Top Ten Medical Colleges in the U.S.

Find information about the top ten medical colleges in the United States, through which students learn how to diagnose and treat patients or conduct medical research. Read summaries of the degree options at three of the top ten institutions, as well as what's unique to other leading medical colleges in the U.S.

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94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)

Overview of Medical Colleges

Some of the best colleges to become a doctor include:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Oregon Health and Science University
  3. University of Washington
  4. Duke University

Students entering the medical profession will want to find the best training so they'll be able to offer their future patients the best care possible. This lesson explores ten of the best medical colleges from around the nation. Four good colleges for the medical field in the United States, as rated by U.S. News and World Report in 2019, include Harvard University, a member of the Ivy league, as well as the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, the University of Washington in Seattle, and Duke University in North Carolina. Each of the four schools offers a Medical Doctor (M.D.) program, as well as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in biomedical-related areas, among other advanced courses of study. Unique to the University of Washington are its undergraduate programs in health and medical studies, making it one of the best pre med schools.

Best Colleges for the Medical Field

Harvard University

Harvard University was ranked second among the best colleges in 2019 by U.S. News & World Report. This four-year private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, serves over 35,000 students, with over a third pursuing graduate and professional studies. In 2019, Harvard Medical School also ranked number one as a medical research institution and tied for 17th for primary care, as designated by U.S. News & World Report. The Division of Medical Sciences offers Ph.D. programs in biological and biomedical sciences, immunology, neuroscience, and virology. The medical education program, which leads to an M.D., is another option at the Harvard Medical School.


The Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) functions as a training school that provides all students with hands-on experience. Located in Portland, Oregon, OHSU is a teaching hospital and medical research center that includes the School of Medicine. As of 2019, the school was tied for sixth in the nation for education in primary medical care by U.S. News & World Report. In 2018, the School of Medicine had 2,266 faculty members that serve 592 M.D. students and 784 graduate studies students. Among the medical school's academic programs are those that lead to a Master of Science (M.S.), an M.D. or a Ph.D. Areas of study include biomedical informatics, cancer biology, and medical physics.

University of Washington-Seattle

The University of Washington in Seattle is part of the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) regional medical education partnership program, which aims to train primary care physicians who serve in the partner states, particularly in rural areas. In 2019, the School of Medicine at the University of Washington (UW Medicine) ranked second among primary care training institutions by U.S. News & World Report. This top medical school also tied for 12th for medical research, making it a strong overall choice for aspiring medical students. Graduate students can pursue an M.D., a Ph.D. in Biomedical Research, or the MEDEX/PA program for physician's assistants. Undergraduate programs in bioengineering, medical technology, neurobiology rehabilitation medicine, and clinical health services are also offered through UW Medicine.

Duke University

In 2019, U.S. News and World Report ranked Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, tied for eighth among all universities nationwide. The medical school ranking also tied for 31st place in the nation for primary care and tied for 13th place in research. Duke University's Foundation for Excellence curriculum has a research requirement for all medical students. Students in this highly-ranked program may pursue master's degree options in areas like biomedical science and medical physics. They may also pursue a Ph.D., D.P.T., or M.D.

Top Medical Schools

The following is a list of medical schools that have been highly ranked from around the nation and the highlights that makes each one stand out.

School Name Distinction Location
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine offers 20 graduate programs Baltimore, MD
University of California - San Francisco Faculty members include a Macy Faculty Scholar San Francisco, CA
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Gives medical students outreach opportunities through its student-run clinic Ann Arbor, MI
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Home to the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program Chapel Hill, NC
University of Pennsylvania Emphasizes research in pancreatic cancer treatment, Alzheimer's, and gene therapy for HIV patients Philadelphia, PA
Washington University in St. Louis Has the BioMed 21 program, which researches solutions for current diseases Saint Louis, MO

Students looking for the best medical training can use this information to discover how some of the top schools in the country rank, according to U.S. News and World Report and review the types of programs offered by these top institutions.

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