The easiest medical schools to get into: based on real matriculation data

    Jeremy Coppock
    Jeremy Coppock

    Jeremy is an education researcher, journalist, and editor for Degreechoices. He majored in Slavic languages and has a master’s degree in Eastern European studies.

    He has previous experience as a fraud analyst, in-house translator, teacher, and truck driver.

    The easiest medical schools to get into: based on real matriculation data

      Accurate medical school acceptance rates are hard to come by; med schools are increasingly hesitant to publish this information.

      However, medical school matriculation rates are publicly available. This is the percentage of applicants who eventually enroll in a given school.

      The med schools with the highest matriculation rates are CUNY, University of Mississippi and Mercer University. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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      So, you want to become a doctor, and you’re searching for the easiest medical schools to get into so you can optimize your chances of getting accepted somewhere – or maybe you want to line up some “safety” schools.

      If this is you, you’re probably frustrated by the inconsistency of the information on the internet.

      In this article, we explain why reliable medical school acceptance rates are so hard to come by and reveal a metric that is more grounded in real data from medical schools themselves. This will help you prioritize what colleges to apply for on your quest to become an MD.

      We also give you the low down on the MCAT scores and GPA you need to be a strong candidate.

      Note that this article mostly refers to allopathic medical schools (which grant MDs). We only touch on osteopathic medical schools (which grant DOs) briefly.

      Why you’re seeing different numbers all over the internet

      If you’ve been browsing the internet for medical school acceptance rates, you may have noticed that each website has completely different figures.

      Below are some of the top results on Google (as of January 2024) for the easiest medical school to get into, along with the acceptance rate they quote.

      Website Easiest med school to get into Acceptance rate
      Best Colleges University of North Dakota School of Medicine 28%
      Intelligent University of Mississippi Medical Center Not listed
      Inspira Advantage University of Mississippi Medical Center 53%
      College Transitions University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (for allopathic schools) 15.85%
      Sort Smart University of South Dakota School of Medicine 6.77%

      Unfortunately, few of these pages are citing their sources, and many that do point to other equally opaque websites.

      Some acceptance rate statistics can be traced back to historical data from the US News & World Report (USNWR), a college ranking organization with some clout.

      USNWR asks colleges to volunteer a wide variety of information by filling out surveys.

      However, USNWR has been plagued by scandals due to its ranking methods, which are widely seen as unfair and subjective. As a result, more and more medical schools have stopped sharing information with it.

      The truth is that medical schools seem increasingly hesitant to publish acceptance rate data directly. This means 3rd party organizations have to rely on survey data or out-of-date information.

      Medical schools may be tight-lipped about acceptance rates for several possible reasons:

      • Being perceived as an easy option could affect their prestige.
      • This could swamp them with applications by students looking for a “safety school.”

      But all is not lost! While med schools are cagey about acceptance rates, they do disclose their “matriculation rate.”

      »Also read: How many colleges should I apply to?

      The easiest medical schools to get into (by percentage of applicants enrolled)

      The closest we have to reliable, publicly available data is the percent of applicants that eventually enrolled in each medical school. This is referred to as the matriculation rate.

      This data is collected by the AAMC, a non-profit professional organization that unites the medical education community. It has data on all accredited American medical schools, which it publishes regularly on its website.

      This figure is different from the acceptance rate because colleges accept more applicants than they enroll. Thus, acceptance rates are always higher than matriculation rates. Nevertheless, there should be a strong correlation between the 2 figures.

      According to the AAMC, the medical schools with the highest matriculation rates are CUNY, Mississippi, and Mercer.

      1. CUNY School of Medicine – 100%

      Applications: 75

      Enrolled: 75

      We know what you’re thinking….100%? Really? CUNY’s med school is a bit of an outlier because it only considers applicants who successfully pass its bachelor’s pre-med program, all of whom it accepts. So if you aren’t already enrolled in the BS-MD track at the City University of New York, this med school isn’t for you.

      The CUNY School of Medicine is a well-respected public university in Harlem, NYC. It is proud to be the #4 med school nationally for producing African American physicians.

      2. University of Mississippi School of Medicine – 45%

      Applications: 371

      Enrolled: 165

      The University of Mississippi, often called Ole Miss, has a health sciences campus in the city of Jackson.

      It stresses that it strongly prefers applicants from Mississippi – no applicants from other states have been admitted in recent years.

      Ole Miss’ School of Medicine emphasizes that applications are evaluated holistically, with candidates’ life experiences and personal attributes taken into consideration alongside their academic achievements. The school is more flexible than other universities when it comes to pre-requisite undergraduate courses. This makes it easier for non-science majors to meet application requirements.

