When working with students who are interested in attending medical school I often recommend various small liberal arts colleges. In many cases, the percentage of students accepted to medical schools is higher for the smaller colleges than the big research universities. Why is that?

1. Small classes at liberal arts colleges allow students to really learn the subjects they are studying. This is often reflected in strong MCAT scores received by these students.

2. Small class sizes allows students a greater change to get to better know their professors. That is important because you will need recommendations from professors when applying to medical school. The better the professor knows you, the better the recommendation they can write.

3. Smaller colleges often offer more opportunities for research since students do not have to compete with graduate students for research opportunities. While smaller colleges may not have all of the sophisticated research that occurs at a research university, your chances of participating in that cutting edge research is not very good as an undergraduate. Graduate students will always get first chance at that research.

Liberal arts colleges are not the only way to get to medical school and not always the best choice for a particular student. But, for many students, small is the way to go.

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