The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .
Getting into medical school is a prestigious honor that can lead to a high-earning and rewarding career in the medical field. However, it’s no secret that a medical degree isn’t a small investment. As of October 2021, the median medical school debt totaled $203,062.
The definition of “best value” will look different for every medical student, but we parsed down all the medical schools in the U.S. based on how well they help students cut costs while also providing a quality education. Use the 10 schools listed below as a research tool when looking for the best school for your future career and financial health.
Best value medical schools in America
- UT Southwestern Medical School
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
- University of Florida College of Medicine
- University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
- Hofstra University Zucker School of Medicine
- Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
- Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
- Weill Cornell Medical College
1. UT Southwestern Medical School
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School took the spot as the best value medical school in the country for a number of reasons. It’s considered by many to be a top medical school and has a distinguished reputation. It also is one of the most affordable medical programs in the country for Texas residents.
The institution has won six Nobel Prizes and is a pillar in the country for its groundbreaking research and award-winning faculty. Plus, the UT Southwestern medical center has nearly 3 million outpatient visits per year and provides care in more than 80 specialties.
|Average GPA/ MCAT scores||GPA: 3.98 | MCAT: 514|
|Average yearly cost of attendance||$54,878|
|Median total student debt||$124,135|
|Reported yearly cost||$25,478|
2. Baylor College of Medicine
Baylor is a well-known institution that houses one of the most reputable medical schools in the country. Its GPA and MCAT requirements are competitive but if you can manage to secure a spot in the next graduating class, it can come with great success.
On top of falling below the national average costs for private medical colleges, the success of the program is reflected in its graduate outcomes. For example, the school has consistently performed above the national average in the USMLE Step 1 since its implementation in 1993. In 2019, 100 percent of Baylor students passed the USMLE Step 1 exam after taking it for the first time. Students also have a track record of being accepted into at least one of their top three choices for their residency.
|Average GPA/ MCAT scores||GPA: 3.89 | MCAT: 515|
|Average yearly cost of attendance||$57,390|
|Median total student debt||$106,344|
|Reported yearly cost||$27,873|
3. Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
The Schmidt College of Medicine is housed by Florida Atlantic University, with a program at each of its six campuses. 64 students are admitted per class and only 4 to 5 students are selected for the dual MD/PhD program, making it an ideal choice for a more intimate, hands-on learning experience within a larger university.
The median debt falls well below the national average for in-state residents and the school offers a plethora of institutional scholarships to further cut costs. The program is nationally recognized for its unique mission; to address the medical needs of the community and diverse patient populations.
|Average GPA/ MCAT scores||GPA: 3.76 | MCAT: 512|
|Average yearly cost of attendance||$56,370|
|Median total student debt||$170,296|
|Reported yearly cost||$35,113|
4. University of Florida College of Medicine
Known for its clinical presentation model, The UF College of Medicine is located in Gainesville, Florida, and focuses on curriculum renewal to address the macroeconomic changes that impact health care. In 2021, the college welcomed its largest class of 63 students, with 13.5 percent being first-generation college students and 42 students self-identifying as underrepresented in medicine.
Along with a focus on healthcare diversity, the program focuses on student success outcomes. For example, the clinical presentation model was developed by the university to help students diagnose illnesses when the symptom is the only information available from the patient.
|Average GPA/ MCAT scores||GPA: 3.86 | MCAT: 514|
|Average yearly cost of attendance||$57,520|
|Median total student debt||$177,467|
|Reported yearly cost||$39,455|
5. University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Home to an award-winning faculty, over 280 laboratories that are supported by renowned research facilities and the originator of multiple specialized research and care centers, the Carver College of Medicine is a major player among America’s medical schools.
316 faculty members are included in the Best Doctors in America list and 50 percent of Iowa’s 5,000 practicing physicians have received some – or all – of their education through Iowa’s medical program. These stellar stats, along with the school’s scholarship opportunities, make the institution a good choice for Iowa-based students interested in research opportunities.
|Average GPA/ MCAT scores||GPA: 3.85 | MCAT: 512|
|Average yearly cost of attendance||$63,254|
|Median total student debt||$179,155|
|Reported yearly cost||$41,662|
6. Hofstra University Zucker School of Medicine
The Zucker School of Medicine has a 6:1 student-faculty ratio, making it ideal for students who prefer an intimate learning environment. Located in Hempstead, New York, Zucker has more than 3,000 faculty members that instruct a diverse population of over 400 students.
