Curious about applying for medical schools in Florida? This article will take you through the best medical schools that the Sunshine State has to offer.
Florida is home to several medical schools, many of which are rapidly becoming some of the best medical schools in the nation. These schools are known for their ground-breaking research and integrative, hands-on approach to community health care.
We will cover everything you need to know about the best medical schools in Florida, including admission requirements and tips for getting accepted.
Attending medical school in Florida allows you to work with a diverse population in your clinical rotations. Several schools have extensive community health and free clinic initiatives that will allow you to gain first-hand insight into the health care needs of underserved populations.
Florida also allows you to file for residency after your first year attending one of its 10 medical schools, which means you will pay significantly less in tuition for the remainder of your medical school education. Unfortunately for out-of-state applicants, it is typically significantly more expensive to attend one of Florida’s medical schools.
To help you find the school that’s best for you, let’s take a look at what each medical school in Florida has to offer.
The Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University is located in Boca Raton. Schmidt College of Medicine ranks in the #94-122 spot in the U.S. News medical school rankings in both the research and primary care categories.
Their mission is “to advance the health and well-being of our community by training future generations of humanistic clinicians and scientists and translating discovery to patient-centered care.”
To achieve this, Schmidt College of Medicine has partnered with three healthcare providers in the local community where medical students gain hands-on experience practicing medicine. They also receive significant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research cures for diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s to HIV/AIDS.
Schmidt College of Medicine has several course requirements you should meet prior to applying:
Schmidt College of Medicine recommends taking biochemistry at some point, either to fulfill the additional sciences component or as a substitute for the second half-year course in organic chemistry. Also among their recommended courses are cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, and statistics.
In addition to these requirements, Schmidt College of Medicine also requires you to take the CASPer test, a standardized test that demonstrates your judgment and critical thinking skills.
Admission rates to Schmidt College of Medicine are extremely low, with only 66 applicants accepted each year.
They use a holistic approach to selecting applicants and consider your grades, MCAT score, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities. The average MCAT score of those accepted is 513, and the average GPA is 3.79.
It costs $30 to submit a secondary application to Schmidt College of Medicine. Average annual tuition is $31,830 for Florida residents and $67,972 for non-residents.
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine is Florida International University’s medical school. Their mission is to provide medical students with “an environment enhanced by diversity, clinical innovation and research.” This environment “prepares socially accountable, community-based physicians, scientists, and health professionals who are uniquely qualified to transform the health of patients and communities.”
U.S. News ranks Wertheim #94-122 in the category for best medical school for primary care as well as for research. Wertheim is affiliated with a variety of residency training programs that specialize in emergency medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, and family medicine.
Wertheim has the following academic requirements in place for in-state and out-of-state applicants:
The average GPA of incoming students is 3.73, and the average MCAT score is 509. Wertheim has an acceptance rate of 2.5%. It’s not quite as competitive as the Ivy League medical schools, but you will still need a strong application and interview to receive an offer from Wertheim.
In addition to meeting these averages, your previous volunteer work and clinical experiences will be of particular interest to Wertheim’s admissions committee. This is because the institution provides its students with abundant opportunities to participate in mobile health initiatives designed for underserved communities and other community-based medical services.
There is a $30 fee to submit a secondary application. Average annual tuition for Florida residents is $73,874 and $105,380 for non-residents.
Located in the state capital of Tallahassee, Florida State University College of Medicine is ranked #94-122 in both the best medical school for primary care and best medical school for research by the U.S. News categories. Florida State’s mission is “to educate and develop exemplary physicians who practice patient-centered health care, discover and advance knowledge, and are responsive to community needs.” They achieve this “through service to elder, rural, minority & underserved populations.”
Florida State is partnered with local health care providers in nine areas across the state, which provides you with an opportunity to do clinical rotations in your third and fourth years at one of eight satellite campuses or at the main campus in Tallahassee. Satellite campus locations include major cities such as Orlando and Daytona Beach along with rural communities through the Immokalee Health Education Site and the Marianna Rural Program.
In your clinical rotations at these campuses, you will go through internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine, psychiatry, geriatrics, and surgery. If you are interested in specializing in one of these areas, Florida State provides a significant amount of hands-on training in these specialties.
Florida State’s academic prerequisites include:
Florida State requires you to achieve a minimum grade of C in all of the required courses. Though not required, Florida State recommends you take courses in genetics, sociology, psychology, and Spanish. In order to be considered for admission, you need a minimum GPA of 3.3, and your MCAT score needs to be at least 498.
