How Much Does Medical School Cost?

Medical school costs an average of roughly $33,000-$56,000 a year in tuition alone. Read about additional fees and how much it costs to apply.

Published September 22, 2022

How Much Does Medical School Cost?
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Data Summary

  • Over the past decade, medical school costs have risen roughly 20%.[1]
  • With tuition, fees, and health insurance, four years of medical school can cost students roughly $155,000-$250,000.Footnote [1]
  • On average, medical school tuition costs about $33,400 per year for in-state residents at public colleges.Footnote [1]
  • Medical school tuition costs an average of roughly $55,400 at private schools.Footnote [1]
  • Medical school tuition costs $56,100 for out-of-state residents at public colleges, on average.Footnote [1]
  • Applying to medical school may cost several hundred to several thousand dollars.
  • About two-thirds of medical students receive scholarships or grants for school.[2]
  • Some medical schools offer tuition-free programs or waive other costs associated with attending.

Becoming a doctor takes years of preparation, practice, and studying. One crucial step is attending medical school.

Medical school costs may influence which program a student chooses. In an Association of American Medical Colleges survey, slightly over half of medical students said that the cost of attendance was a "very important" factor in choosing a medical program. Nearly 9 in 10 said it was at least somewhat important.[3]

This report covers the average cost of medical school, including how much students spend on the application process.

Average Cost of Medical School

The average cost of medical school ranges from around $33,000 to $56,000. Average costs tend to be lowest for in-state residents at public colleges.

Average Tuition

Average medical school tuition tends to be highest at private colleges and public colleges for out-of-state students and lower at public schools for in-state students.

Average Medical School Tuition Per Year, 2021-2022
Institution Type Average Annual Tuition
Public, State Residents $33,384
Public, Nonresidents $56,136
Private $55,399

Source: Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

Average Total Cost

Besides tuition, medical students may also need to pay health insurance and student fees — e.g., for using laboratories or student centers. Health insurance and fees cost about $5,000-$7,000 per year, on average.

The table below shows medical students' average costs including tuition, health insurance, and other fees. However, it does not include costs for books, supplies, or living expenses.

Over four years, students at private schools and out-of-state students at public schools pay close to $100,000 more than in-state students at public schools, on average.

Average Total Cost of Medical School, 2021-2022
Institution Type Average Total Cost Per Year Average Total Cost for Four Years
Public, State Residents $38,947 $155,788
Public, Nonresidents $62,505 $250,020
Private, State Residents $61,023 $244,092
Private, Nonresidents $62,539 $250,156

Source: AAMC

Most and Least Expensive Medical Schools

The tables below rank the country's most and least expensive medical schools for first-time students in 2021-2022, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The average cost listed includes tuition, student fees, and health insurance.

Most Expensive Public Schools for Nonresident Students

Most Expensive Public Schools for Nonresident Students
Rank School Name Average Cost Per Year
#1 University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville $91,599
#2 University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia $91,465
#3 Michigan State University College of Human Medicine $89,114
#4 Northeast Ohio Medical University $87,606
#5 University of Illinois College of Medicine $86,437
#6 University of Utah School of Medicine $83,332
#7 University of Missouri School of Medicine $83,154
#8 University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine $81,384
#9 University of Connecticut School of Medicine $79,973
#10 Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine $78,160

Source: AAMC

Most Expensive Private Medical Schools

Unless otherwise noted, the private medical schools listed below charge the same average total cost to state resident and non-state-resident students.

Most Expensive Private Medical Schools
Rank School Name Average Cost Per Year
#1 Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth $73,935
#2 Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine $73,580
#3 Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons $73,275
#4 Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University $73,250 (total cost for nonresidents only)
#5 Tufts University School of Medicine $73,227
#6 Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine $72,982 (total cost for nonresidents only)
#7 Weill Cornell Medicine $72,773
#8 Tulane University School of Medicine $72,672
#9 Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School $72,534 (total cost for nonresidents only)
#10 Harvard Medical School $72,163

Source: AAMC

Least Expensive Medical Schools

The country's two least expensive medical schools do not charge students tuition, fees, or health insurance costs.

  • Uniformed Services University is a federal institution that trains physicians to work in the U.S. medical corps.
  • The Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine has waived all four years of its costs for students entering in 2020-2024.[4]
  • New York University Schools also began offering medical students scholarships to cover the full cost of tuition in 2021-22.[5], [6]

The average cost listed below includes health insurance, which may be waived for some students.

Least Expensive Medical Schools
Rank School Name Public or Private State Resident Status Average Cost Per Year
#1 Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine Private Residents and Nonresidents $0
#2 Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine Public Residents and Nonresidents $0
#3 New York University Long Island School of Medicine Private Residents and Nonresidents $10,410
#4 New York University Grossman School of Medicine Private Residents and Nonresidents $10,910
#5 University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine Public Residents $19,586
#6 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine Public Residents $21,484
#7 Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine Public Residents $21,760
#8 University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine Public Residents $22,829
#9 University of New Mexico School of Medicine Public Residents $22,907
#10 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine Public Residents $24,249

Source: AAMC

How Much Does It Cost to Apply to Medical School?