The institution was established in 2008 and was the first new medical school in the New York Metropolitan area in over 35 years. Zucker is an excellent option if you’re looking for state-of-the-art research facilities through its Office Of Medical Research (OMSR) that is a short distance from New York City.
|Average GPA/ MCAT scores||GPA: 3.78 | MCAT: 516|
|Average yearly cost of attendance||$88,173|
|Median total student debt||$151,594|
|Reported yearly cost||$58,978|
7. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai Health System is one of the nation’s largest academic medical centers in the New York Metro Area. The Icahn School of Medicine has made its mark on the healthcare system through its advanced laboratories and numerous medical breakthroughs.
Ichan is known as an industry leader and pioneer in both research and medical training. In fact, the school recently launched its Department of Artificial Intelligence and Human Health; the first of its kind at a U.S. medical school.
|Average GPA/ MCAT scores||GPA: 3.84 | MCAT: 519|
|Average yearly cost of attendance||$84,690|
|Median total student debt||$132, 611|
|Reported yearly cost||$65,855|
8. Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the first medical school built in New York City since 1987, is affiliated with Montefiore Health System and Yeshiva University. The college is nationally renowned for its history; on March 15, 1953, Professor Albert Einstein agreed to permit his name to the school.
The school is extremely selective and holds a 4.3 percent acceptance rate. That being said, students interested in attending must have a strong application, GPA and MCAT score to get accepted.
|Average GPA/ MCAT scores||GPA: 3.83 | MCAT: 516|
|Average yearly cost of attendance||$80,117|
|Median total student debt||$163,833|
|Reported yearly cost||$65,978|
9. University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
The University of Rochester’s medical school has been dedicated to researching common and rare illnesses in a process that has led to the development of life-saving therapies. The school has made new treatments available through its research in a number of categories including cancer, RNA biology, immunity & infection, Orthopedic and Pediatrics.
Students who don’t mind a cold upstate New York winter should consider Rochester if they have a strong academic record and are interested in its research and innovation-centered curriculum.
|Average GPA/ MCAT scores||GPA: 3.79 | MCAT: 515|
|Average yearly cost of attendance||$78,647|
|Median total student debt||$164,745|
|Reported yearly cost||$69,225|
10. Weill Cornell Medical College
Weill Cornell offers a world-class education through its network of collaborators and Cornell University, its parent school. Between 2020 to 21, the school won over a thousand National Institutes of Health Awards, has 1,655 enrolled students and has seen over 2 million patients.
Weill Cornell only accepts 106 students out of a 6,000 applicant pool, making it one of the most selective medical schools in the country. Getting accepted into its medical school is an honor that is globally recognized and the costs fall below the national average.
|Average GPA/ MCAT scores||GPA: 3.87 | MCAT: 519|
|Average yearly cost of attendance||$83,316|
|Median total student debt||$157,000|
|Reported yearly cost||$72,773|
To find the best value medical schools in the country, Bankrate looked at four factors: average GPA and MCAT scores of admitted students, the total cost of attendance per year, the median total debt for graduates and the students reported cost of tuition.
Average GPA and test scores
The average GPA and MCAT scores of a school’s student population can be an indicator of the academic rigor and competitiveness of a school. To determine what makes a medical school a good value we didn’t want to only consider the costs, as the quality of education and reputation of the school is just as important.
Average cost of attendance
According to the Association of American Medical Center (AAMC) the first-year median cost of attendance (COA) for private medical schools came out to $90,138 in 2021 and public schools first-year median COA totaled $65,085.
To help find the best value medical school, we eliminated any school whose COA was above the national median using the information provided on each school’s website. To match the results to the AAMC data, we used the COA for first-year, full-time medical students living on-campus or in a student housing facility provided by the institution.
Median total debt
The median total debt for medical students after graduating – including both private and public schools – came out to $203,062, according to AAMC’s 2021 report. Using College Scorecard data or information reported by the school on its website, we cut all of the schools that had a median total debt over $203,062.
Reported student yearly cost
While university-reported costs are one thing, it’s important to see how much students are actually paying per year. That’s why we decided to use students’ reported costs to determine the order of our top 10 best value medical schools.
The AAMC released a report of its 2021-22 tuition and fees questionnaire in which the organization asked first-year, full-time, in-state medical students to report the cost of tuition, fees and health insurance. To come up with the final order, we listed the schools from least to most expensive based on the report submissions.