There are four medical schools in Boston and they consistently rank high on lists of the best medical schools in the US, which may have to do with the fact that Boston is also home to Harvard Medical School, and most of its affiliate teaching hospitals. The Harvard name notwithstanding, medical schools in Boston also range from the ones that are publicly-funded and easier to get into – the University of Massachusetts Medical School – and those that are dedicated to educating and serving Massachusetts residents outside of Boston and other major cities. If you’re curious about what medical schools in Boston have to offer, this article will list them, their admissions statistics and medical school requirements and what makes studying medicine in Boston and Massachusetts so unique. 

Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results.

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Article Contents
10 min read

List of Medical Schools in Boston Harvard Medical School University of Massachusetts T.H. Chan School of Medicine Boston University School of Medicine Tufts University School of Medicine How to Get into Medical Schools in Boston Conclusion FAQs

List of Medical Schools in Boston

  1. Harvard Medical School
  2. University of Massachusetts T. H. Chan School of Medicine 
  3. Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
  4. Tufts University School of Medicine

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1. Harvard Medical School

Overall Acceptance Rate: 2.1%

In-State Acceptance Rate: 2.6%

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 2% 

International Acceptance Rate: 1.5%

Average GPA of Incoming Students: 3.95

Average MCAT Scores of Incoming Students: 521

Overall Interview Rate: 10%

In-State Interview Rate: 18%

Out-of-State Interview Rate: 10%

There is perhaps no more famous medical school in Boston than Harvard Medical School, which is a member of the Ivy League of medical schools and one of the oldest medical schools in the US. And, as you can see from the medical school acceptance rates across all categories, Harvard Medical School is one of, if not, the, hardest medical school to get into

Even though the school does not require you have a full bachelor’s degree, it does require you complete a set of medical school prerequisites in everything from Behavorial sciences, chemistry, and physics to math and biology. You must also have a proven record in laboratory work, which nearly all applicants (99%) reported having on their application. But even though the threshold seems incredibly high, many students with above-average or average GPAs and MCAT scores are still accepted.

Fortunately, the academic hurdle is seemingly the only one you’ll have to cross. Students accepted into HMS who demonstrate financial need are given full-tuition scholarships, along with stipends for living expenses. Being the elite program that it is, Harvard Medical School is one of the few medical schools in the US that does this.

So even though it is extremely difficult to be admitted, if you are admitted and meet the criteria of financial need, a full-tuition scholarship is what awaits. The results of this generosity are that Harvard Medical School graduates graduate with less medical debt, as only 75% of them use federal loans, which is still high, although much lower than the average for other medical schools in Boston, or anywhere else.

As HMS is one of the oldest medical schools in the US, it has become as integral part of Boston, as the medical school is affiliated with several different hospitals, research centers, and clinics across the city and the surrounding municipalities. The ones located in Boston are situated in the Longwood Medical Area in the center of the city, which include:

  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • VA Hospital of Boston
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital

The Harvard Medical School campus is also located on the Longwood medical mall and is within the heart of the city’s artistic and cultural center, sharing real estate with the Isabella Gardner Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. The medical school is only a short distance away from the rest of the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and you can easily access the HU campus from the medical school and vice-versa.

2. University of Massachusetts T.H. Chan School of Medicine

Overall Acceptance Rate: 3.2%

In-State Acceptance Rate: 10%

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 9.7% 

Average GPA of Incoming Students: 3.82

Average MCAT Scores of Incoming Students: 516

Overall Interview Rate: 20%

In-State Interview Rate: 13%

Out-of-State Interview Rate: 12.8%

The University of Massachusetts T.H. Chan School of Medicine is the public medical school in Boston and shows a preference for in-state applicants, although the school receives many more applications from international students than in-state students. Except the school is not located in Boston. The main campus of UMass Chan is in Worcester, the second largest city in the state, and only an hour’s drive away from Boston.

But being a public school, UMass Chan offers more clinical rotations throughout the state, rather than focusing solely on the Boston-area. Like many public, state-funded medical schools, the UMass Chan was created to fill a need of qualified doctors in the state. Having been founded only in 1962, UMass made up for its lack of history by making history with a Nobel Prize in Medicine win in 2006.

So even though it is not located in Boston, the school is still one of the most important medical hubs in New England for education and research, as well as being one of the largest healthcare providers in the state. Although the school shows preference for in-state applicants, you can still apply if you are from out-of-state. All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, and it is a Canadian-friendly US medical school as it does accept degrees from universities in Canada. You must also complete a series of prerequisites, but fewer than for Harvard Medical School.

