For most medical school applicants, gaining admissions to Harvard Medical School, ranked #1 for research by US News and World Report is considered a lofty goal. Harvard is a reach school for every student who applies. A private medical school in Boston, Massachusetts, Harvard is not only an institution where you will get a fantastic medical education, but, you will also have the opportunity to live in a vibrant city. We will review the requirements for Harvard Medical School, the average acceptance data, and what you can do to increase your chances of acceptance.
Harvard Medical School Requirements
Inorganic Chemistry with lab – full year (AP credit will satisfy one semester)
Organic Chemistry with lab.- full year
Biology with lab – full year
Biochemistry – one semester
Biostatistics/Statistics – one semester
Calculus – one semester (AP score of 4 or 5 will satisfy requirement)
Physics – one with with lab preferred
Writing – one year (humanities or social sciences)
Getting into a medical school has never been more competitive. Let the experts at MedEdits help you with your medical school application materials. We’ve worked with more than 5,000 students and 94% have been admitted to medical school.
Need Help With Your Application Materials?
Schedule a Free 15 Minute Consultation with a MedEdits expert.
Harvard Medical School Acceptance Rate and Admissions Data
The Harvard Medical School acceptance rate was 3.4% in 2018 and this number does not vary much from year to year.
When reviewing Harvard’s acceptance data, pay attention to the range of numbers! Not everyone who gets into Harvard has a perfect GPA and MCAT!
- Average MCAT – 518.72 (range 513 – 525)
- Average GPA – 3.9 (range 3.75 – 3.98)
- Average BCPM GPA – 3.93 (range 3.69 – 3.99)
In total, Harvard received 6.917 applications and conducted 889 interviews last year.
A total of 232 applicants were admitted.
There were 165 medical school matriculants.
Therefore, 26% of those applicants interviewed were accepted.
Harvard accepts international and out of state students.
Related Video: Medical School Admissions Statistics – Tips to get into Medical School 2019-2020
Harvard Letters of Evaluation Requirement
Harvard allows applicants to submit up to six letters of reference with the following specifics from Harvard Medical School’s website:
At least two (2) letters should be from professors in the sciences with whom they have taken classes.
At least one (1) letter should be written by a professor who is not in the sciences.
We should receive letters from all research supervisors for applicants to the MD-PhD program as well as applicants to the MD program. Applicants may exceed the six (6)-letter maximum if the additional letters are from research supervisors.
If applicants wish to supplement a premedical advisory committee evaluation packet with additional letters of recommendation, they should count the packet as one (1) letter toward the six (6)-letter maximum.
We do not require letters of recommendation from employers, but if applicants have been out of school and working they should have a letter sent from their place of employment.
Harvard Medical School Curricular Options
Harvard’s more traditional and primary medical school curriculum is called the Pathways Program in which 135 students enroll annually. This is a case-based medical school curriculum with early clinical exposure that culminates in a scholarly project.
In addition, Harvard has a joint program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) called the Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program which is a rigorous curriculum designed specifically for students with an interest in quantitative science and enrolls 30 students per year.
Harvard also offers the following combined degree programs:
Harvard Medical School Tuition:
70% of students receive financial aid.
Getting into Harvard Medical School
The key when trying to get into Harvard medical school or any extremely competitive medical schools is to have deep, long-standing, and meaningful involvements where you have made significant contributions and had exceptional levels of achievement. Ultimately, Harvard is looking for applicants who show tremendous promise to become leaders in medicine. So, assuming you have the stats to be considered for Harvard Medical School, in what activities should you excel to distinguish yourself in the admissions process?
A whopping 98% of Harvard first year medical students had research experience which makes research a requirement for Harvard applicants. And, the more sophisticated your research the better chances you will have of standing out in the admissions process.
Medical/Clinical Volunteer or Community Service Experience
By the same token, 89% of students had experiences in this category so, to be competitive, we suggest deep involvement in medically related community work, work with different populations, and work with underserved populations.
82% of students had done physician shadowing. Therefore, gaining as much exposure to different specialists in different medical settings will help distinguish you.
Finally, 76% of students had other types of community service work.
Harvard Medical School Interviews
In addition to an orientation, lunch, and tour and class observation opportunities, applicant will have two traditional one on one interviews. Students applying for the HST and MD/PhD programs will have a total of four interviews. Based on our students’ experiences, Harvard interviews are low pressure and conversational. Interviewers typically ask questions about your background, experiences, and motivations. Link to the book.
Harvard Medical School Application Timeline
June: Submit AMCAS Application
July: Harvard starts sending out secondary applications. Link to Harvard Secondary Essay Prompts
September: Interviews Begin
October 15: Final AMCAS deadline
October 22: Final supplemental materials deadline
October 31: AMCAS transcript deadline
January: Interviews conclude
Early March: All admissions decisions released
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.*
MedEdits helps students get admitted to medical school and residency programs. Our consultants have years of experience serving on medical school admissions committees, and as faculty members at the top medical schools in the country.
Need Help With Your Harvard Application?
Schedule a Free 15 Minute Consultation with a MedEdits expert.