List of Undergraduate Medical Schools in the U.S.

Medical students often go on to pursue careers as physicians, surgeons, researchers and administrators in the medical profession. At the undergraduate level, medical students complete pre-med courses, which prepare them for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and for medical school.

How to Select an Undergraduate Medical School

Pre-medical and medical school programs can both be found at 4-year colleges and universities. Between bachelor's degree and medical school programs, an undergraduate medical education can take a total of eight years to complete.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Medical education requirements
  • Strength of medical school preparation
  • Admission requirements
  • Internship and research opportunities
  • Hands-on experience opportunities

Medical Education Requirements

In the American medical school system, students are usually required to earn their bachelor's degree and then attend undergraduate medical school for an additional period, in order to earn their Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. Doctors then enter residency programs, which are considered graduate medical education. They can also enter into fellowship programs and pursue additional postgraduate specializations.

Strength of Medical School Preparation

Bachelor's-level pre-medicine programs exist to prepare students to succeed on the MCAT and do well in medical school. Students should evaluate schools on the basis of their graduates' success rates in this area and on the strength of the science curriculum offered. Students choosing an undergraduate pre-medical school should make sure that the science curriculum is strong, laboratories are up-to-date and clinical or research work is available.

Admission Requirements

A pre-medical program should be designed to fulfill medical school prerequisites. Although 'pre-med' is not generally offered as a major, students should make sure to take all the medical school prerequisites between their major requirements and elective courses. There is no precisely-defined curriculum for admission to medical school; however, the MCAT scores and science GPA are especially important. It is for this reason that most, though not all, students applying to medical schools major in a physical science, such as biology or chemistry.

Internship and Research Opportunities

In addition to GPA and MCAT scores, medical schools often look for relevant life experience when evaluating the applicants. Therefore, it is recommended that students going into undergraduate medical schooling find a college with internship and research opportunities. Students will seek out schools that offer training hospital environments or a strong integration with the local hospitals and clinics. Working at an internship or research position can count toward acceptance into medical school, as can a letter of recommendation from a researcher or licensed physician.

Hands-On Experience Opportunities

Similarly, undergraduate medical schools are evaluated based upon student opportunities and options for clinical studies. Medical students seek out top schools with the most modern equipment and cutting-edge research. Medical schools that include teaching hospitals and affiliations with clinics are valued.

Medical Program Overviews

Pre-Medicine Programs

An undergraduate pre-medical school curriculum is based on the Association of American Medical Colleges' standards, although each school may add classes to their particular program. The more competitive medical schools may favor applicants who have taken advanced undergraduate science coursework. Areas to consider include physiology, genetics, anatomy, microbiology, neurobiology and immunology, among others. At the more basic level, this curriculum includes two semesters each of:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Physics

Undergraduate Medical School Programs

'Undergraduate' here refers to students who hold a bachelor's degree, but have not yet earned their M.D. or D.O. degree. Some universities offer combined B.S./M.D. programs that can be completed in as few as six years of study. Students may also opt for a dual M.D./Ph.D. program in their preferred area of specialization. Medical school curricula take four years to complete, with the first two years consisting of science courses and the last two years being made up of clinical rotations in various areas of medicine. Programs include the study of subjects such as:

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacology

Undergraduate Medical Schools with the Largest Overall Student Enrollments

Name Student population Type
Ohio State University-Main Campus 56064 4-year, Public
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 51721 4-year, Public
University of Florida 49827 4-year, Public
Michigan State University 46985 4-year, Public
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus 45233 4-year, Public
New York University 43797 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Washington-Seattle Campus 42451 4-year, Public
University of Wisconsin-Madison 42180 4-year, Public
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 41924 4-year, Public
University of South Florida-Main Campus 40431 4-year, Public
Florida State University 40416 4-year, Public
University of Arizona 39086 4-year, Public
University of California-Los Angeles 38157 4-year, Public
Temple University 37367 4-year, Public
University of Southern California 36896 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Missouri-Columbia 32341 4-year, Public
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus 32283 4-year, Public
Boston University 32179 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Virginia Commonwealth University 32027 4-year, Public
Wayne State University 31505 4-year, Public
University of California-Davis 31392 4-year, Public

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