It costs $30 to submit a secondary application. Florida residents pay $8,546.86 per semester, while non-residents pay $20,053.93 per term–not including additional boarding costs or fees.
Lake Erie College, though based in Pennsylvania, has a satellite campus in Bradenton, Florida. This institution focuses on the theory and practice of osteopathic medicine and is known across the country for its excellence in teaching osteopathic medicine, which makes it an ideal school to attend if you are interested in a career in this type of medicine.
LECOM’s mission is to “prepare students to become osteopathic physicians, pharmacy practitioners, and dentists through programs of excellence in education, research, clinical care, and community service to enhance the quality of life through improved health for all humanity.” For their teaching of primary care, U.S. News ranked LECOM as the 84th best medical school for primary care.
The prerequisite admission requirements at LECOM are as follows:
Keep in mind that these are the minimum requirements, so it would be a good idea for you to take additional courses that fall into these prerequisite subjects. For the behavioral sciences requirement, LECOM recommends taking psychology, sociology, medical ethics, philosophy, or anthropology to satisfy the requirement. They also recommend taking “advanced coursework” such as biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, and microbiology.
The minimum grade you need in these prerequisite courses is a C. LECOM requires your science GPA to be at least 2.7. Typically, accepted applicants have an overall GPA of at least 3.2. LECOM advises you to score in the 50th percentile or higher on the MCAT in order to be a competitive applicant, so you’ll need to score above 500 on the MCAT.
Tuition for first-year students is $34,830 for Florida residents and $36,640 for non-residents. There is a $50 fee to submit a secondary application.
Nova Southeastern University’s College of Allopathic Medicine is Florida’s newest college of medicine, having just opened its doors in 2018 in the town of Davie, just outside Fort Lauderdale. This medical school’s mission is to “advance human health through innovation in medical education, research, patient care and community engagement.” The College of Allopathic Medicine aims to create leaders and innovators in the medical community, and because of this only admits “independent self-starters” into its program.
Despite its absence from the U.S. News rankings, it is incredibly difficult to get into Nova Southeastern’s College of Allopathic Medicine. Only 50 applicants are admitted into the school annually, approximately 0.98% of all applicants.
In order to be considered for admission to this new medical school, you need to meet the following academic requirements:
Biochemistry can be substituted to fulfill the second semester of the organic chemistry requirement. The College of Allopathic Medicine recommends you also take courses in immunology, genetics, anatomy, and physiology to show better preparation for medical school.
There is no set grade, GPA, or MCAT score to get into the College of Allopathic Medicine, but they do note that your MCAT score and GPA will be the first items looked at when your application is initially screened. The average science GPA of those accepted is 3.64, the average cumulative GPA is 3.69, and the average MCAT score is 511.
Annual tuition is $55,671 for Florida residents and $62,390 for non-residents. A fee of $30 applies when submitting a secondary application.
The other half of Nova Southeastern University’s medical training program is “dedicated to student-centered osteopathic medical education to produce exemplary osteopathic physicians known for competent and compassionate care.” The College of Osteopathic Medicine ranks #94-122 in the U.S. News rankings in both the best medical school for primary care category and best medical school for research category.
To get into the College of Osteopathic Medicine, you need to meet the following academic requirements:
These are the minimum requirements for each type of course listed above. The College of Osteopathic Medicine advises you to take additional courses in immunology, physiology, and behavioral sciences, along with additional courses in humanities, in order to be a competitive applicant. The College of Osteopathic Medicine requires you to achieve a minimum grade of C in these required courses.
This institution also requires your science and overall GPAs to be at least 3.0. They do not have a minimum MCAT score but note the average score of entering classes is 505.
Tuition is the same as the College of Allopathic Medicine, so for Florida residents it is $55,671 and $62,390 for non-residents. There is a fee of $50 to submit a secondary application.
Located in Orlando, the University of Central Florida College of Medicine is ranked as the 84th best medical school for research by U.S. News. Central Florida also ranks #94-122 in the best medical school for primary care category. The mission of this institution is to “educate and inspire individuals to be exemplary physicians and scientists, leaders in medicine, scholars in discovery, and adopters of innovative technology to improve the health and well-being of all.” They use the latest medical technology, small class sizes, and interactive learning in order to achieve this.
University of Central Florida College of Medicine lists the following academic requirements you must meet in order to be considered for admission:
Central Florida also recommends taking courses in biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, comparative anatomy, calculus, and statistics. They also encourage you to take courses in communication studies, humanities, and natural sciences. You will need a 3.0 in both your science and cumulative GPAs to be considered for admission. You will also need a minimum MCAT score of 500.
