Selection of Schools
The following information will be helpful for you to consider before you speak with the health professions advisor to finalize your list.
- Typically, most of our candidates for M.D. programs apply to 15-20 schools, and candidates for D.O. programs apply to 4-8. Give careful thought to your list of schools, being sure to include both “long shots” and schools for which you think you are a realistic candidate. There are really no “safety” medical schools, but obviously some are significantly more competitive than others.
- Your legal residence will influence your selection of allopathic schools. For many candidates, their state school(s) will be their "best bet(s)" for acceptance. If you are from a state such as California or Massachusetts, however, you will want to be sure to include some less competitive schools on your list. Most candidates apply to quite a few private schools that pay little attention to residency. The AAMC publication Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) indicates the success of in-state versus out-of-state applicants for each school.
- When reviewing the information in MSAR, you must realize that admissions committees are aware of the rigor of our curriculum. If the average grade point average for matriculants of a particular school is 3.6 and your GPA is 3.4, this would be a reasonable school to consider. If, however, your GPA is 3.2, you are not likely to gain the attention of that school. (Unless they have completed some additional subsequent coursework, applicants to allopathic programs with GPAs below 3.3 have met with very limited success in recent years due to the highly competitive nature of the admissions picture.)
- Factors such as size of the student body, number and type of patient contacts available, general philosophy of education, geographic location, student support services, stated mission of the school, sources of financial aid and opportunities for graduate programs and/or research must be considered in choosing your group of schools. You can find links to the websites of the allopathic medical schools plus the AAMC Curriculum Directory at www.aamc.org. Links to the colleges of osteopathic medicine are at www.aacom.org.
- You should also consider your specific interests and needs and the way in which they will affect your medical school application. It is a wise investment of time to make a careful decision about where to apply.