What are the Chances of Getting into Medical School?

August 17

Table of Contents

The most competitive graduate program in America is arguably medical school. Thousands of qualified students are not granted admission to medical schools each year, forcing them to reapply the following year.

Knowing everything you can to improve your chances of getting into medical school is crucial because of the intense competition, which will only become more extensive over the years.

This article will discuss your chances of getting into medical school. We will also discuss the requirements for medical school, the acceptance rates of the top schools in the US and Canada, and tips on how to increase your chances of getting into medical school. 

What Do Medical Schools Look For Admission Requirements 

The main elements of pre-medical education are commonly recognized by medical organizations. 

One year of biology, one year of general (inorganic) chemistry, one year of organic chemistry, and one year of physics are often the minimal course requirements. 

These courses must be completed as part of your pre-medical education. You should choose extra humanities and science courses to supplement this core curriculum to round out your education and improve your application to medical school.

To increase your chances of getting into medical school, it is must familiarize yourself with the requirements that you must meet, which are listed below. 

Mandatory Courses 

It is undoubtedly necessary for medical education because biology is a subject that is virtually exclusively necessary for those who wish to practice medicine. 

The foundation of medical research is genetics, and understanding cells and the organization of life is essential for professional success.

  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics

Courses that Are Sometimes Required

While the courses below are not always required for you to enter medical school, they are as important as the sciences. Ensure that you enroll in these courses before applying to medical school.

  • English
  • Biochemistry
  • Social Science and Psychology


Except if you are enrolled in some BS/MD programs or other early assurance programs, you must take the Medical College Admission Test

Sadly, BS/MD and early assurance schools demand a minimum MCAT score to be eligible.

Most medical universities need you to submit an MCAT score from within the last three years. You will probably need to retake the MCAT if it has been over three years since your last attempt.


A large number of medical schools do not list minimum GPA criteria. However, your chances of getting into medical school are higher with a high GPA. 

Additionally, most medical schools will immediately send you a supplemental application after verifying your initial application. This applies irrespective of your GPA and MCAT results.


More and more medical schools require applicants to pass the Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPER) test. These schools include allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools. 

The test asks why and what you would do in a difficult circumstance. This makes it easier to identify the behavioral preferences of candidates.

You will be given different text- and video-based situations to choose from during the exam and have five minutes to answer three questions. To maximize your score, try typing more quickly. 

Extracurricular Activities 

Statistics are not a helpful differentiator because all highly competitive medical school applicants have decent to excellent grades and MCAT scores. 

They provide information about a candidate's academic readiness to admissions committees. The medical school admissions committee members, therefore, consider your extracurricular activities.

Go into your premed years with the right mindset. You will typically be very busy with schoolwork and extracurricular activities

The following are some examples of the various extracurricular activities you can select from:


It entails seeing medical professionals in various treatment environments, including outpatient clinics, operating rooms, and neighborhood clinics. Ideally, You should see doctors from at least two or three medical specialties in multiple settings.

Clinical Experience

It is sometimes referred to as patient exposure or clinical volunteering. In contrast to shadowing, you will directly interact with patients and administer care. Emergency medical technicians and assistant medical duties are everyday clinical encounters. 

Community Service

Depending on your interests, you might volunteer at a charity, mentor youngsters from underprivileged backgrounds, or do anything else.


You can gain research experience in either a "dry lab" or a "wet lab" setting. 

The goal is to show that you are interested in academic medicine, especially if you want to apply to MD programs. The requirement for research experience is not stated explicitly on many medical school websites.

Letters of Recommendation 

The standards for medical school recommendation letters can be somewhat confusing because they differ from school to school, just like with coursework and extracurricular activities.

However, it would be beneficial if you aimed to secure the following letters:

  • Two from science professors
  • One from a non-science faculty member
  • Two to three from individuals who have guided you in extracurricular activities, such as the director of your research facility.

Medical School Interviews 

Admissions officers at medical schools use interviews to assess whether applicants have the qualities needed in the medical field. These qualities include excellent communication skills, critical thinking, mental presence, compassion, and resilience.

