How to Get into Stanford Medical School

August 17

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Stanford Medical School is one of the most competitive medical schools in California and the world. This prestigious university's ground-breaking research, world-class faculty, and accomplished alumni add to its stature. Stanford Medical School seeks to enroll great students, academics, researchers, and professionals each year.

Numerous applicants each year who want to study medicine in the pleasant California climate flock to Stanford. The institution takes great pleasure in its dedication to diverse leadership in the medical field.

In this article, we will go over how to get into Stanford Medical School if you are prepared to begin your medical education journey in one of the most prestigious medical schools in the world.

Why Stanford University Medical School? 

Stanford Medical School, established in 1858 by Dr. Elias Samuel Cooper, has the most excellent funding per researcher ratio in the nation right now and is home to seven living Nobel laureates and 37 members of the National Academy of Sciences. The best medical schools in the country consistently include Stanford Medicine. 

First-generation Stanford Medicine students — the first members of their family to be born in the country — are connected to faculty, alums, and medical specialists through this program, providing students with ongoing personal, professional, and academic support. 

The Scholarly Concentrations Program, where students pursue faculty-mentored scholarly work based on personal interests, is mandatory for all students. 

Additionally, the Educators-4-CARE initiative trains students to be sympathetic healthcare providers and pairs incoming medical students with a faculty mentor. 

The adaptable and recently updated M.D. Discovery Curriculum at Stanford Medicine uses a "flipped-classroom" approach to teaching students, relocating lectures online to study at their own pace and utilizing classroom time for experiential, immersive, and simulation-based learning.

Blocks of unscheduled time are designed into the curriculum to guarantee that students can learn quickly and pursue their academic interests. This allows them to study, work with peers, take elective courses, or do research. It is important to note that the school provides a variety of learning pathways so that students can customize their curriculum.

Stanford Medical School, a leader in immersive and simulation-based learning, makes sure that knowledge is transferred outside the classroom and into practical experience. The simulation centers at Stanford Medical School can simulate clinical settings thanks to their computerized mannequins and faculty-run control rooms.

Programs Offered at Stanford University Medical School

Stanford Medical School offers a variety of degree specialization options to its students. Do you want to pursue a career in public health and policy? Think about the MD/MPP combined degree. Would you like to work in the administration of healthcare? Consider the MD/MBA joint program. 

Whatever your professional goals, Stanford's programs allow students to tailor their learning. Here is a list of the programs offered at Stanford Medical School:

Doctor of Medicine

Students who enroll in Stanford's MD Discovery Curriculum can finish their pre-clerkship coursework in two or three years. Students have more freedom to pursue and research many areas of the medical field.

The MD program strongly emphasizes interdisciplinary learning, integrating clinical education and fundamental science throughout the curriculum. Clinical clerkships might start in May of the second year for students.

Doctor of Medicine / Ph.D.

Students who enroll in this dual program will be prepared for careers in academic investigative medicine. The curriculum for the combined training is the same as for each program. However, Stanford's MD/Ph.D. program will take less time to finish than each degree separately.

The program typically takes seven to eight years to complete. Students may apply for this dual program at the same time they apply for the MD program, along with current MD students. More application materials will be requested from applicants.

MD/Berg Scholars Program

To address students' declining enthusiasm for a profession as a physician-scientist, Stanford developed a new training approach. With the new MD/Berg Scholars Program, the training duration for physician-scientists is shortened to six years without sacrificing the standard of their education.

The sixth year combines an MD with an MS in Biomedical Investigation degree. At the same time, medical instruction is coupled with lab or informatics-based training. By placing students in research groups led by top faculty members, this program focuses on the individual career development of MD-only physician-scientists. In 4-6 years, students earn their entire funding.

MD/Master of Business Administration

This five-year combined program combines business and medical education. At the time of enrollment in the MD program or after that, applicants must be accepted into the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

MD/Master of Public Health

Stanford offers its students the opportunity to pursue MD and Master of Public Health degrees with the University of California - Berkeley. All MD students enrolled in the Scholarly Concentration Community Health program are eligible for this dual degree. All courses are completed on the UC Berkeley campus, and students must apply to UC Berkeley.

Ph.D./Master of Science in Medicine

With the help of this combined curriculum, Stanford Ph.D. students will be better prepared to conduct translational research and use recent scientific findings to advance medical care.

For the Master of Science in Medicine program, prospective and existing Stanford Ph.D. candidates may apply. Students committed to research but not interested in becoming medics should choose this option.

MD/Master of Science 

Students can combine their MD program with Master of Science programs in Biomechanical Engineering, Health Policy, Epidemiology, and Biomedical Informatics.

MD/Master of Public Policy 

Students may apply for a combination MD/MPP (Master of Public Policy) degree after completing the first year of the MD program. They must request authorization from the School of Medicine to accomplish it. Two years of uninterrupted study are required for the MD program, followed by one year of continuous research for the MPP curriculum.