      3. Mercer University School of Medicine – 12.6%

      Applications: 1,351

      Enrolled: 170

      Mercer University School of Medicine is a private research university in Georgia. Mercer’s School of Medicine has campuses in Macon, Savannah, and Columbus, GA. Its mission is to train doctors who wish to serve rural and underserved communities in the state of Georgia. Therefore, applicants must be Georgia residents.

      The MD program at Mercer boasts a “case-based curriculum” featuring “early patient experiences.”

      4. East Carolina University, Brody School of Medicine – 8.2%

      Applications: 1,095

      Enrolled: 90

      East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine is a public medical school is located in Greenville, North Carolina. It aims to increase healthcare accessibility in underserved communities in the state – specifically Eastern North Carolina – as well as to grant minority and disadvantaged students more opportunities to obtain a medical education.

      The Brody School of Medicine is intended exclusively for residents of North Carolina. It prides itself on producing an exceptionally high number of family doctors.

      5. University of Oklahoma College of Medicine – 7.9%

      Applications: 2,223

      Enrolled: 176

      The University of Oklahoma’s College of Medicine is a public institution located in Oklahoma City. Some programs may be taken in Tulsa. Founded in 1900, it is the only medical school in the state. This med school is open to all U.S. residents and permanent visa holders, regardless of state of residence.

      OU offers 2 tracks to getting a MD: the College of Medicine track in Oklahoma City, and the School of Community Medicine track in Tulsa. The former features smaller class sizes and a different focus than the more traditional College of Medicine track.

      6. Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University – 7.9%

      Applications: 3,335

      Enrolled: 264

      Augusta University’s Medical College of Georgia is the only public med school in the state of Georgia. Founded in 1828, it is located in the town of Augusta, GA. There are also branch campuses for clinical training in Albany, Rome, Savannah, and Athens.

      The Medical College of Georgia is among the nation’s largest. It takes into consideration a number of factors in its application process, including socioeconomic background and community activities. All U.S. citizens/permanent residents are welcome to apply.

      7. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine – 7.2%

      Applications: 2,438

      Enrolled: 175

      University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine is a public medical school. Its primary campus is in Little Rock and a branch campus in Fayetteville. The college of medicine was established in 1879.

      The UAMS College of Medicine is a pioneer in simulation education, granting students cutting-edge opportunities to practice what they learn. Scholarships are available for Arkansas residents who commit to practicing in a rural part of the state. The college also offers in-state tuition rates to students from neighboring states. That said, this college gives preference to Arkansas residents.

      8. University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine – 7.2%

      Applications: 1,895

      Enrolled: 136

      Established in 1971, the UMKC School of Medicine is a public medical school located near downtown Kansas City. There is also a branch campus in St. Joseph. One notable feature of this institution is its “docent system,” in which students are split into groups of 12 and assigned a “docent” (sort of like a mentor), who is a practicing internal physician, in year one, and a different kind of doctor in year 2.

      The School of Medicine gives priority placement to in-state students, as well as applicants from Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

      9. Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

      Applications: 1,125

      Enrolled: 80

      A public university in Springfield, Illinois, the SIU School of Medicine was founded to address the doctor shortage in underserved parts of the state. This med school makes use of problem-based learning, where small groups of students, guided by faculty, work to solve medical cases.

      Note that the MD program here is only for residents of Illinois. It does not have specific prerequisite undergraduate courses, although a science background will help candidates succeed on the MCAT.

      10. Uniformed Services University F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine – 7.0%

      Applications: 2,517

      Enrolled: 176

      USU is a health sciences institution run by the federal government. Its School of Medicine is located in Bethesda, Maryland. This med school caters specifically to U.S. military service people, as well as U.S. Public Health Service students. Students do not pay tuition and receive generous scholarships.

      To apply, students at USU medical school must be U.S. citizens who pass physical, age, and security prerequisites. While you don’t need military experience to enroll, you will be obliged to “commission into the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Public Health Service prior to matriculation.”

      11. University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center College of Medicine – 6.6%

      Applications: 2,602

      Enrolled: 173

      UTHC, a public medical school based in Memphis, has numerous branch campuses throughout Tennessee. It is the largest medical school in the state. While students spend their first 2 years in Memphis, they rotate between several other campuses during clinical training. The college is well known for its Center for Addiction Sciences.

      Besides its traditional MD track, the College of Medicine also offers a 3-year MD program. UTHSC gives priority to Tennessee residents: only 10% of each class comes from out of state.

      12. University of Kansas School of Medicine – 6.6%

      Applications: 3,215

      Enrolled: 211

      The University of Kansas School of Medicine is a public medical school located in Kansas City, with branches in Salina and Wichita. Fully established in 1905, it is usually referred to as KU Med.

