergo a mandatory rural rotation of approximately four weeks.

With a 100% post-graduation placement rate, NYITCOM-Arkansas means you can rest assured you won’t be left behind. About 70% of students go on to pursue primary specialties, including general surgery, internal medicine, psychiatry, and family medicine. 

Tips for Getting Into Arkansas Medical Schools

The best tip to getting into medical schools in Arkansas is to familiarize yourself with the admission requirements and average student profile at each school. While there are universal metrics such as GPA and MCAT that will make your application more competitive at every school, there are also more subjective avenues to stand out.

Extracurriculars and research that is fine-tuned and tailored to the school you’re applying for helps demonstrate drive, commitment, and determination. Med schools in Arkansas don’t shy away from their efforts to bring medical attention to rural communities. Volunteer experience that aligns with this can really make a difference.

In any case, an application that balances what makes you unique with the specific requirements and goals of each school will generate a student profile that grabs attention of admission boards. When this is paired with things like congruent secondary essays and confident interviews, it becomes that much easier to get accepted.

FAQs: Arkansas Medical Schools

Still have questions about Arkansas medical schools? Fret not, and check out our expert answers to our most popular questions and inquiries!

1. How Many Medical Schools Are in Arkansas?

There are three medical schools in the state of Arkansas:

  • The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine (UAMS)
  • Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM)
  • New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University (NYITCOM-Arkansas)

UAMS is an allopathic medical school, while ARCOM and NYITCOM-Arkansas are osteopathic schools.

2. Does Arkansas Have Good Medical Schools?

Arkansas is home to several high-quality med schools. While they all place an emphasis on primary care, especially in rural communities, there are options to pursue any medical specialty you feel passionate about. 

You’ll have the choice of different curriculums and learning models to help advance your medical education in Arkansas.

3. What College Has the Best Medical Program in Arkansas?

While no college has the best program on all metrics, each medical program in Arkansas excels in different areas. If you’re interested in MD training, then UAMS is the school for you. If your medical philosophy is more in line with osteopathic principles, then a DO from ARCOM or NYITCOM-Arkansas may be more appropriate.

It’s also important to remember that many physicians learn and grow as they advance throughout their career. You may find that the areas you work best in are different from what you originally planned, and that’s okay. The key takeaway is to have an open mind and use your previous experience as a stepping stone to a future that works for you.

Final Thoughts

Getting into medical school can be one of the best ways to kickstart your career. There are diverse choices in Arkansas, with each school having a slightly different approach to their medical education. At first, all the details may seem daunting. Over time, however, you’ll find certain aspects of medicine interest you more than others.

Medicine isn’t a perfect science like other fields where knowing the best theoretical solution is all that matters. The people that seek out care come from different backgrounds and cultures.

No matter what your situation, being a great doctor places emphasis on compassion, understanding, and empathy, and medical schools in Arkansas are no exception. You’ll find that delivering care to those less fortunate is one of the greatest privileges of being a doctor and why medical expertise can make an impact that matters in the world.

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