The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.
Medical schools are aiming to increase enrollment by 30 percent by 2015 to combat projected physician shortages. For schools to reach this goal, they must entice prospective students not only to apply, but to enroll once accepted.
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And if medical school enrollment was a popularity contest, the Center for Health Sciences at Oklahoma State University and the University of Kansas Medical Center would split the top prize. Both schools achieved a yield—the percentage of accepted students who opt to enroll—of 85.7 percent in 2011 and increased their enrollments over the previous year.
A total of 110 ranked medical schools provided acceptance and enrollment data for the 2011-2012 school year. The 10 most popular medical schools posted yields of 74 percent or greater.
[Learn about alternate routes to a medical education.]
While Oklahoma State and Harvard Medical School are new to the most popular medical schools list, the other schools on the list trumpeted high yields last year. Six of the schools increased their yields from the 2010-2011 school year, but only four of the 10 most popular medical schools increased the number of students they enrolled.
Budget concerns could be behind the stagnant enrollment. Fifty-two percent of medical schools surveyed by the Association of American Medical Colleges said the economy could inhibit their ability to maintain enrollment levels, much less increase them, according to a May 2012 survey.
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The University of Washington School of Medicine—the highest ranked primary care program among the most popular medical schools—only enrolled three more students in 2011 than in 2010, despite sending out more acceptance letters, dropping its yield from 79.4 percent to 76.8 percent. Harvard Medical School upped its yield in 2011, but enrollment stayed steady at 165 new students. The UW School of Medicine earned the top spot in U.S. News's 2013 ranking of best primary care programs and Harvard was the No. 1 ranked medical school for research.
Below are the 10 most popular medical schools, listed by percentage yield among students in the 2011-2012 incoming class. Schools designated by U.S. News as Unranked were excluded from this list. U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for Unranked programs because the program did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked.
|Medical school||Students accepted||Students enrolled||Yield percentage||U.S. News research rank||U.S. News primary care rank|
|Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences||112||96||85.7%||RNP*||RNP|
|University of Kansas Medical Center||223||191||85.7%||72||35|
|University of New Mexico School of Medicine||112||92||82.1%||83||31|
|University of Oklahoma College of Medicine||207||165||79.7%||72||63|
|Medical University of South Carolina||220||170||77.3%||57||49|
|University of Washington School of Medicine||285||219||76.8%||10||1|
|University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences||81||62||76.5%||RNP||77|
|University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine||71||54||76.1%||86||83|
|University of Nevada—Reno School of Medicine||83||62||74.7%||86||RNP|
|Harvard Medical School||223||165||74.0%||1||15|
(*RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one fourth of all medical and osteopathic schools. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.)
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News Medical School Compass to find tuition data, complete rankings, and much more.
U.S. News surveyed more than 140 medical schools for our 2011 survey of research and primary care programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News's data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Medical Schools rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools.