How Your Undergrad School Affects Med School Chances

Med schools will consider where you attended undergraduate college. However, it may not be as important as you think.

What is more important is your undergrad school’s commitment to preparing students for med school. Many undergrad schools are affiliated with a med school and a hospital, which can create more opportunities for students.

Learn how MCAT tutors can help you improve your chances of acceptance into a top med school. 

Being affiliated with a hospital can help undergrad students gain clinical experience. At these schools, you can easily find research opportunities in labs or even internships with the affiliated hospitals. You will have access to more resources that could enhance your med school application.

Some undergrad schools are also affiliated with a post-grad med school. You will still have to apply for the med school; however, you will earn some legacy by attending the affiliated undergrad. Some schools may even hold seats for students from their respective undergrad. For example, Brown University’s med school may admit 100 students and save 50 seats for students from Brown undergrad.

If you just ask around with your professors, you may get an early meeting with a med school admissions counselor. You can ask him/her what you need to do to get accepted. You may even be able to meet with professors in the med school and shake a few hands. Make sure to get help with your hardest courses: an organic chemistry tutor could be the difference between a "C" and an "A". 

We’ll just put it this way: if the med school already knows your name, then you have a better chance of being accepted.

Some undergrad schools boast high med school acceptance rates, but don’t be fooled by these figures. Some schools state 90% of their undergrad students are accepted into med schools. However, that does not mean you have a 90% chance of getting into a med school if you attend.

These schools will “weed out” pre-med freshmen; so they can maintain a high med school acceptance rate. Some of these schools may even advise students not to apply for med school if they have borderline credentials – again so they can keep their high acceptance rate.

Although enrolling in a “pre-med” program is the quickest route to attending med school, it is not the only one. If you are one of those unfortunate students who was weeded out from a pre-med program, all is not lost. You can carve out your own curriculum, maintain a 3.5+ GPA, complete a research project, earn a clinical internship and study your way to a 30+ on the MCAT. That would make you competitive at most med schools.

In terms of curriculum, med schools require at least one year of the following classes:

  • General biology
  • Physics with lab
  • General chemistry (inorganic chemistry) with lab
  • Organic chemistry with lab
  • Calculus
  • English

The internships, experience and test scores you earn are much more important than the name of the school on your undergrad diploma. As long as the med school has heard of your college, your other credentials should be able to speak for your potential.