What You Need to Know About Medical Schools in Indiana

April 26, 2024
5 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 4/26/24

Applying to medical school is a huge step in your pursuit of becoming a doctor of medicine (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO). Getting accepted to medical school means you’ll get the essential medical training you need to succeed. 

Crafting medical school applications takes time and effort: you’ll need to complete numerous prerequisite courses, submit your transcripts and MCAT score, share your professional and extracurricular experiences, and more. 

If your heart is set on attending an Indiana medical school, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the schools and application processes. Below you’ll find general information about each school, including admissions requirements, statistics, and tuition. 

image of dots background

Attending Medical School in Indiana 

There are two medical schools in Indiana: the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Which school you attend depends on your career goals. If you plan to become an MD, Indiana University is the school you should apply to, or Marian University if you want to be a DO. 

In general, medical schools are highly selective with limited seats available, and these two institutions are no exceptions. The Indiana University School of Medicine’s acceptance rate is 6.1%, while the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine’s acceptance rate is 5.9%. 

It’s common for medical schools to boast low acceptance rates, so don’t be too discouraged by the statistics. Crafting a perfect medical school application that highlights your candidacy will improve your chances of acceptance.

Medical Schools In Indiana 

Creating a stellar medical school application means starting with the basics. Learning more about the school you’re applying to will help you tailor your application, stand out from the crowd, and confirm that it’s a good fit. Below is an in-depth explanation about both of Indiana’s medical schools. 

Indiana University School of Medicine

The Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine is the nation’s largest medical school, and its MD program is the largest undergraduate medical education program. The school offers five basic science departments and 20 clinical departments to offer exceptional medical training to its students. 

The IU School of Medicine has a statewide campus system with nine campuses in various Indiana cities. Each campus offers "a high-quality medical education with an integrated curriculum, access to leading medical research and clinical resources, and a rich campus life.” Campuses are located in: 

  • Bloomington 
  • Evansville
  • Fort Wayne 
  • Indianapolis 
  • Muncie 
  • Gary 
  • South Bend 
  • Terre Haute 
  • West Lafayette 

The IU School of Medicine’s mission statement is “to advance health in the state of Indiana and beyond by promoting innovation and excellence in education, research and patient care.” The school is committed to making its mission a reality by leading healthcare transformation through quality, innovation, and education to make Indiana the country’s healthiest state. 

To apply to IU’s MD program, you must fulfill all admissions prerequisites and requirements. You need to have completed a bachelor’s degree and 90 credit hours. The minimum course requirements you need to meet are: 

  • One year of general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and biology (minimum two-hour lab)
  • One semester of biochemistry 
  • One social science course
  • One behavioral science course

The IU School of Medicine states applicants should shadow a minimum of three physicians “and participate in meaningful medical and service-learning activities before applying.”

If you meet all prerequisites or they’re in progress at the time of your application, you can fill the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) Application which includes your personal statement and submit your MCAT scores and official transcripts. You must also submit a Dean of Students evaluation form and three letters of recommendation: one science, science, and personal letter.

If you are selected for an interview, you’ll receive a request to complete supplemental and IUPUI Graduate Office materials, including the IU Graduate School Application, before your interview is scheduled. You must complete the CASPer Situational Judgement Assessment Tool, an online test that “ assesses non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that are important for successful students and graduates of this program.”

Recent class profile data shows 365 new MD matriculants entered the program,179 of which are female students, and 61 are underrepresented in medicine students. The new matriculants represented 101 undergraduate institutions. 

IU aims to admit applicants “who are passionate about patient care and committed to training for a collaborative career in medicine.” At the same time, the school implements a holistic review that “considers the applicant’s broad educational background, including scholarship, character, personality, references, MCAT, altruism and personal interview.” Although Indiana University is a state school, nonresidents are also admitted. 

Per year, tuition costs approximately $35,000 for Indiana residents and $60,000 for out-of-state students. 

Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine

The College of Osteopathic Medicine at Marian University (MU-COM) is relatively new, opening in 2013 to help address the shortages of physicians in Indiana. MU-COM is a Catholic medical school inspired by the vision and values of its Franciscan heritage. 

The school is dedicated to “preparing osteopathic physicians who are committed to the complete healing of individuals’ bodies, minds, and spirits. This institution is committed to serving the people of Indiana and to developing osteopathic physicians through research, service, and teaching.”

