What You Need to Know About Medical Schools in New Jersey

September 5, 2023


Reviewed by:

Akhil Katakam

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

Reviewed: 8/5/22

What You Need to Know About NJ Med Schools

How many medical schools are in NJ? And how do you ensure your application stands out? If you have your sights set on a New Jersey medical school, read on to learn more! 

If you’re looking at medical schools in New Jersey, the state has much to offer. 

NJ medical schools offer numerous research opportunities for aspiring medical students. We’ll discuss each medical school in New Jersey and provide tips to help you gain acceptance. We’re here to make your medical school journey a little easier. 

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Attending Medical School in New Jersey

New Jersey has five medical schools. The state also has 43 teaching hospitals, providing numerous potential career options for students after graduation. Whether you’re interested in small-town living or the bustle of city life, New Jersey offers both.

List of Medical Schools in New Jersey

There are five New Jersey medical schools and 43 teaching hospitals. Below you’ll find more information about each school in our New Jersey medical school list. 

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

From neuroscience research to cancer oncology, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School offers several opportunities for future doctors. Located in Newark, this school provides an excellent medical education. 

Photo of spring blossoms at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Source: Rutgers Today

As a bonus, you can enjoy the view of the cherry blossoms native to the state as you study. 

Mission Statement

“Our mission is to prepare students from diverse backgrounds to be collaborative physicians, educators and researchers with a focus on the health of underserved and vulnerable populations.”

Prerequisites (Semester Hours)

Rutgers course prerequisites include: 

  • Biology (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • Chemistry (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • Physics (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • Organic Chemistry 1 & 2 (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • English (2 semesters)

Other recommended courses include: 

  • Biochemistry
  • Calculus
  • Genetics
  • Statistics
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Sociology or Psychology

Rutgers requires an MCAT score from prospective students. Though the medical school doesn’t set a minimum MCAT score or GPA, a recent class had an average of 3.7 GPA and an average MCAT score of 514. 

This school also requires two recommendation letters from science faculty members and one letter from a non-science faculty member. 

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Acceptance Rate

Although the school doesn’t release acceptance rate data, various sources estimate the Rutgers acceptance rate to be between 2% and 7%. 

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Tuition

Tuition at Rutgers Medical School is $44,435 for in-state first-year students. First-year non-residents pay $68,564. 

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

With 34 hospital affiliates, you can get a stellar education at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. This school offers many residency programs and 21 basic science and clinical departments. 

Mission Statement

“Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is dedicated to transforming health care for New Jersey and the nation through innovation and excellence in education, research, patient- and family-centered care and addressing the health of our diverse community.”

Prerequisites (Semester Hours)

You must take these prerequisite courses to apply: 

  • Biology or Zoology (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • Inorganic or General Chemistry (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • Organic Chemistry (1 semester) (lab required)
  • Biochemistry (1 semester) 
  • Physics (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • College Mathematics (2 semesters)
  • English (2 semesters)

While Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical school doesn’t set a minimum GPA and MCAT score, recent class data shows that the average GPA of students is 3.64, and the average MCAT score is 512. The school requires three letters of recommendation. 

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Acceptance Rate 

Rutgers doesn’t release acceptance rate data. The only data the school released states that 60% of the incoming class obtained their bachelor’s degree more than a year before they started med school. 

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Annual Tuition

First-year New Jersey residents pay $44,435 annually. Out-of-state students pay $68,564 for their first year. 

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

In 2012, the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University emerged as the first new New Jersey med school in over 35 years. Cooper Medical provides a wealth of research opportunities. 

Mission Statement

“Cooper Medical School of Rowan University is committed to providing humanistic education in the art and science of medicine within a scientific and scholarly community in which excellence in patient care, inclusivity, innovative teaching, scholarly activity, and service to our community are valued.”

Prerequisites (Semester Hours) 

To get into the Rowan University medical school, you must fulfill these course requirements

  • Biology (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • Chemistry (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • English (1 semester)

Although not required, other recommended courses include: 

  • Biochemistry (1 semester)
  • Organic Chemistry (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • Physics (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • Ethics (1 semester)
  • Behavioral Science (1 semester)
  • Biostatistics (1 semester)
  • Humanities (2 semesters)
  • Spanish (2 semesters)

Though Cooper Medical School doesn’t have a minimum GPA or MCAT score requirement, the school is interested in students with a greater chance of success with their curriculum. 

Low GPAs or MCAT scores don’t necessarily count you out, but the admissions team is less likely to accept students because they may be more likely to struggle. This school also requires a minimum of three letters of recommendation. 

Cooper Medical School Acceptance Rate 

Cooper Medical School doesn’t provide exact data. However, more than 5,000 students applied in a recent cycle, and 112 students enrolled. Based on this data, the acceptance rate is 2.2% or higher (likely higher). 

Cooper Medical School Annual Tuition 

Annual tuition for NJ residents is $42,503. Non-residents pay $67,452 per year. 

Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

If you’re looking for New Jersey DO schools, there’s only one: the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. The school offers numerous research opportunities, residencies, and fellowships. 

Mission Statement

“Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine prepares future physicians and scientists who are committed to improving health in New Jersey and throughout the nation.”

