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Easiest Medical Schools to Get Into

Guide to the Easiest Medical Schools to Get Into in the USA

Starting the journey towards getting into medical school is no easy feat—it’s a tough road with a demanding selection process. However, certain factors significantly impact your chances of acceptance and shape how competitive and accessible a medical school is.

Pursuing a career in medicine is a noble and rewarding endeavor, but the journey to becoming a physician is not without its challenges. The medical school admissions process is highly competitive, with a myriad of factors influencing an applicant’s chances of acceptance. While there are no truly “easy” medical schools to get into, some schools have higher acceptance rates and lower GPA and MCAT score requirements, making them potentially more accessible for aspiring medical students.

In this guide, we’ll explore the landscape of medical school admissions in the United States, shedding light on the least competitive schools and the key factors that shape their accessibility. We’ll delve into the unique strengths and offerings of these schools, as well as the insights and experiences of medical professionals who have navigated this path.

Whether you’re a pre-med student seeking to maximize your chances of admission or simply curious about the realities of pursuing a medical education, this article will provide valuable information and guidance. Join us as we demystify the process and help you take the first steps towards your dream of becoming a physician.

Least Competitive Medical Schools in the U.S.

University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

  • Acceptance rate: 28%
  • Average MCAT: 507

University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences Located in Grand Forks, this school offers a significant tuition discount for North Dakota and Minnesota residents. It has a unique Indians Into Medicine (INMED) program for Native American students. The curriculum includes two years on the Grand Forks campus followed by two years at clinics throughout the state.

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine

  • Acceptance rate: Around 20%
  • Average MCAT: 500

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine UMKC’s medical school, situated in Kansas City, offers an accelerated six-year BA/MD program that combines undergraduate and medical education. Students learn in small groups of 10-12 and benefit from realistic body simulators. While the school prioritizes applicants from Missouri and nearby states, it welcomes out-of-state students as well.

University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School

  • Acceptance rate: 23%
  • Average MCAT: 514

University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School Known for its emphasis on primary care specialties, UMass Chan in Worcester keeps class sizes small at around 162 students per year. The Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) track provides a unique focus on urban and rural health.

University of Mississippi Medical Center

  • Tuition: $36,273 for first-year medical students
  • Average MCAT: 504

University of Mississippi Medical Center As the only medical school in Mississippi, UMMC in Jackson focuses on training physicians to serve the state’s diverse populations, particularly in underserved areas. Students gain hands-on experience at the school’s affiliated hospitals and health centers.

East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine

  • Acceptance rate: 13%
  • Average MCAT: 505

East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine ECU’s Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina offers an MD program with distinction tracks that allow students to pursue areas of independent study and complete capstone projects. The Summer Program for Future Doctors gives pre-med students a chance to experience medical school firsthand.

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

  • Acceptance rate: 12%
  • Average MCAT: 509

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine With a small community feel and a 3-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, UNR’s medical school in Reno provides students with early clinical exposure starting in their first year. In-state students receive preference, but the school accepts applicants from throughout the U.S.

University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine

  • Acceptance rate: 14%
  • Average MCAT: 509

University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine USD’s Sanford School of Medicine is the only medical school in the state. Its unique Frontier And Rural Medicine (FARM) program places an emphasis on rural medicine and serving underserved communities. The school gives priority to South Dakota residents and those with close ties to the state.

Mercer University School of Medicine

  • Accepts around 20% of applicants
  • Average MCAT: 504

Mercer University School of Medicine Located in Macon, Georgia, Mercer’s medical school offers MD programs focused on meeting the primary care needs of rural and underserved areas of the state. The school accepts around 20% of applicants but currently only admits Georgia residents.

LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport

  • Accepts about 20% of applicants
  • Average MCAT: 507

LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport The only medical school in northern Louisiana, LSUHS in Shreveport will open a new state-of-the-art Center for Medical Education in 2024. The school partners with several regional hospitals to provide students with diverse clinical training opportunities.

Augusta University Medical College of Georgia

  • Acceptance rate: 14%
  • Average MCAT: 512

Augusta University Medical College of Georgia With a history spanning nearly 200 years, the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University is one of the largest medical schools in the U.S. The school offers a variety of dual degree options, including MD/PhD and MD/MPH programs. Over 48% of graduates choose to stay and practice in Georgia.

