Becoming a doctor has fantastic career prospects, and most aspects of the medical profession are absolutely critical — society relies on doctors to keep us all safe and healthy as individuals and as a community.
Because doctors have got such an important job, their education is paramount.
If you’re interested in joining the medical profession, Harvard Medical School is a fantastic place to pursue your education — in fact, many consider it to be the best place.
Harvard Medical School is consistently named the number one medical school in the world. It’s housed countless industry leaders, Nobel Prize winners, entrepreneurs, and more.
But because HMS is the best of the best, it’s also challenging to gain entry.
This guide explains everything you need to know about how to get into Harvard Medical School, including the school’s acceptance rate, Harvard Medical School requirements, and the application process.
About Harvard Medical School
Founded in 1782, Harvard Medical School (HMS) is one of America’s oldest medical schools. But more important still, global league tables consistently rank Harvard as one of the top medical schools in the world.
Harvard Medical School is well-known for its sprawling campus and facilities.
Since 1906, the medical school has been based at the center of the Longwood Medical Area. This is located in the heart of Boston’s historic Mission Hill neighborhood, away from Harvard University’s main campus across the Charles River.
Harvard Medical School is home to ten different basic and social science departments — and the school plays home to a large and active body of fellows, staff, and students.
HMS currently consists of around 12,000 faculty members and a med student body of 11,000 residents and postdoctoral fellows.
Between them, this body of staff, students, and its 100,000 alumni have earned ten Nobel prizes for medicine, physiology, and peace.
If you’re an aspiring doctor and want to study with the best of the best, Harvard is a top choice.
But it’s important to remember that the school’s admission process is accordingly rigorous.
We’ve covered the basics of Harvard Medical School and why just about every medical student should want to get in.
Now, let’s take a quick look at the graduate application process and eligibility requirements for medical school applicants trying to become a Harvard med student.
Harvard Medical School acceptance rate
Ivy League schools like Harvard University calculate their acceptance rates by taking the number of students whose applications were accepted and dividing it by the total number of individuals that applied.
Harvard Medical School’s admissions rate tends to fluctuate just like any other med school. But if you want a rough idea of Harvard’s acceptance rate, it’s work taking a look at the school’s 2021 admissions figures.
Just over 8,000 students applied to join Harvard Medical School’s “Class of 2025.” Of 2021’s 8,002 applicants, 851 prospects were asked to come in for an interview. In the end, 164 of those interviewees ultimately enrolled.
That equates to an acceptance rate of 2%. This is slightly lower than the med school’s 2020 acceptance rate, which the admissions committee reports was 3.5%.
Of all the admitted students that joined Harvard Medical School in 2021, 70% received financial aid. The average annual scholarship for new entrants in 2020 was $51,841.
It’s not easy to gain entry into a school with that sort of prestige that HMS has. You have to work incredibly hard to be eligible and make your application stand out.
Harvard Medical School doesn’t set a minimum undergrad grade point average (GPA) for admissions officers to look at. But as a point of reference, the average GPA for the class of 2025 was 3.9.
Around 74% of accepted students were science majors.
In terms of the required prerequisites, applicants must have taken at least one year of biology (with lab experience), two years of chemistry or biochemistry, one year of physics, and one year of writing.
You cannot use AP credits to meet these requirements, and math and behavioral science classes are encouraged for some pathways.
In addition to prerequisite courses, you’ll also need to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and submit your score to the medical school as part of your application.
Just like GPAs, Harvard Medical School doesn’t post an MCAT cutoff score. Applicants must simply post their test scores as part of their American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application.
But if you take a look at the average MCAT score of Harvard’s Class of 2025, it’s clear the school has high standards.
Last year’s medical school applicants earned an average score of 130.21 for BBFL, 128.98 for CARS, 130.01 for CPBS, and 130.26 for PSBB. That equates to an average total score of 519.46.
To be eligible, you also have to submit up to six letters of recommendation.
At least two of those letters should be from science professors, and at least one should be written by a professor who’s not in the sciences. You should send letters from all your research supervisors.
How to apply
If you want to apply to Harvard Medical school, you need to apply through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).
In addition to completing your online AMCAS application, you’ll need to file the HMS Supplemental Application. If you complete the AMCAS form and select Harvard as your med school of choice, you’ll automatically be sent the supplement.
You’ll also have to pay a $100 filing fee.
It’s important to note that you’re only allowed to apply to Harvard Medical School twice. If you’ve already made two previous attempts to get in, your third application will be rejected.
If your application wows an admissions officer, you may be invited to take part in a medical school interview. This is the final part of the application process.
Harvard Medical School is one of the best med schools in the world. That means if you want to gain entry, you have to fulfill a long list of eligibility requirements.
That’s why you need to research the school and make sure your application is as strong as possible.
Want to learn more about getting into Harvard Medical School? You’ve come to the right place. Check out TheGradCafe.com for real acceptance results from applications, HMS application tips and tricks, and more.