MD/Doctor of Jurisprudence 

A dual degree in law and medicine is not for the weak of the heart. Although seven years of study can be condensed into six using overlapping classes, both curricula are challenging.

After completing this integrated degree, students will thoroughly understand medicine, law, and biosciences, credibility in all three professions, and a wealth of employment options. Students interested in careers in health law, health policy, biotechnology, or bioethics may find this curriculum particularly helpful.

The MD and JD programs must be applied for and accepted separately. Following admission, a schedule is developed by both institutions to make the combined program work for the student.

How to Get into Stanford University Medical School

Stanford is pleased with the new MD Discovery Curriculum it has created. Students pursuing MDs can now finish their programs at a speed more suited to them because of this new medical education method.

Depending on the student's option, Stanford allows students to finish all pre-clerkship requirements in two or three years. 

If you are interested in pursuing your medical journey with this approach, listed below is everything you need to know to get into Stanford Medical School.

Stanford University Medical School Acceptance Rate

It is not surprising that Stanford's acceptance rate is low, given that it is one of the best medical schools in the nation. The acceptance rate at Stanford Medical School was 2.2% during a recent admissions cycle. 

Despite the low number, do not give up. A top-notch, well-written application always increases your chances of being accepted.

Stanford University Medical School Coursework Requirements 

Although there are recommendations, Stanford Medical School has no academic requirements. It is worthwhile to take these suggested courses if you want to be a more competitive applicant.

According to Stanford, students should have a solid foundation in the following subjects:

  • 2 years of Chemistry with lab
  • 1 year of Biology with lab
  • 1 year of Physics with lab
  • Lab or field experiments in mathematics
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Communication
  • Speaking a foreign language fluently is highly advised.

Stanford University Medical School GPA Statistics

While a solid academic record is required for admission to Stanford, the school's GPA standards are on par with those of other renowned Ivy League institutions. No minimum GPA or MCAT test score must be admitted to Stanford because of its all-encompassing philosophy.

Additionally, no number of AP or honors courses must be completed to be admitted to Stanford. This does not negate the significance of your academic performance, either. Stanford will review your high school transcript to determine your academic standing and whether you are college ready. 

However, Stanford Medical School's average GPA in 2023 was 3.83. Thus, getting into Stanford will probably need you to be at the top of your class.

Stanford University Medical School MCAT Statistics  

Stanford keeps its class profile information under wraps. Although no information is available, the median MCAT score for Stanford Medical School is 520

Do not let your lesser score discourage you if it is lower than this. Thanks to Stanford's holistic admissions process, you can still highlight your abilities in other areas of your application. However, an MCAT score above 520 makes you a desirable candidate.

Stanford University Medical School Tuition and Scholarships

Stanford Medical School's quarterly tuition for the 2022–2023 academic year is USD 21,249. However, students who participate in research may be eligible for a tuition discount.

Stanford suggests an overall budget of USD 137,888 for on-campus living and USD 145,468 for off-campus living, considering living expenses and other fees (books, supplies, health insurance, etc.).

Stanford provides need-based institutional aid and need-based Stanford Loans, most of which have 0% interest while students are in school or residency, even though these fees are considerable. Additional grants, federal loans, and outside financial sources are also accessible.

More than two-thirds of Stanford medical students in previous years have been eligible for financial aid. The class of 2019 had a median student debt of USD 89,000, significantly lower than the national average (USD 200,000)

Additionally, Stanford received a USD 90 million gift in 2020 that will be used over the following 10 years to improve financial aid for students who have shown a need. As a result, you may anticipate that future classes will get even more substantial financial aid amounts.

Stanford University Medical School Application Timeline

The following dates and deadlines must be observed to submit an AMCAS application to Stanford Medical School:

  • May 2, 2023: AMCAS application starts
  • May 30, 2023: AMCAS application must be submitted 
  • July 2023 - October 2023: AMCAS applications are transmitted to Stanford, and Stanford secondary application invitations are sent
  • August 2023 - January 2024: Applications are reviewed, and interview invitations are sent
  • October 2, 2023: AMCAS application due date
  • October 23, 2023: Secondary application due date
  • January 2024 - March 2024: Offers of admissions are sent

This application timeline may vary from year to year. To make sure, visit the Stanford Medical School Application Overview. 

Stanford University Medical School Extracurricular Activities 

Extracurricular activities demonstrate your interest in the social and practical facets of the medical field and your understanding of what it entails. But keep in mind that quality will always win out over quantity. Try to concentrate rather than dividing your time between numerous activities.

For instance, spending a few hours volunteering at the ER each week is excellent. Still, Stanford Medical School might not be impressed. Your extracurricular activities need to demonstrate initiative and a commitment to helping people.

Here are a few extracurricular activities for you to consider:


Stanford is a renowned research university that seeks applicants who can compete once they arrive on campus. They support individual study projects and seek out pupils with enthusiasm and interest. Students can participate in clinical studies for different diseases and COVID-19 research. 

