Applying to the hardest medical schools to get into is a daunting challenge, but it’s not an impossible feat. Getting into the hardest medical schools requires a combination of competitive grades and test scores, meeting the medical school requirements and crafting a truly spectacular medical school application. Getting accepted to the top medical schools requires a great deal of work, patience, perseverance and a bit of good luck. In this blog, we’ll look at the hardest medical schools to get into, whether you should apply to them and tips on how to get accepted!

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9 min read

Hardest Medical Schools to Get Into Hardest DO Schools to Get Into Hardest Canadian Medical Schools to Get Into Should You Apply to the Hardest Medical Schools to Get Into? 7 Top Tips to Get Into the Hardest Medical Schools FAQs

Hardest Medical Schools to Get Into

Here is a list of the top 75 hardest medical schools to get into based on medical school acceptance rates, average GPA and MCAT scores.


Want to see your chances of getting into top medical schools? Try our Medical School Chance Predictor!


Hardest DO Schools to Get Into

Despite their reputation for being some of the easiest medical schools to get into, DO schools can be quite competitive to get into. DO school acceptance rates are generally higher than MD schools, but among DO schools are some of the hardest medical schools to get into.

Hardest DO Schools Based on Acceptance Rate

Hardest DO Schools Based on GPA

Hardest DO Schools Based on MCAT

Hardest Canadian Medical Schools to Get Into

Canadian medical schools are among the hardest medical schools to get into in North America, and medical school acceptance rates in Canada are actually lower on average than US schools. One reason for this is because there are fewer Canadian medical schools but still thousands of applicants vying for a spot. Even the easiest medical schools to get into in Canada have competitive acceptance rates.

Hardest Canadian Medical Schools Based on Acceptance Rate

Hardest Canadian Medical Schools Based on GPA

Hardest Canadian Medical Schools Based on MCAT

Here are the medical school acceptance rates you need to know to get accepted:

Should You Apply to the Hardest Medical Schools to Get Into?

Should you apply to these hardest medical schools to get into? Is it worth it? Do you have a chance? The short answer is: it depends. Obviously, these medical schools are not impossible to get into, but it is extremely challenging and your chances of getting in depend on a number of factors.

Your first step in determining your medical school acceptance chances is to use medical school admissions requirements (MSAR) to find out whether you are a competitive enough candidate at your target schools. Ask yourself these 4 critical questions:

  1. Do you meet the medical school GPA requirements?
  2. Is your MCAT score competitive enough?
  3. Do you meet all the other medical school requirements?
  4. Is the medical school right for you? Does it align with your goals and values?

If the answer to these questions is a resounding yes, then you should consider applying, even to some of the hardest medical schools out there to get into. When it comes to deciding how many medical schools to apply to, you should be narrowing down your list based on where you are the best fit, and vice versa which schools are the best fit for you. Don’t dismiss a school just because it makes the list of hardest medical schools; do your research, use MSAR and determine what your realistic chances are. You might surprise yourself!

Some secondary considerations would be the cost of application fees, medical school tuition and opportunities for financial aid. Fortunately, many of the hardest medical schools to get into, being also top institutions, offer comprehensive financial aid programs and funding opportunities. You can also pursue medical school scholarships to help fund your application or even receive merit scholarships if you meet certain criteria.

Lastly, if you’re considering applying to a competitive medical school and you’re not sure where to start or you’re concerned your application isn’t strong enough, consider talking to a medical school admissions consultant. An admissions expert can help you figure out where you stand the best chance of acceptance, and what you need to do to get in. They can also provide feedback on your application materials to make it as strong as possible.

Want to know how to get into medical school WITHOUT perfect stats?

7 Top Tips to Get Into the Hardest Medical Schools

Getting accepted to the hardest medical schools on the list requires a balance of strategy and strengths. Next are our top 7 tips for getting into the toughest medical schools out there.

1. Meet the academic requirements

The hardest medical schools often start with GPA and MCAT scores in the first round of admissions decisions, weeding out any applicants who are below the average accepted scores or don’t meet the minimum require GPA or MCAT scores.

Check with your target schools to see if they have a minimum threshold for acceptance, such as a GPA of 3.0 or above or an MCAT score of 500 or above. Next, take a look at the average accepted scores at these medical schools to see how you compare. For the best chances of acceptance, apply to schools where you scores are as close to the average as possible, or well above.

This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get in with scores slightly below the average, but it does mean your chances are a little less favorable. You can still get into medical school with a low GPA or a low MCAT score with the right strategies.

2. Prepare EARLY for med school admissions

One of the best things you can do is to apply as early as possible. Applying early means the applicant pool will be smaller as most premeds haven’t submitted their applications yet. With many medical schools using rolling admissions, this can give you a chance to secure acceptance before the majority of medical school applications come in. Check out the medical schools that have early decision programs or early acceptance, too.

Starting your medical school application planning well in advance is a smart move, too. It gives you the most amount of time possible to study for the MCAT or retake the MCAT if you choose to do so. It also means you’ll have more time to construct a strong application, secure excellent recommendation letters and check off all the boxes you need to without rushing. Basically, it gives you some flexibility and breathing room when undertaking the huge task of applying to medical school.

3. Target your chosen medical schools

The hardest medical schools to get into are often very selective and they are looking for specific traits in their applicants. MSAR comes in handy once again, as it can inform you about what kind of experiences and attributes will look best on your medical school application for a particular school.

For instance, Stanford Medical School values students with clinical research experience, with 99% of admitted students having some lab or research experience. Around 60% of students admitted to Kaiser Permanente had paid clinical or healthcare experience. Over 90% of Johns Hopkins’ matriculants had shadowing and volunteer healthcare experience.

