Harvard University Medical Acceptance Rate in 2024

By | January 16, 2024

In order to become a doctor, you must have a four-year degree, complete medical school training, and go through a rigorous residency program. Most people are not lucky enough to get into Harvard University Medical School.
The acceptance rate at Harvard is 6% with an overall acceptance rate of 7%. This article will go in-depth on the history of the school, what you need to know about getting into it, and what it’s like to be inside.

Harvard University Medical Acceptance Rate

If Harvard University Medical School is the best school out there, what are your chances of getting in? If you’re a high school student applying to college, the chances are slim. The acceptance rate for students with grades between 3.5 and 4.0 is 0.8 percent, but if you have a 4.0 GPA and scores of 30 or higher on the ACT or SAT, your chance of getting in jumps up to 6.3 percent.
The application process for the medical program is extremely competitive, so getting accepted into the program will be tough. But if you’re one of those lucky people who does get accepted into Harvard University Medical School, congratulations! Here’s some helpful tips for what to do once you’re in:

Why Study At Harvard Medical School (HMS)?

Being a Harvard Doctor is an indicator that you should study at the Harvard Medical School. You may ask, “who then is a Harvard Doctor?”

A Harvard doctor is someone for whom the pursuit of excellence—both professional and personal—is a way of life.

Aside from having the qualities of a Harvard doctor, there are several reasons why you should study at Harvard Medical School.

One, Harvard is one of the most reputable and top-notch medical schools in the USA and the world at large. It is also among the oldest medical schools in the USA.

Founded in 1782, Harvard Medical School is the graduate medical school of Harvard University and is in Boston, Massachusetts. HMS has an esteemed history and its faculty has been at the forefront of major medical discoveries and innovations.

Two, to study medicine at Harvard is to prepare to play a leading role in this quest. For over two centuries, HMS has excelled not only in teaching the practice of medicine but also in bringing out the best in those who practice it.

At Harvard Medical School, students can pursue their individual interests, find their calling, and discover how they can change the fabric of medicine, science, and society.

Harvard University is ranked #1 in Best Medical Schools: Research and #17 in Best Medical Schools: Primary Care by the US News & World Report.

Other Medical School Specialty Rankings:

  • #2 in Anesthesiology
  • #2 in Internal Medicine
  • #1 in Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • #2 in Pediatrics
  • #1 in Psychiatry
  • #1 in Radiology (tie)
  • #3 in Surgery

What Is Harvard Medical School Acceptance Rate?

As said earlier, admission into Harvard Medical School is very competitive. Unfortunately, there is no publicly available data on the number of accepted students, so it’s unclear what the exact acceptance rate is.

However, using the previous admission information, we can deduce the acceptance rate. Out of 6,815 applicants, it accepted 227 of them. Therefore, the Harvard Medical School acceptance rate is 3.3%.

Below is a representation of the school’s previous Student Enrolment as of September 2022.

Entering MD students, 2022

  • MD (includes 14 MD–Ph.D. students): 165
  • Applicants: 6,815
  • Admitted: 227 (3.3%)
  • Men: 73 (44%)
  • Women: 92 (56%)
  • Under-represented in medicine (African American, Native American, Hispanic, Mexican American): 39 (24%)
  • Asian: 45 (27%)

Additional entering students, 2022

  • Ph.D.: 165 (165 HMS)
  • DMD: 35
  • Master’s: 135 (117 HMS, 18 HSDM)
  • DMSc: 9
  • Additional joint-degree programs: MD-MBA, MD-MPH, MD-MPP
  • Medical school alumni: 10,425 (MD and masters)

Also, the Harvard Medical School admissions statistics for the Class of 2023 show that there were 6815 applications. Out of these applicants, 948 were invited for the interview and only 165 were admitted.

Here, Harvard Medical School had a 2.39% acceptance rate. Whatever the case may be, it is safe to say that the school’s acceptance rate is always below 5%.

Get detailed information on Harvard University’s general admission requirements and rate. See more on Harvard University Acceptance Rate.

What is Harvard Medical School Acceptance Rate MCAT Score?

At Harvard, all applicants are required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).  Although HMS does not set a minimum grade point average or minimum MCAT scores, academic excellence is expected from applicants.

Therefore, applicants must post their scores to their AMCAS application no later than the required time, in order to be considered in the current application cycle.

In addition, applicants whose MCAT scores are more than three years old must retake the test. In the absence of this, HMS considers all valid MCAT exam scores during the application review process.

