Medical school has earned a reputation for being competitive and expensive. Applicants must demonstrate strong academic performance and earn competitive MCAT test scores. Additionally, many prospective medical students strive to attend prestigious universities, which further drives competition.
However, launching a career in healthcare doesn't require an expensive degree from a top university. Qualifying for medical school may be less difficult than you think. Using college acceptance rates, we created a ranked list of the easiest medical schools to get into. We also provide an overview of what to expect from medical school, including the cost and average program length.
Easiest Medical Schools to Get Into
University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences
|Grand Forks, North Dakota||
The University of North Dakota's School of Medicine & Health Sciences offers eight healthcare programs, including the state's only four-year MD program. The oldest university in North Dakota, UND partners with clinical facilities throughout the state where students can train after their second year.
UND accepts about 28% of medical school applicants, making it one of the easiest medical schools to get into. The university strives to offer educational opportunities for American Indian students by committing to accepting a certain percentage of qualifying applicants each year.
Prospective students must submit MCAT scores, letters of recommendation, and an experiences and attributes portfolio. The admissions department does not require a minimum MCAT score, but all applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. The average accepted applicant in 2019 had a 507 MCAT score and a 3.5 GPA.
University of Massachusetts Medical School
The University of Massachusetts Medical School — located in Worcester — offers training in several medical disciplines, but emphasizes primary care specialties. The school offers MD and MD/Ph.D. programs to both in-state and out-of-state residents.
UMMS partners with two acute care hospitals and maintains affiliations with several community hospitals and health centers in the region. Students typically complete clinical requirements at one of these locations.
UMMS accepts 23% of applicants. All prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and submit MCAT scores and letters of recommendation. They must also complete an interview. UMMS does not set GPA or MCAT cutoffs, but the average medical student has a 3.7 GPA and an MCAT score in the 88th percentile.
University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine
|Kansas City, Missouri||
The University of Missouri-Kansas City offers six medical programs with 19 specialties. Students can enroll in a six-year BA/MD program or a traditional four-year MD program. These programs incorporate clinical experiences beginning in the first semester. UMKC partners with six leading hospitals to provide students with fieldwork opportunities.
Prospective BA/MD students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and score at least 24 on the ACT or 1160 on the SAT. MD applicants must earn an MCAT score of at least 500 to qualify. UMKC enrolls about 645 medical students and accepts about 20% of applicants.
University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine
The University of Nevada, Reno's School of Medicine offers a traditional MD program, a BS/MD program, and a post-baccalaureate certificate program. The school also gives students the opportunity to pursue dual degrees, including an MD/MPH, an MD/MBA, and an MD/Ph.D.
The school boasts a small community feel, maintaining a 3-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students begin working in clinical environments during their first year.
In-state applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.8 and a 497 or higher MCAT score. Out-of-state applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.3 and an MCAT score that is 500 or higher. The school accepts about 12% of applicants.
LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport
Established in 1969, LSU Health Shreveport was the first state school to offer medical education in Louisiana. The university remains the only medical school in north Louisiana and one of only three operating in the Bayou State.
LSU Health Shreveport offers joint Ph.D. programs with Louisiana Tech for students interested in conducting research. The college also offers 43 fully accredited residency and fellowship programs.
The college accepts roughly 20% of medical school applicants and does not use GPA or MCAT cutoffs. However, the average student has a 3.7 GPA and a 505 MCAT score.
University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine
|Vermillion, South Dakota||
The University of South Dakota's Sanford School of Medicine opened in 1907 and is still the only medical school in the state.
Sanford focuses on rural family medicine to treat traditionally underserved communities and uses a unique three-pillar program schedule. Pillars one and two focus on establishing foundational knowledge of biomedical systems and beginning clinical clerkships. The final pillar gives students the opportunity to complete surgery subspecialties, internships, electives, research, and global experiences.
The school accepts 14% of applicants. Prospective students must have a minimum GPA of 3.1 and an MCAT score of at least 496.
East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine
|Greenville, North Carolina||
East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine traces its history back to 1965. Students can pursue an MPH, MD, or Ph.D. They can also enroll in a dual-degree program.
