10 Popular Med Schools for First-Year Students

Delece Smith-Barrow

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.

There are more medical students now than ever before. Enrollment reached an all-time high in 2012, according to data released by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

More than 18,000 first-year medical students enrolled during fall 2012 in the 114 schools that submitted information to U.S. News, an average of roughly 164 per school.

Many of those students enrolled in schools in the Midwest or closer to the West Coast. Of the 10 medical schools with the highest yield rate - the percentage of accepted students who opt to enroll - only two East Coast schools made the list, according to data collected by U.S. News.

[Understand factors behind med school admissions.]

One of these medical schools is the Medical University of South Carolina, though it's grown slightly less popular in the last year. Its yield rate of 74 percent is about a 3 percentage point decrease compared with fall 2011. The average yield rate for the 10 schools on the list was 77 percent.

The University of Kansas Medical Center enrolled 211 of 253 accepted students, giving it the highest yield rate of 83.4 percent. Oklahoma State University held this spot during fall of 2011 when its yield rate was 85.7 percent. During 2012, the school's percentage of enrolled students was 68.7.

Ohio University and University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill had the lowest yield rate of the 10 schools with 73.2 percent.

In fall 2011, Harvard Medical School had the lowest yield rate of the 10 top yield schools with 74 percent. The following year its yield rate decreased to 72.6 percent, placing it at No. 11.

[Decide if a new medical school is the right fit.]

Below is a list of the 10 most popular medical schools, as determined by rate of enrollment. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.

Medical school (name) Students accepted Students enrolled Yield percentage U.S. News research rank U.S. News primary care rank
University of Kansas Medical Center 253 211 83.4% 75 37
University of Washington 265 220 83% 12 2
University of New Mexico 128 103 80.5% 78 19
University of Nebraska Medical Center 165 129 78.2% 64 6
University of South Dakota (Sanford) 76 58 76.3% RNP* 84
University of Oklahoma 214 162 75.7% 70 55
Medical University of South Carolina 219 162 74% 59 58
University of Alabama--Birmingham 238 176 73.9% 35 10
Ohio University 190 139 73.2% RNP 79
University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill 246 180 73.2% 22 1

*RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one-fourth of all medical and osteopathic schools. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.

Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News Medical School Compass to find information on school enrollment, complete rankings and much more. School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.

U.S. News surveyed more than 140 medical schools for our 2012 survey of research and primary care programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News's data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Medical Schools rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data comes from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools. The yield data above are correct as of Aug. 6, 2013.