Since it’s known that Harvard doesn’t have any set minimum MCAT scores, prospective students can at least make reference from how current students performed. Therefore, based on the performance of the Class of 2023, here are the HMS average MCAT scores:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (BBFL)- 129.98
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems (CPBS) – 129.86
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior (PSBB)- 130.25
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) – 128.96

The total score is 519.05. So, we can say that the Harvard Medical School average acceptance MCAT score is about 519.

What Is Harvard Medical School Acceptance Rate GPA?

With reference to the Class of 2023, the Harvard medical school acceptance rate average GPA is 3.9.

However, before you throw your hands up in defeat, consider the GPA and MCAT range among accepted students, provided by MSAR:

  • Total GPA: 3.75 (10th %ile) to 4.00 (90th %ile)
  • Science GPA: 3.69 (10th %ile) to 4.00 (90th %ile)
  • MCAT: 513 (10th %ile) to 525 (90th %ile)

What Is The Undergraduate Acceptance Rate At Harvard Medical School?

There is no specified undergraduate acceptance rate at the Harvard Med School. However, it is important to note that no preference is given to applicants who have majored in science over those who have majored in other disciplines.

Basically, HMS believes that students can be successful in their medical studies regardless of undergraduate concentration, providing they have had adequate science preparation. Therefore, students are urged to strive not for specialized training but for a balanced, liberal education.

Furthermore, regardless of their undergraduate institution, Harvard Medical School is looking for applicants with broad interests and talents. Having said this, Ivy League applicants do not have an admissions advantage. Students should, therefore, attend an undergraduate college that will challenge them both academically and personally.

How Is Harvard Medical School Graduate Acceptance Rate?

Each year, the Harvard Medical School MD-PhD Program receives over 600 applications. The selection for interviews is basically based on a careful review of the application and supporting documents. Also, strong research and excellent academic background are essential for the selection.

Unfortunately, some applicants may be invited for medical school interviews but not invited for MD-PhD Program interviews.

Approximately 65-75 applicants are eventually invited for interviews as admission to the MD-PhD Program is highly competitive. Most applicants selected for interviews generally have high MCAT scores as well as good letters of recommendation.

After conducting the interview, the school admits an average of 12-14 students per year for the full funding by the National Institutes of Health, Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Grant.

From the above, we can conclude that the Havard Medical School graduate’s acceptance rate is 2%. That is out of 600 applicants, only about 12 of them gets admitted into the school.

On the other hand, the Havard Medical School Graduate interview rate is 10-12.5%. That is out of 600 applicants, only about 65-75 of them get invited for an interview.

What Is Harvard Medical School Interview Acceptance Rate?

Before an applicant gets admitted into HMS, he or she has to get an invite for the interview test. At the interview, the admission panel gets to know more about the applicant to determine whether to accept him/her or not.

And just like other topnotch institutions, Harvard Medical School is one of the most selective medical schools. This can easily be seen by the rate at which it selects students for interview from a sea of overqualified applicants.

For instance, focusing on the Class of 2023, there were 6185 applications. Of those applicants, 948 received interviews (15.3% interview rate), and ultimately 165 enrolled.

From the reference above, we can say that the Harvard Medical School interview rate is 15.3%.

How Do I Prepare For Harvard Medical School Interview?

Here are some interesting facts about Harvard students you should bear in mind while applying for or preparing for Harvard Medical School Interview:

  • Harvard students have a high GPA and MCAT Score.
  • Harvard students usually have impressive research resumes.
  • They usually have notable leadership experience.
  • Harvard students often have close relationships with well-known physicians and/or professors.
  • Harvard students are great communicators.

Research Experience

Although not part of their prerequisites for applying to the school, most Harvard students have a high GPA and MCAT score. However, a high GPA and MCAT score do not help you stand out among the other applicants.

At Harvard, GPA and MCAT scores do not determine who gets accepted. Instead, they use GPA and MCAT scores to determine whose application gets considered or not.

The emphasis here is impressive. That you conduct research, does not mean you will have a better chance at admissions.

Nowadays, the majority of qualified undergraduate pre-meds are part of a research team. However, to stay competitive for Harvard, a student researcher must do something beyond the norm, something that will stand out.

For instance, most medical students at Harvard have been published as an author in a research journal or have been part of a particularly innovative project in their undergraduate careers.

As a Harvard doctor, you are definitely going to be in a place of respect and leadership. Basically, Harvard wants to accept students that can excel with the responsibility given to them.

