Your Guide to Medical Schools in Massachusetts

October 12, 2023


Reviewed by:

Luke Hartstein

Former Admissions Committee Member, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Reviewed: 10/11/23

Are you looking to attend medical school in Massachusetts? This article will help you learn about each school, its admission rates, tuition fees, and overall academic standards to help you determine which one might be the best fit.

If you’re from outside the state, the last time you visited Massachusetts may have been accompanied by Matt Damon as he played the blue-collar genius “Will” in his 1997 performance in Good Will Hunting. The fact that you’re looking for the best medical schools in Massachusetts, however, makes it just as likely that you’re one of those bright, intelligent candidates all of America hopes and cheers for.

Massachusetts cares for its population of 7,000,000 by consistently ranking among the best in the country for healthcare and education. The state is one of the most sought-after destinations for people who care about learning and provides a bustling, quintessentially American environment for the future medical student.

The capital, Boston, known for its baked beans and sports teams, screams something else from the rooftops of its iconic brownstones: the notoriety for producing some of the best and most employable medical professionals anywhere on the planet.

Boston is home to Harvard Medical School, the most prestigious medical school in the world, making the city a global draw for medical school prospects everywhere. 

Yet despite its history and obvious appeal, Harvard is not the only option when it comes to receiving a top-tier education in Massachusetts. Two more institutions reside in Boston city limits, Tufts University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Medicine.

Drive 60 minutes west, and you’ll arrive in Worcester, Massachusetts. This city houses the fourth and final medical school in the state (and the only public school on our list), the University of Massachusetts’ T.H. Chan Medical School.

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to applying to medical schools in Massachusetts. Let’s start with a short background for each school, followed by a detailed breakdown to better determine which one might be the right fit for you.

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All Medical Schools in Massachusetts

Here are the four medical schools in Massachusetts, the city they reside in, and each school’s US News ranking for the current academic year:

Medical School City US News Ranking
Harvard Medical School Boston #1
Tufts University School of Medicine Boston #53
Boston University School of Medicine Boston #32
University of Massachusetts T.H. Chan Medical School Worcester #44

Harvard Medical School

History, prestige, and excellence are words synonymous with the oldest educational institution in the United States, Harvard University. 

Its medical school was founded in 1782 with only three faculty members, and that number has now flourished to over 12,000. The acceptance rate at Harvard Medical School was 3.3% last year, and those starting classes in 2023 will have tuition costs of $69,300 for year one.

Getting into Harvard is difficult, and for good reason. It is consistently ranked the world’s number one school in clinical medicine. 

Tufts University School of Medicine

Founded in 1893, Tufts University School of Medicine provides a well-affiliated research framework and diverse community engagement initiatives for its students. 

With a 3.97% acceptance rate and a mean GPA of 3.76 among applicants, Tufts is one of the most accessible medical schools in Massachusetts. The tuition cost for a first-year student is $69,036, just slightly cheaper than Harvard.

Tufts University lies just outside the top 50 medical schools in the United States, currently ranking #53.

Boston University School of Medicine

Boston University Medical School is known for its community outreach and is one of the most renowned medical schools in Massachusetts. Students will get a feel for every sense of the word ‘community’ by studying and working in settings ranging from hospitals, laboratories, and private clinics

Diversity and inclusion are integral to the philosophy of Boston University. Their alumni include the first black female physician and first Native American physician in the US, and they were also the first coeducational medical school in the nation.

Tuition for Boston University School of Medicine costs $68,438. 

University of Massachusetts T.H. Chan School of Medicine

The University of Massachusetts has the only public option for medical school in Massachusetts, making the tuition costs considerably cheaper for in-state applicants at $63,798. They’ve recently innovated their curriculum, now known as “Vista,” which launched in the Fall 2022 semester. 

This new model, which aims to break away from the traditional medical school approach, has an emphasis on implementing new technologies into healthcare and exposing students to early patient care in their first weeks of learning.

The average GPA among admitted students was 3.75 in 2021, making T.H. Chan second only to Harvard for academic rigor among medical schools in Massachusetts. The school was ranked the 44th best medical school in the nation this year.

What is the Best Medical School in Massachusetts?

Well, it depends on what is important to you.

If you see yourself pursuing a career in research and academia, Harvard is the crown jewel of medical schools. 

However, if you have a strong desire to work with the underprivileged, you might benefit from the community focus at Boston University or Tufts. Or, the discounted in-state tuition costs at the University of Massachusetts may be more appealing if you’re already a Massachusetts resident. 

When deciding which medical school in Massachusetts to apply to, there are significant personal and academic considerations. Once you’ve examined which university has a focus that aligns with your personal goals and interests, you have to then determine if your candidacy meets their requirements.

Being admitted into medical school in Massachusetts is no easy task. Harvard's average GPA and MCAT score were 3.9 and 520, respectively. The lowest average GPA you’ll find in the state is 3.76 at Tufts University. This means that no matter which of the four schools you choose to attend, applications will be extremely competitive.

Cost can be another drawback. While these institutions all have robust financial aid services and programs, you will likely still have significant upfront costs if you come from out of state. 

It is important to remember, too, that Tufts University, Boston University, and Harvard Medical School are all privately funded universities, meaning you will pay the same tuition whether you’re from in or out of state. Those costs range from $63,798 - $69,300 for year one.

Final Thoughts: Medical Schools in Massachusetts

No matter which medical school in Massachusetts you apply for, you will be sure to receive a thorough, exceptional, and world-renowned education. The ‘Bay State’ provides recreational and living opportunities for people from every walk of life. 

Whether you eventually reside in the quiet suburbs of Worcester or the congregated brilliance of Vanderbilt Hall, you will be looked upon as a future graduate of programs few ever succeed at being admitted to.

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