Getting into the prestigious Harvard Medical School would be a dream come true for most pre-med. However, just like every other top ivy school in the world, Harvard University Medical School has a very low acceptance rate.
So, what does it take to get admitted? To get into Harvard Medical School, you need to know the school’s acceptance rate, GPA, and other admission processes.
In the health sector, we consider Harvard as the cream of the crop in medicine. It is a place where brilliant students come together to innovate in the medical field and improve global health.
In fact, at Harvard Medical School, pursuing excellence is a way of life. Little wonder it has held the #1 position in the US News & World Reports Medical School Ranking.
With this reputation, it is easy to understand why most pre-meds consider it their dream school. Unfortunately, predicting admissions into Harvard Medical School is nearly impossible as the competition is so tough.
This is so because, for every excellent applicant, there are probably hundreds of others just like him or her. Therefore, it is easy to say that there is no magic formula for how to get into Harvard Medical School.
Notwithstanding, to increase the likelihood of obtaining admission at Harvard Med School, this article will provide you with vital tips. You will also learn more about the Harvard Medical School admission requirements.
Why Study At Harvard Medical School (HMS)?
Being a Harvard Doctor indicates that you should study at the Harvard Medical School. You may ask, “who then is a Harvard Doctor?”
A Harvard doctor is someone for whom the pursuit of excellence – both professional and personal – is a way of life.
Aside from having the qualities of a Harvard doctor, there are several reasons why you should study at Harvard Medical School.
One, Harvard is one of the most reputable and top-notch medical schools in the USA and the world at large. It is also among the oldest medical schools in the USA.
Founded in 1782, Harvard Medical School is the graduate medical school of Harvard University and is in Boston, Massachusetts. HMS has an esteemed history and its faculty has been at the forefront of major medical discoveries and innovations.
Two, to study medicine at Harvard is to prepare to play a leading role in this quest. For over two centuries, HMS has excelled not only in teaching the practice of medicine but also in bringing out the best in those who practice it.
At Harvard Medical School, students can pursue their individual interests, find their calling, and discover how they can change the fabric of medicine, science, and society.
Other Medical School Specialty Rankings:
- #2 in Anesthesiology
- #2 in Internal Medicine
- #1 in Obstetrics and Gynecology
- #2 in Pediatrics
- #1 in Psychiatry
- #1 in Radiology (tie)
- #3 in Surgery
Know more about Harvard University. Read Study at Harvard University: Its Tuition fees and Admission Requirements.
What Is Harvard Medical School Acceptance Rate?
As said earlier, admission into Harvard Medical School is very competitive. Unfortunately, there is no publicly available data on the number of accepted students, so it’s unclear what the exact acceptance rate is.
However, using the previous admission information, we can deduce the acceptance rate. Out of 6,914 applicants, it accepted 226 of them. Therefore, the Harvard Medical School acceptance rate is 3.3%.
Below is a representation of the school’s previous Student Enrolment as of September 2024.
Entering MD students, 2024
- MD (includes 14 MD–Ph.D. students): 165
- Applicants: 6,815
- Admitted: 227 (3.3%)
- Men: 73 (44%)
- Women: 92 (56%)
- Under-represented in medicine (African American, Native American, Hispanic, Mexican American): 39 (24%)
- Asian: 45 (27%)
Additional entering students, 2024
- PhD: 165 (165 HMS)
- DMD: 35
- Master’s: 135 (117 HMS, 18 HSDM)
- DMSc: 9
- Additional joint-degree programs: MD-MBA, MD-MPH, MD-MPP
- Medical school alumni: 10,425 (MD and master)
Also, the Harvard Medical School admissions statistics for the Class of 2024 show that there were 6914 applications. Out of these applicants, 948 were invited for the interview, and only 165 were admitted.
Here, Harvard Medical School has a 3.3% acceptance rate. Whatever the case may be, it is safe to say that the school’s acceptance rate is always below 5%.
Get detailed information on Harvard University’s general admission requirements and rates. See more on Harvard University Acceptance Rate.
What is Harvard Medical School Acceptance Rate MCAT Score?
At Harvard, all applicants are required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Although HMS does not set a minimum grade point average or minimum MCAT scores, academic excellence is expected from applicants.
Therefore, applicants must post their scores to their AMCAS application no later than the required time in order to be considered in the current application cycle.
In addition, applicants whose MCAT scores are more than three years old must retake the test. In the absence of this, HMS considers all valid MCAT exam scores during the application review process.