Leadership Experience

Also, most Harvard students have been insignificant leadership roles prior to applying to medical school. So, if you hope to be one, try running for president of your school, or starting your own non-profit organization.

In summary, as a prospective student, try to meet the Harvard standard.

This may look or sound weird but believe me, it is necessary. According to ProspectiveDoctors, studies have shown that students with close relationships with professors have a better chance at success. This is so because the professors can serve as mentors and can also motivate students to perform to their highest potential. It is also a way for students to be accountable.

Furthermore, having close relationships with faculty members will ensure great recommendation letters. For instance, many pre-meds ask for recommendation letters from professors they do not know well, simply because they do not know anyone well. These letters may end up getting rejected by Harvard unlike other medical schools as it considers them mediocre letters.

This is so because Harvard strives for the best and one way they can determine who is “best,” is by reading the letters from well-known leaders about you.

Having high scores and being intelligent are not the only qualities you need to become a great doctor or physician. You should also know how to communicate effectively.

Just like other Medical schools, Harvard determines an applicant’s communication skills during the interview. The interview is often seen as the most important aspect of the medical school application cycle.

How to improve your communication skills

If you are not a confident communicator, consider taking communication classes offered at your school or challenging yourself by joining the speech & debate team.

In addition, make sure to participate in mock interviews before you attend interviews with Harvard or any other medical school.

This is to avoid being among the many brilliant students who fail to become doctors because they couldn’t pass the interview.

Therefore to attend a med school like Harvard, where expectations are high, it is important to work on your communication skills.

What Are The Selection Factors For Harvard Medical School Admission?

Since it’s an established fact that Harvard Medical School is very selective of its students, it’s best you get acquainted with their selection factors as an applicant.

First and foremost, HMS seeks students of integrity and maturity who have concern for others, leadership potential, and an aptitude for working with people.

In addition, the Committee on Admissions evaluates applications based on several factors, including the following:

  • Academic records
  • Applicant essay(s)
  • MCAT scores
  • Letters of evaluation
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Summer occupations
  • Life experiences
  • Experience in the health field, as well as, research or community work.

It is also important to note that the Committee on Admissions takes a holistic approach to application review. Therefore, they do not pre-screen applications. Also, all applicants who submit an AMCAS application and designate Harvard Medical School will receive the school’s secondary application.

Furthermore, Harvard Medical School does not have a rolling admissions policy. That is, the timing of the submission or completion of an application will not affect the applicant’s chances of receiving an interview invitation. As long as all application materials are received prior to their final deadline, applicants will receive full consideration.

What Are The Admission Requirements At Harvard Medical School? | Eligibility Criteria

Basically, the HMS Faculty of Medicine accepts applications from current students in good standing and graduates of accredited colleges who:

  • Present evidence that their intellectual and personal credentials are of such quality as to forecast success in the study and practice of medicine.
  • Show aptitude in the biological and physical sciences during their undergraduate years, but not to the exclusion of the humanities and social sciences
  • Supplemented their education with at least one year of college or university training in the USA or Canada if they have completed academic work outside the United States or Canada. Foreign students who do not have a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an institution in the USA or Canada are rarely accepted for admission.
  • Show fluent and nuanced facility in English, as effective communication among the medical care team and between physicians and patients is crucial to the delivery of care

Also, students are required to complete at least three years of college work and a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation. In addition, students must complete all necessary prerequisite coursework prior to matriculation.

  • Biology
  • Chemistry/Biochemistry
  • Physics
  • Math
  • Writing

Who Cannot Apply To Harvard Medical School?

The following students are ineligible to apply to HMS:

  • Students who have been enrolled in medical school are ineligible to apply for admission into the first-year class.
  • Students who have applied for admission to HMS on two prior occasions are ineligible.
  • Also, HMS does not accept transfer students.

How Can I Apply For Harvard Medical School?

To apply for admission to the Harvard Medical School, eligible applicants are to follow the following steps:

  • Choose an MD Track
  • Submit an application
  • Apply on time

Basically, applicants to the HMS MD Program choose between two curriculum tracks—Pathways and Health Science & Technology (HST). That is, applicants may apply to the HST track, to the Pathways track, or to both. Application to both tracks doesn’t in any way prejudice the chance of acceptance to either one.

Also, applicants may indicate candidacy for the Medical Scientist Training Program of the MD-PhD combined degree.

Applicants, however, should gain familiarity with the unique aspects of each track before applying.


