Plenty of premeds look for medical schools that accept low MCAT scores after hearing about how or seeing how competitive are. While there are some medical schools that accept below average scores, or have lower minimum admission requirements, it is still possible to get into a good medical school with a low MCAT score. When choosing which medical schools to apply to, MCAT score requirements shouldn’t be your sole determinant. In this blog, check out the list of medical schools that accept low MCAT scores, plus tips on how to apply to medical school with a low MCAT and what you can do to improve your score.
- MD Medical Schools that Accept Low MCAT
- Ponce Health Sciences University School of Medicine – 501 average; 494 minimum
- San Juan Bautista School of Medicine – 500 average; 495 minimum
- Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine – 501 average; 495 minimum
- University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine – 506 average; 490 minimum
- – 503 average; no minimum
- Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine – 505 average; 498 minimum
- – 505 average; minimum 25th percentile
- – 506 average; 494 minimum
- University of New Mexico School of Medicine – 506 average; 494 minimum
DO Medical Schools that Accept Low MCAT
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Auburn Campus – 502 average; 494 minimum
- Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine – 500 average; no minimum
- – 504 average; no minimum
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bradenton Campus – 503 average; no minimum
- Georgia Campus Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine – 504 average; no minimum
- Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine – 495 average; no minimum
- Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine – 504 average; 491 minimum
- – 500 average; no minimum
- Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Louisiana Campus – 502 average; 496 minimum
- A.T. Still University of Health Sciences Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine – 503 average; no minimum
- Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University – 502 average; 493 minimum
- Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - Middletown Campus – 502 average; 498 minimum
- – 504 average; no minimum
- – 500 average; 492 minimum
- – 503 average; no minimum
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine –504 average; no minimum
- Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine – 501 average; no minimum
- University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine – 503 average; no minimum
- – 502 average; 494 minimum
- Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine – 504 average; no minimum
- – 504 average; 495 minimum
What’s Considered a Low MCAT Score?
Generally speaking, any below the 50th percentile is considered low and not as competitive. This means an MCAT score below 502 is generally a low score at even the As we can see above, very few medical schools have average accepted MCAT scores below 503, so if your score is below 502, consider retaking the MCAT to achieve a higher score.
However, this does mean your options will be more limited when it comes to getting into medical school. And, while you can still apply to medical schools with a below average MCAT score—provided you meet the minimum required score—it does mean your chances of acceptance will be a bit lower.
What is the Lowest Score Accepted by Medical Schools?
Based on the average accepted MCAT scores and minimum required MCAT scores at and , you’ll need a minimum score in the 490-495 range to be accepted into any medical school that requires the MCAT. Anything lower than 490 is very unlikely to be acceptable.
It should be noted, though, that very few test-takers score in this range. According to the data from the most recent years of MCAT test-takers, the average MCAT score overall is around 506.5.
It is possible to get into medical school with a low MCAT score. Here are a few strategies you can use to tilt the odds of acceptance in your favor and offset a low MCAT score.
1. Apply to DO medical schools or Caribbean medical schools
For the best chance of getting into medical school with a low MCAT score, consider applying to DO schools or , since these tend to have more relaxed medical school requirements, including MCAT score requirements. Be aware, though, that it will be tougher to match , as you’ll be classified as an , even if you’re a US or Canadian citizen.
2. Apply to schools that don’t require the MCAT
You can apply exclusively to schools that don’t require the MCAT, as there are some in the US and a few . Or you can apply to medical schools with lower average MCAT scores where you’ll be a more competitive applicant. Note that the MCAT is a common , so applying only to DO schools isn’t a surefire way to avoid taking the MCAT.
3. Focus on your application materials
You can offset a low MCAT score with a competitive GPA and an otherwise strong application. Even medical schools that accept low MCAT scores want to see that you’ve put thought, time and consideration into applying there. So make sure your , and are all strengths in your application.
Your can also be a useful tool to offset or explain a low MCAT score. Some schools offer applicants the opportunity to discuss difficult circumstances which affected their score, such as the . Use every tool at your disposal to keep a too-low MCAT score from sinking your application.
4. Retake the MCAT
If you have time to retake the MCAT and you need a higher score to get into your dream program, it may be worth doing so to improve your chances and avoid medical school rejection. Be sure you know , and research how your target school assesses multiple MCAT scores, since this may affect your application. Also check to ensure your new scores will be sent to medical schools before application deadlines.
Here are more tips on getting into medical school with a low MCAT
For students wondering if it’s still worth applying to medical school with a low MCAT, don’t lose hope. Even with a below average MCAT score, you can still get into medical school. And there is always the option to put off your medical school application, retake the exam with a better strategy, and get into your target medical school in the next admissions cycle.