Being a public school, many more students rely on federal student loans for how to pay for medical school, although in-state students pay much less than out-of-state students. You shouldn’t expect the generosity of Harvard to be emulated at UMass Chan, although it too offers several internal medical school scholarships.

3. Boston University School of Medicine

Overall Acceptance Rate: 1.3%

In-State Acceptance Rate: 4.3%

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 1.2% 

Average GPA of Incoming Students: 3.74

Average MCAT Scores of Incoming Students: 517

Overall Interview Rate: 9.2%

In-State Interview Rate: 13%

Out-of-State Interview Rate: 8.8%

The Boston University School of Medicine is the most Boston of all the medical schools in Boston, as it’s named after the city, but also because it has many ties to the city and state. It is located in the heart of the city similar to Harvard Medical School. BUSM is also a private university so it does not have a preference for in-state students making it an out-of-state-friendly medical school. The school typically receives over 11,000 applications a year, which is higher than for Harvard Medical School, and it is just as competitive, given its low acceptance rate for all student categories.

The school recommends that you have at least a bachelor’s degree when you apply, but you can also apply with only two completed years, provided you have taken all the prerequisite courses. However, the “prerequisites” are not stated courses, but a series of subjects in which you must show competency. The list of competencies is much broader than for most other medical schools in Boston, and includes subjects such as the humanities, social sciences, as well as traditional subjects such as biology and chemistry.

One major draw of BUSM is its variety of dual-degree programs that run from the usual MD/PhD and MD/MPH to more unconventional pairings such as an MD/MBA and an MD/JD (law degree). You can demonstrate your interest in these dual-degree programs on your initial AMCAS application, but you will enter most dual-degree programs in your second year, where you will also be interviewed. BUSM has also been added to the ever-expanding list of medical schools that require CASPer, so, you must submit those scores along with your MCAT scores with your application.

Perhaps one of the most important features of BUSM is its location, in Boston, as it gives students a more diverse patient population to learn from and live with. The main teaching hospital of BUSM is the Boston Medical Center, which is one of the few hospitals in the city that cares for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay or not. With its status as a safety-net hospital, BMC sees a lot of patients from low-income and historically disadvantaged communities in Boston. But the school also has several clinical affiliates in other parts of the state and New England, so you can also help treat underserved patients in rural and coastal communities.

4. Tufts University School of Medicine

Overall Acceptance Rate: 1.4%

In-State Acceptance Rate: 3.8%

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 1.2% 

Average GPA of Incoming Students: 3.76

Average MCAT Scores of Incoming Students: 514

Overall Interview Rate: 5.6%

In-State Interview Rate: 11%

Out-of-State Interview Rate: 5.3%

Tufts University School of Medicine is, along with Harvard, one of the first medical schools in Boston. But like all the other medical schools in Boston, TUSM divides its mission between the citizens of the city and the rest of Massachusetts. This commitment to serving underserved sections of the state and New England was made manifest by the school’s creation of a unique track. You can apply to the typical MD program at TUSM, but you can also apply to the four-year MD Maine Track, which is a typical MD-degree program with the only difference being that you complete all of your pre-clinical and clinical training at the Maine Medical Center, in Portland, Maine.

There are advantages to applying and being admitted into the Maine Track. If you are truly interested in rural medicine and serving in underserved areas, you will be eligible for several medical school scholarships that will help you offset the costs of moving to and living in Maine. If admitted, you will be considered for an entrance scholarship exclusive to the Maine track worth over $25,000 that you can renew for up to two years. Aside from the Maine track, you can also apply to other degree programs ranging from an MD/MPH and MD/PhD to an MD/MA in International Relations or an MD/MBA in Health Management.

The school requires that you complete a series of courses and gain competency in certain areas to be a competitive candidate. You have to take courses in traditional science-based subjects such as chemistry and biology, but also show you have at least general knowledge of the arts, social sciences, English and math. You also have to submit MCAT scores and at least three medical school recommendation letters. The letters can be from anyone who knows you well, but in a professional or academic sense, as letters from personal friends and family will not be accepted.

TUSM is also a privately-funded medical school so it has no preference for in-state applicants, although it is not known to accept large numbers of international students. However, being a private institution that medical school tuition at TUSM is similar to programs such as Harvard and BUSM, as one year of tuition is around $70,000, but the cost of attendance is around six-figures if you factor in health insurance, and medical school housing.

