Best Pre-Med Colleges in the US

Choosing the best pre-med college in the US can be a difficult choice, especially if you don’t have the right information.  To start with though, let’s make sure we all truly understand exactly what a pre-med program is.

“Pre-med” is a curriculum or track that undergraduate students follow to prepare for admission to medical school. While “pre-med” is NOT a specific major (most students will major in biology), the “pre-med track” typically includes a set of required courses in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and advanced mathematics, as well as opportunities for clinical experience, lab work, and scientific research. Effective pre-med programs also provide solid advising services to guide students through the medical school application process, including preparation for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).

Choosing the right pre-med program therefore is a crucial step for students aspiring to enter medical school post-degree, and the better ranked your undergraduate program, the better your chances are going to be in regard to getting into a tip-top med school.

The best pre-med programs therefore offer rigorous academic preparation, abundant research opportunities, and strong advisers, extracurriculars, and student groups to support college students through the challenging journey of medical school applications and admissions. The most important question to ask yourself though is, “does this school have a HISTORY of getting a large number of students into the med school I would eventually love to go to”  — because that is exactly where you want to be.

And now, here’s a look at some of the top pre-med colleges in the US.

*PLEASE NOTE, THESE ARE NOT IN RANKED ORDER, and are just how they came to me when writing. I may revise this article with the proper ranking of the programs in the next few days if you would like to bookmark this post.  Thank you!

And, now, here’s the list!

1. Harvard University

Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, consistently ranks at the top of pre-med programs in the US. Known for its prestigious medical school, Harvard offers undergraduate students unparalleled resources. The pre-med program is extremely competitive, with extensive course selection and research opportunities. Additionally, Harvard’s enetwork of hospitals and research institutions provides ample clinical and research experience in the Boston area, making Harvard #1 on almost any pre-med list.

2. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, is synonymous with medical excellence. The university’s undergraduate programs are designed to prepare students for the rigors of medical school. Johns Hopkins offers a strong pre-med advising program and numerous opportunities for undergraduate research, particularly through its renowned School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The university’s emphasis on research and clinical experience makes it a top choice for pre-med students and you’ll be surrounded by peers who share the exact same medical interests.

3. Stanford University

Stanford University, located in Palo Alto, California, is another top contender for pre-med students. The university provides a comprehensive pre-med advising program, ensuring students are well-prepared for medical school applications. Stanford’s proximity to leading medical facilities like Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital offers students exceptional opportunities for clinical exposure and research. The university’s commitment to interdisciplinary education also allows pre-med students to engage in a broad range of academic pursuits, enhancing their medical school applications, and everyone knows how difficult it is to get into Stanford which will only give you a strong advantage moving forward.

4. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania (or just “Penn” as it is usually called) in Philadelphia boasts one of the best pre-med programs in the country. UPenn’s Perelman School of Medicine is among the top medical schools, and the university offers a wealth of resources to its pre-med students. The Health and Societies major, combined with the Biological Basis of Behavior program, provides a unique interdisciplinary approach. UPenn’s strong focus on research and clinical experience, coupled with excellent advising, helps students build competitive applications.

5. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago’s program provides pre-med students with clinical volunteering fellowships, extensive workshops, and a large curriculum alongside special activities and programs to prepare those interestred for careers in medicine. It is also well-known that pre-med students from Chicago are accepted to medical school at nearly twice the national average. The school is highly competitive though so if you’re going to apply you want to make sure you are applying to other less-competitive schools as well, to spread out your chances.

6. Boston University

Boston University offers a large curriculum for those interested in  pre-med, which gives you an opportunity to start to see where your interests lie in terms of fields of concentration, as well as dedicated pre-med advisors who can help students find  clinical and research opportunities. Students enrolled in the Modular Medical/Dental Integrated Curriculum (MMEDIC) program may also have the opportunity for early acceptance into BU’s medical school after two years of undergrad

7. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is know for being part of the “Research Triangle” and offers many opportunities for those considering not only a career in medicine, but in scientific research.  The school has many paths to gain clinical as well as lab experience, and has very strong student organizations revolving around medicine.

