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I remember being a senior in college and feverishly searching reddit, student doctor network, and any link on google to give me some direction on which medical schools to apply to. This comprehensive article will include the most up-to-date data on all the medical schools that can give you an idea of how to be a successful applicant. Whether you plan on applying to allopathic, osteopathic, or the Caribbean schools, hopefully this article will give you the important details on how to craft your own medical school list.
The categories that I will include in this article are all U.S. medical schools (allopathic and osteopathic), percentage of out-of-state students accepted, percentage of in-state students accepted, number of matriculants, average GPA, average MCAT score, and in-state tuition vs. out of state tuition. I will also have a miscellaneous column to include any other data for specific schools that could be important.
Out of State vs. In-State Acceptance and Matriculants
When deciding how many in-state and out-of-state medical schools to apply to, it’ll vary from applicant to applicant based on which state you live in. The first step is to see how many medical schools are in your home state. Most public universities with governmental funding often favor in-state applicants, while private schools are less likely to be as particular. If you’re lucky enough to live in a state with many public medical schools, I would obviously advise that you apply to all of those first.
If you live in a state with very few schools, higher-profile schools, or a state with more applicants than the number of schools, such as California, then clearly, you should apply to many more out-of-state schools as well.
Per the 2023 U.S. Medical School Rankings, the top 5 schools that accept the most out of state applicants are Lincoln Memorial University, William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Edward College of Osteopathic Medicine, and University of Pikeville.
While medical school acceptance takes a complete profile, GPA and MCAT scores have been the most important indicators. Although having a strong personal statement, good letters of recommendation and a valuable shadowing experience can elevate your application; they cannot overcome low scores.
Unfortunately, to remain holistic, most medical schools won’t post or admit to an actual minimum GPA, but lucky for you all we have done the research to figure out the averages for you. Overall, the average accepted GPA for allopathic schools was 3.74, while it was 3.54 for osteopathic schools. In terms of science GPA, the most recent averages were 3.63 for allopathic schools and 3.51 for osteopathic schools.
Just like GPA, the higher you can score on this exam will open up the number of schools that you are competitive for. Very few schools will admit to a minimum score threshold, but we have collected averages for you to get a clearer picture of where you stand.
The average score is 511 for allopathic schools and 506 for osteopathic schools.
Science Class Requirements
Almost every medical school will require:
- Biology with labs (two semesters)
- General Chemistry with labs (two semesters)
- Organic Chemistry with labs (two semesters)
- Physics with lab (two semesters)
Some medical schools will require:
- Math-up to calculus or statistics
- Biochemistry (one semester)
- Genetics (one semester)
- Psychology or sociology
Since the vast majority of students will need to take out federal or private loans in order to pay for the tuition, I wouldn’t advise tuition costs to be the most important piece in deciding where to apply for medical school. However, limiting your future debt is definitely a priority.
Unfortunately, while scholarships that give significant funds are limited, doing very well on your MCAT and having an exceptionally high GPA can be assets to receiving scholarships from schools. Aside from that, there are smaller scholarships that individuals can apply for after getting accepted into medical school.
Average tuition for medical schools in the U.S. for the 2021-2022 school year:
- $40,372 for in-state public medical schools, $65,753 for out-of-state public medical schools
- $65,680 for both in-state and out-of-state private medical schools, as usually tuition remains the same for both categories in private schools
Lastly, a couple of other things can be considered after all the other pieces to finalize your medical school list.
Secondaries are meant to be a specific application that schools send individually in order to show further interest in you as an applicant past the AMCAS or AACOMAS common application. However, in my experience and research, it seems many schools send them to the majority of applicants without doing any screening and they do cost money to submit. So getting secondaries can be another chance to look at your list and go through all the parameters to decide if this is worth sending another application to. I personally would send them all in as I wanted to increase my odds of getting accepted at all costs.
CASper is a three-part online test to get to know the applicant’s more soft qualities such as empathy, decision-making skills, ethics, and communication skills.
The first part is the Casper test which is 100-120 questions about different situations. The second part is Snapshot which is a brief one-way interview. Lastly, there’s Duet which assesses whether values align between the applicant and medical school.
At this point, about 60 schools require this assessment, meaning if it is something that you are uncomfortable with, you can try to avoid applying to programs that require this. It seems that due to virtual interviews, this gives the programs a clearer picture of who you are as a person beyond the application. This is not instead of an interview, though, simply an addition.