Harvard University

Application fee: $100
Full-time tuition fee: $64,984

In the years since Harvard Medical School was founded in 1782, HMS has continued to innovate and influence medical education. Students today are divided into five academic societies, which offer mentoring and advising and enable team-based learning under faculty supervision. Students interested in a biomedical research career can apply to the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program.


Following the annual White Coat Ceremony for the entering class, most HMS students pursue the Pathways program, in which they study core scientific concepts and build clinical skills early before beginning principal clinical experiences in the second year. In preclerkship courses, there are no traditional letter grades – students are graded either satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Students study at the medical school campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, and can complete clinicals at affiliated institutions throughout the city. Medical students may also opt for joint degrees, like an M.D./Ph.D. and M.D./MBA, and can cross-register in courses at other schools within the university, including the highly ranked Law School and Business School.

New York University

Application fee: $110

The NYU School of Medicine is located in the Langone Medical Center on the east side of Manhattan, overlooking the East River. Students in the NYU School of Medicine can earn M.D.’s, Ph.D.’s, or both via a dual degree program. Particularly highly ranked programs in the NYU School of Medicine include those focused on drug and alcohol abuse and on AIDS.

NYU med students who want to delve deeper into the field can check out the School of Medicine Honors Program, which involves a minimum of 18 weeks of approved scientific research and a thesis. Other academic opportunities include the International Health Program, through which NYU School of Medicine students travel abroad and partake in research, public health initiatives, or clinical education initiatives. 

Duke University

Application fee: $100
Full-time tuition fee: $61,170

Duke University confers degrees through various schools, such as: the Fuqua School of Business, the School of Law, the School of Medicine, the Pratt School of Engineering, and the School of Nursing.

A total of around 15,000 students attend Duke, with the majority of them being postgraduates. There is an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which personalizes the learning experience. 

Columbia University

Application fee: $110   
Full-time tuition fee:
$64,868

With an undergraduate acceptance rate of 5.8 percent, Columbia is currently the third most selective college in the United States and the second most selective in the Ivy League after Harvard. It also had global research outposts across the world. Its total student body numbers around 28,000 and is comprised mainly of postgraduates, with roughly 8,500 undergraduate students. 

Stanford University

Application fee: $100   
Full-time tuition fee:
$62,193

Covering 8,180 acres, Stanford has one of the largest university campuses in the US, with 18 interdisciplinary research institutes and seven schools: the Graduate School of Business; School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; Graduate School of Education; School of Engineering; School of Humanities and Sciences; Law School; and School of Medicine. 

Nicknamed “The Farm” from the days when horses roamed there, Stanford’s campus is now a thriving community of more than 11,000 creative and accomplished people from around the world. Nearly all undergraduate and 60 percent of graduate students live on campus, so it is hardly surprising that student life is rich and diverse, with over 625 organized student groups. 

University of California-San Francisco

Application fee: $80
Full-time tuition fee:
  $36,342 (in-state); $48,587 (out-of-state)

In recent years, scientific and bioengineering advances, Nobel prizes, an entirely new biotechnology industry, health policy research, oncogenes, prions, and the AIDS epidemic have placed University of California – San Francisco in the forefront of the development of modern American biomedicine and medical education. Yet the school’s long tradition reaches back to the very beginnings of the city of San Francisco in the Gold Rush days, and that society laid the foundations for the academic medical center that we know today. To reconnect this complex institution with its lively past, we have designed and written this narrative history, drawing upon the rich historical materials in UCSF’s institutional archives and the work of the UCSF Campus Oral History Program.

John Hopkins University

Application fee: $100
Full-time tuition fee:
  $56,500

Students at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine learn through the Genes to Society Curriculum, which pairs academics with concurrent clinical experience. Every few months, classes break for intersessions, which are weeklong special courses focused on simulation and advanced skills. All students are divided into one of four colleges – Nathans, Sabin, Taussig or Thomas. This is meant to foster a community feel among students from all four years of medical training. Each college has advisers to guide students through medical school courses, research participation and career selection. The colleges host an annual Colleges Bowl – a day of kickball, races and tug-of-war competitions.

