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.
Becoming a doctor is hard work. Medical students spend three years studying symptoms, diseases, and treatments, endure long hours in residencies and fellowships, and then must pass a grueling series of board exams. But before any of that can happen, future M.D.'s need to get into medical school.
On average, fewer than 9 percent of medical school applications were accepted in 2011, according to data reported to U.S. News. In total, 500,900 applications were submitted in 2011 to the 111 medical schools reporting application and acceptance data to U.S. News in an annual survey. Prospective medical students often apply to multiple schools.
[Discover the top three reasons why med school applications are rejected.]
Grades, MCAT scores, letters of evaluation, and extracurricular activities all play a role in whether an application is accepted, but which programs students apply to can also impact their chances of getting into med school.
Among the 11 medical schools with the lowest acceptance rates, an average of 3.4 percent of applicants were accepted in 2011. (Due to ties, there are more than 10 schools on the list.) The Mayo Medical School in Minnesota accepted just 1.9 percent of applicants, the lowest acceptance rate among the medical schools that submitted acceptance data to U.S. News. George Washington University's School of Medicine and Health Sciences had the second lowest, sending acceptance letters to 2.5 percent of the 14,649 students who applied in 2011.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the University of North Dakota's School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Western University of Health Sciences's College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in California each accepted more than 25 percent of its 2011 applicants.
Below are the 11 medical schools with the lowest acceptance rates, based on applicant and acceptance data reported by the institutions to U.S. News:
|Medical school (name) (state)||2011 Applicants||Acceptance rate||U.S. News research rank||U.S. News primary care rank|
|Mayo Medical School (MN)||4,028||1.9%||27||31|
|George Washington University (DC)||14,649||2.5%||55||83|
|Stanford University (CA)||6,310||3.0%||4||63|
|Brown University (Alpert) (RI)||6,230||3.5%||35||24|
|Georgetown University (DC)||11,598||3.6%||48||68|
|University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill||4,720||3.6%||21||2|
|Wake Forest University (NC)||7,391||3.6%||42||19|
|University of Vermont||5,860||3.7%||57||27|
|University of California—Los Angeles (Geffen)||6,335||3.9%||13||10|
|Harvard University (MA)||5,435||4.1%||1||15|
|University of California—San Francisco||6,767||4.1%||5||3|
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News Medical School Compass to find application and acceptance data for every school, residency statistics, 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 school 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.