Top 5 Colleges for Pre-Medical Students

By Stacy Zeiger , last updated January 10, 2012

The top 5 schools for pre-med majors are those institutions that can provide students with the knowledge and skills they will need to attend medical school or obtain employment in another field in the medical profession. Schools with quality pre-med programs typically have quality medical schools attached to them and allow students to see the top-notch medical facilities as part of their education.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania’s College of Arts and Sciences offers a pre-medicine program for students interested in attending medical school. Students choose to major in any discipline at Penn, but must also take a pre-medical set of courses along with those of their chosen discipline. Those who focus on pre-health majors work with acclaimed professors and also engage in coursework in conjunction with the university’s Perelman School of Medicine, which has provided award-winning medical instruction and care since 1765. While the national average for getting accepted to medical school is around 45 percent, students who prepare for medical with one of Penn’s undergraduate programs have an 84 percent acceptance rate. The school prepares students for medical school admission through career services programs that help them study for the MCAT and apply for medical school.

Harvard University

While students may choose any major at Harvard as a pre-med students, Harvard University provides an outline of courses that fulfill most medical school requirements. For those not choosing to major in a scientific field, Harvard also provides a list of sample course sequences to ensure that students take the right courses before graduation. Harvard’s Pre-medical Society supports undergraduate students who plan to attend medical school with special events, discussion panels, medical school visits and overviews, and MCAT preparation courses. Through the Pre-medical Society, students may participate in volunteer programs and other hands-on activities related to a career in medicine to determine whether or not it truly is the right choice for them. Students who choose not to join Harvard’s Pre-medical Society may participate in Harvard’s premedical and health services counseling programs beginning as a freshman or premedical advising programs during the junior or senior year.

University of Chicago

At the University of Chicago, the Pre-med Advising Office provides students with the necessary requirements for becoming a pre-med student. While taking pre-med coursework, students have opportunities to connect with faculty from the university’s Pritzker School of Medicine, receive pre-med advising and take courses to help prepare for the MCAT and apply to medical school. The Pre-medical Students Association at the University of Chicago connects students with the resources necessary for a successful education as a pre-medical student, including advising, discounts on MCAT preparation courses, lectures and volunteer opportunities.

Brown University

Brown University offers a Health Careers Advising department which provides students with the course requirements and other information to help them prepare to attend medical school. The Career Lab at Brown maintains a database of internship and volunteer activities for students who want to gain experience in the medical field before applying to medical school. In 2009, the percent of pre-med Brown students accepted into medical school was nearly double the national average, with 81 percent of students gaining acceptance to medical schools at universities such as Tufts, NYU, Columbia University and University of Pennsylvania. Brown hosts a variety of workshops and information sessions on choosing a medical school, preparing for the MCAT and providing an overview of course requirements. Peer advising is also available through the Health Careers Advising Office.

Stanford University

Stanford’s Pre-medical Association provides students with all of the resources needed to be a successful pre-medical student at the university. Through the association, students will learn about course requirements and other aspects of focusing on pre-medicine while at Stanford. The association also provides students with clinical experience and research opportunities to enhance their education and build their application to medical school. Advisors to pre-med students include the Dean of Admissions for Stanford’s School of Medicine and other medical school faculty.

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