Since it’s known that Harvard doesn’t have any set minimum MCAT scores, prospective students can at least make reference to how current students performed. Therefore, based on the performance of the Class of 2024, here are the HMS average MCAT scores:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (BBFL)- 129.98
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems (CPBS) – 129.86
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior (PSBB)- 130.25
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) – 128.96
The total score is 519.05. So, we can say that Harvard Medical School’s average acceptance MCAT score is about 519.
What Is Harvard Medical School Acceptance Rate GPA?
With reference to the Class of 2024, the Harvard medical school acceptance rate average GPA is 3.95.
However, before you throw your hands up in defeat, consider the GPA and MCAT range among accepted students provided by MSAR:
- Total GPA: 3.75 (10th %ile) to 4.00 (90th %ile)
- Science GPA: 3.69 (10th %ile) to 4.00 (90th %ile)
- MCAT: 513 (10th %ile) to 525 (90th %ile)
You may also like to see ICRT Scholarships at Harvard Medical School in the USA.
What Is The Undergraduate Acceptance Rate At Harvard Medical School?
There is no specified undergraduate acceptance rate at Harvard Med School. However, it is important to note that no preference is given to applicants who have majored in science over those who have majored in other disciplines.
Basically, HMS believes that students can be successful in their medical studies regardless of undergraduate concentration, provided they have had adequate science preparation.
Therefore, students are urged to strive not for specialized training but for a balanced, liberal education.
Furthermore, regardless of their undergraduate institution, Harvard Medical School is looking for applicants with broad interests and talents.
Having said this, Ivy League applicants do not have an admissions advantage. Therefore, students should attend an undergraduate college that will challenge them academically and personally.
How Is Harvard Medical School Graduate Acceptance Rate?
Each year, the Harvard Medical School MD-PhD Program receives over 600 applications.
The selection for interviews is basically based on a careful review of the application and supporting documents. Also, strong research and excellent academic background are essential for the selection.
Unfortunately, some applicants may be invited for medical school interviews but not invited for MD-PhD Program interviews.
Approximately 65-75 applicants are eventually invited for interviews as admission to the MD-PhD Program is highly competitive. Most applicants selected for interviews generally have high MCAT scores as well as good letters of recommendation.
After conducting the interview, the school admits an average of 12-14 students per year for the full funding by the National Institutes of Health Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Grant.
From the above, we can conclude that the Havard Medical School graduate’s acceptance rate is 2%. That is, out of 600 applicants, only about 12 of them get admitted into the school.
On the other hand, the Havard Medical School Graduate interview rate is 10-12.5%. That is, out of 600 applicants, only about 65-75 of them get invited for an interview.
As a graduate student, you can also apply for the Harvard University Academy Scholars Programme for International PhD. Students
What Is Harvard Medical School Interview Acceptance Rate?
Before an applicant gets admitted into HMS, he or she has to get an invitation for the interview test. At the interview, the admission panel gets to know more about the applicant to determine whether to accept him/her or not.
And just like other top-notch institutions, Harvard Medical School is one of the most selective medical schools. This can easily be seen by the rate at which it selects students for interviews from a sea of overqualified applicants.
For instance, focusing on the Class of 2024, there were 6185 applications. Of those applicants, 948 received interviews (15.3% interview rate), and ultimately 165 enrolled.
From the reference above, we can say that the Harvard Medical School interview rate is 15.3%.
How Do I Prepare For Harvard Medical School Interview?
Here are some interesting facts about Harvard students you should bear in mind while applying for or preparing for Harvard Medical School Interview:
- Harvard students have a high GPA and MCAT Score.
- Harvard students usually have impressive research resumes.
- They usually have notable leadership experience.
- Harvard students often have close relationships with well-known physicians and/or professors.
- Harvard students are great communicators.
Although not part of their prerequisites for applying to the school, most Harvard students have a high GPA and MCAT score. However, a high GPA and MCAT score do not help you stand out among the other applicants.
At Harvard, GPA and MCAT scores do not determine who gets accepted. Instead, they use GPA and MCAT scores to determine whose application gets considered or not.
The emphasis here is impressive. That you conduct research does not mean you will have a better chance at admissions.
Nowadays, most qualified undergraduate pre-meds are part of a research team. However, to stay competitive for Harvard, a student researcher must do something beyond the norm that will stand out.
