Due to the fierce competition to get into medical school and the low acceptance rates, most premeds apply to about 15 programs. For 2016-2017, AAMC reports an average of 16 applications per applicant! In more competitive states such as New York and California, students may want to apply to more than 20. Learn how to build your med school application list with target schools you'd be happy to attend.

medical school application list

Med School Acceptance Rates

In 2016–2017, 22,031 applicants were accepted to allopathic (MD) medical schools out of the 53,042 who applied, for an overall acceptance rate of 41%. You can find acceptance rates for particular schools you are considering in our medical school profiles.

Building Your Med School Application List

Our med school admissions experts typically advise pre-med students to send applications in the following ratio:

Reach SchoolsTarget SchoolsSafety Schools
What is it Your GPA and MCAT scores are below the average range for accepted students. Admission is possible, but it’s a long shot. Your GPA and MCAT scores are within or above the average range for accepted students. You are a competitive applicant, and have a fair chance of admission. When it comes to med school, there are no safety schools. Your GPA and MCAT scores may be well above the average range, but there are no guarantees!
# of applications 25% 50% 25%

Is a Med School Likely or a Long Shot?

Start looking at each med program’s admissions criteria in detail, and call or email them if you have any questions. Do you have the right grades, MCAT scores, experience, recommendations, and course selection to be accepted to this school?

Admissions requirements and committee preferences vary by institution. In some cases, your experience will not be well suited for a particular school. For example, most medical schools will rely on AMCAS calculations for GPA, considering your performance in all college-level coursework in their computation. Some med programs will make their own adjustments to these numbers, ignoring or weighting differently graduate work and even post-baccalaureate work when calculating a student’s medical school application GPA.

Of course, it’s not only about where you can get in! Learn more about finding the medical schools that fit YOU best.  

What if my MCAT scores or GPA aren't in range for my target schools?

If your GPA or MCAT score aren’t where they need to be, address it! Make a smart MCAT prep plan  and retake the exam. Consider completing additional grad school work to raise your GPA and take advantage of our online tutors for pre-medrequirements ! Take the time you need to build your strongest application.

Want to get an edge over the crowd?

Our admissions experts know what it takes it get into med school. Get the customized strategy and guidance you need to help achieve your goals.

Med School Admission Counseling