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Methodology: 2015 Best Medical Schools Rankings

Find out how U.S. News ranks medical schools. 

By and + More

Total research activity (0.15): This is measured by the total dollar amount of National Institutes of Health research grants awarded to the medical school and its affiliated hospitals, averaged for 2012 and 2013. An asterisk indicates schools that reported only NIH research grants to their medical school in 2013.

Average research activity per faculty member (0.15): This is measured by the dollar amount of National Institutes of Health research grants awarded to the medical school and its affiliated hospitals per full-time faculty member, averaged over 2012 and 2013. Both full-time basic sciences and clinical faculty were used in the faculty count. An asterisk indicates schools that reported only NIH research grants to their medical school in 2013.

Primary care rate (0.30 in the primary care medical school model only; not used in research medical school ranking model): The percentage of M.D. or D.O. school graduates entering primary care residencies in the fields of family practice, pediatrics and internal medicine was averaged over 2011, 2012 and 2013. 

Student selectivity (0.20 in the research medical school model, 0.15 in the primary care medical school model)

Median MCAT total score (0.13 in the research medical school model, 0.0975 in the primary care medical school model): This is the median total Medical College Admission Test score of the 2013 entering class.

Median undergraduate GPA (0.06 in the research medical school model, 0.045 in the primary care medical school model): This is the median undergraduate grade-point average of the 2013 entering class. This is a methodology change from previous editions of the medical school rankings where the mean MCAT composite score and mean undergraduate GPA were used.

Acceptance rate (0.01 in the research medical school model, 0.0075 in the primary care medical school model): This is the proportion of applicants to the 2013 entering class who were offered admission.

Faculty resources (0.10 in the research medical school model, 0.15 in the primary care medical school model): Faculty resources were measured as the ratio of full-time science and full-time clinical faculty to full-time M.D. or D.O. students in 2013.

Overall rank

Indicators were standardized about their means, and standardized scores were weighted, totaled and rescaled so that the top school received 100; other schools received their percentage of the top score.

Specialty rankings: The rankings are based solely on ratings by medical school deans and senior faculty from the list of schools surveyed. They each identified up to 10 schools offering the best programs in each specialty area. Those receiving the most nominations in the top 10 appear here.

Those schools receiving the most votes in each specialty are listed and are numerically ranked in descending order based on the number of nominations they received as long as the school/program received seven or more nominations in that specialty area. This means that schools ranked at the bottom of each specialty ranking have received seven nominations.

Rank Not Published: Rank Not Published means that U.S. News did calculate a numerical ranking for that school/program, but decided for editorial reasons that since the school/program ranked below the U.S. News cutoff that U.S. News would not publish the ranking for that school/program.

U.S. News will supply schools/programs listed as Rank Not Published with their numerical rankings, if they submit a request following the procedures listed in the Information for School Officials.

Schools/programs marked as Ranked Not Published are listed alphabetically. In both research medical schools and primary care medical schools, we have numerically ranked the top three-fourths of the graduate medical schools. The bottom quarter of the research medical schools and primary care medical schools are listed as Rank Not Published and are listed alphabetically.

Unranked: Unranked means that U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for that school or program. The school or program did not supply U.S. News with enough key statistical data to be numerically ranked by U.S. News. Schools or programs marked as Unranked are listed alphabetically and are listed below those marked as Rank Not Published.

Searching for a medical school? Get our complete rankings of Best Medical Schools.