Prerequisites (Semester Hours)

You must complete these courses to apply: 

  • Biology (8) (lab required)
  • Organic Chemistry (8) (lab required)
  • Inorganic Chemistry (8) (lab required)
  • Physics (8) (lab required)
  • College-level Mathematics (6)
  • Behavioral Science (6)
  • English (3)

Other recommended courses include: 

  • Science courses (6 additional semester hours)
  • Biochemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology are suggested

This university’s GPA and MCAT requirements are 3.5 and 500, respectively. Your BCPM GPA should be at least 3.4. Students must provide two letters of recommendation from any science faculty members.

Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine Acceptance Rate 

The school’s acceptance rate is 4.7%

Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine Annual Tuition

Annual tuition is $42,503 for residents and $67,452 for non-residents. 

Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine

With an emphasis on medical education and the importance of community, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine is an excellent option. Hackensack offers research opportunities for both medical education and the local community. 

Mission Statement

“To develop our students, residents, faculty, and healthcare environment to deliver the highest quality care for all.”

Prerequisites (Semesters)

Required courses to apply to Hackensack are: 

  • Humanities/Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 semesters)
  • Biology (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • Chemistry (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • Additional Science Course (2 semesters) (lab required)
  • English (1 semester)
  • Literature (1 semester)
  • Mathematics/Science-Related (1 semester)

Although not required, other recommended courses include: 

  • Ethics (1 semester)
  • Spanish (2 semesters)
  • Cell Biology (1 semester)
  • Ecology (1 semester)
  • Leadership (1 semester)
  • Economics (1 semester)
  • Political Science (1 semester)
  • Engineering (1 semester)
  • Computer Science (1 semester)

Students must provide three letters of recommendation: 

  • One letter from a healthcare professional
  • One letter from a professor familiar with your academic performance
  • One letter from a physician, another professor, or a supervisor familiar with your abilities

Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine Acceptance Rate 

Various sources have estimated that Hackensack’s acceptance rate ranges between 2.5% and 5%. 

Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine Annual Tuition

Tuition is the same for residents and non-residents: $67,595. 

Tips for Getting Accepted

Medical schools are known for their selectivity: med schools in NJ are no exception. 

If you’re ready to apply to any medical school in New Jersey, these tips can improve your chances of acceptance. 

Ensure Your GPA and MCAT Scores Exceed Requirements

While only New Jersey’s DO school sets minimum requirements, this doesn’t mean you can expect to get in with any GPA or score. Looking at the class profile data of every NJ med school, you should aim for a 3.7 GPA and 514 MCAT score to meet or exceed averages.

If you have a low MCAT score, consider retaking the test. A lower GPA can be remedied by retaking courses or enrolling in a post-baccalaureate program after graduation. 

Show Your Commitment to the New Jersey Community and Beyond

Two of the above mission statements directly reference commitment to the NJ community. Ensure you show your commitment to the NJ community in your application: don’t skip over your local volunteer activities or other ways you’ve gotten involved. 

You can show your involvement in your AMCAS activities section, personal statement, or secondary applications. 

Go Above and Beyond If You’re a Non-Resident 

Unless a school specifically states they give no preference to in-state students (and even then), residents are generally more likely to get accepted than non-residents with the same qualifications. If you’re an out-of-state student applying to a medical school in NJ, be sure to: 

  • Start the process early 
  • Put extra time and care into your personal statement and application
  • Complete secondary applications ASAP after you receive them
  • Ensure you show why you’re a great fit 

Although it may or may not be more challenging to get into these schools as a non-resident, spending more time on your application boosts your chances. 

NJ Medical School FAQs 

Do you still have questions about NJ medical schools? Then read on for answers!

1. How Many Med Schools Are There in NJ? 

New Jersey has five medical schools.

2. What’s the Best NJ Medical School? 

U.S. News World and Report ranks the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as the best medical school in New Jersey for research. 

3. What New Jersey Medical School Should I Apply to? 

It depends on your goals and needs. Evaluate offerings and see which aligns best with your professional and educational goals. DO hopefuls should apply to Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. Future MDs can apply to any of the other four schools. 

4. What GPA Do I Need to Get Into NJ Medical Schools? 

While most NJ schools don’t have a GPA cutoff, you should aim for a GPA of 3.7 or higher to be competitive at every school.

5. What MCAT Score Do I Need to Get into NJ Med Schools? 

Only one school has an MCAT cutoff. However, you should strive for a high MCAT score: 514 or higher makes you a more competitive applicant at any NJ med school. 

6. Is Rutgers a Top Medical School? 

Rutgers isn’t considered a top medical school, but it is one of the highest-ranked schools in New Jersey. 

7. What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Rutgers Medical School? 

There is no minimum GPA requirement, but you should aim for a GPA of 3.7 or higher to be a more competitive applicant.

Get Into the NJ Medical School of Your Dreams

Applying to medical school can be intimidating. Now that you know more about New Jersey medical schools, you can choose one (or more) to apply to. 

Each school has plenty of research and fellowship opportunities for aspiring physicians. Wherever you decide to go for medical school, work hard, study hard, and you’ll succeed. Good luck!

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