The state of Massachusetts has a great mix of options for those who want to enroll in a medical school. Most of them are in the top medical schools in the world, have achieved many important firsts, and have decades of educational experience. There’s even one Ivy League university! Let’s see why they are so incredible and discover if any of these medical schools in Massachusetts suits your interests.

Top Medical Schools in Massachusetts

1. UMass Chan Medical School

Located in Worcester and founded in 1962, the University of Massachusetts’ Chan Medical School (UMass Chan) is the only public medical school in this state. According to the U.S. News & World Report, in 2019, it was the 15th-best medical school in terms of primary care, and the 45th-best in terms of research.

UMass Chan is known for its excellent primary care program. The structure of the M.D. curriculum is similar to other medical school’s programs. However, the medical school focuses on providing early clinical exposure, with community practices since the first year of education, and emphasizing scientific, communicative, patient and community-related skills.

Actually, over half of the physicians from this medical school in Massachusetts now work in primary care and around 70% of graduating students are accepted into primary care residencies.

Although they rank better in the primary care area, huge discoveries have been done in the research centers of UMass Chan. Here, there have been huge advances regarding different diseases, which include diabetes, HIV, cancer, immune disease, among others. They currently have over 200 researchers working on a wide variety of areas.

Besides granting M.D. degrees, they also have a joint M.D./Ph.D. program. Additionally, there is a third option for applicants: the Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) Track. This program is focused on urban and rural health, healthcare inequalities, and teamwork.

Regarding admissions, in 2018 they received 3,914 applications and interviewed 938 candidates, which is considerably high when compared with other medical schools. 162 students enrolled, and around 60 of them were out-of-state students.

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2. Harvard Medical School

The next medical school in Massachusetts belongs to an Ivy League university. Harvard University‘s Harvard Medical School (HMS) was founded in 1782, making it the third oldest in the U.S. It is also one of the best ones in the country. In 2019, it was the best medical school in terms of research on the U.S. News & World Report ranking. It was the 17th best in terms of primary care.

Important medical discoveries have been done at HMS. Some of these include performing the first kidney transplant on a human being, discovering what causes preeclampsia and introducing the smallpox vaccine and the use of insulin in the U.S.

The M.D. curriculum has the same general structures as programs in other medical schools: two years of foundational coursework, a year of clerkships, and a year of advanced courses and other clinical rotations. However, HMS has two curricular tracks available for prospective students. The first one is Pathways, which is similar to other curriculums and includes active learning, and early and advanced clinical experiences.

The second track is called Health Sciences & Technology (HST), which is offered in affiliation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Here, the focus is on biomedical research, sciences, and physiology.

HMS has nine Ph.D. programs, in the areas of neuroscience, immunology, chemical biology, virology, biophysics, among others. There are also seven Master’s programs in the areas of bioethics, healthcare quality and safety, clinical investigation, immunology, medical education, etc. They also have an M.D./Ph.D. program.

In 2018, there were 6,917 applications, and only 165 students were admitted. The average MCAT score was of 518, and the average GPA was of 3.9. They accept international students but strongly suggest them to have studied for at least one year in an accredited U.S. or Canadian university.

3. Boston University

When it was founded in 1848, the Boston University‘s School of Medicine (BUSM) was the first university in the world that trained women in the medical field. Actually, it originally was the New England Female Medical College before merging with Boston University. It ranks among the best medical schools according to the U.S. News & World Report. In 2019, it was the 30th best in terms of research and the 41st best in terms of primary care. Now, let’s take a look at the overview of this excellent medical school in Massachusetts.

BUSM has a wide variety of dual degree programs. These combine the M.D. program with a Ph.D., a Master’s in Public Health, a Master’s in Business Administration, a Master’s of Clinical Investigation, a Juris Doctor degree, or a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

The M.D. curriculum consists of a four-year program divided into the phases: foundational, clerkships, and advanced clinical experiences. These are combined with non-graded extracurricular activities that each student can choose. They are affiliated with many centers, but the main one is the Boston Medical Center.

In 2018, there were 10,000 initial applications, and only 160 students were admitted. The average GPA was of 3.72, and the average MCAT score was of 516. They also accept international students, but they must have previously studied in an accredited institution of the U.S. or Canada.

4. Tufts University

The Tufts University School of Medicine is a private medical school in Massachusetts that was founded in 1893. In the 2019 ranking of the U.S. News & World Report, it was the 56th best medical school in terms of research, and the 59th best in terms of primary care.

However, they have done better in other rankings. For example, their research impact rates made it to the sixth place of Thomson Reuters’ Science Watch ranking.

Besides the M.D. degree program, which is of four years, TUSM also offers joint degrees. Students can combine their M.D. degree with a Ph.D., an M.A. in International Relations, an M.B.A. in Health Management, or a Master’s in Public Health. They also offer a Physician Assistant degree and a Master’s in Biomedical Science.

As for admissions, at TUSM you’ll be competing with a lot of applicants. In 2018, there were 12,189 initial applications and 10,854 completed applicants. 819 of them were interviewed but in the end, only 200 enrolled. The average GPA was of 3.64 and the average MCAT score was of 513. Lastly, they accept international students and transfer students (only in the third year).

Read More: 10 Steps to Become a Doctor in the United States


We hope that this article about the best medical schools in Massachusetts was informative. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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