Pathways incorporate pedagogical approaches that foster active learning and critical thinking, earlier clinical experience, advanced clinical and basic/population science experiences, and a scholarly project that will allow every student to plan an individual pathway to the MD degree.

Also, 135 students per year are admitted into Pathways.

Health Sciences and Technology (HST)

HST is offered jointly by HMS and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is oriented toward students with a declared interest in a career in biomedical research or a strong interest and background in physical or molecular science.

Basically, the HST curriculum is designed to emphasize basic and quantitative understanding of modern biomedical sciences and pathophysiologic processes and a fundamental approach to important concepts in modern biology and biotechnology.

Also, 30 students per year are admitted to HST.


The MD-PhD combined degree program prepares students to become leading physician-scientists. Typically, the strongest applicants have also completed advanced coursework in science and mathematics, as well as, have substantial prior research experience.

Applications are evaluated on academic performance, and also on the strength of applicants’ research experience, personal statement, description of research interests, and inherent passion and commitment to research.

Application to Harvard Medical School is made through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). Applicants who submit the AMCAS application will be eligible to file the HMS Supplemental Application.

Basically, a non-refundable application filing fee of $100 must accompany the completed supplemental application at the time of submission.

When To Apply For Admission To Harvard Medical School?

Below is a tabular representation of admission timeliness at Harvard Medical school. It is also important to note that these dates are subject to change by the school.

Early May AMCAS application opens
Early June AMCAS application becomes available for submission
Early July HMS secondary opens and becomes available for submission
September Interviews begin
October 15 Final deadline for AMCAS application
October 22 The final deadline for HMS secondary application and all materials (letters, MCAT scores, etc.)
October 31 AMCAS transcript deadline. All transcripts must be received before this date.
December 1 AMCAS verification deadline. You must become verified before this date.
January Interviews conclude
Early March All admissions decisions are sent out via email on the same date, whether candidates are accepted, declined, or waitlisted. Candidates accepted or waitlisted for admission are sent financial aid materials. Families should file tax returns, FAFSA, and Need Access applications as soon as possible.
Mid to Late March Deadline for submission of all financial aid application materials including tax returns. Evaluation of completed files and email notification of financial aid award letters begins on a rolling basis.
Mid-April Revisit
April 15 Admitted students should narrow their acceptance offers down to three schools.
April 30 Admitted students planning to enroll at HMS must select the “Plan to Enroll” option on the Choose your Medical School tool in their AMCAS application.
June 1 Admitted students planning to enroll at HMS must select the “Commit to Enroll” option on the Choose Your Medical School tool in their AMCAS application.
June 15 Immunization and health forms deadline
July Email notification of fall term bill sent to students
July 1 Deadline to submit all transcripts to the admissions office
Early August Matriculation & White Coat Ceremony


FAQs On Harvard Medical School Acceptance Rate

What is Harvard Medical School Acceptance Rate?

Unfortunately, there is no publicly available data on the number of accepted students, so it’s unclear what the exact acceptance rate is.

However, using the 2019 admission information, the Harvard acceptance rate is 3.3%.

Who is a Harvard doctor?

Basically, a Harvard doctor is someone for whom the pursuit of excellence—both professional and personal—is a way of life.

What is Harvard Medical School Interview Rate?

Using the class of 2023 report, the Harvard Medical School interview rate is 15.3%.

What is Harvard Medical School Acceptance Rate for underrepresented group?

From the 2019 admission information, the acceptance rate for underrepresented in medicine (African American, Native American, Hispanic, Mexican American) is 39 (24%).

How Can I Apply For Harvard Medical School?

To apply for admission to the Harvard Medical School, eligible applicants are to follow the following steps:

Choose an MD Track
Submit an application
Apply on time

What are Harvard Medical School Prerequite Courses?

To get admitted into Harvard Medical School, you must have done these courses:


Who cannot apply to Harvard Medical School?

The following students are ineligible to apply to HMS:

1. Students who have been enrolled in medical school are ineligible to apply for admission into the first-year class.
2. Students who have applied for admission to HMS on two prior occasions are ineligible.
3. Also, HMS does not accept transfer students.


Becoming a Harvard Medical School student is a dream come true for many pre-med students. However, just like every other top medical school in the world, Harvard university acceptance rate is low as it only admits the best of applicants.

Therefore, to get into Harvard Med. School, you need to meet Harvard’s standards. In other words, you need to aim high and do something that will make you stand out against everyone else.

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