One medical school application costs $170. However, applying to medical school takes testing, interviews, and supplemental applications, which can amount to roughly $2,000-$10,000.

Here are some of the costs of applying to medical school explained:

MCAT Cost

Medical schools generally require prospective students to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to apply.

Application Fee

Most medical students use The American Medical College Application Service® to create and submit applications. This service charges $170 to send an application to your first school and $43 for each additional school.Footnote [7]

Also, many medical schools require applicants to submit a second or supplementary application.

  • In 2021, first-year medical students completed a median of 18 supplemental applications.Footnote [3]
  • They spent a median of $1,300 on supplemental applications.Footnote [3]

Interviews

Typically, part of the admission process for medical school involves interviewing with representatives from the school. Students may need to cover costs associated with interviews, such as travel, lodging, meals, and technology.

In 2021:Footnote [3]

  • Three-quarters of first-year medical students reported having zero costs associated with interviews.
  • The median amount of money students spent on medical school interviews was $0.
  • About 19% of first-year students spent $1-$500 on interview expenses.

In 2019, prospective medical students reported much higher interviewing costs.Footnote [3]

  • In 2019, less than 8% of students reported having no costs associated with interviewing.
  • Almost half (about 47%) of first-year students spent $1-$1,000 on interviewing.
  • Almost half (45%) of students spent more than $1,000 on interviewing.

Schools may have paused travel for in-person interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's possible that medical students' interviewing costs will rise as travel restrictions end.

Additional Assessments or Exams

Many colleges require students to complete additional school-by-school assessments or exams, such as Casper, a situational judgment test.[8] Students may need to pay additional fees to take and submit these assessments.

Medical School Grants and Scholarships

In 2019, 62% of medical students received scholarships or grants for their education.Footnote [2] Students generally received more funding to attend private schools than public schools.Footnote [2]

Source: AAMC, Physician Education Debt and the Cost to Attend Medical School Report

Average Cost of Medical School Over Time

Over the past decade, the average cost of medical school has increased by about 20%. More specifically, between 2013 and 2021, the average cost of medical school has increased roughly:

  • 23% for state residents at public schools.
  • 15% nonresidents at public schools.
  • 21% for state residents at private schools.
  • 20% for nonresidents at private schools.

These increases are slightly higher than the rise of inflation in the same period.[9] Medical school costs have also increased more than undergraduate cost hikes in the same period — 14% for tuition and fees at four-year schools.[10]

Source: AAMC

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical School Costs

Is medical school expensive?

Medical school is costly. On average, one year of medical school tuition for in-state students at a public university is about $33,400.Footnote [1] That's more than 3.5 times more expensive than the average annual tuition for undergraduates at a public four-year school.Footnote [10]

Private medical schools and public schools for out-of-state students typically charge higher tuition than public schools charge for in-state students.

The average cost of four years of medical school — including tuition, fees, and health insurance — is roughly $155,000-$250,000.

What is the cheapest medical school?

Some medical schools offer free or waived tuition to students, including:

  • Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine
  • New York University Long Island School of Medicine
  • New York University Grossman School of Medicine

Outside of free institutions, public medical schools in your state will most likely be the least expensive option for you if you're considering medical school.

Is the cost of medical school worth it?

Medical school is very expensive, but physicians can earn a lot. Most physicians and surgeons in the U.S. make over $200,000 a year.[11]

You can use grants and scholarships to help reduce the costs and debt associated with medical school.



References

  1. Tuition and Student Fees for First-Year Students. Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). March 2022. (back to content ⤶)
  2. Youngclaus J, Frense JA. Physician Education Debt and the Cost to Attend Medical Schools: 2020 Update. Washington, DC: AAMC. October 2020. (back to content ⤶)
  3. Matriculating Student Questionnaire: 2021 All Schools Summary Report. AAMC. December 2021. (back to content ⤶)
  4. A Tuition-Free Medical School. Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine. 2022. (back to content ⤶)
  5. Financial Aid for MD Students. NYU Long Island School of Medicine. 2022. (back to content ⤶)
  6. Cost of Attendance. NYU Grossman School of Medicine. 2022. (back to content ⤶)
  7. The Cost of Applying to Medical School. AAMC. March 2022. (back to content ⤶)
  8. Medical School Admission Requirements™ Report for Applicants and Advisors: Additional Required Assessments 2023. AAMC. 2022. (back to content ⤶)
  9. Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (back to content ⤶)
  10. Table 330.10 Average undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board rates charged for full-time students in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by level and control of institution: Selected years, 1963-64 through 2020-21. National Center for Education Statistics. January 2022. (back to content ⤶)
  11. Occupational Outlook Handbook: Physicians and Surgeons. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. May 2021. (back to content ⤶)