North Carolina medical schools offer not only excellent educational experiences but also a chance to enjoy the scenic landscapes and vibrant cities of the state itself. There are just a few institutions in North Carolina, but they are, nonetheless, fantastic schools.
In fact, they are some of the best in the nation, and with such a select list, it might be easier to decide on one if your goal is to go to school in this state. This guide will give you some vital information about these schools and some important statistics to help you decide.
“Established in 1930, Duke University School of Medicine is the youngest of the nation’s top medical schools. Ranked among the best in the nation, the School takes pride in being an inclusive community of outstanding learners, investigators, clinicians, and staff where traditional barriers are low, interdisciplinary collaboration is embraced, and great ideas accelerate translation of fundamental scientific discoveries to improve human health locally and around the globe.
Composed of more than 2,500 faculty physicians and researchers, the Duke University School of Medicine, along with the Duke University School of Nursing, and Duke University Health System, create Duke Health.
Founded in 1998 to provide efficient, responsive care, Duke Health is a world-class health care network that offers an entire network of health services. It encompasses Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Primary Care, Private Diagnostic Clinic, Duke Home and Hospice, Duke Health and Wellness, and multiple affiliations.”
According to the US News and World Report, Duke is consistently ranked among the top 10 to 20 medical schools in the United States. A storied institution, it has a highly competitive admissions process and excellent educational opportunities. It has many notable people associated with it, including Nobel prize winner Paul Modrich. It also collaborates with the National University of Singapore for international opportunities.
Your education is expected to include at least the following:
Note: Duke is a highly competitive medical school. To prepare, you should be sure to understand which extracurriculars can help make your application stand out and what is considered a good MCAT score for admission. Plus, you must have outstanding coursework, volunteering experience, and a strong commitment to the medical profession in order to be considered as a viable candidate.
"We will promote health and provide superb clinical care while maintaining our strong tradition of reaching underserved populations and reducing health disparities across North Carolina and beyond."
"We will prepare tomorrow’s health care professionals and biomedical researchers by facilitating learning within innovative and integrated curricula and team-oriented interprofessional education. We will cultivate outstanding teaching and research faculty, and we will recruit outstanding students and trainees from highly diverse backgrounds to create a socially responsible, highly skilled workforce."
"We will develop and support a rich array of outstanding health sciences research programs, centers, and resources. We will provide infrastructure and opportunities for collaboration amongst disciplines throughout and beyond our University to support outstanding research. We will foster programs in the areas of basic, translational, mechanistic, and population research.”
Another highly-ranked school, this institution was founded in 1879 and is known for its non-traditional approach to medical education. The actor Ken Jeong is a notable alumni, and this school has pioneered research into many forms of treatment such as cancer care techniques and brain functioning. It receives ample funding from federal sources for that research, too.
All prerequisite coursework must be completed at an accredited institution in the U.S. or Canada. The course should include at least:
Scores must be from at least 2020. At a minimum, this school requires:
“Through education and research, our medical school is the knowledge center or nucleus of our learning health system—a system where today’s insights become tomorrow’s practices and where discovery is a natural outcome of excellence in patient care.
Wake Forest Baptist Health’s mission is to improve the health of our region, state and nation by:
"Wake Forest Baptist Health is a preeminent learning health system that promotes better health for all through collaboration, excellence and innovation."
Established in 1902, this medical school is associated with the larger Wake Forest University. It boasts a vibrant campus life and a clinic that serves low-income residents in Winston-Salem that’s staffed by students. Research features prominently among the strengths of this school, and it receives funding from federal sources on a regular basis to further these efforts. A noteworthy alumnus from this institution is Thomas Marshburn, a NASA astronaut.
At least 90 hours of college coursework is required to apply, and advanced placement (AP), P/F courses, and other credits are acceptable. A minimum science/BCPM GPA of 3.2 is required to be reviewed by admissions. Applicants who do not meet the undergraduate science/BCPM GPA of 3.2 and have completed at least 15 hours of either post-baccalaureate or graduate science coursework with a 3.2 average at the time of AMCAS verification will be reviewed by the Dean of Admissions upon completion of their application.