8. Washington University – St. Louis Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri offers dedicated pre-med advisors who guide students through every step of the medical school application process. WashU’s connection with the highly regarded Washington University School of Medicine provides undergraduates with extensive research and clinical opportunities. The university’s collaborative environment and emphasis on scientific inquiry make it a competitive choice for aspiring doctors and the school is slightly easier to get into than some of the other schools on this list.

9. Duke University

Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, offers a comprehensive pre-med program that prepares students for success in medical school and is well-known around the world for turning out excellent doctors. Duke’s advising program and curriculum is exceptional, with advisors and professors who are knowledgeable about the medical school application process. The university’s close relationship with the Duke University Medical Center also provides ample opportunities for clinical experience and research. Duke’s focus on innovation and interdisciplinary learning further enhances the pre-med experience, and there are opportunities to cross-over with biotech and bioengineering.

10. University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley, is a top choice for pre-med students on the West Coast. UC Berkeley offers a rigorous academic curriculum with strong support for pre-med students. alongside numerous research opportunities at nearby medical facilities. Berkeley’s emphasis on scientific research and community service helps students build robust medical school applications.

11. Northwestern University

Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, offers a strong pre-med program with extensive support for students. The university’s Health Professions Advising office provides comprehensive guidance on course selection, research opportunities, and the medical school application process. Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and affiliated hospitals offer rich clinical and research experiences. The university’s commitment to interdisciplinary education and research excellence makes it a top choice for pre-med students.

12. Columbia University

Columbia University in New York City offers another top-tier pre-med program. The university’s Office of Preprofessional Advising supports students through all stages of the pre-med journey, from course selection to medical school applications. Columbia’s location provides access to numerous research opportunities at renowned hospitals and medical centers, including the Columbia University Medical Center. The rigorous academic environment and extensive resources make Columbia a premier choice for pre-med students alongside the numerous hospitals in NYC.

13. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

While not traditionally seen as a pre-med powerhouse, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, offers exceptional preparation for medical school. MIT’s emphasis on cutting-edge research and innovation in the sciences equips students with a solid foundation in medical-related fields, especially those potentially interested in eventually pursuing an MD/Ph.D. The university’s Prehealth Advising Office provides robust support, and students can take advantage of numerous research and clinical opportunities at nearby hospitals and medical institutions.

14. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is known for its strong pre-med program and excellent medical school acceptance rates. The university’s connection with the UCLA Medical Center provides abundant opportunities for clinical experience and research. UCLA’s comprehensive academic and extracurricular offerings make it an excellent choice for pre-med students, especially those who would like to stay on the West Coast.

15. Yale University

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, offers a distinguished pre-med program, as well.  The Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine offer extensive research and clinical opportunities, and Yale’s focus on interdisciplinary studies (especially those who would like to cross-over into the humanities) on top of its research excellence makes it a top destination for aspiring medical professionals.

16. Emory University

Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, is well-regarded for its pre-med program around the world. The university offers strong pre-med advising through the Pre-Health Mentoring Office, which assists students with academic planning and the medical school application process. Emory’s close relationship with the Emory University School of Medicine and the affiliated Emory Healthcare network provides abundant opportunities for clinical experience and research and is known as one of the best pre-med programs in the South, second only to Duke University. The university’s commitment to community service and global health also enhances the pre-med experience and is an excellent choice as well for those considering a career in Public Health.


Selecting the right pre-med college is a critical decision for students aiming for a career in medicine. The best pre-med programs will give you the best chance of succeeding as you move forward.  These 16 are among the top pre-med programs that excel in preparing students for medical school. These universities not only offer outstanding academic and extracurricular opportunities but also cultivate the skills and experiences necessary for success in the medical field and beyond.

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If you like this article, check out my other blog posts as well, such as:

  1. What To Do If You’re Waitlisted
  2. The Best Engineering Colleges in the US

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