      The school claims to be one of the “top 5 public medical schools in the country for the percentage of graduates practicing in rural areas.” Besides the MD program, it also offers an MD/PhD program, an MD/Master of Public Health program, and an MD/Master of Health Services Administration program.

      13. University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine – 6.4%

      Applications: 2,073

      Enrolled: 132

      A public health science center located in Omaha, University of Nebraska’s Medical Center College of Medicine has a biocontainment unit that played a key role in handling the Ebola crisis of 2014.

      This college of medicine boasts affordable prices compared to other healthcare education institutions. Students benefit from small group learning sessions and a rigorous academic curriculum.

      14. University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine – 6.4%

      Applications: 1,117

      Enrolled: 71

      This is the main medical school in South Dakota; it has campuses in Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Vermilion, and Yankton. It also maintains several Frontier and Rural Medicine (FARM) sites. Its focus is on rural medicine and training doctors to serve such communities: 80% of its students plan on working in South Dakota after graduation.

      The Sanford School of Medicine at USD offers low in-state tuition rates and is well known for graduating a high proportion of Native Americans compared to other medical schools. To apply, students must be South Dakota residents or have strong ties to the state.

      15. Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science College of Medicine – 6.3%

      Applications: 974

      Enrolled: 61

      Charles R. Drew University (CDU) is a private medical university devoted to the health sciences. It is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a long history of graduating minority students at high rates. In fact, it is one of just 4 MD programs at a Historically Black College/University (HBCU).

      Students learn according to an organ-based approach to diseases. Drew accepts bachelor’s students from any U.S. state or Canadian province. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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      Full table of medical school matriculation rates

      SchoolApplicationsMatriculation Rate
      East Carolina-Brody10958.2%
      MC Georgia Augusta33357.9%
      Missouri Kansas City18957.2%
      Southern Illinois11257.1%
      Uniformed Services-Hebert25177%
      South Dakota-Sanford11176.4%
      New Mexico17295.4%
      LSU New Orleans38915%
      Washington State-Floyd16145%
      South Alabama-Whiddon15865%
      Missouri Columbia26994.7%
      MU South Carolina368047%
      North Dakota16504.5%
      UT Medical Branch-Sealy51484.5%
      UT San Antonio-Long53784.3%
      UT Houston-McGovern56494.2%
      Nevada Reno16644.2%
      UT Southwestern55274.2%
      U Washington70173.9%
      Wayne State80493.8%
      Northeast Ohio46593.7%
      LSU Shreveport40683.7%
      Texas Tech49693.6%
      Texas A&M55913.6%
      North Carolina58083.5%
      South Carolina Columbia28583.5%
      Loma Linda51373.4%
      California Northstate36793.2%
      SUNY Upstate-Norton56213.1%
      Rutgers New Jersey58593%
      SUNY Downstate69743%
      Saint Louis60772.9%
      Rutgers-RW Johnson58002.8%
      MC Wisconsin95892.8%
      Ohio State72292.7%
      Texas Tech-Foster45512.7%
      Hackensack Meridian61762.6%
      Virginia Commonwealth70402.6%
      Michigan State72522.6%
      South Carolina Greenville43872.5%
      Case Western Reserve86152.5%
      Renaissance Stony Brook54692.5%
      Cooper Rowan45582.5%
      Carle Illinois28422.3%
      Geisinger Commonwealth52542.2%
      Washington U St Louis57012.2%
      Southern Cal-Keck86642.1%
      West Virginia52232.1%
      Eastern Virginia71712.1%
      New York Medical105622.1%
      Western Michigan-Stryker41042%
      Arizona Phoenix58852%
      Chicago Med Franklin99092%
      Johns Hopkins59582%
      Wright State-Boonshoft62792%
      Zucker Hofstra Northwell50342%
      UC San Francisco88472%
      East Tennessee-Quillen39651.9%
      Florida State67021.8%
      UC Davis82151.7%
      Oakland Beaumont75341.7%
      Florida Atlantic-Schmidt46191.6%
      UC Irvine70301.6%
      UC San Diego87571.6%
      UC Riverside60771.4%
      Mount Sinai-Icahn85141.4%
      BU-Chobanian Avedisian105731.4%
      Penn State110731.3%
      Central Michigan81781.3%
      Wake Forest120661.2%
      UT Rio Grande Valley45081.2%
      George Washington160621.1%
      UT Tyler37561.1%
      Nova Southeastern-Patel55800.9%
      UT Austin-Dell52830.9%
      Virginia Tech Carilion61840.8%
      Kaiser Permanente-Tyson77310.6%
      NYU Long Island-Grossman40450.6%

