There are 154 medical schools in the US offering an MD program, along with 38 DO or osteopathic medical programs. If you’re wondering how to get into medical school in the US, the first step is to familiarize yourself with this list of schools.

In this blog, we will help you choose the right US medical school for you! We’ve compiled a list of all medical schools in the US, including allopathic and osteopathic schools. We also discuss some important considerations to keep in mind when making a decision about which schools to apply to, including which application system these schools use, whether they are out-of-state friendly, and which are the cheapest medical schools.


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If you’re a pre-med student applying to medical schools in the US, there’s a lot of different medical school requirements you need to complete. While it’s easy to rush ahead with completing the commonly required application components such as extracurriculars for medical school or letters of recommendation, your first step should be to carefully consider the possible medical school options and narrow down your choice to the best schools where you have the highest chance of getting in. Each school may have different requirements and admission processes, and you should be aware of these before working on your application.

TIP: Remember to always review your chosen schools’ GPA and MCAT score before you apply. Whether you look up the school’s official website or use MSAR, you should aim to apply to schools where your GPA and MCAT score meet the expected average.

List of all Medical Schools in the US

The following tabs list all the medical schools in the US, arranged alphabetically, by state. We also indicate, in brackets, which application system the medical school uses.

Use the arrows to view more tabs.

Medical Schools in the US: Application Systems

There are three major application systems for medical schools in the US. Most schools use one of these three portals to process their applications. While the common medical school application requirements are more or less the same for all medical schools in the US, there may be specific differences depending on the application system being used and the program in question.

You need to be aware of these differences especially if you’re using more than one medical school application portal. The maximum number of extracurricular activity entries permitted, the word count for each essay, and other such application rules may differ and it’s important to follow the guidelines properly for each system. While you can certainly re-use some content between applications, make sure you edit all your components first to meet the unique application requirements of each portal.

Let’s learn more about these application systems.

AMCAS

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) runs the American Medical College Application Service or AMCAS application system which is utilized by the majority of allopathic medical programs in the US. This is the primary application system most aspiring medical students will have to go through to apply to their chosen programs.

AMCAS streamlines the application process for students, which means, you only need to submit one AMCAS application no matter how many schools you’re applying to. In your application, you will indicate which schools you want to apply to, and, if your primary application is accepted, you receive medical school secondary essays specific to each program. Some schools send secondary applications to all candidates.

Remember that AMCAS and AAMC do not have any influence over the admissions decisions – those are solely taken by the medical schools you’re applying to. The purpose of AMCAS is to collect all the application information from each student in an organized way, verify the data, and send it to the medical schools.

Key AMCAS Application Components:

Background Information

The first 3 sections of the AMCAS application consist of background data such as key identifying information, a history of schools attended, and biographical information. This provides medical schools with all the relevant information about who you are, your location, your family background, ethnicity, and other personal data.

Course Work and Official Transcripts

This is the 4th section of the AMCAS application. It’s where you add all the information related to course work you completed in your undergrad, along with the grades achieved and official transcripts to support your entries. Admissions committees use this section to check if applicants meet the medical school GPA requirements and medical school prerequisites for course work.

AMCAS Work and Activities

Section 5 of the AMCAS application is the Work and Activities section where you add entries for each of your medical school extracurriculars, such as volunteer experience, research projects, shadowing hours, work experience, awards, honors, achievements, and any other relevant non-academic activities you want to highlight. You can add up to 15 and a minimum of 2 entries, and each entry must be categorized into 1 of 18 categories. You can add a description of no more than 700 characters (including spaces) for each entry, except for the Most Meaningful Activities.

AMCAS Most Meaningful Activities

In section 5 of the AMCAS application, you need to select 2 to 3 activities as your “most meaningful” activities. The key difference for these entries is that you get an additional 1325 characters (including spaces) to describe these activities. Hence, in this section, ensure you highlight the activities that you consider the most important and that had the most impact on you, so you can effectively utilize the additional word count to make your application stand out.

