How hard is to into Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School, the third oldest medical school in the United States, is the highest ranked medical school in the nation, according to U.S. News and World report. The school is known for its incredible academic excellence and prestige. It is a school for "the best of the best". Few medical students make it in. In 2009, 5,138 people applied to HMS. Only 800-1,000 of those applicants were interviewed. Of those interviewees, 165 were chosen to attend. The class is 49% women, 51% men. How did they get in?
It is no secret that getting into Harvard is difficult. One must first complete an undergraduate degree to get in. There is no required school to attend for an undergrad program. Harvard will even advise you to go somewhere for your baccalaureate degree so you can broaden your horizons. However, going to a foreign school hurts your chances as HMS rarely accepts them. There is also no requirement as to what you major in when taking courses for your baccalaureate. There is a list of enrollment requirements, though.
According to Harvard's own official website, students are urged to be well prepared in science and mathematics. The classes they take should be on the level of classes taken by those majoring in these subjects. For example, you must take at least one year of biology and have lab experience. Those classes must involve the cellular and molecular aspects of biology. In addition, you need two years of organic chemistry and both years must involve lab experience.
Not only must you excel in the sciences, but you also have to have a few other fields of expertise. For instance, you must take on year of physics, calculus, and even expository writing. How well do you have to do in these courses? The average GPA of a HMS student is 3.8. That is higher than other medical schools. University of Massachusetts, Boston University, University of Kentucky, and Louisiana State University all have medical school students that have an average GPA of about 3.5. Harvard is also a cut above in their MCAT scores.
The MCAT is a large test all medical school students must take. It is estimated most students spend at least 1-3 months studying for this test. The MCAT comes in three parts. There is a verbal section, a physical science section, and a section on biological science. Harvard Medicals Students average an 11.01 on the verbal, 12.09 on the physical science, and 12.03 on the biological science section. This is a significantly high average as most other schools have students with an 8-10 average on each section. Harvard's MCAT averages exceed those of even the most respected schools such as Yale and the University of California.
In conclusion, getting into Harvard is extremely difficult and only those who are intensely dedicated and exceptionally bright make it in. You may apply twice. If you are accepted for an interview you must travel to the school. The interviews are one-on-one with a member of the Admissions Committee.