Med School Interviews are also utilized to find candidates who are dedicated to and aware of the challenges of completing their medical education. This includes the time required to receive a medical degree, finish a residency, and become licensed. Difficult interview questions about premed motivations are regularly asked during admissions interviews.

Medical Schools Acceptance Rate (2023) 

Knowing the acceptance rates will increase your chances of getting into medical school. You can identify the medical schools to which your current credentials match. 

At the same time, you can make the necessary adjustments for better chances of getting admitted.

Top Medical Schools Acceptance Rates in the US

Medical School


Average GPA

Average MCAT Score

Acceptance Rate





New York




New York












North Carolina
























New York
















Medical Schools Acceptance Rates in Canada

Medical School


Average GPA (or Grade* / Academic Rating**)

Average MCAT Score

Acceptance Rate









British Columbia












Nova Scotia






129 – CARS

The other three sections are not considered.




MCAT not required




MCAT not required








Not released







Not released

MCAT not required.




MCAT not required.



Not released

MCAT not required.




MCAT not required.






10 Tips to Increase Your Chance of Being Accepted in Medical School

Suppose you are like the majority of premed students. In that case, you have probably heard horror stories about qualified candidates who were rejected the first, second, or third time they applied to medical school. 

Heck, you might even be reapplying for medical school yourself.

In any case, you may be perplexed about how you may get in after taking great pains to "do everything right"—acquiring a solid GPA and MCAT score, fulfilling your extracurricular obligations, obtaining noteworthy medical school letters of recommendation, etc. 

Here are a few tips to increase your chances of getting into medical school.

Apply To More than One School

Increase your chances of getting into medical schools by spreading your hopes over several schools. 

Conduct individual studies on each institution because application requirements can change from institution to institution and year to year.

You can contact the admissions committee if you have specific inquiries about the course or the requirements. We advise you not to give up if you initially fail. Try once more. 

Plan Ahead and Apply As Soon As You Can

Most American medical schools accept students on a rolling admissions basis, which is the first thing you should know. This implies that they send out secondary essays for medical school applications, review applications as they come in, and give interviews and admissions as quickly as they find deserving people and applications. The likelihood of getting approved decreases as you wait longer to apply.

Additionally, if you put minimal effort into preparing your application, the admissions committees can detect it. Hurried applications will be apparent based on the student's writing and contemplation. You should start working on your application early and submit it to the medical schools of your choosing as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of being accepted.

When the application process opens in May, it would be prudent to try to apply as soon as possible. This requires extensive preparation on your behalf. Your application materials, such as your personal statement, extracurricular activities, transcripts, and reference letters, must be ready when you submit your application. 

Research the Schools You Are Applying To

When deciding which schools to attend, exercise caution. Make sure you fulfill every prerequisite for medical school that the institution has mentioned. A lack of research about the kind of applicants that various medical schools often accept can lead to medical school rejection.

You must fulfill some requirements not just by the institution but also by its former matriculants to be a competitive applicant. While most schools do not have set GPA or MCAT cut-offs, you may learn about their expected GPA and MCAT scores from this blog and our DO school rankings; be sure to meet these averages.

Research the institutions you are applying to and note what talents and experiences their matriculants possess. 

Premed experiences also play a significant influence in the selection process. Your chances of getting into medical schools drastically decline without research experience. 

Look For Mentors and Resources On Campus

Establish connections with mentors from diverse academic fields who can help you with the application process. They might direct you to colleagues with volunteer work or job shadowing openings, or they can offer advice on medical school applications.

Your college might feature a career center and/or a health profession advising office where you can access manuals and online resources in addition to an advisor. Make regular trips to these offices.

Include the Right Extracurricular Activities

You must conduct extensive studies on the colleges you are applying to. Some students neglect to think carefully about the kind of experiences they list in the AMCAS Work and Activities section. Instead, they only describe their experiences without considering what their preferred institutions look for in applicants.

Whether you are submitting an application via AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS, or OMSAS, you must carefully consider what employment, volunteer work, and other extracurricular activities to include. 

