The 10 Best Dermatology Schools in the US

When we think about careers for doctors, jobs such as cardiologist and brain surgeon. But dermatologists might be even more important. 

Dermatologists help us take care of our skin. They diagnose and treat diseases, from fairly common ailments like eczema to more extreme issues such as cancers. 

Because our skin is the outermost part of our bodies, the part of ourselves that so many people first see, it’s paramount that we keep our skin healthy. 

Like any other medical degree, dermatologists must do residencies to perfect their skills and receive hands-on training. Even more than the faculty who teach dermatology classes or the reputation of the institution where they get their degree, residencies make all the difference. 

For that reason, this list emphasizes the quality of residencies offered by dermatology schools. It breaks down the type of research performed by students in the program, the clinics and hospitals where they’ll be doing rounds, and the faculty members who will provide support. 

The rankings here follow those published by MDEdge.

Although the list was published in 2014, it remains an excellent starting point for discovering the best dermatology residency programs. 

That said, it’s still wise to visit the website for each school, where you’ll find the most up-to-date information about each program. 

Here are the 10 best dermatology schools in the US.

10. Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (Cleveland, OH)

Case Western School of Medicine
Soundoftoday, Allen Memorial Medical Library Exterior, CC BY-SA 3.0

 Housed within the School of Medicine, Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University offers two residency programs for dermatology students. 

Residencies through the Metro Health system offer several paths for students. Graduate students have the opportunity to apply their skills in a hands-on environment, gaining experience with patients from a variety of backgrounds. Furthermore, the program supports students in their research projects. 

The University Hospitals systems encourage the knowledge and skills developed by students by placing them in advanced medical education situations. 

In addition to general and surgical dermatological practices, students can participate in specialty programs. In these programs, students can diagnose and treat rare skin cases, developing essential abilities that they’ll need in their future careers. 

With these opportunities, Case Western has everything needed to prepare the next generation of dermatologists. 

University Hospitals is dedicated to helping physicians advance their knowledge, skills, and professional competence through a variety of opportunities for advanced medical education.

9. Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine (Rochester, MN)

Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine
Jonathunder, MayoMedicalSchoolStudentCenter, CC BY-SA 3.0

Few hospitals have the worldwide name recognition of the Mayo Clinic, and their dermatology program only advances their vaunted reputation. 

Located in Rochester, Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic’s dermatology residency program gives students access to a wide range of skin disorders to work with. Students gain experience diagnosing and treating routine and unusual conditions, building the full range of abilities they’ll need in their careers. 

In addition, Mayo provides training with a fully-realized curriculum. The clinic combines real-world experience with classroom instruction, support from mentors, and hands-on work. 

Furthermore, Mayo encourages students to participate in research projects. Working alongside faculty mentors, students learn how to conduct and publish research in everything from defined laboratory-based projects to clinical research related to dermatologic surgery.

For students who prioritize research, the research and innovation track focuses the residency on project time, giving them support to produce and publish findings. 

8. University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine (Coral Gables, FL)

Since 1956, the Frost Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of Miami has been preparing some of the country’s best skincare professionals. 

The residency program, in which 21 residents work alongside the school’s 23 clinical faculty members to gain hands-on training and advance their research interests. 

Students in the program build their skills while working in some of the best hospitals in the state. U Miami partners with one of the world’s largest hospitals, Miami-Dade County Jackson Memorial Hospital

The institution features a level-1 trauma center and 1,550 beds, as well as medical dermatology clinics and procedural dermatology centers. 

The University of Miami Hospital features a full slate of dermatological services for students to perform. Services include everything from medical dermatology clinics to inpatient consults to procedural dermatology, including the use of lasers. 

7. University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine (Los Angeles, CA)

UCLA Medical Center
Biochemistry2016, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, CC BY-SA 4.0

In the dermatology residency program at the University of California – Los Angeles, students learn their trade under the supervision of some of the best experts in the country. 

Those experts include Dr. Daniel Bach, who has certifications in dermatology and internal medicine. Dr. Bach directs UCLA’s Inpatient Dermatology Consult Service as well as the Cutaneous Oncology Clinic in Santa Monica. 

After graduating with a major in comparative studies in race and ethnicity and a minor in human biology from Stanford University, and graduating with honors from Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Dr. Carolyn Goh has become one of the leading researchers in hair loss and scalp disorders. 

Her patients include children and adults for a range of skin disorders, such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and skin cancer.

With the support of these educators, students enter the field with unparalleled knowledge.

6. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (Chicago, IL)

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
© Jeremy Atherton, 2006, Ward Building, CC BY-SA 2.5

In Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, the three-year residency program in dermatology allows students to serve in both in-patient and out-patient scenarios. 