You can participate in undergraduate summer research programs or contact academics at your school to learn more about opportunities as you prepare for Stanford's research-intensive program. Many study abroad programs offer research opportunities if you consider taking a gap year. 

The kind of research that best impresses the admissions committee is that which has been done for genuine reasons rather than merely to spruce up an application. You benefit more from research that you are excited about and want to continue than from activities that you only participate in to seem reasonable on paper.

Patient Exposure

Learning how to interact effectively with patients in a classroom is impossible. In the medical profession, relating to patients and offering them information, solace, and compassion is advantageous. Because Stanford students have early clinical exposure, they must be ready for patient encounters. 

There are various ways to get patient experience, including medical shadowing, working as a scribe, and hospital volunteer work. Patient-centered experiences show that you are knowledgeable about the medical field and can develop and maintain a professional yet trustworthy rapport with patients.

Leadership Experience

Stanford is seeking students who can think critically and independently. To generate graduates who will be leaders in the medical industry, they want to admit students who can succeed. You may have had leadership experience through involvement in the student government during your undergraduate studies or by organizing a fundraiser.

Experience in leadership demonstrates your ability to take the initiative to effect change, giving you an advantage during the selection process.

Stanford University Medical School Essays

All candidates for medical school must submit a personal statement to AMCAS. This essay is "an opportunity to stand out from other applicants," according to the AAMC. Your personal goals and passion for medicine should be expressed in your personal statement.

Secondary prompts are included in the Stanford application's supplemental section. Students who qualify receive secondary applications from Stanford after submitting their primary applications. These questions tend to be general and go deeper into:

  • Your desired careers
  • Passions
  • Experiences
  • Justifications for choosing a particular medical school

Stanford Medical School is looking for applicants that are knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled communicators.

Stanford University Medical School Interviews 

2011 Stanford adopted the Multiple Mini Interview, or MMI, approach. There is no way to memorize answers or anticipate which specific questions will be presented because this format assesses your critical thinking and decision-making abilities rather than your medical or scientific knowledge.

In other words, while it will be necessary for your essays, being well-versed in Stanford Medicine and its departments will not necessarily be helpful as you move from station to station in your MMI. Even still, bring your passion to the interview because you could get the chance to share it when there is some downtime.

MD and MSTP (MD/Ph.D.) interviews occur independently over two days. The Program Director will be present at your MSTP interview to review the Stanford program's unique features and facets. A formal consultation will also be conducted with instructors and advanced MSTP students.

On the day of your interview, MSTP students will arrange for you to have a casual dinner and lunch. Although this is optional, it might give you a laid-back opportunity to meet and converse with potential classmates.

The 2023–2024 application cycle will feature virtual interviews.

Stanford University Medical School Recommendation Letter 

Committee Letter, Letter Packet, and Individual Letter are the three types of recommendation letters that Stanford will accept. Stanford requires a minimum of three distinct letters of recommendation. The most letters that will be received is six. 

Each letter of recommendation must be prepared on business letterhead and have the author's or committee's signature. Although committee letters are not required, only the individual letters will be counted when determining the total number of recommendations if they are submitted.

Independent recommendations cannot be replaced by a committee letter alone. The criteria are unmet if you submit a letter bundle, including a committee letter and two individual letters of reference.

All letters of recommendation will be turned in through the online application process. Your writers' names, contact details, and email addresses must be submitted. Instructions on how to continue are sent to recommenders through email.

Summary Table: How to Get into Stanford Medical School

Stanford Medical School

Application System 


Acceptance Rate


Average GPA


Average MCAT Score



USD 21,249 / quarter

Total Cost of Attendance

USD 145,468

Availability of Funding and Scholarships 


Additional FAQs – How to Get into Stanford University Medical School

Is It Hard to Get into Stanford Medical School?

According to admissions data, the admittance rate at Stanford Medical School is merely 2.2%. This implies that getting into Stanford is difficult. However, it does not mean that it is impossible.

How Do I Increase My Chance of Getting Admitted to Stanford Medical School?

The ideal method to get ready for an application is to start early in your academic career, giving yourself plenty of time to complete research objectives, gain publication, and fulfill other prerequisites.

To broaden your clinical exposure and develop your cultural competency, think about completing a pre-medical internship abroad. While having a top MCAT score and a flawless GPA can help you, remember that having a distinctive history that will add variety may also be a key consideration.

Even though there are many obstacles, people who desire to attend Stanford Medical School should make an effort.

What Undergraduate Degree Do I Need to Get into Stanford Medical School?

Stanford's MD program accepts applicants from a variety of academic fields. Your bachelor's degree needs not to be in a scientific area. 

However, online degrees will not be considered when evaluating applications.

Can I Submit My Letters of Recommendation After I Have Applied?

The submission deadline is definitive. The required letters must be received before an application is considered complete. If the AMCAS application requests more than three letters, at least three must be sent by the deadline.

Additionally, the application will be deemed incomplete. It may be withdrawn from consideration if the required minimum of three letters is not met.

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

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