See our video about how to make your AMCAS Most Meaningful Experiences section stand out:

Letters of Evaluation

In section 6 of the AMCAS, you need to add information about your letters of recommendation, also called letters of evaluation. Note that you don’t upload the letters in this section as all your letters of recommendation are sent directly to AMCAS from your referees, on your behalf. All you need to add here is information identifying who your letter writers are, what types of letters they’ll be writing, and which schools should receive the letters. This is important as different schools have specific requirements about the number of letters required as well as the letter type.

Medical Schools

In the 7th section, you indicate which medical schools you wish to apply to.

AMCAS Essays

In the 8th section of the AMCAS application, you upload the following:

  • Personal Comments Essay: The personal comments essay is simply your medical school personal statement. The AMCAS personal statement has a limit of up to 5300 characters (with spaces), which is approximately one page. This is where you can explain why you want to go to medical school. Remember to include any information you want to highlight about yourself that you may not have had a chance to mention elsewhere in the application.
  • MD-PHD Essay: This essay is only required if you’re applying to MD-PHD programs. In this essay, students can explain their motivation behind pursuing the MD-PHD degree. This extra essay is required so adcoms can evaluate how suitable applicants are for the rigorous MD-PHD curriculum.
  • Significant Research Experience Essay: Like the above requirement, the Significant Research Experience essay is also only required for MD-PHD applicants. Since the MD-PHD degree trains physician scientists who need to perform the highest level of academic research work as part of their degree, this extra essay provides applicants with the opportunity to expand on their previous research experience and prove that they’re ready to pursue an MD-PHD degree.

Standardized Test Scores

In section 9 of the AMCAS application, you enter your MCAT score, dates, and other information related to the MCAT.

Secondary Application

After the primary application with the above components is submitted, students receive secondary applications with secondary essay prompts. Usually, you have 2 weeks to submit these essays. The word count and prompts will vary from school to school as secondary applications are specific to each program. These prompts are designed to see if students are a good fit with the values and mission of the school. Common secondary application prompts include the medical school diversity essay, cultural competency prompts, “why our school?”, future goals prompts, etc.

Note: While some schools send out secondary applications to all applicants, others may filter primary applications based on criteria such as grades and MCAT score and send out secondaries only to successful applicants. 

AACOMAS

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service or AACOMAS is the primary application service for DO schools in the US. Similar to AMCAS, it is a centralized portal that collects and verifies all the application components and then sends them to the DO programs. The medical schools review the information and make their admissions decisions.

Students only need to submit one AACOMAS application and in that application, they can indicate which programs they want to apply to. The next step is for the schools to send secondary essays, similar to AMCAS.

All osteopathic medical schools in the US use AACOMAS except for the following:

  • Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center – Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Both these medical schools from Texas use TMDSAS instead of AACOMAS.

Key AACOMAS Application Components:

AACOMAS Personal Information

This is where you provide all your personal and biographical data such as your name, location, contact information, citizenship information, ethnicity, family background, etc.

AACOMAS Academic History

In this section, you provide complete details about all the schools you’ve attended, course work completed along with grades, MCAT score and other MCAT information, and other academic data relevant to your application. You will also indicate which of your courses map to the AACOMAS course requirements. For an additional fee, you can use the Professional Transcript Entry Service (PTE) to enter your transcript information rather than entering it manually.

AACOMAS Evaluations

In this section, you enter information about the referees who will be sending your evaluations or letters of recommendations. You can enter information about a maximum of 6 evaluations. Note that you don’t actually have to upload the letters in this section, you only need to add relevant data such as referee names, contact information, letter type, etc. The letter writers will be prompted to submit the actual letters directly via the Letters by Liaison portal. You can also request letters via Interfolio.

Every DO program has their own specific requirements related to the number of letters and letter formats, and as the applicant it is your responsibility to ensure all the correct information is entered in this section and the required letters are uploaded before the deadline.

