Best Universities for Pre-Med Students: List of Top Schools

Pre-med is a curriculum plan that prepares undergraduate students to continue their studies in medical or dental school. Although medical schools are often indifferent to an applicant's major, they usually require students to have taken courses in general and organic chemistry, biology, English and physics. A strong undergraduate grade point average and competitive Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) scores could help students gain entry to a good medical or dental school.

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Top Schools for Pre-Med Students

1. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

Harvard University is a 4-year private school that was established in 1636. U.S. News & World Report named Harvard the top national university in 2012 and the best research medical school in 2011. The school has over a dozen groups for pre-med students, such as the Harvard Premedical Society, Harvard Hippocratic Society and Latinos in Health Careers. The Office of Career Services provides pre-med planning for undergraduate students who want to apply to medical school upon graduation. Harvard also assists students in planning for professions in dental medicine, public health and advanced nursing.

2. University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina (UNC) tied as the 29th best national university in U.S. News & World Report's 2012 rankings. In the same publication's 2011 rankings, UNC's medical program garnered second best honors in primary care and 20th best in research. Opened to students in 1795, this 4-year public school was the first state university in the U.S. Pre-med students get assistance from the Health Professions Advising Office in choosing programs and classes, applying to medical schools and preparing for the MCAT. Since 1974, UNC has provided the Medical Education Development (MED) program, a rigorous 9-week summer program for select students that mirrors a first-year medical school curriculum. Of the MED students who apply for medical school, 90% are accepted.

3. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

In 2012, Times Higher Education ranked the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) 13th among pre-clinical, clinical and health universities and the 16th best university worldwide. Founded in 1740, Penn offers advising and planning for undergraduate students preparing to ultimately attend allopathic or osteopathic medical schools. Penn also offers guidance for students planning to attend dental school. Through the College of Liberal & Professional Studies, Penn provides a post-baccalaureate pre-health program for students who have earned a non-science undergraduate degree or just want to be better prepared for advanced medical study.

Ten Good Schools for Pre-Med Students

School NameDistinctionLocation
Columbia UniversityProvides a comprehensive pre-medical handbook for students planning a pre-med curriculumNew York, NY
Cornell University In 2010, 67% of Cornell graduates who applied to medical school were acceptedIthaca, NY
Harvard University Offers a number of medical internship opportunities for minority studentsCambridge, MA
Johns Hopkins University Encourages students to take a year off between undergraduate and medical school to gain additional experiences or conduct researchBaltimore, MD
Northwestern UniversityUndergraduate Research Grants program provides pre-med students funding to conduct independent researchEvanston, IL
University of Minnesota - Twin CitiesOffers Planning for Medical School, an online interactive workshop for studentsMinneapolis, MN
University of North CarolinaHas an active chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta, the pre-professional health honor society Chapel Hill, NC
University of PennsylvaniaHome of several medical research institutes studying such topics as Alzheimer's disease, cancer, AIDS, cardiovascular health, developmental biology and head injuries Philadelphia, PA
University of Washington Online Pre-Med Planning Tool helps students map out how and when they will take required pre-med classesSeattle, WA
University of Wisconsin - MadisonIn addition to medicine and dentistry, the school advises students wishing to pursue studies in pharmacy, occupational therapy, physician assistance, physical therapy and nursingMadison, WI
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