Along with these academic requirements, Central Florida will also consider the clinical experiences, community work, and extracurriculars outlined in your primary and secondary applications. In total, 120 applicants are accepted every year, which makes for a 2.6% acceptance rate.
There is a fee of $30 to submit your secondary application. Tuition for Florida residents is $29,680 and $56,553 for non-residents.
The University of Florida College of Medicine states their mission is “to improve health care in Florida, our nation, and the world through excellence and consistently superior leadership in education, clinical care, discovery, and service.” U.S. News ranked University of Florida 40th in best medical school: research and 47th in best medical school: primary care.
The University of Florida is partnered with several healthcare providers, including Malcolm Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center and UF Health, which would provide you with an abundance of opportunities to do hands-on patient care in a clinical setting.
The University of Florida College of Medicine accepts applications from both in-state and out-of-state. To get in, they require you to have completed the following academic courses:
In addition to these course requirements, the University of Florida recommends applicants have a strong foundation in calculus and statistics. They also look for social science, humanities, and behavioral science courses on your transcript to show you have a well-rounded education. To be more prepared to join the program, the University of Florida suggests you take introductory courses in immunology, genetics, microbiology, and physiology.
Since the University of Florida emphasizes clinical care and public service, it is imperative you have volunteer work and clinical experience in your application. These, combined with a high GPA, good MCAT score, and strong letters of recommendation, will give you the best chance at getting into the University of Florida College of Medicine.
The University of Florida states that the average MCAT score of incoming students is 514 while their average science GPA is 3.79. Approximately 120 new students enter the University of Florida College of Medicine annually for an acceptance rate of 2.7%.
Tuition for one year at the University of Florida is typically around $37,000 for Florida residents and $49,000 for non-Florida residents, and the fee to submit a secondary application is $30.
Founded in 1952, the Miller School of Medicine is the oldest medical school in the state. Miller’s mission “is to be a state-of-the-art academic medical center that serves the South Florida community and beyond.” In their efforts to achieve this, Miller is ranked by the U.S. News as the 74th best medical school for patient care and the 50th best medical school for research. As you can tell from these rankings and Miller's mission statement, community work and patient care are of the utmost importance to Miller.
Miller is home to the only university-based healthcare system in southern Florida, which provides its medical students with a unique opportunity to gain practical experience in a clinical setting alongside leaders in the local medical community. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Miller also receives the most NIH funding out of all of the other medical schools in Florida.
The academic requirements to be considered for admission to Miller School of Medicine include:
Along with these required courses, Miller has an extensive list of recommended courses: cell and molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, physiology, immunology, computer science, neuroscience, and developmental biology. It is a good idea for you to take at least some of these recommended courses to make your application more competitive, since Miller only admits approximately 150 students per year. With a 1.6% acceptance rate, you will have to stand out in order to receive an admissions offer.
In terms of GPA and MCAT requirements, there is no firm requirement set out by Miller, but the average results of admitted students are fairly high. The average science GPA is 3.65, the average cumulative GPA is 3.72, and the average MCAT score is 513.
There is a fee of $90 to submit a secondary application, which is a higher fee than all of the other medical schools in Florida. First-year tuition is $47,476 for both Florida residents and non-residents.
University of South Florida Morsani School of Medicine is located in the city of Tampa. U.S. News ranked USF the 47th best medical school for research and #94-122 in the best medical school for primary care category, which makes this medical school a great choice if you are interested in being a part of research studies.
This institution’s mission is “to provide for the education of students and professionals of the health and biomedical sciences through the creation of a scholarly environment.” This environment is one that “fosters excellence in the lifelong goals of education, research activity and compassionate patient care.”
USF lists the following academic requirements you need to meet in order to be considered for admission:
In addition to these core courses, USF also has a long list of recommended courses, including molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, psychology, sociology, humanities, and ethics.
There is no minimum GPA or MCAT requirement in order to apply to USF, and a secondary application will be automatically sent to you when you apply through AMCAS. It will, however, cost you $30 to submit the secondary application. The average GPA of incoming classes is 3.76, and the average MCAT score is 515, so you do need to succeed in the classroom and have an impressive track record of extracurricular activities to get into this competitive school.
Tuition for your first year will be approximately $58,234 if you are a Florida resident and $79,424 if you are from another state.