While these schools may have higher acceptance rates and lower GPA/MCAT requirements compared to some other U.S. medical schools, they still maintain rigorous standards and provide solid educational foundations for aspiring physicians. Each school has unique strengths, such as a focus on rural medicine, particular populations, or special dual degree options that may make them a great fit for certain applicants.

Easiest Medical Schools to Get Into Professional Insights

According to Dr. Kayee Tong, some of the osteopathic medical schools that may be easier to get into based on GPA and MCAT requirements include “Alabama COM, Lake Erie COM, Lincoln Memorial U-COM, Liberty UCOM, Kentucky-COM, West Virginia U-COM, William Carey.” However, he notes these still have a very high bar and “there are no ‘safety’ schools. You need to be a top student and have a very decent MCAT score.”

It’s important to remember that while some schools may be statistically “easier” to get into, this doesn’t mean they provide an inferior education. As Dr. Tong points out, “GPA and MCAT aren’t very important for practicing medicine, so by all means go for the easiest that still gives you a good shot at residency you’re looking for.”

The key is to find programs that align with your goals, provide ample clinical training opportunities, and set you up for success in residency and your future career. Factors like in-state preference, mission alignment, diversity, research opportunities, and dual degree options are also important to consider.

While Caribbean medical schools like Ross University may have less stringent admission requirements, the path to becoming a practicing physician is still far from easy. As Mitul Mehta, who works at the University of California, Irvine, explains, “They have an interesting way to make sure their graduates can be practicing doctors: it is really difficult to graduate.”

Mehta notes that these schools “fail people all of the time,” but because they enroll new students three times per year, “students don’t lose a whole year for failing one term.” This approach seems to yield results, as Mehta points out: “While not everyone graduates on time or at all, the quality of graduate is actually pretty good. They claim a 94% first time pass rate for USMLE Step 1 in 2017 (which is pretty good).”

However, Mehta also acknowledges that attending a Caribbean medical school can be “brutal,” with the experience being “even worse than I say about USC (which wasn’t actually that bad, I just studied a lot).” Despite the challenges, Mehta reports that several of his friends who attended Ross University “are all doing well in their practices in the US,” with many having completed fellowships. He cautions, though, that “it is very difficult to get into competitive residencies in the US (like Ophthalmology)” when coming from a Caribbean medical school.

Getting into any U.S. medical school is still a major accomplishment that requires stellar academics, compelling experiences, strong letters of recommendation, and an outstanding overall application. While this list provides some guidance on less competitive programs, make sure to do thorough research, choose schools that are the best fit for you, and put together the strongest possible application no matter where you apply.

Here’s a journalistic-style quote from Michael Keyes’ answer:

According to Dr. Michael Keyes, a psychiatrist who graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1970, getting into medical school in the United States is no easy feat. “The IQ of an average American medical student is between 120 and 130 which limits the initial selection to 6.7% of the population,” Keyes explains. “You have to have a GPA that is 3.5 and above and do very well in the mandatory STEM subjects.”

But academic excellence alone isn’t enough. Dr. Keyes notes that aspiring medical students must also “have outstanding MCAT scores (which are, in part, an IQ test), have outstanding extra-curriculars and great recommendations.” The competition is fierce, with only about one-sixth of those who start out as pre-med ultimately gaining admission to medical school.

Despite the challenges, Dr. Keyes believes that the rigorous selection process is necessary. “The intellectual content of medical school requires a student to be bright, have a good working memory and have outstanding skills as a student,” he says. “If you don’t have these skills and talents, you will not do well. If you don’t do well, you won’t graduate.”

Dr. Keyes emphasizes that medical schools have a substantial investment in their students and are committed to their success. “Medical schools, which have a huge investment in their students, don’t take students who are iffy,” he concludes. “The dropout rate is small as a result.”

