The Best Pre-Med Schools in New Jersey

A pre-medical track is a logical choice for college students interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare industry. 

Fitting under the larger umbrella of pre-health tracks, pre-medical students are typically encouraged to major in the subject area of their desire – students need not limit themselves to a science major, though a strong background in the sciences is undoubtedly a prerequisite for admission to medical school.

That being said, pre-med is not a major. It is simply a suggested advising track to prepare a student for entrance to medical school. 

Coursework in biology, chemistry, as well as anatomy & physiology is required, while writing, the humanities, and a background in the social sciences are equally valued.

Many colleges in New Jersey offer pre-medical tracks. Typically, a university will have a health professions advisory committee or program focused on recruiting students to the pre-medical track. 

These groups provide support through career prep, medical school application, and connections to internships and volunteer opportunities.

In our list of the eight pre-medical schools in New Jersey, all colleges are in different cities. No matter where you live in the Garden State, there are exciting and affordable options for exploring and preparing for a career in the healthcare profession.

Here are some of the very best pre-med schools in New Jersey!

Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ)

Montclair State University
Shane Fleming, College Hall at Montclair State, CC BY-SA 4.0

Montclair State University just recently launched its undergraduate Pre Medical Program, beginning with the fall 2021 semester. 

Students now have increased opportunities to access MCAT exam preparation, medical school application assistance, and career information. 

Students pursuing any major can take coursework in the pre-medical track, though most classes will fall into the natural and behavioral science categories. 

Throughout the year, Pre Medical Program students get the chance to participate in discussions with medical professionals on various topics, like cancer research, physical therapy using prosthetics, and curbing the pandemic spread. 

Scholars frequently embark upon field trips to laboratories, research facilities, and other medical buildings to observe surgeries, interact with patients, and hone professional skills.

Another unique opportunity Montclair State University offers is the eight-year Health Careers Program Combined BS/MD, where pre-med students obtain a baccalaureate degree from Montclair State and a Doctor of Medicine from Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School. 

Guaranteed matriculation to medical school (pending satisfactory grades, of course) can remove significant pressure from the already challenging task of balancing the responsibilities of a pre-med student.

Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Princeton University
Public domain photo by Daderot via Wikimedia Commons

Princeton has a top reputation in many fields of study, including economics, business, and political science. The school also offers one of the finest pre-med programs in New Jersey. 

Princeton pre-med students are advised according to their type of major, be it STEM-related or more focused on the humanities.

Pre-med students at Princeton have access to three dedicated professional advisers and 20 peer advisers. 

The school reports that 85-95% of its pre-med students applying to health professions schools are accepted annually and that many have the opportunity to take a glide/gap year between graduating from Princeton and attending medical school. 

These years may be used for research, travel, or community service-focused endeavors.

Princeton health professions advisors strive to keep pre-med students on a successful timeline. 

The first year of study is a time for refining soft skills like time management and written communication, while the summer is a great time for pursuing an internship or research collaboration. 

Applying to medical school takes about 15 months, and pre-med students really start to get into this process by their sophomore years.

Rowan University (Glassboro, NJ)

Rowan University offers some excellent opportunities for pre-med students. The Office of Pre-Health Programs also supports students preparing to apply for veterinary school, dentistry school, and other special focuses. 

A rare feature of a collegiate pre-med program, Rowan allows students to minor in a range of pre-health minors, including pre-medical, neuroscience, and ethics. 

Coursework within the minor is highly interdisciplinary. Within the course of a day, a Rowan pre-med student might take classes in health physics, disaster public health preparedness, and cell engineering for regenerative medicine!

Rowan students can alternatively obtain a Pre-Health Studies Postbaccalaureate Certificate, ideal for people with a limited science background who are excited by the prospect of a healthcare profession.

Pre-med students at Rowan should absolutely check out pre-health programming, offered in the form of workshops, virtual cafes, and panels. 

The organization provides off-campus opportunities, like in-person and online scribing gigs, and summer programs, like the eight-week Jefferson Abington Pre-Med Program

Students gain invaluable experience in a hospital setting each summer by working alongside practicing physicians, PAs, resident doctors, and other healthcare professionals.

Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ)

Seton Hall University
Joe829er, Presidents Hall at Seton Hall University, CC BY-SA 4.0

Seton Hall may be a good option for students seeking pre-med programs in schools with Catholic affiliations. 

The university just opened its Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in July of 2018, which serves as headquarters for Seton Hall’s own School of Health and Medical Sciences, as well as its School of Nursing and the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine.

The IHS emphasizes team-based training, bringing together professionals and programs in athletic training, speech-language pathology, and physical therapy, to name a few.

The Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Plus Program (PMPDPP) at Seton Hall has been facilitating its graduates’ admission to prestigious medical schools long before the new IHS campus was erected. 

This unique program was created to increase access to health professions for New Jersey students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Qualifying students receive financial assistance to pursue a pre-medical/pre-dental track at Seton Hall.

All PMDPP students engage in the M.E.D.I.C.A.L. Summer Academy before commencing their studies at Seton Hall.

In addition to getting to know their peers, they gain exposure to campus resources and come to understand the importance of time management and study skills.

Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)

Rutgers University
Zeete, Rutgers Honors College, New Brunswick, NJ, CC BY-SA 4.0

Rutgers boasts a slew of exceptional experiential learning opportunities in the pre-health realm. The Health Professionals Learning Community (HPLC) consists of a small group of first-year students dedicated to pursuing a healthcare career. 

As a cohort, they might participate in research projects, attend social events, organize career fairs, visit professional health schools, and explore health careers in other ways.

All HPLC students take the same courses in the first semester: English Composition, Concepts of Biology, General Chemistry Lecture & Lab, Pre-Calculus/Calculus, Honors Freshman Colloquium, and a 1.0 credit Intro to Health Professions class – that’s 17 hours total. 

Participants should anticipate a rigorous and exciting collegiate experience within the HPLC.

Rutgers is constantly advertising outstanding research opportunities for pre-med students.

For example, the Gluck Lab at the Center for Molecular and Behavior Neuroscience recently sought a half-time paid research assistant to develop community outreach initiatives and carry out studies of posttraumatic stress in women who have experienced some form of violence. 

Opportunities like this are invaluable in teaching empathy, trust, and respect between a practitioner and someone seeking their assistance.

William Paterson University (Wayne, NJ)

Students following William Paterson University’s pre-medical track take required electives like biochemistry and organic chemistry; additionally, the school recommends exploring diverse subjects, such as bioethics, pharmacology, and histology.

Offering an accelerated BS/MS Program in Biology and Biotechnology rarely offered at other campuses, William Paterson has created a shortcut to obtaining dual degrees (a shorter timeline means reduced costs). 

What’s the appeal of this type of degree? Graduates are in a solid position to excel in various industries or pursue further graduate coursework.

Pre-medical students are strongly advised to take advantage of off-campus opportunities, like internships with the New Jersey State Aquarium, Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, or Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica.

Pre-medical students are also eligible for specific scholarships and research funding. Each year, for example, five students are given $1,000 each in the form of the C. Kent Warner Scholarships

These awards are given to high-achieving students majoring in biology or biotechnology.

Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ)

Stevens Institute of Technology
Antony-22, Stevens Hall Stevens Tech, CC BY-SA 4.0

Students completing a pre-medical track at Stevens Institute of Technology have recently been accepted to premiere medical schools like the NYU School of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Drexel School of Medicine. 

These students majored in exciting areas like chemical engineering, business and technology, and the humanities.

There are several pre-professional and accelerated programs Stevens students can apply to, including the Pre-Medicine Program

Candidates should be in the top 10% of their high school graduating class and score a minimum SAT Superscore of 1400 (or ACT composite of 32 or above). 

Applicants must also submit an essay elaborating their desire to become a doctor. The most competitive candidates will receive an invitation for an interview before the selection committee makes its final determinations.

Pre-medical students graduating from Stevens are also likely to make favorable salaries

PayScale ranks Stevens as the #2 Best College in New Jersey by Salary Potential. When it comes to the country at large, PayScale positions them at #15 for Best Colleges with the Highest-Paid Graduates.

Rider University (Lawrenceville, NJ)

Rider University
David Keddie, Franklin F. Moore Library, CC BY-SA 4.0

Rider University strongly emphasizes early exposure to laboratory research and fieldwork engagements to ensure that pre-medical students gain acceptance to medical schools. 

Recent graduates have matriculated to schools like the Rutgers NJ Medical School and Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. 

The school has additionally partnered with Capital Health Systems to provide paid research positions and internships for Rider pre-med students.

Many Rider juniors and seniors with GPAs exceeding 3.0 will conduct independent research, accounting for 12 academic credits that go toward their requirements for graduation. 

Rider pre-med students regularly present their research at regional and national conferences. Others have even been published in peer-reviewed journals! 

Other pre-med students will opt to complete a three-week hospital internship in their sophomore or junior years.

The summer is another time for taking advantage of special pre-medical track programs. Many students conduct summer research in topics like immunology, microbiology, and behavioral neuroscience with Rider staff, thanks to faculty research grants. 

Rider is constantly innovating new ways to provide pre-med students with the experience necessary to succeed in rigorous medical school programs and future healthcare roles.

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