Harvard Medical School – Insider Review

Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School is arguably the best medical school in the United States, ranking number 1 in the 2011 US World and News Report medical school rankings.

Harvard Medical School Basic Information

  • Name: Harvard Medical School
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Public or Private: Private
  • School Website: Click here


  • Extremely Competitive. As with any of the higher ranked medical schools, Harvard admissions are
    competitive. Selection factors include academic factors (MCAT and GPA), medical school personal statement, extracurricular activities, summer occupation, life experiences, experiences in the health field (research or community work) and letters of evaluation. For information on how the medical school admissions work and
    how to be a great applicant, click here.


  • Average MCAT: Verbal: 10.76 Physical Science: 12.48 Biological Science: 12.36. Total: 35.6
  • Average GPA: 3.8
  • Students come from many states and countries. As a private medical school, Harvard does not give preference to students
    from Massachusetts or anywhere else. They are committed to selecting a diverse class that represents the American people that the class will serve.
  • For full information from the admissions website, click here

Harvard Medical School Financial Information

  • Tuition: $45,050, plus various fees. Total cost of attendance including living expenses is $66,600.
  • Loans: Federal loans are available as with other US medical schools.
  • Scholarships:
    Harvard medical school, as other medical schools, counts on you and your family to provide as much of the cost as possible. They use a concept called the Unit Loan to make sure the students with the highest need have priority for scholarships. Harvard medical school has several need-based scholarships and low-interest loan programs. For more information on this, click here.


  • Cost of Living: The cost of living is very high. Harvard gives a budget of $18,600 for living
    expenses, which averages to $1,550 per month for rent, food and transportation. One current Harvard medical school student pays $1,400 per month for an apartment but splits the cost with her roommate. There is a graduate dorm across the street from the school where you will pay about $750 per month for rent.

Insider Information

  • Harvard is a pass/fail school during the first two years. This means that you do not have to stress out about out-performing your classmates on your tests. In the third and fourth years, the grading system is Pass/High Pass/Honors. This means that you will be graded against your peers during these years.
  • Dorm life has its perks. The graduate dorm rooms are literally right across the street from campus and rent is manageable (about $750 per month). It is also within walking distance to most of the affiliated hospitals, except Cambridge Hospital and Mass General. However, free shuttles to these hospitals are available. Many social events also start at the dorms and there is a (small) gym on campus.
  • Unique curriculum. While the overall curriculum at Harvard is similar to other medical schools (basic science first two years, clinical experience second two years), there are some differences. You will have several meetings with a small group during the week during the first two years to discuss cases. This is good to develop your clinical reasoning that you will need during your third and fourth years. Students at Harvard medical school also work one-on-one with faculty mentors throughout the four years on a research project which results in a written work product. This will be helpful in helping you match in your residency of choice. Joint degree and other programs are available. You can learn more about them here.
  • Lectures not usually required and are recorded.This gives you the ability to study lecture
    material on your own if that works better for you.
  • Residency match. Harvard graduates match into essentially all fields. If you go to Harvard medical school, you will have the opportunity to match into your residency of choice (if, of course, you are a competitive applicant!). This is true for most of the best medical schools/ highest ranked medical schools. With the opportunities available to work with faculty, try to choose a mentor in the field you want to practice in.
  • Get Accepted to Harvard Medical School

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    MedSchoolCoach is run by doctors with experience on admissions committees. This makes a big difference as many companies are run by business people or others without this essential experience. They also have an excellent track record, placing 100% of students in an MD or DO program and 87% in an MD program for those who sign up for their gold package. They also offer help with personal statements , interviews and help on choosing which schools to apply to. They are the company I recommend.

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