I often hear people talk about the ranking of a college in deciding whether to consider applying to that college as a pre-med. But, do medical schools care about college rankings? The quick answer, no.
Medical schools care about a lot of things but how a college ranks is not one of them. I have talked in the past about my dislike for rankings because they are artificial devises that have no relationship to whether a college is good for any particular student. Medical schools, and graduate schools in general, understand this.
Let me give you a quick example about why rankings don’t make sense for medical school admissions. One of the big issues that medical schools care about in admitting a student is the student’s GPA in college. A student with a 3.2 GPA at an Ivy League school is not going to be competitive for medical school admissions. A student from a small liberal arts college, like Reed, ranked 62 on the most recent US News rankings for National Liberal Arts colleges, with a 3.8 GPA is going to be very competitive based on GPA alone.
What else do medical schools care about? MCAT scores. The typical student at Reed is going to have an MCAT score significantly above the national average. They are also going to have strong professor recommendations because the small size of the college allows professors to get to know their students better and can thus write better letters of recommendation. In talking with admissions professionals from medical schools around the country, the strong letters of recommendation for students in small schools is commonly mentioned as one of the reasons these students do well in the admissions process.
Would a small liberal arts college ranked higher than Reed do better with medical school acceptance? Maybe but probably not. Reed’s most recently reported acceptance rate to medical school is 68% which is one of the highest numbers in the country for colleges of any size.
I hope you have a little better understanding of how to pick a college to attend as a pre-med. And it starts by ignoring the rankings.
Just a final note. Reed is a great college for many reasons but like every other college in the country it is not a good option for everyone. If you want helping finding a good college that will help prepare you for admissions to medical school, give me a call.
No and explain why it doesn’t matter
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