The Sunshine State is more than a land of tourist attractions and vacation homes. Florida is also home to some of the top medical schools and research centers in the country – and in the world. Being the third most populous state, home to the largest concentration of persons over the age of 65, and comprising a diverse population, the state offers aspiring physicians and medical researchers ample opportunities to make an impact.
Most of the schools are concentrated in and around metropolitan centers of Florida. Nevertheless, medical students have ample opportunities and are encouraged to serve rural areas.
Top schools in Florida emphasize a combination of patient-centered training, interpersonal skills, and innovative approaches to learning and research – in and out of the classroom. Overall, these schools draw students who are not only academically talented, but compassionate and community-focused.
The schools on this list were selected based on their overall impact, innovative research programs, opportunities offered to students, GPA, MCAT scores, and admissions selectivity. Additionally, this ranking is based on the US News list of the country’s best medical schools. We also looked at partnerships and affiliations with key medical centers and facilities, which enable students’ access to relevant, hands-on and real-world experience in the medical field.
Below is a list of the top ten medical schools in Florida.
10. Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine (Davie, FL)
The Dr. Kiran Patel College of Allopathic Medicine offers a new and innovative program with strong ties to South Florida’s seven leading and award-winning hospitals. Working side by side with physicians at the hospitals’ clerkship sites, medical students gain extensive, hands-on clinical experience. The M.D. curriculum is centered on patient-first interaction and professional collaboration, utilizing a hybrid model that goes beyond conventional, classroom learning.
Nova Southeastern produces more doctors than any other school in Florida and is unique in offering programs in both osteopathic and allopathic medicine. Although only four years old, the Dr. Kiran Patel College of Allopathic Medicine has already been featured in Forbes magazine as an up-and-coming school.
While the college does not have a minimum MCAT or GPA requirement for admissions, the averages for the Fall 2020 class were a competitive 511 for the MCAT and a 3.69 GPA.
9. Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (Miami, FL)
Ranking among the top medical schools in the nation, Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine produces world-class research and training in primary care. The college has an award-winning curriculum and its graduates have a pass rate of 99% on the US medical licensing exam.
In addition to quality research, the college has a proven record in extensive and impactful community engagement in South Florida, serving thousands of families in the region. Wertheim College of Medicine also boasts a diverse student population, with members of underrepresented groups comprising 43% of the population.
Although it was founded less than 20 years ago, the college has already produced groundbreaking research, including research on COVID-19.
All applicants are considered; however, the average MCAT score for accepted applicants is a competitive 509. The average GPA is 3.73.
8. Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Students who are looking to study osteopathic medicine should consider NSU. The Dr. Kiran Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine is the tenth-largest osteopathic medical school in the country, enrolling around 1,000 students and employing nearly 150 full-time professors.
Almost 70 percent of graduates go on to become primary care practitioners in the areas of family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics. The college is among the top recipients of National Institute of Health (NIH) funds and has an outstanding research record, with a high number of cited publications in the field.
The average MCAT score of incoming students is 507 and an average GPA of 3.64.
7. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (Bradenton, FL)
The suburban Bradenton branch of LECOM – along with its sister campuses in Elmira and Greensburg, and parent campus in Erie – provides medical students with an affordable and high-quality education. Its facilities are equipped with the latest, state-of-the-art technology, including several multi-purpose learning labs.
When considering all of LECOM’s campuses in Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York, LECOM is the largest medical college in the country, with 2,200 total students. Additionally, LECOM has the largest number of applicants of any medical college. Students will receive a quality education with promising outcomes— for an unusually low price compared to most other medical schools’ tuition.
The average MCAT score for a matriculating student is 503, with the average GPA being 3.5.
6. Florida State University College of Medicine (Tallahassee, FL)
The Florida State University College of Medicine is driven to help underserved populations of the surrounding metropolitan area. Students receive community-focused training that takes them outside the academic research facility and into the real world. The medical college’s students work alongside healthcare providers in offices and facilities near the regional campuses and throughout the state.