The minimum MCAT required to be reviewed by admissions is a 502. It is strongly encouraged that applicants do not take the MCAT more than twice.
“Every year, the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University is recognized for meeting the three-fold mission it was founded on: to increase the supply of primary care physicians serving the state, to improve the health status of eastern North Carolina’s citizens, and to enhance access of minority and disadvantaged students to a medical education. The below survey results from the medical class of 2016 highlight just how well Brody is meeting its mission and how the experiences of our graduates stack up against the nation’s other medical schools.”
Founded in 1972, this school is known for graduating students that stay in-state for their careers and work in under-served areas. The Brody School of Medicine also operates a community clinic run by its medical students. It is known for its cardiovascular disease center and is a pioneer in robotic surgery, as well as for its unique telehealth network, which reaches populations that are poorly accommodated by traditional care methods.
“The mission of the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM) is to educate and prepare community–based osteopathic physicians in a Christian environment to care for the rural and underserved populations in North Carolina, the Southeastern United States and the nation.”
Founded in 2011, this private, non-profit, Baptist medical school is the newest in North Carolina, and it has a primarily rural campus setting that features many state-of-the-art facilities. It holds the status of the only osteopathic medical school in North Carolina.
At least a letter grade of C (not C–) or higher in:
All applicants must have valid MCAT scores (no substitutions will be accepted in place of the MCAT). MCAT scores from tests administered up to three years before the date of matriculation are accepted, although the Dean may grant exceptions to this timeline in some instances. An MCAT score in the 40th percentile and 40th percentile in each section is required.
North Carolina contains some of the most lauded medical schools in the United States. Because the state only has five medical schools, competition is intense between both in-state and out-of-state applicants. In-state applicants are usually preferred, so if you aim to get into a school from out-of-state, make sure your portfolio is even more outstanding. Know the facts on Volunteering for Medical School: How to Do it Right and learn How to Secure Strong Medical School Letters of Recommendation before you apply.
Many of these schools focus on providing care to under-severed populations, and admissions officers consider this to be a highly valuable commitment. Make your passion for this goal clear by learning How to Write a Personal Statement for Medical School and refine your answer to the question of “Why Do You Want to be a Doctor?” Do your research on the programs offered to really get to know what each school stands for and considers essential.
The words of the UNC School of Medicine sum up the overall idea well: “A Tar Heel Doctor is something special, and while we evaluate each of our applicants based on [our] selection criteria ... we are also looking for that indelible extra element that tells us that you connect with our mission. Smart is easy. Being a great doctor goes far beyond that.”
Like most medical schools in the United States, North Carolina institutions use the AAMC’s American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).
Yes! They carry world-renowned reputations and produce notable doctors and scholars. In fact, North Carolina’s medical schools are ranked among the top medical schools in the entire United States regularly by the US News and World Report.
They are often highly competitive. There are only five schools in the entire state, and these medical schools tend to prefer in-state applicants. So, be sure to have an outstanding application prepared if your goal is to get into these schools!
Some are located in urban areas, and others serve rural populations. Research the towns and cities your preferred school is in – such as Durham, where Duke University is located – and determine if it lines up with your own plans and expectations. On the whole, North Carolina medical schools tend to serve low-income and historically excluded populations and focus on getting treatment to those that may otherwise not have access to adequate care.
North Carolina is known for its friendly populace and its signature delicious cuisine: barbecue. Charlotte is the largest city in the state, and there are many rural areas and natural places to explore. The state is famous for the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains, and its scenic coastline.
Yes, and medical schools in North Carolina often pride themselves on serving the state by placing their graduates in areas that require doctors. If you have a strong attachment to the state and its people, apply to medical schools in North Carolina.
Applying to North Carolina medical schools might be competitive, but it certainly is worth it as you’ll be attending notable institutions in a beautiful state. Be sure to present your best possible self to the schools you select within the state and make sure you completely understand their requirements and expectations.
If you are from out-of-state, remember that you will be competing with in-state applicants, which North Carolina institutions tend to prefer. But, fear not. If you work hard and submit an outstanding application, you can achieve your goal of attending your dream medical school in North Carolina.