Best Colleges for Premed (2023-2024)

If your goal is to be a doctor one day, you probably want to know what are the best colleges for premed. To give yourself the best odds of getting into a great medical school, you need to take care when selecting an undergraduate institution. As an aspiring physician, you want to consider a number of factors that go beyond the majors and academic programs available at the college question. Keep reading to learn about the best colleges for premed, along with tips on assessing your options.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Premed College

Before diving in to the specific “best colleges for premed,” it is important to first review the are several factors you need to consider when making your college list. The bottom line is that ANY college can be great for premeds and we have worked with successful applicants from a variety of collages. By the same token, your undergraduate college prestige will not guarantee a medical school acceptance which is why you must choose carefully where you want to go to college.

1) The Premed Track and Major Selection

The vast majority of top-tier colleges do not offer premed majors. If the college doesn’t have a designated premed major, students can choose to major in any discipline contrary to popular thinking that students must major in a STEM field. However, and not surprisingly, most admitted students majored in biological or physical sciences. 

Keep in mind, that major choice will not dictate your success in the medical school admissions process. At MedEdits, we have worked with successful applicants from a variety of majors including everything from biochemistry to art history.

2) Medical School Admissions Data

If you’re planning to apply to medical school, it’s only logical to evaluate undergraduate institutions based on their med school acceptance numbers. After all, if the college has historically been good at getting its graduates into medical school, then you can safely assume they’ll help you do the same. 

It’s worth noting that colleges sometimes post misleading claims about their admissions numbers. When researching a given school, be aware that they might be filling their premed track with tough courses (known as weeder classes) in order to disincentivize weaker students from pursuing a career as a doctor. As a result, their acceptance rate may seem higher than it actually is since many students may drop the premed track after enrolling in premed classes  they find too difficult.

3) Premed Advising

Aspiring med students have a lot going on, and it’s easy for important tasks to get lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, many top schools have helpful premed advising programs. Along with keeping students on the right track, these programs help them select courses that will help them satisfy medical school requirements, choose majors, and prepare their med school applications. Staff members may also be available to aid in interview preparation and advise you on taking the MCAT.

4) Clinical Experiences

Medical schools are competitive, and a great education isn’t necessarily enough to guarantee you admission to a great college. The most desirable students also possess clinical experience that helps them stand out from other applicants. When it comes to choosing a premed college, look for institutions that help students gain firsthand experience working or volunteering in clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. Proximity to medical centers and hospitals is also something to focus on. As a bonus, these opportunities will help you determine whether or not a career in medicine really is right for you. 

5) Research Opportunities

Research is an essential part of a physician’s job, so it’s no surprise that medical schools look favorably upon students with experience in this field. The best colleges for premed offer opportunities for undergraduates to work in a lab or clinical setting, researching subjects of interest. If you think you want to be a doctor, consider how the school will help you further your education outside your classes.

Undergraduate Universities with the Most Premed Applicants

To some extent, the undergraduate colleges with the most premed applicants might be considered to be “the best” colleges for premeds as they will have the resources and opportunities that students need to be successful. Below you will find the top 20 universities with the number of premedical applicants they had last year.

University of California Los Angeles 1195
University of Texas at Austin 993
University of Florida 860
University of Michigan 824
University of California Berkeley 735
University of California San Diego 646
University of Georgia 591
Texas A&M 579
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 541
Ohio State University 522
University of Virginia 511
University of Wisconsin Madison 510
Johns Hopkins University 506
University of California Davis 481
University of Washington Seattle 464
Rutgers University 442
University of Texas Dallas 438
University of South Florida 438
University of California Irvine 430
University of Central Florida 422

Best Premed Colleges

We are often asked what colleges and universities we prefer for premeds. Please review this list with a grain of salt as students can do well in the premed process from any undergraduate college. Below you will find some of our personal favorite top 20 colleges and universities with the number of premedical applicants they had last year.

Emory University 375
Washington University St. Louis 372
University of Pennsylvania 321
Duke University  306
Vanderbilt University  292
New York University 266
Harvard University  260
Northwestern University  258
Northeastern University 242
Rice University 230
Tufts University 203
Yale University 195
University of Rochester 143
George Washington University 145
Wake Forest 143
SUNY Buffalo 136
City University of New York 126
University of Maryland 117
Syracuse University 81
Williams College 73

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Premed

The reality is the liberal arts colleges, which don’t make “the list” of colleges providing the most premed students because they have such small student bodies, are often the ideal options for premeds. With more personalized attention, smaller class sizes, great premed advising, and great scholarly opportunities, liberal arts colleges can be a wonderful choice for premeds.