      Source: Based on AAMC data

      The matriculation figures above should correlate with med school acceptance rates: colleges with higher matriculation rates should also have higher acceptance rates. Nevertheless, several factors could skew this relationship:

      • Students apply to multiple schools. AAMC notes that in the 2023-2024 application cycle, 966,947 were sent by 52,577 applicants, averaging 18 applications per applicant.
      • This could lower the matriculation rate for “safety” schools that are not top students’ first choice.
      • Conversely, more prestigious schools get a “bump” in their matriculation rate, as their reputation leads a higher percentage of accepted students to enroll.
      • Financial and location factors could also affect students’ choice: expensive private universities may have lower matriculation rates.
      • Some accepted students defer their enrollment until the next year.

      » Also read: Our guide to medical and healthcare degrees

      Hardest medical schools to get into

      The schools with the lowest enrollment percentage are NYU Long Island-Grossman, Kaiser Permanente-Tyson, and Virginia Tech Carilion.

      Your medical school checklist – be the best candidate you can be



      Letters of recommendation

      Motivation letter/personal statement

      Work experience, internships, and job shadowing

      Volunteering and extracurriculars

      CASPer/Duet/Snapshot tests

      Read more about pre-med and getting into med school.

      Average med school GPA

      According to the AAMC, the average total GPA was 3.77 for students who enrolled in med school in 2023-2024. Their average science GPA was 3.71, and their average non-science GPA was 3.85.

      Meanwhile, according to the same source, the average total GPA for med school applicants in 2023-2024 was 3.64, or 3.54 for science classes and 3.78 for non-science classes.

      Average GPAs for successful med school applicants have gone up for several years running.

      MCAT scores for med schools

      According to AAMC data for 2023-2024, The average total MCAT score for students who enrolled in med school this year was 511.7. This is slightly lower than last year.

      Meanwhile, the average MCAT score for med school applicants was 506.3.

      You can see a breakdown of average MCAT scores by test section on the AAMC website.

      Key takeaways from AAMC’s GPA/MCAT data

      Based on 2021-2024 data from the AAMC.

      • The most typical successful med school applicant had a GPA greater than 3.79 and an MCAT score over 517. A total of 12,843 such students were accepted, more than any other group numerically. 82.9% of such students got into med school.
      • You’re a little better off having a great MCAT score than a great GPA. 78.1% of people with an MCAT score of 517+ were accepted to med school, whereas only 60.9% of students with a GPA greater than 3.79 got in.
      • A total of 31 students with a GPA of less than 2.39 got into med school in the entire country.
      • Only 44 applicants got into med school with an MCAT score of less than 486.
      • According to the AAMC, the overall acceptance rate for medical schools in the U.S. is 41.9%

      Are DO schools easier to get into?

      Yes, osteopathy (DO) schools are slightly easier to get into: the average undergrad GPA of entering students was 3.61 at osteopathy schools in 2022 (3.53 for science classes and 3.70 for non-science classes).

      Meanwhile, the average total MCAT score of osteopathy students was 504.77 that same year.

      This is somewhat lower than the averages for allopathic (normal) med schools.

      According to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) a professional association, more than 25% of med students opt for osteopathy.

      Remember that osteopathy schools are most interested in candidates that truly want to study osteopathy. If it’s obvious from your application that you’re using DO schools as your back-up plan, your chances of getting accepted may be worse.

      Alternatives to medical school

      If you want to work in healthcare, there are many alternatives to becoming a doctor. Consider the following career options too. Many of these jobs are quite lucrative, and some may require less schooling.


      Physical therapist



      Speech-language pathologist




      Other high paying allied health professions

      The best medical schools in the U.S.

      Our goal at Degreechoices is to determine what colleges are the best “value for money.” The ideal school opens the door to high earnings after graduation for a relatively affordable price.

      We synthesize these 2 factors (earnings and price) using a special formula that assigns each school an “Economic Score.” The lower the Economic Score, the better “deal” the degree is, financially speaking.

      Just because doctors earn good salaries doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make smart financial decisions about the debt you take on to pay for med school. Avoid toxic student loans: choose a med school that offers the optimal return on your educational investment.

      » Also read: LLM vs JD

      According to our metrics, the 3 best medical schools in the U.S., by value for money, are:

      1. Columbia University
      2. Stanford University
      3. University of California, Davis.

      See our full list of the best medical schools in the country. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

      Propel your career from anywhere.

      Take our quiz to find the online degree that’s best for you. Compare hundreds of schools and apply to your dream college today.

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