Want to learn how to secure excellent letters of recommendation? Check out our video below:

AACOMAS Experiences

You can add information about all your extracurricular activities and experiences in this section. Each experience should be categorized as per your judgement. You can select from the following experience types: extracurricular activities, non-healthcare employment, non-healthcare volunteer or community enrichment, and healthcare experience. You’ll need to include information about not only the work you did but also your supervisors, key dates, and so on. There’s no limit to the number of entries you can add in this section. However, each entry has a limit of 600 characters (including spaces).

AACOMAS Achievements

In this section, you add all your academic and extracurricular achievements. Each entry must be one of the following types of achievements: awards, honors, presentations, publications, and scholarships. You need to enter information about the awarding body, and key dates, as well as a description of the achievement. Similar to the experiences section, each achievement entry has a limit of 600 characters (including spaces), and you can add as many achievements as you want.

AACOMAS Mini-Essays

This optional section includes essay prompts for applicants from specific backgrounds. Each essay has a 500-character limit (with spaces). You only need to submit these mini-essays if they are applicable to you. AACOMAS mini-essay topics are:

  • Dishonorable discharge from the military
  • Misdemeanor
  • Felony
  • Academic Infraction
  • License Infraction
  • Denied readmission to an academic program
  • Previously attended a medical school or health profession program (700-character limit) 

AACOMAS Personal Statement

In this section, you add your AACOMAS personal statement which will be shared with every DO school you’re applying to. This essay has a 5300-character limit (including spaces). The personal statement is your chance to really make your application stand out. In this essay, you should try to communicate your unique experiences, who you are, and why you’re pursuing osteopathic medicine. Since the personal statement will be shared with all schools you’re applying to, you should keep it general and focus more on your motivation to pursue osteopathic medicine rather than individual programs.

Looking to learn tips on how to write an exemplary Personal Statement?

AACOMAS Secondaries

The secondary application is your chance to expand upon any topics you haven’t got the chance to highlight in the rest of your application but which you think the admissions committees need to know, including your motivations for applying to specific schools and why you’d be a good fit for them. AACOMAS secondary applications are sent out after primary applications and include prompts that are specific to each school, including questions about why you want to attend their school, your most significant volunteer experience, diversity essays, your biggest challenges, and so on. The word count for secondary essays varies depending on the program, but they are typically much shorter than the personal statement – they could be as short as 250 words!

DO schools set their own timelines for secondary application submission but you should ideally try and submit the essays within 2 weeks of receiving them. 

TMDSAS

The Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service (TMDSAS) is the medical school application system used only by medical schools in Texas, both allopathic and osteopathic. It is a centralized application portal that collects all the data from applications and sends them to the relevant Texas medical schools. All the Texas medical schools utilize TMDSAS except for the following:

  • University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine (uses AACOMAS)
  • The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine (uses AMCAS)

Dental and veterinary schools in Texas also use TMDSAS.

Texas heavily favors in-state applicants or applicants with some connection to Texas in terms of their extracurricular activities, life experiences, etc. In fact, out-of-state matriculants cannot make up more than 10% of matriculants in Texas medical schools.

Key TMDSAS Application Components:

Select Schools and Application History

This is where you enter your preference for which Texas medical schools you want to apply to, as well as information about other schools you’ve applied to and if you want to apply for any dual degrees. The Application History section is only relevant for those who have previously submitted applications using the TMDSAS portal.

Personal Information

In this section, you enter all your important personal information including contact info, demographic data, socioeconomic and financial data, ethnicity, family background, etc.

Education History

You can enter the completed, detailed record of all the schools you’ve attended in this section. This is also where you need to add a record of all the course work you’ve completed and what grades you achieved. You do not need to upload or send the official transcripts at this stage – TMDSAS will reach out to you to request them at the required time, which is usually after you receive your letter of admission.

TMDSAS Personal Biography – Employment and Activities

In this section of the TMDSAS, you enter each of your significant employment and activity details. There are two separate sections for your current and planned activities. You can enter as many activities as you wish, along with a description of up to 300 characters (with spaces). Each entry must be categorized as at least one of the following types: academic recognition, non-academic recognition, leadership, employment, research activities, healthcare activities, community service, and extracurricular activities. You need to add full details about each activity including hours completed, location, dates, your role, etc.