You must prove in your application—and ideally in your interview—that you have had clinical experience in these fields and are eager to discuss it.

Find out what experiences the matriculants at your preferred school value, and include those in your list of personal experiences accordingly. 

You can look for the essential details on the programs' websites or in the AAMC  directory.

Obtain An Impressive Letter of Recommendation

Although letters of recommendation are unnecessary before submitting an application via AMCAS or OMSAS, it is a good idea to contact possible recommenders in the spring to make sure you get solid recommendations.

We advise writing a letter outlining your academic prowess, capacity for teamwork, and, if from a non-academic, your enthusiasm for voluntary work. We also recommend determining whether your university has a premed committee that generates recommendations.

Make Sure Your Application's Components Are of a High Caliber

Reading your application gives the admissions committees an initial impression of your levels of responsibility and communication abilities. 

They will be able to tell how dedicated you are, how meticulous you are with details, how well you can express yourself, and how well you can offer a complete picture of your medical school candidacy.

This is why it is crucial to start working on your application early. Spend time carefully planning and writing each section of your medical school application

Any grammatical and punctuation errors must be fixed. Research the schools you are applying to find ideas and inspiration for your personal statement, work and activities area, and even your recommendation letters.

Follow Instructions 

Adhering to the rules and policies set by the admissions committee is a pretty basic concept that will help you improve your chances of getting into medical schools. 

According to studies, applicants rejected from medical school prefer to ignore the specifics of the application guidelines. You must carefully read the directions in each section and follow the directives to the letter.

This indicates your maturity and tenacity, attention to detail, and comprehension abilities. You must consistently comprehend the requirements throughout the application process. 

Pay close attention to the essay prompts because your chances of acceptance dramatically drop if you do not directly address the prompt in your personal statement or a supplementary essay. Do not disregard the prompt, and ensure you respond to the posed question. 

Attend Career and Healthcare Career Fair

A single job fair offers information on various universities, programs, and admittance standards. 

Attending job fairs can help you focus your search for a medical school and help you save money because visiting every school you are considering can be expensive and time-consuming.

Promote Yourself (While Being Humble)

It is OK to mention the accomplishments you are proud of; put these in your necessary personal statement or find a way to bring them into conversation during interviews. The secret is to do it with humility and assurance. 

Being proud of your own accomplishments is OK! Making some of them stand out will help your application stand out from the crowd and improve your chances of getting into medical schools. 

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying to Medical School

The process of applying to medical school is entirely stressful. There are no assurances that you will be admitted to a medical school, even if you have an outstanding GPA or MCAT score. 

Over 50% of candidates are turned down by multiple schools. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize your prospects by making careless errors on your primary or secondary application due to how difficult it is to be accepted.

Unfortunately, many applicants make minor errors that ultimately prove to be very costly. 

To ensure you are not one of those applicants, read this list of typical application errors to avoid medical school. These will better your chances of getting into medical schools. 

Applying to the 'Wrong' Medical Schools

Suppose you want to locate programs that will be ideal for your medical interests and career objectives. 

In that case, you will need to conduct your own study. Word of mouth may be essential for deciding whether a school offers a decent education. 

Additionally, students encounter problems if they base their entire application on a single, highly sought-after medical program. Even while your ideal school may strongly emphasize volunteer work, keep in mind that there will be a lot of other applicants. In reality, prospective students for US medical schools often apply to an average of 16 different institutions. 

Selecting a Major, That Is Not A Good Fit For You

Even though biology-related undergraduate majors are popular among premeds, medical school officials claim that possessing such concentrations does not give applicants an edge.

Since their academic achievement would matter more than their college major, they urge premeds to major in a subject that they enjoy and excel in. It is crucial that a premed, regardless of primary, completes all of the required courses for the chosen medical schools.

Composing a Bland Personal Statement

The first chance you will have to tell the individuals reviewing your application something significant will be your personal statement. 

Sticking to a generic outline or simply restating experiences already on your resume will not make you stand out. They can jeopardize your chances of getting into medical schools. 