How to Get into Medical Schools in Boston

Get Good Stats

Every medical school in Boston has its own admission requirements, but having an above-average GPA or MCAT is one way to get your foot in the door and to have your application reviewed. Of course, a high GPA and MCAT shouldn’t be the only thing you focus on, but having those two taken care of while you prepare the rest of your application will make the entire process easier for you. If you are not sure about how to get into medical school with a low GPA, you should focus on finding out what the medical school GPA requirements are, and either take a post-bac year to improve your grades or take extra-credit courses during your application.

Talk about Any Particular Ties to the School, City or State

If you’re applying as an out-of-state resident, or even an out-of-city resident, you need to talk about what the school or its location appeals to you. “Why this medical school?” is a typical interview question, and you should start addressing it in your medical school personal statement to get the attention of the admissions committee. You can later elaborate on why you want to attend one of the medical schools in Boston in your interview. Of course, your reason for wanting to study in Boston can have nothing to do with the city itself, but you should try to include being a part of the city as one of the reasons the school appeals to you.

Practice your Interview Skills

Getting into any medical school requires you perform well during your interview (if you’re invited), and the same goes for applying to medical schools in Boston. A medical school interview – each school has a different format, so they may be a combination of MMI, panel-interviews, or traditional one-on-one interviews – allows you to present yourself in a way that is distinct from letters of recommendation or MCAT scores, and being prepared for the medical school interview questions will make all the difference in whether you are admitted, or not. You should do mock interviews before the big day to help you feel more relaxed with the process, and to refine your answers to be precise, and meaningful.

Write Excellent Personal Statements and Other Essays

Getting into medical school is not always based on academic and professional achievement, (although a large part of it is) so you need to be as honest and forthright as possible in your personal statement, or supplemental essays to show another side of yourself. This does not mean you have to relate everything about your life, but you need to explain why studying in Boston or at these particular schools is so important without sounding entitled, boring or uninteresting. You should instead talk about what you’ve done to help people in the city whether it be volunteering at a food bank or helping tutor disadvantaged children. Showing how you’ve tried to make the city a better place will go a long way in demonstrating that you are interested in the city’s welfare in all aspects, not just medicine.


Medical schools in Boston offer a unique opportunity to learn in an historic city that has been at the forefront of medical education for centuries. There are only four options, but even within this small number of schools you’ll find differences and similarities, which distinguish them all from each other. Harvard Medical School alone has hundreds of interesting features and programs to choose from, but whatever medical school in Boston you chose, you’ll be assured a world-class medical education in a city that has been producing doctors for centuries.


1. How many medical schools are in Boston?

There are four medical schools in Boston – Harvard Medical School; Tufts University School of Medicine; Boston University School of Medicine and the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, which is one hour outside of Boston. 

2. Why should I study medicine in Boston?

Boston is home to, maybe, one of the best medical schools in the US, so it has a long tradition of excellence when it comes to training doctors. But the city’s history also means that it has a large infrastructure to support your studies, as it is home to many different teaching hospitals and clinics that serve a diverse population of patients. 

3. Do medical schools in Boston prefer in-state applicants?

Only the T.H. Chan School of Medicine at UMass has a preference for in-state applicants, as it is a state school, but the others have no preference and you can apply as an out-of-state applicant. 

4. What do I need to get into a medical school in Boston?

You need the same stats and extracurriculars for medical school that you would need to get into any medical school, including, an above-average GPA (3.5 and higher), MCAT scores (510 and up) as well as many quality letters of recommendation. You should also have a lot of research experience, shadowing hours and community-service projects that you have been involved with a long time. 

5. How do I apply to medical schools in Boston?

All the medical schools in Boston listed here use the AMCAS application service to organize, accept, and review your medical school application. 

6. How much do medical schools in Boston cost?

Medical schools in Boston have different tuition rates among them, but only one (UMass) charges tuition based on residency and whether you are out-of-state or in-state. The tuition alone can run from anywhere between $70,000 and $90,000, but you also have to figure in other expenses, which can push that number into six-figures. 

7. What’s special about medical schools in Boston?

Boston is one of the oldest cities in the US and has a rich cultural and educational tradition. If you want to learn and live in an urban environment, then Boston is an ideal spot, as most of the medical schools are located in the center of the city.  

8. Should I go to medical schools in Boston?

You should go to any of the medical schools in Boston either for their unique programs they offer, or because of the quality of their medical education, but you should also go to medical school in Boston if you have some special connection to the city or have always wanted to live and study there. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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