How many medical schools should I apply to?

When a student plans to become a doctor, they have already researched their dream medical school but the student should not think about just one medical school they want. You should think about where the best chance of acceptance is and also consider the tuition cost, application fees, etc.

Quick Takeaways

  • On average you must apply to at least 16 medical schools at a particular time. 
  • When you are making your list, you must remember to keep three types of schools in your list-
1. Target School
2. Safety School
3. Reach school 

However, you must read till the end so that you get a better understanding on the number of the medical school in which you should apply at.

How many medical schools should I apply to?

How many medical schools should I apply to?

According to the report of the American medical college application service, the average number of students should apply to 16 medical colleges including easy medical schools. You must think about the chances of acceptance into the college, where you want to live, and the extracurricular activities performed in medical school. You can also send them a letter of intent or med school diversity essay to make them know that you are really looking for the school. You can also use the common app to apply to more than 1 school.

When you are applying for medical school you should see how confident you are about your MCAT and GPS courses. If you are confident that you will get admission surely in medical school then you may apply to a few schools. But if you are not confident about acceptance then you should apply to more schools so that you will have more chances of acceptance. It will also depend upon which field you are applying to.

What is the difference between target vs. reach vs. safety School? 

The student should apply for medical school considering the fact of how many and which medical school they should apply to. Also, it should depend upon which profession you want to get into like pre-vet schools for becoming vet, esthetician schools for becoming esthetician, etc. Here the following are some major factors that will make your application strengthen:

How many medical schools should I apply to?

1. Target School

Here the students’ GPA, MCAT, and general application are being matched. However, if you are thinking of getting GPA around 3.4 may not allow you into medical school, it is wrong. There are a lot of medical schools that allow you to enter with a 3.4 GPA.

2. Safety School

When the student is technically overqualified then this will make the application be accepted.

3. Reach school 

The program has an average Metric that will increase the acceptance of the application.

Mostly the student should apply 50% of the application to the target School, 25% of the application to a safe school, and 25% of the application to reach the School.

How can the student develop their medical school list? 

If a student is having a low MCAT or GPS score the student should not get discouraged. If the student gets a GPS score of 3.7 that student will be admitted first from the student who has a GPS score of 3.9 and 3.5. Score matters but if the student demonstrates themselves in an excellent way by discussing their particular skills or interests in medical school then the school will choose the student most likely. The following are some points by which The student can decide on their medical school list:

  • You can also think of applying to the university at the age of 28 so that you can decide whether you want to enter or not.
  • The school should have to research the record and also see whether they consist of multiple Publications. 
  • The school should have a significant service background. 
  • As a large number of the schools are situated in areas where there is a Spanish speaker so the student chooses Spanish speaking. 
  • If you are from Kansas City, you can think of getting into UMKC which will help to get closer to your dreams.
  • Try taking up Special Master’s Programs and then decide if you really want to apply to the university or not.
How many medical schools should I apply to?

The student should create a list in three quarters and should try to send the application to the school where the student has more chances of acceptance of the application. However, you must make sure that you are not dropping out of medical college due to any of the reasons. The following are the three-quarters of the division:

  • 3 to 5 reach School. 
  • 7 to 10 target Schools. 
  • 5 to 7 understood schools. 


Are Medical Schools able to see how many schools the student has applied to? 

No, the medical school will not be able to see how many schools the student has applied to. The student has to send the application thinking about the fact in which school the primary application they want to send. However, getting into medical school is tough and therefore you must know the ways by which you can get easily get into medical school and also focus on how can you get paid for it.

Which Medical School shall a student apply to? 

The student should see their GPA (both weighted and unweighted )and MCAT score and then compare their data and research with the medical schools doing the process of admission to Medical School. Students should see whether they are at the rank above the school average points or below the school average points. Students should make a school list and a list of their average GPA, MCAT School.


The student should apply for medical school by thinking about the score GPA and MCAT and should match the level of acceptance, the location of the school where they have to spend their four years of Medical School, the tuition fee of the medical school, the expenses and then start listing the medical school.

If the student is confident about getting into medical school by applying to 1 to 5 schools only then they should not apply for a large number of medical schools. But if the student is not confident about getting admission to medical school after applying to 5 medical schools. Then the student should try to apply to up to 20 medical schools and they will have a higher chance to be accepted by medical school. 

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