For students wondering if the medical schools that accept low MCAT are worth applying to, the answer is yes, but there are some other factors to consider when applying. The medical schools that accept low MCAT scores are by no means bad or provide subpar medical education. No matter where you matriculate, you’ll receive a world-class education. However, there are some other pros and cons to consider when applying to these schools.
Whether you’re retaking the MCAT and want to improve your score, or you’re worried about taking the test for the first time, there are strategies you can use to better prepare yourself for the exam. By being well-prepared, you can achieve a better score and open up more options for yourself when it comes to .
MCAT Strategy #1: Know What’s on the Test
Knowing what is actually on the MCAT, how it’s organized and what to expect is the first step to conquering it. Find out , what the are, how many questions are in each section and how much time you’ll have to write it. This is all important information that will inform your study sessions and preparation. Essentially, once you become familiar with the test, it will be much easier to start breaking it down into manageable sections.
MCAT Strategy #2: Start Preparing Early
The answer to is: as early as possible. Give yourself as much time as you can to learn the ins and outs of the test’s format and content and to stockpile MCAT study resources. Starting early also means you’ll have more leeway if you decide to retake the test or if unforeseen circumstances come up.
MCAT Strategy #3: Create a Solid Study Plan
To , we recommend trying an to help focus and refine your study plan. We recommend between 4-6 of intense MCAT studying. Create a detailed study plan for every week you spend studying for the MCAT, and implement proven MCAT study strategies. Be sure to take multiple full-length practice tests to gauge your progress and which areas you still need to work on. The has several great practice resources for test-takers!
MCAT Strategy #4: Seek Out Expert Help
Acing the MCAT on your own is doable, but having some experienced help in your corner is a big bonus. Take a look at an or as just some of the options available to your for MCAT prep help. You can certainly learn on your own and make use of free study resources, but getting some expert MCAT prep might make the difference between a good score and a great score.
At the end of the day, your decision of whether to apply to medical schools that accept low MCAT scores shouldn’t only be based on solely on the average accepted MCAT scores and requirements. This can be quite limiting, and you may end up applying to medical schools that aren’t the right fit. Don’t be afraid to explore all your options and remember that your MCAT score isn’t everything. It’s possible to get into a medical school that seems out of reach, even with a low MCAT score. Research, do your due diligence and consider getting some expert advice from a before you start applying.
1. Are there any medical schools that accept low MCAT?
Yes, there are many DO schools and some MD medical schools that accept low MCAT scores. Some Caribbean medical schools also accept below average MCAT scores.
2. What is the lowest MCAT score accepted to medical school?
Generally speaking, the lowest acceptable score to be admitted to medical school is in the 490-495 range. Most medical schools do not list a minimum required MCAT score, but their average accepted MCAT score may be higher. While students with very low scores are eligible to apply to medical school, it may significantly decrease their chances of acceptance.
3. Are there any medical schools that don’t require the MCAT?
Yes, there are many medical schools in the US and Canada that do not require applicants to take the MCAT at all.
4. Are the medical schools that accept low MCAT good?
Premeds might worry that any medical school willing to accept a low MCAT score is not worth applying to or will offer a subpar medical education. This is not true. Many of the osteopathic medical schools in the US accept low MCAT scores, but they offer top-tier medical education to students.
Students applying to Caribbean medical schools because they accept low MCAT scores should note that not all the medical schools in the Caribbean are accredited, and matriculating to a medical school in the Caribbean may decrease your chances of matching to a residency in the US or Canada.
5. Should I retake the MCAT if my score is too low?
If your MCAT score is too low to be considered competitive at your target schools and you have the time to retake the exam, it is a good idea to do so. While your MCAT score isn’t everything, achieving a competitive score can certainly improve your chances of matriculating to your target medical school.
6. Can a high GPA offset a low MCAT?
Yes, a competitive GPA may be enough to offset a low MCAT score, especially if the rest of your application materials are top-notch. A low MCAT score won’t necessarily sink you, but it may mean you are a less competitive applicant at some top medical schools.
7. What is the ideal MCAT score?
To get into most medical schools, an MCAT score of 511 or above is considered a competitive score. An MCAT score in the 505-508 range is considered a good score at less competitive schools. An MCAT score below 502 is generally considered a poor score. The ideal MCAT score is one which is considered competitive or above average at your target med schools.
8. Should I still apply to medical school with a low MCAT score?
Yes, even if you think your MCAT score is too low, chances are you still have a chance to get into medical school. There are options available to you, and remember that your MCAT score is only one small part of your overall application. You can offset a low MCAT score, retake the test, or simply apply only to medical schools that don’t require the MCAT.
9. How do I recover from a bad MCAT score?
If you’re worried your MCAT score is too low, you can consider retaking the test. Otherwise, focus on researching medical schools that accept low MCAT and strengthening your other application materials, including your GPA.