Given all of this information about all 10 medical schools in Florida, the best ones in terms of research, patient care, and how they compare to medical schools in other parts of the country are as follows:
This is the highest-ranked medical school in the state for research, and isn’t much farther being in the US New primary care ranking. If you are interested in conducting research and gaining a significant amount of experience working with their local health care partners, this school is a good choice for you. University of Florida admits 135 new students annually, which gives the program a 2.6:1 faculty-student ratio and means you will benefit from the smaller class sizes and greater access to faculty assistance throughout your studies. These factors combined make it incredibly difficult to get into the University of Florida College of Medicine, but if you are accepted, it will be worth it.
LECOM provides competitive training in the field of osteopathic medicine and is a good fit for you if you want to pursue a career in this field. LECOM emphasizes providing primary care, and is the highest-ranked osteopathic medical school in the state for this. If you are from out of state, LECOM offers the lowest tuition for non-residents of the top five medical schools in Florida, which is a major perk if you aren’t from Florida.
UCF offers a competitive research program that is ideal if you are interested in being a part of clinical studies. As previously mentioned, their program uses the latest medical technology, small class sizes, and interactive learning methods to provide you with the medical knowledge you need to succeed as a doctor.
Miller leads southern Florida in both research and primary care, between its tremendous amount of NHI fundings and the university-based health network it leads. At Miller, you will get a well-rounded education in both providing care and the science behind it.
USF has a strong research program and plenty of opportunities for you to be involved in faculty research projects. This makes it an ideal fit if medical research is important to you and your career aspirations. This is the most pricey medical school in the top five to attend both if you are from Florida and if you are from another state, so that is something to keep in the back of your mind when you are applying.
Florida’s medical schools are competitive, and the average incoming class size is only 100. This means you need to put together a competitive application with a competitive science and cumulative GPA and MCAT score. You’ll also need impressive extracurriculars such as clinical experiences and research and strong letters of recommendation.
Though it may sound like a daunting and overwhelming process, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of getting accepted into one of Florida’s medical schools.
Since Florida’s medical schools consider your science GPA separately, it is crucial you access resources that will help you succeed in your science courses.
Though your MCAT score and GPA are not the only elements Florida’s medical schools consider, these numbers still matter, and it is imperative you do as well as you possibly can.
This way you know which courses you need to take to satisfy the course requirements of the school(s) you want to attend.
This means emphasize your research experiences if the school you are applying to is research-intensive, and emphasize your clinical experiences if the school focuses on providing primary care.
Florida’s medical schools are rapidly on the rise as some of the best medical schools in the country. They are steadily gaining increased funding for extensive research projects, and the findings allow for continual improvements to how patient care is approached. Every one of Florida’s medical schools has extensive community partnerships that will allow you to gain crucial hands-on experience that will help you stand out when applying for jobs after graduation. Also, there are so many fun things to do in Florida!
These vary by school, but in general, both your science and cumulative GPA should be at least a 3.0, but the higher these numbers are, the more competitive your application will be. The same can be said about your MCAT score. Florida’s medical schools will be more receptive to your application if your score is higher, so generally try to aim for above a 510, but check with each individual school to see their specific cut-offs and class averages.
Florida’s medical schools typically prefer you take the prerequisite courses in a traditional, in-person classroom learning experience. Each school makes their own exceptions and can make further exceptions on a case-by-case basis. It is best to check online at each of Florida’s medical school’s websites to find what their preferences or requirements are, and who you can speak to if you have questions or need an exception to be made.
Research experiences can primarily be gained through being a research assistant to one of your professors. Alternatively, if you conducted a particularly impressive independent or group research project for one of your classes, you could describe the details of this project in your application.
This will largely depend on the specializations of each medical school. Some schools specialize in providing health care to underserved communities, some specialize in working with children and youth, and some specialize in veteran and geriatric care. Overall, you should have some experience providing health care directly to patients.
Shadowing a doctor is also an important experience to have so you can prove to admissions committees that you have taken the time to test-drive your potential career. Check out the types of clinical experiences the medical schools you are interested in provide to students and use that to narrow your search for the types of clinical experiences you pursue.
The average first-year tuition at the top five medical schools in Florida is around $41,444 for residents, but around $53,818 for non-residents. The tuition at the other five medical schools in the state fall above and below this number, and it’s important to check each institution so you know how much medical school costs when considering applying. All of the medical schools have a significant amount of financial aid available.
Though the application process has many similarities to that of medical schools in other states, Florida’s medical schools do have some unique considerations to keep in mind when you are applying to them. Many of these schools use a holistic screening process, so you need to participate in a diverse range of activities in order to be a competitive candidate at the best medical schools in Florida.