As recently as 2017, FSU’s College of Medicine had the third-lowest acceptance rate in the country – following the Mayo Clinic and Stanford University College of Medicine. Unsurprisingly, the average GPA of matriculated students is 3.7, accompanied by an average MCAT score of 507.
The college has numerous media mentions, including a Technology Org article featuring groundbreaking research on heart disease by Dr. Stephen Chelko, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences.
5. Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine (Boca Raton, FL)
In February 2021, physicians from the Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine partnered with researchers from other FAU colleges to launch a registry and repository to collect data on the spread and treatment of COVID-19. This is one example of the medical college’s pioneering research. The college is also known for its exceptional facilities, most notably the Clinical Skills Simulation Center.
It is the second allopathic medicine program on the list. Yearly, the college admits 64 students to the M.D. program for the first year. After the first year, 4-5 students from the group are admitted to its unique MD/PhD program, sponsored by the College of Medicine and The Scripps Research Institute.
FAU’s medical school has a community-based mission, partnering with Palm Beach County’s three health systems to provide students with stellar and immersive training.
The average MCAT score for admitted applicants is 512 and the GPA is 3.79.
4. University of Central Florida College of Medicine (Orlando, FL)
Located in one of the most popular cities in the world, the University of Central Florida College of Medicine offers its students many clerkship and clinical experiences through Orlando’s hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers. The M.D. program has a service-learning component in which students integrate academic coursework into their community engagement. Students are additionally taught by community preceptors who help them gain clinical and interpersonal skills in a real-world context.
UCF faculty members have been recognized for their research. Additionally, its facilities are impressive; the buildings are located on the “Medical City” complex consisting of the College of Medicine Medical Education, Burnett Biomedical Sciences Research Building, and the Orlando VA, among others.
UCFCM is among the top medical schools in Florida and admission to the college is competitive; The average MCAT score of the most recently matriculated class is 513 and the average GPA is 3.81.
3. University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine (Miami, FL)
According to US News & World Report, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is ranked as #50 in research and #75 in primary Care. It is not only the oldest medical school in Florida, but also the top recipient of NIH funding in the state.
The school is an internationally recognized research powerhouse with advancements in the study of diabetes, cancer, HIV, and numerous other areas. The Miller School of Medicine operates well over 15 centers and institutes of research, including the Children’s Heart Center, the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, and more.
Matriculated students have one of the highest MCAT scores and GPA averages – 513 and 3.86, respectively – of the state’s medical schools. The MCAT and GPA are two factors in the application process; candidates are evaluated for interpersonal skills, breadth and depth of life experiences, and a genuine interest in the study of medicine and patient care.
2. University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine (Tampa, FL)
The University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine is home to the Byrd Alzheimer’s Center and Research Institute, one of the largest Alzheimer centers in the world. It is also home to the internationally recognized Diabetes and Endocrinology Center, which has conducted millions of dollars worth of research.
The USF College of Medicine ranks #47 for medical research and the second-best medical school in Florida. Admitted students earn top MCAT scores, the average hovering around 516, and an average GPA of 3.82. In 2018, the college’s acceptance rate was 4%.
Strong consideration is given to applicants who have completed molecular biology, genetics, and/or microbiology courses. Volunteer work, community service, extra-curriculars, and some experience in medical areas can make a prospective student stand out from the rest of the applicant pool.
1. University of Florida College of Medicine (Gainesville, FL)
Rated as one of the top medical schools in the country by US News, #17 among public medical schools, and #1 in the state, the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville enrolls 1,114 students and employs 1,759 faculty. Nine hundred members of the faculty are physicians.
The college is dedicated to excellent research and medical practice, operating 28 research and clinical departments. In 2020, the NIH awarded the college more than $100 million for research. Students have access to world-class facilities and gain valuable preclinical experience early on; in the first year, students work with a primary care physician for two and a half weeks.
The UF College of Medicine assures candidates that it thoroughly reviews every application. The minimum GPA among matriculated students is 3.7, the average being 3.91, and the average MCAT score is 516.
Data for GPA/MCAT scores from Shemmassian Consulting