Best Medical Universities in the USA

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Top Medical Schools in the USA: Programs, Entry Requirements, and Tuition Fees

The United States of America has continuously emerged as the top destination for international students who wish to study medicine. The country is home to over a million international students from different countries.  Studying in the USA will introduce you to the huge international student community the country carries. Over 600 universities in the USA feature in the QS world ranking for medicine.

Best Medical colleges and universities in the USA provide holistic medical education to their students with quality research and world-class equipment. Only postgraduate degrees in medicine and pharmacy are available in the United States. Students interested in studying medicine must first obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree. To put it another way, students must earn enough credits in foundation topics like biology and organic chemistry.

Healthcare jobs are ranked number 1 on the list of the highest paying jobs in the United States. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in healthcare occupations is expected to grow by 15% between 2019 and 2029, creating approximately 2.4 million new jobs. 

Why study Medicine in the USA?

  • The medical program in the United States is one of the most difficult in the world, and as a result, it is widely recognized.
  • The United States is home to some of the world’s best medical schools. The best facilities and professors are found in medical universities in the United States. They also have a thriving campus life that includes a variety of extracurricular activities.
  • Many of the best medical schools in the United States concentrate on advanced research in many sectors of medicine. Students with a strong interest in research are encouraged to pursue a career as a medical research scholars.
  • It would be simpler for a student to return to India for practice after graduation. A medical degree from the United States is highly recognized in India, and MCI recognizes medical degrees from the United States.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for nurses and doctors/physicians is expected to grow by 15% by 2029. This is a great time to get into the medical profession.

MD in the USA

The United States does not offer any undergraduate programs in medicine. Students interested in studying medicine must first obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree. Students must earn enough credits in foundation topics like biology and organic chemistry. A general Bachelor of Science degree with biology, chemistry, or physics majors would be acceptable. Bachelor in Science is also considered a premedical course for students.

Upon completion of their undergraduate degrees, students can choose to pursue a postgraduate course in the USA. Most medical institutions and universities in the United States offer MD, or Doctor of Medicine. MD is a four-year medical degree in the United States that is comparable to MBBS in India and is internationally recognized.

MD degree in the USA is internationally accepted and accredited, and here are the major medical council across the globe accepting this degree:

  • Medical Council of India (MCI)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)
  • The Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER)
  • Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)
  • Ministry of Education, USA

Best Medical universities and Programs in the USA

The United Nations boats over 600 universities ranked in the top universities for medicine in the USA. These are the world’s most prestigious and oldest universities. The average annual tuition fees for studying medicine in the USA come to about USD 45,000 to USD 60,000. 

QS RankingUniversityProgram NameProgram Duration
1Harvard UniversityDoctor of Medicine (MD)5 years
1Harvard UniversityMaster of Bioethics (MBE)2 years
3Stanford UniversityDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
3Stanford UniversityMS in Epidemiology & Clinical Research2 years
5Johns Hopkins UniversityDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
6University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)Doctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
9Yale UniversityDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
11Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)Doctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
13University of California, San FranciscoDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
14Columbia UniversityDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
15University of PennsylvaniaDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
17Duke UniversityDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
19University of WashingtonDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
22University of California, San Diego (UCSD)Doctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
24University of Michigan-Ann ArborDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
31University of ChicagoDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
33New York University (NYU)Doctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
34Cornell UniversityDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
40Washington University in St. LouisDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
46Baylor College of MedicineDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
46Northwestern UniversityDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years
56Emory UniversityDoctor of Medicine (MD)4 years

Apart from the MD degree which is the most popular, students can choose different specialisations in the healthcare space. 

  • Master of Bioethics
  • Master in Clinical Service Operations
  • Master of Biomedical Informatics
  • Master of Healthcare Quality and Safety
  • Master of Science in Media, Medicine, and Health
  • Master of Medical Sciences in Clinical Investigation
  • Master of Medical Sciences in Global Health Delivery
  • Master of Medical Sciences in Immunology
  • Master of Medical Sciences in Medical Education

Top 5 medical schools in the USA

Harvard Medical School, Harvard University

Since 1782, one of America’s most prominent medical institutions has been educating doctors and medical professionals. Harvard Medical School (HMS) has an illustrious history of achievement, with 10 Nobel Prizes and 16 recipients in the categories of Medicine or Physiology, Peace.