For instance, most medical students at Harvard have been published as an author in a research journal or have been part of a particularly innovative project in their undergraduate careers.
As a Harvard doctor, you are definitely going to be in a place of respect and leadership. Basically, Harvard wants to accept students that can excel in the responsibility given to them.
Also, most Harvard students have been insignificant leadership roles prior to applying to medical school. So, if you hope to be one, try running for president of your school or starting your own non-profit organization.
In summary, as a prospective student, try to meet the Harvard standard.
This may look or sound weird but believe me, it is necessary. According to ProspectiveDoctors, studies have shown that students with close relationships with professors have a better chance of success.
This is so because the professors can serve as mentors and can also motivate students to perform to their highest potential. It is also a way for students to be accountable.
Furthermore, having close relationships with faculty members will ensure great recommendation letters. For instance, many pre-meds ask for recommendation letters from professors they do not know well simply because they do not know anyone well.
These letters may end up getting rejected by Harvard, unlike other medical schools, as it considers them mediocre letters.
This is so because Harvard strives for the best, and one way they can determine who is “best” is by reading letters from well-known leaders about you.
High scores and intelligence are not the only qualities you need to become a great doctor or physician. You should also know how to communicate effectively.
Just like other Medical schools, Harvard determines an applicant’s communication skills during the interview. The interview is often seen as the most important medical school application cycle aspect.
How to improve your communication skills
If you are not a confident communicator, consider taking communication classes offered at your school or challenging yourself by joining the speech & debate team.
In addition, make sure to participate in mock interviews before you attend interviews with Harvard or any other medical school.
This is to avoid being among the many brilliant students who fail to become doctors because they couldn’t pass the interview.
Therefore to attend a med school like Harvard, where expectations are high, it is important to work on your communication skills.
What Are The Selection Factors For Harvard Medical School Admission?
Since it’s an established fact that Harvard Medical School is very selective of its students, it’s best you get acquainted with their selection factors as an applicant.
First and foremost, HMS seeks students of integrity and maturity who have concern for others, leadership potential, and an aptitude for working with people.
In addition, the Committee on Admissions evaluates applications based on several factors, including the following:
- Academic records
- Applicant essay(s)
- MCAT scores
- Letters of evaluation
- Extracurricular activities
- Summer occupations
- Life experiences
- Experience in the health field, as well as research or community work.
It is also important to note that the Committee on Admissions takes a holistic approach to application review. Therefore, they do not pre-screen applications.
Also, all applicants who submit an AMCAS application and designate Harvard Medical School will receive the school’s secondary application.
Furthermore, Harvard Medical School does not have a rolling admissions policy. That is, the timing of the submission or completion of an application will not affect the applicant’s chances of receiving an interview invitation.
As long as all application materials are received prior to their final deadline, applicants will receive full consideration.
Studying with less financial burden at HMS, see these Fully Funded Scholarships In Harvard University.
What Are The Admission Requirements At Harvard Medical School? | Eligibility Criteria
Basically, the HMS Faculty of Medicine accepts applications from current students in good standing and graduates of accredited colleges who:
- Present evidence that their intellectual and personal credentials are of such quality as to forecast success in the study and practice of medicine.
- Show aptitude in the biological and physical sciences during their undergraduate years, but not to the exclusion of the humanities and social sciences.
- Supplemented their education with at least one year of college or university training in the USA or Canada if they have completed academic work outside the United States or Canada. Foreign students who do not have a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an institution in the USA or Canada are rarely accepted for admission.
- Show fluent and nuanced facility in English, as effective communication among the medical care team and between physicians and patients is crucial to the delivery of care.
Also, students are required to complete at least three years of college work and a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation. In addition, students must complete all necessary prerequisite coursework prior to matriculation.
Also, get to know these Amazing Facts about Harvard Housing
Who Cannot Apply To Harvard Medical School?
The following students are ineligible to apply to HMS:
- Students who have been enrolled in medical school are ineligible to apply for admission into the first-year class.
- Students who have applied for admission to HMS on two prior occasions are ineligible.
- Also, HMS does not accept transfer students.
How Can I Apply For Harvard Medical School?
To apply for admission to the Harvard Medical School, eligible applicants are to follow the following steps:
- Choose an MD Track
- Submit an application
- Apply on time
Basically, applicants to the HMS MD Program choose between two curriculum tracks—Pathways and Health Science & Technology (HST).
