Niche Resources
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Niche Resources
Best Pre Med Majors

The Best Colleges for Pre-Med

Did you know that pre-med is not considered an actual major by most universities in the United States? Most times, there isn’t even an official pre-med concentration available to students.

So what should you study if you want to go to medical school? We’ll explain what schools are really looking for, what pre-med tracks you can take, and where to find the best college for pre-med students.

What Med Schools are Really Looking For

It may surprise you to learn that yes, medical schools typically require one year each of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, general physics, and English, but majoring in science isn’t necessarily required or encouraged by many medical schools.

In fact, the Harvard Medical School Admissions page explicitly states:

“We adhere to the important principle that the college years are not, and should not be, designed primarily to prepare students for professional schools. Instead, the college years should be devoted to a creative engagement in the elements of a broad, intellectually expansive liberal arts education.”

So it’s not all about science– being well-rounded in many different subjects in addition to science makes for an attractive medical school candidate. Why? There’s more to being a doctor than knowing the causes of disease– doctors must have an appreciation of cultural nuance and human behavior in order to truly understand and treat their patients.

The Different Pre-Med Tracks

Because students have to fulfill the science requirements, many end up studying science as their primary major. Although as we explored above, the liberal arts route can be an attractive way to get a comprehensive understanding of all subjects, while fulfilling requirements. It’s really up to you!

Here are four popular pre-med majors:

  1. Biology
  2. Chemistry
  3. Physics
  4. Liberal Arts

All of the above are good majors for medical school– there isn’t a definite “right track” for getting into a good program. As long as you meet the course requirements and complete the MCAT, admissions staff are generally looking for well-rounded individuals who demonstrate a passion for medicine.

How to Prepare for Pre-Med While You’re Still in High School

Where are the Best Schools for Pre-Med?

Because majoring in “pre-med” is not an option, we’ve listed out the top 10 best colleges for biology, chemistry, physics, and liberal arts — all common majors for those wanting to attend medical school.

 

The Top 10 Colleges for Biology

RANK College Name Avg. Biology Student SAT Score on Niche* Avg. Biology Student ACT Score on Niche* Overall Acceptance Rate
RANK 1
College Name Harvard University
Avg. Biology Student SAT Score on Niche* 1460
Avg. Biology Student ACT Score on Niche* 33
Overall Acceptance Rate 5%
RANK 2
College Name Stanford University
Avg. Biology Student SAT Score on Niche* 1466
Avg. Biology Student ACT Score on Niche* 32
Overall Acceptance Rate 5%
RANK 3
College Name Yale University
Avg. Biology Student SAT Score on Niche* 1476
Avg. Biology Student ACT Score on Niche* 34
Overall Acceptance Rate 6%
RANK 4
College Name Brown University
Avg. Biology Student SAT Score on Niche* 1449
Avg. Biology Student ACT Score on Niche* 33
Overall Acceptance Rate 9%
RANK 5
Avg. Biology Student SAT Score on Niche* 1525
Avg. Biology Student ACT Score on Niche* 32
Overall Acceptance Rate 8%
RANK 6
College Name Duke University
Avg. Biology Student SAT Score on Niche* 1469
Avg. Biology Student ACT Score on Niche* 33
Overall Acceptance Rate 11%
RANK 7
Avg. Biology Student SAT Score on Niche* 1468
Avg. Biology Student ACT Score on Niche* 33
Overall Acceptance Rate 17%
RANK 8
College Name Vanderbilt University
Avg. Biology Student SAT Score on Niche* 1466
Avg. Biology Student ACT Score on Niche* 33
Overall Acceptance Rate 11%
RANK 9
Avg. Biology Student SAT Score on Niche* 1427
Avg. Biology Student ACT Score on Niche* 33
Overall Acceptance Rate 13%
RANK 10
College Name Rice University
Avg. Biology Student SAT Score on Niche* 1481
Avg. Biology Student ACT Score on Niche* 34
Overall Acceptance Rate 15%
View the Top 100

 