The TMDSAS activities section provides much less space to describe each activity as compared to AMCAS and AACOMAS. You only get 2 or 3 sentences to provide all the details related to each entry, so make sure you write a precise, impactful description that covers all the important points.

TMDSAS Top Meaningful Activities

In this section, you identify the most meaningful activities from the complete list of activities uploaded in the previous section. You can select a maximum of 3 and a minimum of 1 meaningful activity. You will get an additional 500 characters (with spaces) to describe why the selected activity is meaningful to you, the impact you made, and the personal growth you experienced. This section is similar to the AMCAS Most Meaningful Experiences section.

TMDSAS Essays

  • TMDSAS Personal Statement: The TMDSAS personal statement has a 5000-character limit (including spaces). In this statement, you should clearly communicate why you want to be a doctor, your long-term medical ambitions, your values and motivations, and what makes you a good candidate for medical school.
  • TMDSAS Personal Characteristics Essay: This is a unique TMDSAS requirement. This essay has a 2500-character limit (including spaces). In this essay, you should talk more about your personal experiences and background as well as your unique skills, talents, and strengths. In some ways, the TMDSAS personal characteristics essay is similar to a diversity essay since it asks applicants to describe what makes them, specifically, a good candidate for medical school and what they could add to their medical school cohort.
  • TMDSAS Optional Essay: This essay also has a 2500-character limit (including spaces). Though it is technically optional, if you chose to omit this essay from your application, it may be held against you during the application evaluation. Many applicants find this essay trickier to write than the other TMDSAS essays, primarily because the optional essay prompt is extremely open ended and it’s not very clear what needs to be included in the content for this essay. However, it can actually be a great opportunity to expand upon topics you haven’t had a chance to highlight anywhere else in your application, or to address any gaps or weaknesses in your application. You can also use this essay to focus on your background, personal experiences, cultural competency, or unique skills and to highlight why you would be a great candidate for medical school.

·      TMDSAS Dual Degree Essay: Similar to the MD-PHD essay, the dual degree essay is only required for students applying to dual degrees such as MD/PHD or DO/PHD. The character limit for this essay, including spaces, is 5000. In this essay, you should talk about your motivations for applying to a dual degree as well as the experiences and unique skills that make you suited for the dual degree.

TMDSAS Proof of Residency

This is an important section of the TMDSAS application since the residency status of applicants plays such a crucial role in the admissions process for Texas medical schools. Remember that out-of-state matriculants cannot make up more than 10% of matriculants for Texas medical schools, which is why applicants need to provide complete residency details with supporting documents in this section. Accordingly, you are either a “resident” or “non-resident” of Texas. There are detailed standards for establishing and proving residency and if your application does not prove your Texas residency effectively, it can be re-classified. So, it’s crucial that you review the exact requirements to prove your residency and submit all the required details and documents in this section.

TMDSAS Supporting Documents

In this section, you upload various supporting documents including your photo, MCAT test scores, etc.

TMDSAS Letters of Evaluation

In this section, you upload details of your letters of recommendation for medical school. While the specific format and number of letters can vary depending on the school, there are some general requirements for the TMDSAS letters of evaluation which apply to all schools. Applicants must provide either three individual letters of recommendation OR 1 Health Professions Committee Letter/Packet. You also have the option to submit one more letter in addition to this. Letters are directly submitted by letter writers (including the committee letter) via online portals such as the TMDSAS Evaluator Portal or TMDSAS Advisor Portal, or Interfolio, or via regular mail. In your application, you should indicate the types of letters and add the required identifying information. Additionally, for individual letters, you need to add a “letter placeholder” with key details such as the letter writer’s name, contact information, relationship with you, method of submission, etc.

