Getting into medical school is notoriously tough, but you can be accepted if you work hard and apply to the right schools. Not all medical schools have the same entrance requirements; some lean far more heavily on test scores while others consider personal essays a crucial part of the application process. Learning the standards of admission for the medical schools in which you are interested can help you get accepted to medical school much more easily and guide your preparation for this important step.

What GPA do I need to get into Medical School?

You will not be accepted to any medical school with a low GPA, but just what constitutes an acceptable GPA varies widely from one medical school to another. Medical schools place different weights on grade point averages, MCAT or Medical College Admissions Test scores, and references or personal input. Some schools look for diversity in their student body and favor students from non-traditional backgrounds, while others go “by the book” when considering applications. Here are some of the most popular medical schools around the country and notes about their entrance requirements.

The University of Alabama School of Medicine

Located in Birmingham, this school’s standards for admission are fairly typical of medical schools across the nation. Applicants have an average GPA of at least 3.6 and an MCAT score of 9.8.

University of California

The University of California actually has more than one medical school location, including locations in Davis, Los Angeles, Irvine, San Diego, and San Francisco. Each school has its own entrance requirements: UC at Irvine students have an average GPA of 3.6, and MCAT scores of 10 on verbal reasoning, 11 on physical sciences, and 11 on biological sciences. UC at Los Angeles students have an average GPA of 3.6 and an MCAT score of 10.5. UC at Davis students average 10.5 on the MCAT and have a GPA of 3.55. UC at San Diego students enter their medical school with an average GPA of 3.8 and MCAT score of 11. Finally, students at UC San Francisco Medical School have an average GPA of 3.75 and scores of 10 on the MCAT’s verbal reasoning, 12 on physical sciences, and 12 on biological sciences.

Stanford University

The West Coast’s “Ivy League” medical school has high standards for admission. Students enter with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.7 and scores of 10 on the verbal reasoning section of the MCAT, 12 on the physical science section, and 12 on the biological science section

George Washington University

George Washington is located in the nation’s capital and is a very competitive private university. Their medical school admits students with an average GPA of 3.52 and MCAT scores of 9.4

Georgetown University

Another medical school located in the nation’s capital, Georgetown admits students who have an average undergraduate GPA of 3.63 and MCAT score of 10.

Florida State University

FSU’s medical school students have an average GPA of 3.66 and an average MCAT score of 8.6 on verbal reasoning, 8.1 on physical sciences, and 8.8 on biological sciences.

Medical College of Georgia

One of the top medical schools in the South, MCG students have an average GPA of 3.75 and average MCAT scores of 10.1 verbal reasoning, 11.1 physical sciences, and 10.9 biological sciences.

University of Hawaii

The Aloha State’s medical school requires an average GPA of 3.52, and average MCAT scores of 9 on verbal reasoning, 10 on physical sciences, and 10 on biological sciences.

University of Chicago

This medical school’s admissions are very competitive, with the average student having an average GPA of 3.63 and average MCAT scores of 9.8 verbal reasoning, 10.6 on physical sciences, and 10 on biological sciences.

Northwestern University

This private school has some of the most competitive MCAT scores in the nation among its entering students, with an average of 10.2 on verbal reasoning, 11.6 on physical sciences, and 11.3 on biological sciences. Entering average GPA is 3.67.

University of Nebraska

With average MCAT scores of 9.2 and an average GPA of 3.7, grades seem to weigh more heavily with this medical school than test scores.

Columbia University

One of New York’s most competitive colleges, Columbia’s medical school has an average incoming student GPA of 3.79 and an average cumulative MCAT score of 35.2.

Duke University School of Medicine

Duke has a long tradition of turning out fine medical staff, and its medical school’s averages speak to excellence: the average GPA of entering students is 3.6 and their average MCAT score is 10.8.

It is easy to see from this list that medical schools all fall within certain parameters when it comes to GPA and MCAT scores, but there is much variation within those parameters. If you have a GPA that is somewhat lower than the average of students at the school in which you are interested, you can help to pull that number up with a higher MCAT score, or vice-versa. Most schools use a 50/50 ratio when counting MCAT and GPA so that both count equally, although some schools do weigh one more than the other.

Also it’s worth nothing that this is certainly not a definite list and may even change by the time you are reading this. College acceptance is based on a lot of factors and while GPA can certainly play a pivotal role in attending Medical school it certainly is not a guarantee of acceptance or denial. For specific formulas for admissions, contact the admissions office of the medical school in which you are interested.