The Top 10 Colleges for Chemistry

RANK COLLEGE NAME Avg. Chemistry Student SAT Score on Niche* Avg. Chemistry Student ACT Score on Niche* OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE
RANK 1
COLLEGE NAME Harvard University
Avg. Chemistry Student SAT Score on Niche* 1531
Avg. Chemistry Student ACT Score on Niche* 35
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 5%
RANK 2
Avg. Chemistry Student SAT Score on Niche* 1560
Avg. Chemistry Student ACT Score on Niche* N/A
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 8%
RANK 3
Avg. Chemistry Student SAT Score on Niche* 1466
Avg. Chemistry Student ACT Score on Niche* 35
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 8%
RANK 4
COLLEGE NAME Yale University
Avg. Chemistry Student SAT Score on Niche* 1502
Avg. Chemistry Student ACT Score on Niche* 33
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 6%
RANK 5
COLLEGE NAME Princeton University
Avg. Chemistry Student SAT Score on Niche* 1403
Avg. Chemistry Student ACT Score on Niche* 34
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 7%
RANK 6
COLLEGE NAME University of Chicago
Avg. Chemistry Student SAT Score on Niche* 1509
Avg. Chemistry Student ACT Score on Niche* 34
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 8%
RANK 7
Avg. Chemistry Student SAT Score on Niche* 1447
Avg. Chemistry Student ACT Score on Niche* 34
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 17%
RANK 8
COLLEGE NAME Duke University
Avg. Chemistry Student SAT Score on Niche* 1476
Avg. Chemistry Student ACT Score on Niche* 33
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 11%
RANK 9
Avg. Chemistry Student SAT Score on Niche* 1486
Avg. Chemistry Student ACT Score on Niche* 33
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 11%
RANK 10
Avg. Chemistry Student SAT Score on Niche* 1482
Avg. Chemistry Student ACT Score on Niche* 33
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 22%
View the Top 100

 

The Top 10 Colleges for Physics

RANK COLLEGE NAME Avg. Physics Student SAT Score on Niche* Avg. Physics Student ACT Score on Niche* OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE
RANK 1
Avg. Physics Student SAT Score on Niche* 1438
Avg. Physics Student ACT Score on Niche* 34
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 8%
RANK 2
Avg. Physics Student SAT Score on Niche* 1557
Avg. Physics Student ACT Score on Niche* 34
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 8%
RANK 3
COLLEGE NAME Harvard University
Avg. Physics Student SAT Score on Niche* 1534
Avg. Physics Student ACT Score on Niche* 35
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 5%
RANK 4
COLLEGE NAME Yale University
Avg. Physics Student SAT Score on Niche* 1509
Avg. Physics Student ACT Score on Niche* 34
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 6%
RANK 5
COLLEGE NAME Stanford University
Avg. Physics Student SAT Score on Niche* 1463
Avg. Physics Student ACT Score on Niche* 35
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 5%
RANK 6
COLLEGE NAME University of Chicago
Avg. Physics Student SAT Score on Niche* 1490
Avg. Physics Student ACT Score on Niche* 33
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 8%
RANK 7
COLLEGE NAME Princeton University
Avg. Physics Student SAT Score on Niche* 1527
Avg. Physics Student ACT Score on Niche* 31
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 7%
RANK 8
COLLEGE NAME Cornell University
Avg. Physics Student SAT Score on Niche* 1498
Avg. Physics Student ACT Score on Niche* 34
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 14%
RANK 9
COLLEGE NAME Columbia University
Avg. Physics Student SAT Score on Niche* 1479
Avg. Physics Student ACT Score on Niche* 34
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 7%
RANK 10
COLLEGE NAME Bowdoin College
Avg. Physics Student SAT Score on Niche* 1455
Avg. Physics Student ACT Score on Niche* 33
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 15%
View the Top 100

 

The Top 10 Colleges for for Liberal Arts

RANK COLLEGE NAME Average SAT Score Average ACT Score OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE
RANK 1
COLLEGE NAME Pomona College
Average SAT Score 1340-1540
Average ACT Score 31-34
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 9%
RANK 2
COLLEGE NAME Bowdoin College
Average SAT Score 1360-1510
Average ACT Score 31-33
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 15%
RANK 3
COLLEGE NAME Amherst College
Average SAT Score 1360-1555
Average ACT Score 31-34
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 14%
RANK 4
COLLEGE NAME Swarthmore College
Average SAT Score 1305-1530
Average ACT Score 30-34
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 13%
RANK 5
Average SAT Score 1180-1390
Average ACT Score 26-31
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 10%
RANK 6
COLLEGE NAME Middlebury College
Average SAT Score 1280-1495
Average ACT Score 30-33
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 16%
RANK 7
COLLEGE NAME Barnard College
Average SAT Score 1270-1470
Average ACT Score 29-33
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 15%
RANK 8
COLLEGE NAME Carleton College
Average SAT Score 1320-1540
Average ACT Score 30-33
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 23%
RANK 9
Average SAT Score 1320-1460
Average ACT Score 30-33
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 24%
RANK 10
COLLEGE NAME Wellesley College
Average SAT Score 1310-1500
Average ACT Score 30-33
OVERALL ACCEPTANCE RATE 28%
See the Top 100
*Composite SAT/ACT scores are normalized to the same scale of students majoring in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at the school. Scores are self-reported by students on Niche.com.

Author: Alex Caffee

Marketing and Business Analyst at Niche. Dessert aficionado. Found my Niche in Pittsburgh, PA!