List of Surgical Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Surgeons are trained in surgical residencies, which typically take five years and offer training in several of surgery's many specialties. After that, students may go on to two-year fellowships in particular areas of surgery to gain advanced training before they start practicing.

New doctors graduating from medical schools with Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degrees may go directly into practice, but almost all doctors complete a residency first, and many participate in fellowships as well. Surgery-focused residency and fellowship options are available through many medical schools.

10 Schools with Surgical Programs

Here are some schools that offer residency and/or fellowship programs in surgery:

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered
Ohio State University Columbus, OH 4-year, Public Residency, Fellowship
University of Florida Gainesville, FL 4-year, Public Residency
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, Public Residency, Fellowship
University of South Florida Tampa, FL 4-year, Public Residency, Fellowship
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private Residency, Fellowship
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Residency, Fellowship
University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, WA 4-year, Public Residency, Fellowship
University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Public Residency, Fellowship
University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 4-year, Public Residency, Fellowship
Temple University Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Public Residency, Fellowship

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School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for surgical schools:

  • Some programs offer residencies in general surgery, while other residencies are offered in particular subfields; so you should look for schools with the option you prefer.
  • If you are particularly interested in research, you should try to find a school where it is emphasized in the curriculum.
  • Look at the school's national reputation, particularly in your field of interest.
  • Surgical residencies carry a salary and benefits, so it can be helpful to compare packages.

Residency Programs

After earning a doctorate, aspiring surgeons can begin a residency program. Some schools offer general surgery residency programs, while others offer residencies in some of the broader subfields, such as orthopedic surgery, pediatric surgery or neurological surgery. Usually, these programs last five years, but some specialized programs, such as neurological surgery, can take up to seven years to complete. Students in general surgery programs get extensive hands-on clinical experience in all aspects of surgery, and they usually have the opportunity to conduct clinical research in the field.

Fellowship Programs

For students who want to gain experience in a highly specialized subfield of surgery, medical schools offer one- to two-year fellowships. Each medical school offers different options, but possibilities include transplant surgery, breast surgery and hand surgery. Like residency programs, these programs consist primarily of intensive clinical work. Upon completion, doctors may start practicing or choose another fellowship in a specialty area of interest.

Students who have M.D. or D.O. degrees and want to become surgeons must complete a residency and, in most cases, they choose a fellowship as well. Top medical schools offer these programs.


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