Medical School Acceptance Rates Insights

  • Overview of Medical School Acceptance Rates 2022-2023:
    • Overall acceptance rate for allopathic (MD) medical schools: 43%
    • Total applicants: 55,188; Acceptances: 23,810; Matriculated students: 22,713
    • Average acceptance rate for individual allopathic medical schools: 5.5%
      • Most competitive schools (e.g., Mayo, Stanford): ~2% acceptance rate
      • Less competitive schools (e.g., University of North Dakota): up to 18% acceptance rate
    • Average acceptance rate for osteopathic (DO) medical schools: 10.25%
      • Highest rates: Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (25%), Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (16%)
      • Lowest rates: Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (6.5%), Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (6.9%)
    • In 2021, 27,277 applicants applied to osteopathic programs, with 8,516 matriculating
  • Demographics and Acceptance Rates:
    • Allopathic schools acceptance rate by gender: 42% for both male and female applicants
    • Osteopathic schools matriculation rates by gender: 51% for men, 48% for women
    • Highest acceptance rates by race/ethnicity: American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish Origin, and Multiple Race/Ethnicity categories
      • White applicants: 44% acceptance rate
      • Asian applicants: 46% acceptance rate
  • Acceptance Rates by Undergraduate Major and Academic Performance:
    • Humanities: 50.5%
    • Biological sciences: 41%
    • Physical sciences: 46%
    • Applicants with GPAs 3.4-3.59 and MCAT scores above 517: 62% acceptance rate
    • Average MCAT scores and GPAs among matriculants by race:
      • Asian applicants: MCAT 514.4, GPA 3.80
      • Black or African American applicants: MCAT 505.7, GPA 3.55
  • Osteopathic Medical School Matriculants:
    • Average overall GPA: 3.67
    • Average science GPA: 3.57
    • Average MCAT score: 504.25
    • Life sciences majors: 76.2% of matriculants
  • Medical School Education Costs and Trends:
    • The cost of medical school education has risen by about 2.5% each year since 2014.
    • Average total cost of medical school: $235,827
    • Average yearly cost of medical school: $58,968
    • Costs vary by institution type and location, ranging from $161,972 (in-state, public school) to $264,704 (out-of-state, private school).
  • Medical School Degree Information:
    • A medical school degree typically takes 4 years to complete after obtaining an undergraduate education and a bachelor’s degree.
    • Degrees offered: Medical Doctor (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.).
    • After medical school, graduates enter a paid residency period to obtain their license, lasting between 3 to 7 years.
  • Cost Details and Variations by School and Demographics:
    • Average cost of a medical school degree: $218,792, with the average cost rising by $1,158 each year.
    • Public school education average cost: $209,932; Private school education average cost: $261,812.
    • In-state resident average cost for medical school: $210,444; Out-of-state resident average cost: $261,300.
    • Cost variations by school, including the cheapest (NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Long Island School of Medicine at $4,150 for both in-state and out-of-state residents) and the most expensive (Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine for in-state residents at $80,203 and the University of Washington School of Medicine for out-of-state residents at $96,489).

Easiest Medical Schools to Get Into FAQ

Q: What is the average acceptance rate for medical schools in the United States?

A: The acceptance rate for medical schools in the US is quite competitive. On average, only around 43% of applicants are accepted. This number can vary significantly depending on the specific school.

Q: What are the easiest medical schools to get into in the United States?

A: While there are some medical schools with higher acceptance rates than others, admissions decisions are based on a holistic review of your application. Here are a few schools that historically have had higher acceptance rates:

  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicineexpand_more
  • University of New Mexico School of Medicine
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Q: What is the cost of tuition for medical school in the United States?

A: Attending medical school can be expensive. The average cost of tuition is around $58,968 per year, but some schools charge significantly less. It’s important to research scholarship and financial aid opportunities to help manage the cost.

Q: What are the most popular locations for medical schools in the United States?

A: Major cities tend to be home to many medical schools. Some of the most popular locations include:

  • New York City
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Philadelphia

Remember, location is just one factor to consider when choosing a medical school. It’s important to find a program that aligns with your academic goals and interests

Sources

  1. Association of American Medical Colleges: Tuition and Student Fees Reports
  2. The Color of Debt: Racial Disparities in Anticipated Medical Student Debt in the United States
  3. 10 Costs to Expect When Applying to Medical School
  4. Easiest Medical Schools to Get Into | EDsmart
  5. Cost of Attendance | NYU Grossman School of Medicine
  6. Tuition: Cost of Attendance | Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
  7. Vagelos Scholarship Program
  8. Costs & Aid | Weil Cornell Medical College
  9. AAMC: US MD-Granting Medical School Applications and Matriculants by School, State of Legal Residence
  10. MCAT® Scheduling Fees | Students & Residents
  11. The Cost of Applying to Medical School | Students & Residents
  12. NBME: Taking the USMLE Licensing Exam 
  13. UMich: Medical School Budget 
  14. Tuition & Financial Aid | Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine