We just updated our Medical School Selectivity Index which provides you with the latest average acceptance rates, average MCAT scores, and average GPA for different medical schools based on U.S. News and MSAR data.
The highest, hardest, and lowest in the Med School Selectivity Index:
- The Mayo Clinic is the hardest medical school to get into. It combines one of the lowest acceptance rates with very high medians for MCAT and GPA. It is closely followed by Harvard, UPenn, and NYU.
- University of Arizona (Tucson) has the lowest acceptance rate of any medical school (at 1.9%). This is followed by UCLA and Mayo Clinic (tied with a 2.1% acceptance rate).
- NYU has the highest median MCAT at a stratospheric 522. Four schools follow with a 521 median MCAT – Washington University in St. Louis, Yale, Chicago Pritzker, and UPenn.
- Johns Hopkins has the highest average GPA (3.94) for accepted medical students. Harvard and NYU follow closely behind at 3.93.
- Eleven med schools have a median undergrad GPA for accepted students of 3.9+.
While it’s interesting to see the schools with highest stats or the most selective programs, don’t forget to look at the numbers that are in the same range as your stats for guidance on where to apply to medical school. This data can help you apply thoughtfully, purposefully, and successfully.
Med school applications are expensive!
Between primary and secondary application fees, you will spend hundreds of dollars just to apply through AMCAS. If you apply to 20 programs you face approximately $3000 in primary & secondary application fees alone. The cost of applying to medical schools is slightly higher when applying through AACOMAS.
You want to maximize your chances of acceptance and make the most of the financial investment required by the application process. You need to apply mostly to schools that will consider your application seriously. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time and money. Yes, you can apply to one or two dream schools, but for most of your applications, you need to apply realistically.
What about holistic admissions to medical school?
You may be thinking: Isn’t the medical school admissions process holistic? Why all the focus on GPA and MCAT?
You’re right. Medical school admission is not exclusively about your GPA and MCAT score. Schools also evaluate important qualitative aspects of your profile: community service, clinical exposure, research, leadership, shared values, personal background, and goals. Furthermore, the stats can’t reveal the impact of the schools’ attempts to diversify the physician-in-training pipeline. The Selectivity Index doesn’t reflect the impact of those qualitative factors, but it doesn’t provide you with usable data that you need to weigh as you apply.
Those average GPA and MCAT numbers don’t happen by accident. They are not random. Schools are purposeful in selecting whom to interview and admit. And the MCAT score and GPA play a role.
What about in-state and out-of-state differences?
Good question. The acceptance rates in the Selectivity Index give the overall acceptance rate and do not reflect what can be whopping differences between in-state and out-of-state acceptance rates. For example, the University of Washington has a 21.2% in-state acceptance rate, but only a 0.6% out-of-state acceptance rate. If you are not a resident of Washington or one of the states with which it has a reciprocity agreement, you should think twice about investing in an application to UW. In contrast, Washington University of St. Louis, a private university, accepts 8.9% of in-state applicants and 10.6% of out-of-state residents. However, its median MCAT is 521 and its median GPA is 3.91. It may be more welcoming to out-of-state applicants, but it clearly weighs the stats. (Data from MSAR and U.S. News)
We have compiled a table showing in-state and out-of state medical school acceptance rates for the schools in MSAR. Check out that data before you apply. Again, maximizing your chances of acceptance is the goal here.
You definitely should be aware of these differences when you apply. They are critical to a strategic approach to medical school applications.
Learn how an admissions consultant can help you get into medical school
The medical school application process is emotionally and financially draining, and competition is fierce. The acceptance rate for many med schools is under 10%, with an overall acceptance rate for all MD and DO programs of well under 50%. If you want to do it once (or only once more if you are a reapplicant), you need to be thoughtful, strategic, and purposeful when you choose where to apply.
And an admissions consultant can help dramatically.
When you work one-on-one with an expert (and objective) admissions advisor, one with decades of experience guiding applicants just like you to acceptance at top medical schools, you position yourself for success. Explore our Medical School Admissions Consulting services, choose the best med programs to apply to, and then submit a stellar app that will get you ACCEPTED.
And don’t forget to include the Med School Selectivity Index as one tool in your toolkit as you make your decisions.