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Charlotte, North Carolina

How to Get Into North Carolina Medical Schools

September 7, 2022
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List of All Medical Schools in North Carolina Tips for Getting Accepted into Medical Schools in North Carolina FAQs


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 9/7/22

Considering if North Carolina is the best place for you to attend medical school? Keep reading to learn how to get into medical schools in North Carolina. 


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.

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List of All Medical Schools in North Carolina

Here’s a list of all medical schools in North Carolina.

Duke University School of Medicine

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.

Core Values

According to their website, Duke University School of Medicine’s Core Values are: 

Admissions Requirements

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.

Table outlining the tuition, average gpa, average mcat, and the number of students interviewed for Duke University School of Medicine
Source: Duke University

University of North Carolina School of Medicine

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.

Mission Statement

The University of Carolina School of medicine’s mission is “to improve the health, function, and wellbeing of people across North Carolina and beyond through excellence in patient care, education, research, and innovation.”

Admissions Requirements

All prerequisite coursework must be completed at an accredited institution in the U.S. or Canada. The course should include at least:

Natural Sciences


Social and Behavioral Sciences

MCAT Scores 

MCAT scores must be from at least 2020. At a minimum, this school requires:

Table outlining the tuition, average gpa, average mcat, and the number of students interviewed for University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source: University of North Carolina, University of North Carolina

With extra room and boarding expenses, residents of North Carolina can expect a financial commitment of approximately $72,066, while non-residents can expect to pay around $100,026 to attend UNC. 

Wake Forest School of Medicine

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.

Mission Statement

Wake Forests’ mission is to “improve the health of our region, state and nation by:

Admissions Requirements

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.

Strongly recommended courses include:

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.

Table outlining the tuition, average gpa, average mcat, and the number of students interviewed for Wake Forest School of Medicine
Source: Wake Forest School of Medicine

Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

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.

Mission Statement

The Brody School of Medicine’s mission statement reads:

“The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University is committed to delivering on 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 residents and to enhance access of minority and disadvantaged students to a medical education.”

Admissions Requirements

Table outlining the tuition, average gpa, average mcat, and the number of students interviewed for Brody School of Medicine
Source: Brody School of Medicine

Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine

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. 

Mission Statement

The school’s mission 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.”

Admissions Requirements

At least a letter grade of C (not C–) or higher in:

MCAT Scores

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. A minimum MCAT score of 500 is and 50% in each section is required. 

Table outlining the tuition, average gpa, average mcat, and the number of students interviewed for Campbell University Medical School
Source: Campbell University

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Tips for Getting Accepted into Medical Schools in North Carolina 

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.”


1. What admissions portal do North Carolina medical schools use?

Like most medical schools in the United States, North Carolina institutions use the AAMC’s American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).

2. Do North Carolina medical schools have good international reputations?

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

3. Are North Carolina medical schools competitive?

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!

4. In what type of environments are North Carolina medical schools located?

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.

5. What is the environment of North Carolina and its culture like for students?

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.

6. Is North Carolina a good state to practice in after graduation?

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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