TMDSAS Chronology of Activities

In the TMDSAS application, the chronology of activities is a summary document that is automatically compiled from your application. This document should account for all your time between high school and the expected date of enrollment. You don’t need to enter this separately – the chronology will be automatically generated from the various sections of your application. However, you should review the chronology section and ensure that there are no gaps in your timeline. You can also edit the description for each activity, if needed.

TMDSAS Secondary Applications

TMDSAS secondary applications are sent out after you submit your primary applications. After submitting your primary application, make sure you’re monitoring your application and checking your email, so you’ll know as soon as you receive your secondary applications. Every school has their own secondary application requirements, timelines, and submission process and you are responsible for meeting these requirements and sticking to the deadlines.

Note that you will send all of your secondary application essays, fees, and documents directly to the medical schools and not to TMDSAS. 

Interested in learning more about how to write strong TMDSAS Secondary Essays? Check out this video!

Other

While most of the medical schools in the US use one of the three application portals listed above, there are two programs that utilize their own admissions process. The Indiana University School of Medicine at Evansville uses the IU Graduate School Admissions process for all med school applicants, while the CUNY School of Medicine uses their own Sophie Davis/CUNY School of Medicine Application process instead of AMCAS. Please visit the official websites of these programs to learn more. 

Medical Schools in the US: In-State vs Out-of-State vs International

Before you apply to any medical school, it’s crucial to check acceptance policies of the schools you’re applying to and ensure that they work for you. While medical school tuition, reputation, campus life, quality of education, and facilities are all important factors to consider, the location of the school can also play an important role in determining not only your medical school experience but also whether or not you will be accepted. Part of choosing the right school is making sure that your residency status is accepted. It would be waste of money and effort to apply to schools that do not even consider you for admission.

That’s why you should confirm whether the schools you are applying to are out-of-state friendly medical schools before you finalize your target programs. To find out if a school is out-of-state friendly, you can utilize MSAR and check the past acceptance rates for out-of-state applicants.

Food for thought: most small, public medical schools in the US tend to be more in-state friendly. Publicly funded med schools tend to give preference to their tax-payers, i.e., residents of the state. Therefore, if you live in a state with many publicly funded schools, such as Texas, California, New York, and Illinois, you might want to apply in-state to increase your chances of acceptance and save on tuition!

While most medical schools in the US do accept out-of-state applicants, their acceptance rates differ greatly. Generally speaking, Ivy League Medical Schools and other elite, private schools do not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state applicants at all, neither in their admissions policies, nor in their tuition. On the other hand, state schools or publicly funded schools tend to prioritize in-state applicants. They tend to reserve a certain number of seats for in-state applicants, which means the application process automatically becomes more competitive for out-of-state applicants. They may also charge lower tuition for in-state applicants to encourage more local students. For instance, medical schools in California and specially UC schools strongly favor in-state applicants in their admissions policies.

Check out our video about the out-of-state friendly medical schools in the US:

 

While a lot of medical schools in the US do allow international students to apply, they tend to limit the number of acceptances, which is why the admissions process for international students is incredibly competitive. Additionally, they may have specific additional requirements for international student that further narrows down the pool of applicants. For instance, some schools only accept international students who have completed a required number of undergrad coursework hours at a US or Canadian university. Others only allow international students who have completed their undergrad at the same university.

Private schools tend to charge the same tuition for all students irrespective of residential status; however, international students are ineligible for federal loans, and may be excluded from some grants and scholarships and hence have more difficulty financing their degree. Nevertheless, private schools are the most international student friendly in terms of financing the degree and do offer a number of scholarship and grant options for students irrespective of their nationality or residential status (both need and merit based). Not many publicly funded medical schools accept international students, and those that do usually ask students to prove that they can pay for their own medical education before allowing them to begin school. 

If you’re a Canadian applicant, besides medical schools in Canada, you can also consider the Canadian-friendly US medical schools that consider Canadians on par with out-of-state applicants. In other words, in these schools, Canadians do not have “international student” status and pay tuition equivalent to the tuition of out-of-state students. Note that a few medical schools that do not generally allow international students do accept applications from Canadian students.