MU-COM strives to provide a high-quality professional program emphasizing osteopathic training in primary care in a community of students from Indiana, other states, and worldwide.

If you want to apply to MU-COM, you must first complete all prerequisite courses

  • Biology/zoology, eight semester hours, and lab 
  • Biochemistry, three semester hours 
  • Organic chemistry, eight semester hours, and lab 
  • Inorganic chemistry, eight semester hours, and lab
  • Physics, eight semester hours, and lab 
  • College English, six semester hours 
  • Behavioral sciences, six semester hours 

Although not required, MU-COM recommends students also take molecular biology, genetics, humanities, and math to statistics courses to prepare them for medical school. 

You must also complete 90 hours of required credits, earn a bachelor’s degree before enrolling, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. MU-COM suggests applicants only apply if they have a GPA of 3.10 or higher since “applicants with a GPA less than 3.10 are rarely accepted, but may be considered competitive after their entire application is reviewed.”

If you’ve met all the prerequisites, you can submit an AACOMAS application, along with your MCAT scores and official transcripts. MU-COM asks for three letters of recommendation: 

  • From a physician (MD or DO) 
  • From a science professor 
  • From a pre-health or pre-medical committee or advisor (if not available, you can submit a letter from another science professor) 

If you’re invited for an interview, you’ll be asked to complete a supplemental application as well. 

Class profile data shows that 307 candidates were accepted in a recent admissions cycle, and 162 enrolled. In terms of test scores and academic performance, admitted students reported: 

  • Average MCAT score: 504 
  • Average science GPA: 3.66 
  • Average non-science GPA: 3.71
  • Average total GPA: 3.68 

The age range of matriculating students is 21 to 37, and 50 different undergraduate and graduate institutions are represented. Other data points include: 

  • 53% of students are male 
  • 47% are female 
  • 35% are from diverse racial backgrounds 
  • 16% represent backgrounds typically underrepresented in medicine
  • 57% of students are from Indiana, and the rest represent 23 states 

MU-COM reviews applications holistically but states that a higher GPA (above 3.4 on a 4.0 scale) improves your chances of acceptance and that a competitive MCAT score is anything over 500. The school also “places an emphasis on the last 120 credit hours and on the science and required courses when choosing between competitive applicants. COMs also place emphasis on the applicant’s interview.” 

Tuition at MU-COM costs approximately $55,910 per year.

Tips For Getting Accepted at Medical Schools in Indiana 

Indiana’s two medical schools have low acceptance rates, slightly discouraging some prospective applicants. However, it’s always in your best interest to apply to schools that align with your career goals and if you think they’d be the right fit for you. These tips can help you improve your chances of acceptance at either of Indiana’s medical schools. 

Strive for a High GPA and MCAT Scores

A high GPA and excellent MCAT scores will always strengthen any medical application. Although both schools maintain they impart a holistic review process, MU-COM has a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 and states that a GPA over 3.4 can increase your chances of acceptance. 

Your grades and MCAT scores reflect your academic aptitude and preparedness for medical school. Admissions committees want to ensure admitted students can handle the rigor of medical training they’ll receive. 

Christina Grabowski, associate dean for admissions and enrollment at the Birmingham School of Medicine, said, “If we determine someone can't do the work academically, it doesn’t matter what else they bring to the table, because they have to be able to make it through medical school to be a physician. However…they don’t need to have a 4.0.” She also said the mid 3.0 range is reasonably competitive. 

Seek Clinical Experience and Extracurricular Activities Medical school admissions committees want to ensure applicants understand what a career in medicine entails. Having clinical experience or participating in medical-related extracurricular activities is an excellent way to show that. In IU School of Medicine’s case, it’s an essential admissions requirement: you must shadow at least three physicians. 

Extracurricular experience in the form of community service, such as working with charities or non-profit organizations, shows the admissions committee you’re willing to contribute to your community. Medical schools seek students who will contribute to their school and the community beyond—admissions committees can view your past contributions as a predictor of your future behavior. 

Ask for Recommendation Letters Early and Give Context 

Recommendation letters are a vital aspect of any medical school application. Over time, they offer a third-party professional perspective into your character, personality, skills, and personal growth. It’s always best to ask for recommendation letters are early as possible; pre-med committees, college professors, and MDs or DOs are often pretty busy and need adequate time to write a stellar recommendation. 