Harvard Medical School, which has a faculty of over 11,000 people, offers physician education and training, as well as research Ph.D., master’s, and postgraduate programs.

Genetics, immunology, stem cell regenerative biology, neurology, and other medical domains all have research potential. Some of the nation’s most prestigious centers, including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have clinical and research affiliations.

The average tuition fee for the MD program at Harvard medical school is USD 67,610 annually. 

Stanford Medicine, Stanford University

Stanford University has currently seven Nobel Laureates on its faculty, as well as significant membership in the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine. Stanford medical research boasts the largest NIH funding per researcher in the country mostly because of its libraries and affiliate institutions. 

Stanford takes into account 15 Core Competencies in four areas: Science, Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, and Thinking and Reasoning to determine admission to Stanford medicine. The annual tuition fees for the MD program at Stanford costs 63,747.

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (JHSM) operates six academic and community hospitals. Graduate Medical Education at the medical school includes residencies and fellowships in a variety of clinical fields. The Medical School values diversity and has established an Office of Medical Student Diversity.

JHSM has a strong research commitment, with 902 research laboratories and over 2,200 patents held by alumni and professors. Brain research, biomedical sciences, genetics, cell engineering, and other fields are investigated by JHMS-related institutes.

The annual tuition fees for the MD program at JHMS costs 58,000.

David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, which was established in 1947, is a relatively new program, yet it has had a substantial national and global impact on the field of medicine through training and research.

Faculty researchers work on trials in a variety of fields, including genetic illnesses, endocrine/metabolic diseases, cancer, infectious disease, pediatrics, and genetic diseases, among others. Students are encouraged to participate in research, and the college offers numerous financing options.

The four-year MD program at UCLA costs about USD 40,683 annually. 

Yale School of Medicine, Yale University

Yale University’s School of Medicine, located in New Haven, Connecticut, is a pioneer in medical research and treatment approaches.

The institution follows the “Yale System of Medical Education,” which emphasizes no grades or rankings in the first two years, minimal exams, and the fostering of autonomous research. Yale University offers a variety of medical degrees, as well as Ph.D. and master’s programs. With approximately 380,000 volumes, Yale’s medical library is often regarded as the best in the world.

The annual tuition fee for the MD program at Yale is USD 42,120.

Cost of studying medicine in the USA 

The average tuition fee for studying medicine in the USA is about USD 45,000 to 60,000 per annum. Most of the MD programs in the USA are four-year programs but certain universities like Harvard University offer five-year MD programs. There are several scholarships available for medical students in the USA to help share the financial burden. 

UniversityAnnual tuition Fees in USD
Harvard University67,610
Stanford University63,747
Johns Hopkins University58,000
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)40,683
Yale University42,120
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)57,590
University of California, San Francisco44,424
Columbia University61,146
University of Pennsylvania61,856
Duke University63,310
University of Washington66,753
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)41,780
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor62,538
University of Chicago57,681
New York University (NYU)60,090
Cornell University64,500

Admission Requirements for Medicine in the USA

Here are the general med school requirements for the US:

  • High school diploma with English and Biology 
  • Undergraduate degree in the field of Sciences (3-4 years)
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or 3.5 depending on the university
  • Good TOEFL language scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Minimum MCAT exam result (set by each university individually, usually over 500)

Some American med schools have additional requirements, like completing premedical courses, such as:

  • College Biology with laboratory, one year
  • General college Chemistry with laboratory, one year
  • Biology, Chemistry – minimum of 24 semester hours in areas of Humanities
  • Mathematics (Calculus and/or Statistics, one year (6-8 semester hours)
  • General college Physics with laboratory, one year (8 semester hours)

What is MCAT?

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) devised the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which is a multiple-choice exam. Almost all medical schools in the United States require MCAT exam scores as part of the university application process.

The MCAT exam is divided into four sections and takes about seven and a half hours to complete:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behaviour
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills


Frequently Asked Questions

The average duration of the MD in the USA is four years. It is to b pursued after a four-year undergraduate program.

The USA only offers an MD – Doctor of Medicine degree to its postgraduate students which is equivalent to the MBBS degree in India.

Yes, all students need to take the MCAT exam to pursue MD in the USA.