Students may earn a traditional M.D., a Ph.D. or both in about eight years. There are dual degree programs for an M.D./Master of Public Health and an M.D./MBA through other university departments. The school receives a large amount of research funding from the National Institutes of Health, among other organizations, and runs leading research centers including the Brain Science Institute and the Institute of Genetic Medicine.

Johns Hopkins Medicine includes the highly ranked Johns Hopkins Hospital, which is especially well-known for housing the only pediatric and eye trauma centers in Maryland. The medical campus is in Baltimore, and students may live on campus in an apartment building two blocks from the school. Students may get involved in more than 80 groups, some of which coordinate community service projects throughout Baltimore.

University of Washington

Application fee: $35
Full-time tuition fee:
  $37,760 (in-state); $69,186 (out-of-state)

Entering students at the University of Washington School of Medicine are divided into six colleges: Rainier, Wind River, Denali, Big Ski, Snake River, and Columbia River, all named after natural wonders. Each college has its own mentors who counsel students throughout their four years in medical school. Students can earn an M.D. or a Ph.D., and about 10 students a year can earn both through the Medical Scientist Training Program.

Through the WWMAI program, a partnership between the School of Medicine and nearby states, students complete several six-week clerkships in Washington, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, and Idaho. Students can also demonstrate expertise in the region and present research work at the Western Student Medical Research Forum. UW medical students can get involved in service-learning projects like CHAP, the Community Health Advancement Program, and SPARX, Student Providers Aspiring to Rural and Underserved Experience. There are also about 50 student organizations to check out, from the MD Minstrels to the Christian Medical & Dental Association.

The UW Medicine system also includes the highly ranked University of Washington Medical CenterHarborview Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, and Airlift Northwest, an in-air medical services program. Graduate students receive priority for university-owned apartments, and medical students can also look to plenty of off-campus housing options throughout Seattle.

University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)

Application fee: $100
Full-time tuition fee:
  $56,910

The University of Pennsylvania was home to the first medical school and first school hospital in the country. Today, the School of Medicine is affiliated with the Hospital of the University of PennsylvaniaPenn Presbyterian Medical Center, and Pennsylvania Hospital.

Students can earn M.D., Ph.D., M.D.-Ph.D., master’s, M.D.-master’s, or post-doctoral degrees. Students can double up on degrees at any other school at Penn, such as the highly ranked Wharton School. There are also certificate programs in areas like Global Health, Women’s Health, and Aging.

Medical students learn through a course of six different modules, often in small groups that stress effective leadership and teamwork for physicians. Students can get hands-on experience in simulation facilities like the Flyers/76ers Surgery Theatre or can get involved in more than 50 centers and institutes. Penn Medicine faculty and students are often active throughout the Philadelphia community, too, running free health clinics, AIDS awareness programs, and more.

There are close to 100 student organizations to check out, from Penn Med SALSA to the Prison Health Interest Group. The school offers various global health opportunities, including a Spanish language immersion program in Mexico and South America. Students can live on the Penn campus in University City or can find off-campus housing throughout Philadelphia.

Notable alumni of the Penn School of Medicine include two Nobel Prize winners, Michael Stuart Brown and Stanley Prusiner, and George McClellan, the founder of Jefferson Medical College, now known as Thomas Jefferson University.

Historical building and Yale university campus in downtown New Haven CT, USA

Yale University

Application fee: $100
Full-time tuition fee:
  $56,910

At the Yale School of Medicine, students are not given grades or a class rank for the first two years of education. To encourage students to take responsibility for their medical school education, preclinical classes are often small seminars in which attendance isn’t taken and tests are optional and self-directed.

Students can earn two degrees through joint programs like the M.D./M.P.H. (Master of Public Health) and M.D./M.H.S. (Master of Health Science); an M.D./M.B.A. through the Yale School of Management; an M.D./M.Div. through Yale Divinity School; and an M.D./J.D. through Yale Law School. There is also an M.D./Ph.D. degree and a Physician Associate program.

The School of Medicine is affiliated with highly ranked institutions including the Yale-New Haven Hospital. All medical students must complete a thesis on original research in order to graduate. For research help, students can go to their personal librarian, a resource assigned at the beginning of a student’s time in medical school to help them navigate through their four years of education. Students can enroll in an optional fifth year of school if they want to do more research or study or work abroad.


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