You should always provide your writers with context. Remember, your college professors have taught many students and may need a gentle reminder about the details of your aspirations. 

A resume is a great way to give your writers context, along with a shortlist of achievements or strengths you displayed in the same environment with them. Some applicants may provide their recommenders a copy of their personal statement or writing sample so they can understand what experiences and skills you’re highlighting in your application. 

Nail Your Interview With Confidence 

If you’re invited to a medical school interview, you’re halfway to acceptance! Now you need to ensure you rise to the occasion and show why you’re an excellent candidate. Good preparation is essential to the interview process because you don’t want to get caught off guard. UI School of Medicine provides interview tips

  • “Research Indiana University School of Medicine and become familiar with the school and MD program.
  • Be professional at all times. Professionalism includes attire, interactions with interviewers, school staff and students—by email, telephone and in-person. The evaluation process is ongoing until a final admission decision has been issued.
  • All admissions materials must be submitted to the Office of Admissions in Indianapolis.
  • Applicants who interview at IU and do not receive an offer may contact the Office of Admissions to schedule a consultation.
  • Applicants invited for interview must have access to Zoom on a laptop, desktop, or mobile device to participate in the online interview.”

Asking intelligent and well-thought-out questions in your interview can also work to your advantage. Asking questions conveys your interest in the program and shows you want to know more about how the school works beyond what a Google search can tell you. 

Above all, maintain professionalism at all times—we can’t stress this enough.


If you still have questions about attending medical schools in Indiana, these FAQs can help answer them.

1. What’s the curriculum structure at IU School of Medicine? 

The MD curriculum at IU is broken down into three phases: 

  • “Phase 1: Develop competency in medical knowledge with an emphasis on basic science
  • Phase 2: Develop clinical skills through training and clerkships
  • Phase 3: Explore careers and pursue advanced clinical learning”

2. What’s the curriculum structure at MU-COM? 

In your first two years at MU-COM, you’ll complete courses in biomedical sciences and clinical skills. In your third year, you’ll rotate through primary care and specialty care settings “ including family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, and multiple others in rural, suburban, and urban environments.” 

You’ll spend your final year completing CORE and specialty elective rotations, allowing you to go to hospitals where you’d like to complete your residency or internships. 

3. How do I pick an IU campus? 

All students must rank which campus they want to attend most to least (numerically, one through nine). However, your campus assignment is determined by a computerized lottery, taking your preferences and campus capacities into account. 

4. Which school should I apply to? 

Which Indiana medical school you apply to depends on your career goals and how you feel you’d mesh with the school's culture and values. If you’re interested in becoming an MD, you should apply to the IU School of Medicine, while DO hopefuls should apply to MU-COM. 

5. Do Indiana’s medical schools make any rankings? 

Indiana University claims the No. 42 spot in U.S News World and Report’s ranking of Best Medical Schools: Research and No. 19 in Best Medical Schools: Primary Care. 

6. What’s a good GPA and MCAT score to apply?

At MU-COM, it’s best if your GPA is 3.1, but 3.4 and above can significantly increase your chances of admission. A 500 MCAT score is considered competitive. 

IU School of Medicine does not release information on admitted students' GPAs or MCAT scores but does have minimum requirements if you apply through the binding Early Decision program

If you want to be considered at any statewide campus through Early Decision, you must achieve a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.8 and a 512 MCAT score without scoring below 127 on any subsection. 

You Can’t Go Wrong with Med School in Indiana

If you live in Indiana or want to practice in the state when you finish your medical school pathway, attending an Indiana medical school is an excellent option. Although acceptance rates at both schools are relatively low, don’t let it impact your decision to apply. 

Both schools can provide you with the medical training you need to become a great doctor: you just need to decide if you want to become an MD or a DO. Ensure you meet all program requirements and that your application is perfect before submitting it.

If you’ve prioritized your GPA and MCAT scores, showcased your clinical experience, and received stellar recommendation letters, you’re sure to boost your chance of admission at either school. 

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Schedule A Free Consultation

Plan Smart. Execute Strong. Get Into Your Dream School.
Get Free Consultation
image of dots background

You May Also Like