Amherst College
Pomona College
Swarthmore College
Wellesley College
Bowdoin College
Carleton College
Claremont McKenna College
Middlebury College
Barnard College
Haverford College
Harvey Mudd College
College of the Holy Cross
Occidental College
Lafayette College
Trinity College
Union College
Lehigh University (not liberal arts but with few premeds)
Muhlenberg College
Wesleyan University
Hamilton College

Best Honors Colleges for Premed

Any public university with an honors college can provide phenomenal resources for premeds. Honors college students often enjoy special perks such as early class registration, advising, and special housing/community building. Students also have access to special research and scholarly opportunities and career guidance. Honors colleges can offer the chance to get a great education and a more reasonable cost while pursuing a stellar premedical education. Some of our favorite honors colleges include:

Binghamton University Scholars Program
Commonwealth Honors College University Massachusetts Amherst
Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University
Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University
Honors College at University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Macaulay Honors College at City University of New York (CUNY)
Honors College at University of Texas at Austin
William Honors College at Indiana University Bloomington
Honors College at University of Washington
Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College at Louisiana State University
Rutgers Honors College at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University
Clark Honors College at University of Oregon
Scholars Program at University of Maryland, College Park
Honors College at University of Arizona
Honors College at University of Georgia
Honors College at University of Washington
Calhoun Honors College at Clemson
University Honors College at University of Pittsburgh

Best Pre Med Colleges in New York

Best Pre Med Schools in California

Best Premed Schools in Arizona

MedEdits PreMed Timeline

In this premed timeline video, Dr Freedman discusses:

  • Premed Timeline
  • Pre Med Requirements
  • Best Pre Med Courses to Take
  • Pre Med 4 Year Plan
  • Pre Med 5 Year Plan
  • Pre Med Acceptance Timeline

Premed Timeline 2020-2021

You’re premed. Does it matter where you go to college?

You’re headed to college and ready to begin your premed and medical school application timeline journey. 

So, does it matter where you go to college?

Going to the “best college” to which you are accepted may not always be a wise choice.

If you are certain that you want to go to medical school, think twice.

I’m often asked: Isn’t a “top ranked” college the best option for a premed? 

Is the college in which you’re interested notorious for being a “premed weeder” school?

Do their premedical classes have impossible curves?

If so, your GPA may suffer. This could negatively influence your chance of admission to medical school. 

Where you go to college matters.

So, what should you do?

First of all, I do advise all premed students to attend four year universities rather than community colleges.

Community college classes are not considered as rigorous and most admissions committees do not respect grades from community college courses. 

What should you consider when evaluating premed classes?

As you decide where to attend college, also consider class sizes.

A common applicant complaint is:

“But my classes are huge. My professors don’t know me. I have no one I can ask for letters of reference.” 

You know you want to go to medical school.

In other words, you know you want to go to medical school.

  • Consider the academic competitiveness of the school
  • Class sizes in making your college choice
  • Consider the curriculum that will help you prepare for the MCAT and has a track of record of students who obtain competitive MCAT scores

So, here’s the deal:

What may be best is to attend a reputable undergraduate college,


Don’t choose a school that is not notorious for making it very tough to earn good grades.

Do choose a school where you will get a solid educational foundation in the sciences.

What else?

Choose a school where you will have the chance to work directly with your professors rather than teaching assistants. 

And that’s not all: 

As you make your college choice, seek out information on how premedical students fare. 

Be sure to ask premed precollege administrators the following questions: 

What percentage of students who enter college as “premeds” graduate and attend medical school? 

Do your premed homework.

Where do graduates attend medical school? 

So, ask the following:

What percentage of students who want to apply to medical school are “approved” for a premedical committee letter?

Well, you can read more about this in my book.

In Chapter 5 of The MedEdits Guide to Medical School Admissions, I discuss this item which couled be part of your application process.

But, here’s the most important part:

Be sure to attend a college where you can pursue your intellectual curiosities. 

How to get into medical school. Medical school requirements

Medical school admissions requirements tip


Medical school admissions committees do not require applicants to major in a science.


You will need to enroll in challenging science courses. 

In fact: 

With medical schools seeking diverse student bodies, admissions committees like to see distinctive and atypical majors. 

For example:

Medical school admissions officers like applicants with academic diversity,

Consider this:

Think about a major or minor in a nonscience discipline such as art history or Hispanic studies. 

The bottom line:

Your intellectual pursuits during college can actually distinguish you during the application process.

So remember:

College might also be one of the last times you can pursue your nonmedical and scientific interests in depth.

So, make the most of it!

Excerpt from The MedEdits Guide to Medical School Admissions by Dr. Jessica Freedman.

The Medical School Admissions Guide

The MedEdits Guide to Medical School Admissions

This is comprehensive and up to date guide offers realistic advice for applicants on many topics including:

  • Where to go to college if you are premed
  • When to take the MCAT
  • Whom to ask for letters of reference
  • How to write a personal statement
  • How to write application experience entries
  • How to write “most meaningful” experience application entries
  • What medical schools look for in applicants
  • Medical school admission requirements
  • What applicants can do to market themselves most effectively
  • How medical school admissions committees decide whom to interview
  • What to do if you are “waitlisted”
  • Deciding where to apply and attend

Looking for other top premed universities?

Check out our state by state list below.

Best Pre Med Schools

Best Pre Med Schools

As a premed, you must have a reliable and knowledgable premed advisor. If you don’t have one, consider working with us throughout your college years. Click Here for information.