Cheapest Medical Schools in the US

Faced with the stresses of the expensive, exhaustive medical school application process, many applicants have two questions on their mind: which are the easiest medical schools to get into and which are the cheapest medical schools to get into. Here, there are two important factors to consider:

  • Public vs Private: Since public schools are funded by public organizations or the government, they tend to subsidize the cost of medical school and charge lower tuition from in-state students. Thus, applying to public schools or state schools means that you’re likely to save some money on the tuition costs. On the other hand, private schools generally charge a higher medical school tuition, but have no preference between in-state and out-of-state applicants. In private institutions, all students pay the same tuition.
  • In-state vs Out-of-state: The residency status of the applicants also plays a role in how much tuition they pay. State or public schools often prioritize admissions for in-state students and charge them a lower rate of tuition, with the goal of encouraging local students to become doctors and trying to ensure that doctors return to their local communities to practice medicine. If you’re an out-of-state applicant to a public medical school, you might end up paying tuition comparable to or even more than private school tuition.



Texas medical schools offer some of the cheapest medical school tuition rates in the US, but this majorly benefits the local Texans who are given priority in the admissions process. On the other hand, Ivy League schools are not only the most difficult to get into, but also have more very expensive tuition rates compared to what publicly-funded medical schools charge for in-state students. Since Ivy League schools are privately funded, they do not subsidize tuition costs for any group of students. So, there are many considerations you need to take into account before deciding which medical schools suit your background and financial requirements.

Want to learn more about the cheapest medical schools?

FAQs

1. How do I apply to medical schools in the US?

If you want to apply to medical schools in the US, you need to submit your application in one of the following ways:

  • AACOMAS: For osteopathic medical schools
  • TMDSAS: For medical schools in Texas
  • AMCAS: For allopathic medical schools in the US
  • Other: Some schools have their own application process that does not utilize any of the above portals.

You will need to check the admissions website of the medical schools you’re applying to so you can confirm their specific application processes and admissions requirements.

2. Do all Texas medical schools use TMDSAS?

While the majority of Texas medical schools including the private schools and osteopathic schools use TMDSAS, there are a few exceptions. The University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine uses the AACOMAS system commonly used by DO programs outside Texas. The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine is the only Texas medical school to use the AMCAS system.

3. Do all osteopathic medical schools in the US use AACOMAS?

Most osteopathic medical schools in the US use AACOMAS for admissions. The exceptions are:

  • Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center – Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Both of these schools use the TMDSAS system for admissions.

4. Do all medical schools in the US use AMCAS?

While the vast majority of medical schools in the US use the AMCAS system for applications, there are some that don’t:

  • Most medical schools in Texas utilize the TMDSAS system
  • Most osteopathic schools utilize the AACOMAS system
  • Indiana University School of Medicine – Evansville and the CUNY School of Medicine use their own individual application processes for applications
5. Do medical schools in the US give preference to in-state applicants?

The answer to this question depends on the school or program in question. Generally speaking, Ivy League schools and elite private schools treat all applications equally irrespective of the location of the applicant, while public or state schools usually give preference to in-state applicants. Similarly, schools funded by organizations or individuals with a view to benefit the local communities will prioritize local applications. For instance, Texas medical schools heavily favor in-state applications. A lot of state schools also charge higher tuition for out-of-state applicants.

6. Can international students apply to medical schools in the US?

Yes, international students can apply to many medical schools in the US. However, there are some that do not consider international applicants at all. Some may only permit Canadian applicants but no others. You should check the admissions policies on the university website to confirm the specific policy for each school.

7. How to get into medical school in the US?

To get into medical school in the US, you need to complete all the medical school requirements for the programs you’re applying to and submit your application via the appropriate portal as per the applicable medical school application timelines. Common med school admissions requirements include the following: good GPA and MCAT score, excellent letters of recommendation, impressive medical school personal statements and essays, meaningful extracurriculars, etc. Along with all of these, you will also have to complete medical school interviews and finish additional application components such as the Altus Suite.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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