Research, clinical work and volunteering are all common activities for medical school, and some schools even require a minimum number of clinical hours or volunteer hours for medical school. However, even if these are not hard requirements, it helps to understand a school’s profile and values so you can present yourself as an ideal medical school student at a specific institution.

One of the best ways to secure some of these vital experiences is with premed jobs, which you can find through some of the best companies for premeds.

4. Make your medical school application stand out

From your medical school personal statement to your recommendation letters to your medical school secondary essays, every piece of your medical school application needs to be as strong and stand-out as it can be.

Good grades are not enough to carry you through the next round of admissions, and more than anything your goal is to stand out in a crowd of exemplary applicants. This doesn’t necessarily mean having the most impressive medical school resume or the highest number of volunteer hours. Focus on the quality of your experiences over the quantity. Then, be able to explain exactly how your experiences have grown your passion for medicine, contributed to your preparation for medical school or otherwise had an impact on your life and medical school journey.

For most of your application, you’ll need very strong communication and writing skills to get your points across in a creative and unique way. This is also where skills like medical school personal statement editing or knowing how to choose your AMCAS most meaningful experiences will be important.

Remember to focus on who you are and what you can bring to the medical field, not just what medical schools are looking for. If you have the skills and experience they value, then great! But your primary goal is to show why YOU are the best medical school applicant out there, not just that you tick all the required boxes.

5. Ace your med school interviews

One of the biggest hurdles of medical school acceptance is the multiple mini interview (MMI). Many of the hardest medical schools use MMI to evaluate their top applicants, and acing the MMI is crucial to your success.

Learn all about the MMI format and question categories, try out some MMI practice questions and keep rehearsing with mock medical school interviews. A mock interview is the best way to get familiar and comfortable with the unique MMI format and question types, as well as work on strengthening your interview answers so you can put your best self forward on the day of your interview.

Top medical schools put a lot of emphasis on the MMI and students’ score in the interview, so the interview is truly your last chance to make a great and memorable impression.

6. Be ready for the medical school waitlist

With so many qualified applicants, there is a chance you’ll be placed on a medical school waitlist. This isn’t the same as medical school rejection, but it can feel like there’s nothing to do but wait. If you are 100% sure a medical school is your top choice, you can improve your odds of being accepted off the waitlist by writing a medical school letter of intent to explain why they are your #1 choice.

Just be sure that your target medical school accepts letters of intent and follow any instructions before you submit it!

7. Take an alternate medical school admissions path

If you have your heart set on one of the hardest medical schools to get into, but you fall a bit short on medical school requirements, you can always consider enrolling in a post-bacc premedical program or a special master’s program with linkage to medical school. Many of these programs have special connections to top medical schools and can increase your chances of getting in once you’ve completed them. They are designed to prepare premeds to take the MCAT and get into medical school, although it means adding to your medical school costs and how long it will take you to become a doctor, too.


1. What are the hardest medical schools to get into?

The hardest medical schools to get into are the ones which are most selective or have the highest admissions standards. They might also be the medical schools that receive the most applications, making the applicant pool much larger and therefore more competitive. The hardest medical schools to get into tend to be the top programs or big names, such as Ivy League medical schools like Harvard Medical School and Brown University or other big medical schools like Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, NYU Grossman, and Georgetown University.

2. What GPA do I need to get into top medical schools?

A GPA of 3.5 or higher will significantly increase your chances of getting into top medical schools, especially if your MCAT score is also high. Based on admissions data, a GPA of 3.7 and above is considered quite competitive at the hardest medical schools to get into.

3. What MCAT score do I need to get into top medical schools?

An excellent MCAT score would be a score in the 90th percentile or higher. Right now, that means an MCAT score around 515+. Some of the hardest medical schools to get into have median accepted MCAT scores above 520, so the competition is fierce. To get into some of the toughest medical schools, a minimum score of 515 is a good start.

4. Is it worth applying to the hardest medical schools?

If you are a competitive candidate and you have a reasonable shot of getting accepted, then yes. It is worth applying to the toughest medical schools to get into. Any of these schools may be the ideal fit for your medical education, and you’ll never know if you’ll be accepted if you don’t apply.

5. How do I get into the hardest medical schools?

To get into the hardest medical schools, you’ll first need to meet all medical school requirements, including GPA and MCAT score thresholds. Next, you’ll need a killer application and excellent med school interview performance. Some ways you can increase your chances of acceptance are to apply as early as possible, use alternate admissions pathways and get some professional advice from a medical school admissions consultant.

6. How can I use MSAR to choose the best medical schools for me?

Medical school admission requirements can be helpful in selecting which medical schools to apply to. Learning the minimum requirements and current student profiles will help you gauge how competitive you are compared to current med students and whether you meet all the criteria necessary to apply.

7. Are Canadian medical schools harder to get into?

In general, Canadian medical schools have lower acceptance rates than medical schools in the US. This is because there are just as many applicants in some cases, but far fewer medical schools and open seats available. Medical schools in Canada also tend to have quite high academic requirements for admission.

8. Why is medical school so competitive?

Medical schools tend to have a limited number of seats available to matriculants, and they can receive tens of thousands of qualified applicants for just a few hundred seats. This means acceptance rates to medical school tend to be quite low. Medical schools also have strict admission requirements they use to evaluate candidates to find the most qualified applicants. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

Disclaimer: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa. If you see an error here, please notify us with the updated information, and we’ll send you a FREE copy of a BeMo ebook of your choosing! You can receive our Ultimate Guide to Med School Admissions, our Ultimate Guide to MMI Prep, our Ultimate Guide to Medical School Personal Statements & Secondary Essays or our Ultimate Guide to CASPer Prep! Please email us at [email protected] with any corrections, and we’ll arrange to send you your free ebook upon confirming the information.

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