The program covers all the fundamentals of the field, including general dermatology and pediatric dermatology, as well as advanced concerns such as Mohs micrographic surgery and laser and cosmetic procedures.

Students can sharpen their school by serving in the school’s many specialty clinics. 

At the Northwestern Medicine Eczema Center, students help adults with eczema (atopic dermatitis) and skin allergies. In the Center, students diagnose and treat issues, practicing eczema education and management, patch testing for allergies, laser therapy, and more. 

The dermatology department at Lurie Children’s Hospital treats over 12,000 children each year. At this clinic, students work with everyone from infants to teenagers. 

Procedures include basic treatments as well as advanced actions, such as surgical removal of skin growths and laser treatment for lesions. 

5. Emory University School of Medicine (Atlanta, GA)

Emory University School of Medicine
Countzander, School of Medicine Emory, CC0 1.0

For students in the dermatology program at Atlanta’s famed Emory University, residencies emphasize both hands-on training and research development. 

The program prides itself in diversity both in the cohort of participants and in the patients they treat. Thanks to these elements, students in the program gain valuable exposure to a wide range of people, making them better doctors in the future. 

Classroom training in the program involves lectures given not only by faculty members but also residents and even visiting faculty. Students learn through weekly scope sessions led by a chosen dermatopathologist, providing instruction in the cutting-edge technology of the future. 

Clinical training involves every aspect of the field, including outpatient procedures, pediatric dermatology, and adult in-patient consults. 

Students receive this training while working at the Emory Hospitals, including the 587 bed, state-of-the-art Emory University Hospital. Students interested in working with service members can do their rotations at the Atlanta Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, which serves over 400,000 veterans each year. 

4. University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine (Philadelphia, PA)

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Ajaxean, PennCHOPQuadSpring2013, CC BY-SA 3.0

The first of two Ivy League schools on this list, the University of Pennsylvania earns its place with a 3-year dermatology residency program with multiple options. 

This variety of choices allows students to be the leaders in their own education, ultimately leading to their becoming passionate dermatologists. 

In the global medicine track, students focus their coursework on global medicine issues and gain hands-on training in a four-week rotation at Botswana’s Princess Mariana Hospital

Furthermore, students participate in teledermatological consolations with patients around the world, building the competencies they need to serve patients across the globe. But keep in mind that this track is highly competitive, offered only to two residents each year.

The equally innovative diversity & community track emphasizes service to underprivileged groups. Working alongside leading scholars and educators, students learn how to address and correct healthcare disparities, identifying and eliminating racism in treatments. 

3. Stanford University School of Medicine (Stanford, CA)

Stanford University School of Medicine
LPS.1, Stanford School of Medicine Li Ka Shing Center, CC0 1.0

Of course, future dermatologists enjoy gaining new knowledge and working with great faculty mentors. 

But the real appeal of a residency is doing the actual work. Thanks to its many partner hospitals and specialty clinics, Stanford University exceeds the expectations and needs of its students. 

Furthermore, students get to work with advanced technologies, including immunofluorescent microscopy.

The Laser and Aesthetic Dermatology Clinic teaches students the finer points of cosmetic procedures, such as facial resurfacing, acne scar treatment, and botulinum toxin and filler injections. 

Experience includes the diagnosis and treatment of patients through the daily clinic and a resident clinic. 

2. University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (San Francisco, CA)

The second entry on this list from the University of California system, UC – San Francisco allows future dermatologists to learn their trade while living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. 

Like the other programs on this list, UCSF provides hands-on training through several special clinics. In these clinics, students can develop their advanced skills while also gaining practical abilities that they’ll use in their own practices. 

But the school stands out thanks to its associations with first-class hospitals. 

The Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital offers the opportunity to work with the city’s highly diverse citizenry, thanks to the large volume of students served by the institution. 

Students not only work with mentors to perform surgical procedures and to work in pediatric dermatology but also have the opportunity to provide special care to HIV-infected patients. 

At San Francisco Veterans Hospital, students learn the specifics of cutaneous oncology and geriatric dermatology. Additionally, students gain experience with Mohs micrographic surgery, excisions, and surgical repairs.

1. Harvard Medical School (Cambridge, MA)

As is so often the case, Harvard University takes the top spot. And as usual, Harvard earns its top billing thanks to its excellent faculty and research. 

Residents through Harvard are expected to participate in research initiatives, and the school offers several opportunities from which they can choose. 

One of those opportunities involves joining the mission of the department of dermatology at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital. Thanks to the program’s $9 million in annual funding, the department advances our understanding of skin disease causes and treatments. 

Bringing together experts from a variety of fields, Harvard encourages students to disrupt accepted ways of doing medicine in the hopes of finding new and more efficient ways of identifying and treating skin diseases.