That is, applicants may apply to the HST track, to the Pathways track, or to both. Application to both tracks doesn’t in any way prejudice the chance of acceptance to either one.
Also, applicants may indicate candidacy for the Medical Scientist Training Program of the MD-PhD combined degree.
Applicants, however, should gain familiarity with the unique aspects of each track before applying.
Pathways incorporate pedagogical approaches that foster active learning and critical thinking, earlier clinical experience, advanced clinical and basic/population science experiences, and a scholarly project that will allow every student to plan an individual pathway to the MD degree.
Also, 135 students per year are admitted into Pathways.
Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
HMS and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offer HST. It is oriented toward students with a declared interest in a career in biomedical research or a strong interest and background in physical or molecular science.
Basically, the HST curriculum is designed to emphasize a basic and quantitative understanding of modern biomedical sciences and pathophysiologic processes and a fundamental approach to important concepts in modern biology and biotechnology.
Also, 30 students per year are admitted to HST.
The MD-PhD combined degree program prepares students to become leading physician-scientists. Typically, the strongest applicants have also completed advanced coursework in science and mathematics and have substantial prior research experience.
Applications are evaluated on academic performance and also on the strength of the applicant’s research experience, personal statement, description of research interests, and inherent passion and commitment to research.
Application to Harvard Medical School is made through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). Applicants who submit the AMCAS application will be eligible to file the HMS Supplemental Application.
Basically, a non-refundable application filing fee of $100 must accompany the completed supplemental application at the time of submission.
Are you an international student? Then see the Top 15 Harvard Scholarships List for International and African Students.
When To Apply For Admission To Harvard Medical School?
Below is a tabular representation of admission timeliness at Harvard Medical school. It is also important to note that these dates are subject to change by the school.
|Early May||AMCAS application opens|
|Early June||AMCAS application becomes available for submission|
|Early July||HMS secondary opens and becomes available for submission|
|October 15||Final deadline for AMCAS application|
|October 22||The final deadline for HMS secondary application and all materials (letters, MCAT scores, etc.)|
|October 31||AMCAS transcript deadline. All transcripts must be received before this date.|
|December 1||AMCAS verification deadline. You must become verified before this date.|
|Early March||All admissions decisions are sent out via email on the same date, whether candidates are accepted, declined, or waitlisted. Candidates accepted or waitlisted for admission are sent financial aid materials. Families should file tax returns, FAFSA, and Need Access applications as soon as possible.|
|Mid to Late March||Deadline for submission of all financial aid application materials, including tax returns. Evaluation of completed files and email notification of financial aid award letters begins on a rolling basis.|
|April 15||Admitted students should narrow their acceptance offers down to three schools.|
|April 30||Admitted students planning to enroll at HMS must select the “Plan to Enroll” option on the Choose your Medical School tool in their AMCAS application.|
|June 1||Admitted students planning to enrol at HMS must select the “Commit to Enroll” option on the Choose Your Medical School tool in their AMCAS application.|
|June 15||Immunization and health forms deadline|
|July||Email notification of fall term bill sent to students|
|July 1||Deadline to submit all transcripts to the admissions office|
|Early August||Matriculation & White Coat Ceremony|
FAQs On Harvard Medical School Acceptance Rate In 2024
The Harvard acceptance rate is 3.3%.
Basically, a Harvard doctor is someone for whom the pursuit of professional and personal excellence is a way of life.
Using the class of 2024 report, the Harvard Medical School interview rate is 15.3%.
From the 2019 admission information, the acceptance rate for underrepresented in medicine (African American, Native American, Hispanic, Mexican American) is 39(24%).
To apply for admission to the Harvard Medical School, eligible applicants are to follow the following steps:
– Choose an MD Track
– Submit an application
– Apply on time
To get admitted into Harvard Medical School, you must have done these courses:
The following students are ineligible to apply to HMS:
1. Students who have been enrolled in medical school are ineligible to apply for admission into the first-year class.
2. Students who applied for HMS on two prior occasions are ineligible.
3. Also, HMS does not accept transfer students.
Becoming a Harvard Medical School student is a dream come true for many pre-med students. However, just like every other top medical school in the world, Harvard university’s acceptance rate is low as it only admits the best applicants.
Therefore, you need to meet Harvard’s standards to get into Harvard Med. school. In other words, you need to aim high and do something that will make you stand out against everyone else.
I hope the information above helps you in your decision to study at Harvard Medical School.
Good Luck And Success!!!
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