Brody's distinction track programs allow learners to study an area of interest that relates to their medical career goals. Additionally, the school's summer program gives prospective students the opportunity to see what medical school entails and prepares them for the rigorous expectations of the program.
The Brody School of Medicine accepts 13% of applicants. The average medical student has a 3.6 GPA and a 508 MCAT score.
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
With a history spanning nearly 200 years, the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University was one of the first medical schools in the nation. MCG focuses on improving healthcare in Georgia, with 48% of graduates choosing to remain in the state to practice medicine after earning their degree.
With 240 students per class, MCG is currently one of the largest medical schools in the U.S. The school offers several medical degrees across 23 departments.
MCG accepts 14% of applicants. The college considers an applicant's residency, MCAT scores, GPA, and letters of recommendation. The average MCG student has a 3.8 overall GPA and an MCAT score of 511. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and an MCAT score of at least 496.
University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
|Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||
The University of Oklahoma's College of Medicine offers an MD program, a physician assistant program, and several dual-degree options. Additionally, students wishing to complement their practice with public health knowledge can complete concurrent MPH coursework.
The college uses an innovative simulation center to train students. The center allows medical students and residents to practice clinical skills on high-tech mannequins.
The OU College of Medicine accepts 15% of applicants, and more than 75% of students are Oklahoma residents. The average accepted applicant has a 3.7 GPA and an MCAT score in the 79th percentile. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a minimum MCAT score of 492.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Medical students at the University of Nebraska Medical Center gain in-depth medical, clinical, interpersonal, and professional skills through practice-based learning. In addition to earning a traditional medical degree, students can pursue one of UNMC's MD enrichment options. These opportunities include dual-degree programs, an interdisciplinary educational track, and an honors thesis program.
UNMC accepts 11% of medical school applicants, which translates to an average incoming class of 130 students each year. The average accepted applicant has a 3.8 GPA and a 515 MCAT score.
Why Is Medical School So Competitive to Get Into?
Earning an MD opens up an array of lucrative and rewarding career opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physicians earned a median annual salary of more than $200,000 in 2019. In addition to providing a substantial salary, working in medicine allows you to make a positive impact on society and the lives of individual patients through research and clinical practice.
These perks make pursuing a healthcare career popular, which increases competition for medical school. According to U.S. News & World Report, the average acceptance rate for medical school in 2019 was only 6.7%. Additionally, high demand leads schools to create more stringent application requirements for medical programs. These requirements leave many students feeling that a medical degree is simply out of reach.
What Are the Requirements to Get Into Medical School?
Exact requirements for getting into medical school vary by program. Most schools require prerequisite coursework in core areas like biology, chemistry, genetics, psychology, and physics. Many prospective medical students complete these courses while earning their bachelor's degree.
Applicants must typically submit college transcripts, letters of recommendation, MCAT scores from within the last three years, and a resume. Some schools set GPA and MCAT score cutoffs, but others evaluate more than just academic performance to select candidates.
How Much Does Medical School Cost?
Pursuing a medical degree requires a significant financial investment. However, tuition rates vary widely by program. Factors impacting costs include a student's residency status, a student's enrollment status (full time vs. part time), and whether an institution is public or private.
In general, students attending private and/or prestigious schools and out-of-state learners pay the highest tuition rates. While graduating from a prestigious college offers some benefits, many schools offer great medical programs that do not break the bank.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average tuition at a public medical school in 2020 was $32,380 per year for in-state students and $54,500 for out-of-state students. Tuition at a private medical school cost an average of $56,150 per year for in-state students and $57,390 for out-of-state students.
How Long Does It Take to Complete Medical School?
Students typically enter medical school after completing a bachelor's degree in a related field. The average MD program takes an additional four years. Graduates must then complete 3-7 years of residency training.
Students pursuing a speciality may need additional time to earn an MD. However, some schools offer dual-degree opportunities like BS/MD and MD/Ph.D. programs. These programs allow students to complete degree requirements simultaneously and qualify for early entry into the residency phase of their education.