When composing your personal statement or any other essays for your medical school application, be sure to give the information you choose to include careful consideration. We encourage you to share details or anecdotes showing why you would make an excellent doctor and how specific traits make you unique.

Not Having Enough Clinical Experience

Since this kind of hands-on learning is crucial for making an educated judgment about whether medicine is their professional vocation, medical schools expect applicants to have invested significant time in shadowing physicians. 

According to admissions officers at medical schools, every prospective doctor needs clinical experience.

Ignoring Possible Research Projects

When applying to medical school, candidates can participate in various extracurricular activities. Still, those who engage in scientific research opportunities may stand out from other premeds. 

We advise aspiring doctors should spend one or more summers participating in a research program and, if at all feasible, having some of their work published.

Avoiding Volunteer Opportunities

One approach for applicants to show interest in the medical field and community involvement is volunteer work. Be careful not to spend too little time volunteering, such as one day at a nursing home, or to think that an international opportunity is superior to local volunteering. 

According to specialists, continuing a certain activity for a few months is ideal.

Having Significant Gaps and Not Being Able to Explain Why 

What did you do if you took a few years off? 

Mention any international experiences you have if you traveled. Even though your action may not follow the norm (which may even make you stand out), it is still preferable to include all necessary information.

Even if the reasons for the gaps were familial or emotional, it is acceptable to recover, learn from the situation, and evolve. This may even be a sign of resilience or integrity. Be open-minded. When it comes to avoiding mistakes when applying to medical school, it is unquestionably something you must keep in mind.

They are acceptable as long as you can explain any gaps in your education or extracurricular activities. 


Keep your self-promotion and aggressive boasting about the various aspects of your resume to a minimum. It would be best to remember that admissions committee members are knowledgeable about everyday pre-med experiences and their length.

Additionally, they can calculate whether it would have been physically feasible for you to work more than 40 hours per week at a lab as a full-time student. 

Do not overstate your experience with the ordinary cold in your essays because this will sound hollow compared to the more trying situations other applicants in the pool have gone through.

Overestimating How Competitive You Are

Some premeds apply to schools that are out of their reach because they are overconfident in their ability to compete. 

One way applicants might lower their odds of rejection, according to experts, is to look at the typical MCAT scores and GPAs for students accepted at the universities on their radar.

Discounting Post-Baccalaureate Programs

Although it is typical for individuals to enroll in medical school right after graduation, those whose scientific grades do not match their interest in the field may find that a post-baccalaureate degree is a better fit.

A post-bac program, which frequently aids applicants in getting into medical school, is something premeds should consider if they want to increase their knowledge of chemistry or physics or raise their MCAT score

Determining if such a program will be personally beneficial is critical because it frequently requires spending money and time.

Additional FAQs – What are the Chances of Getting Into Medical School? 

How Do I Compute My Research On The Schools I Want To Apply To?

Start by doing online research on the schools you have selected. Visit their websites, read their mission and values statements, learn more about their staff, the kind of research they are engaged in, and discover the prospects their alums typically pursue.

You can search in the AAMC directory for more details about the schools' selection criteria and other admissions information. 

Although it is not free, it might provide you with some crucial details regarding the admissions process, interview structure, and acceptance procedures at your schools.

What Is The Average GPA To Get Into Medical School?

According to admissions experts, premed undergraduates should aim for a GPA of 3.5 or better to get accepted into a top medical school. 

Additionally, as grades in scientific subjects will be closely examined to see whether applicants to medical school are academically qualified, students should strive for A and B marks in those courses.

When Should I Begin Gaining Clinical And Shadowing Experience?

Start looking for clinical and shadowing opportunities as soon as you enroll in your undergraduate program or as quickly as possible. 

To learn more about the clinical and shadowing experiences this program's students pursued, speak with the professors and alums. You should be able to acquire some recommendations for local hospitals and doctors who frequently hire premed students.

Remember that your encounter's quality is far more important than its duration. As much as you can, try to commit to a clinical environment and be able to articulate the kinds of abilities and information you gained from that experience. 

Please read our MedLife blog to learn how many volunteer hours are required for medical school.

You're no longer alone on your journey to becoming a physician

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