Despite the term’s common use, virtually no “pre-med” major exists at any undergraduate school. The best way for an undergraduate to prepare for medical school application starts with majoring in a subject in which they can excel.
A scientific major isn’t mandatory, but majors related to public service read well with medical school admissions boards. Interest and affinity for a chosen major goes a long way toward getting that strong grade point average necessary for the competitive medical school application process.
While the undergraduate programs in this list don’t have “pre-med” majors, they do have some of the best programs in New York for supporting undergraduates planning health careers. A few have a Pre-Health major, but most have a Pre-Health program or campus center and encourage students to find a major they love.
Pre-Health programs and advisors provide numerous advantages for students on their way to medical careers. These centers are staffed with faculty and medical professionals, people with vast experience and valuable information.
Each of these programs ensure students enroll in and complete the coursework required for medical school application, as well as engaging in the classes and activities that can best demonstrate their mastery of the core competencies medical schools value.
Academic and professional counseling, timeline management, study skills seminars, help finding volunteer and internship situations: these institutions all offer extensive services for medical school candidates as they navigate that intimidating process.
From the first year of their undergraduate programs, these schools encourage students planning to attend medical school to get informed in order to choose the best career path. They form student groups for study and for community service, a requirement for medical school admission.
Some schools assign a mentor, either faculty or senior student, to guide medical school hopefuls for the full four years. Others maintain campus facilities, with staff on hand to stage mock interviews or to review application essays.
Depending on a student’s learning style, organizational and educational needs, and eventual career goals, there’s a perfect fit among these New York schools.
All of these schools have proven track records for helping students secure placement into some of the most prestigious medical programs in the country.
10. CUNY Brooklyn College (New York, NY)
Regardless of major, Brooklyn College undergraduates planning a career in a health-related field can avail themselves of the Pre-Health Professions program.
Students in the program consult with the pre-health professions advisor for guidance in course requirements and sequence, as well as for long-term career goal strategies. The Pre-Health Advisement office maintains letters of recommendation and arranges review classes for required standardized tests.
Campus organizations like the Brooklyn College American Medical Student Association help pre-health candidates find networking and research opportunities. SERVA, the on-campus volunteer organization, offers listings for volunteer opportunities counting toward a service honors notation for their transcripts.
The Pre-Health office assists students interested in pursuing other professional programs besides the MD, including Physician’s Assistant and Dentistry degrees.
Students interested in a Pharmacy degree can choose to accelerate the typically six-year timeline to four years, guided by the Pre-Health office’s recommended path of study.
Research internships constitute an important part of the program, and students can choose to work assisting Brooklyn College professors through the Pre-Health program.
Once accepted to a medical school, Brooklyn College Pre-Health students who have completed Biomedical Research internships may apply for the school’s Salk Scholarship to offset the costs of their medical programs.
Brooklyn College offers a very competitive Coordinated BA-MD program for exceptional students, moving on to SUNY Downstate College of Medicine for medical school once they complete their undergraduate requirements.
9. Fordham University (New York, NY)
Fordham University offers a concentration in Pre-Health, coordinating with any major in or out of science fields.
This concentration does not require enough specific coursework to constitute a major, but it does mandate Biology and Chemistry courses as foundations for other classes required to fulfill the concentration.
The Pre-Health Concentration also requires a single-credit, pass/fail symposium in which upper-level Pre-Health students advise and prepare new Pre-Health students for rigorous, college-level science courses needed to prepare for medical school tests.
The Fordham approach follows a slower, careful ramping up to the rigor of college-level work, and it takes into account the challenges of adapting to college life.
For students needing close advising and training in study skills, this program offers specifically-designed features to ensure success.
Fordham provides one-on-one counseling for Pre-Health students. Advisors focus on preparing students according to the Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students as identified by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
For students majoring in non-science areas, Fordham offers a post-baccalaureate program to address any deficits in science coursework. This transitional program presents an appealing, well-rounded candidate to medical schools: a recent graduate earned acceptance at 18 different institutions.
8. CUNY Hunter College (New York, NY)
While Pre-Health doesn’t constitute an official major at Hunter College, Hunter’s Pre-Health advising office provides some of the most detailed plans and support for its undergraduates interested in applying to medical school.
Dedicated one-on-one advisors and group advisory meetings help students adhere to a Pre-Health Timeline that sets benchmarks for each undergraduate year of study.
First-Year benchmarks include attending the Hunter College Pre-Health workshops designed to acquaint students with the expectations of the program. The plan urges students to join medical-related organizations on campus, schedule volunteer work, and arrange for shadowing healthcare professionals.
Each of the following years’ plans include workshop and seminar registrations, summer research, and steps toward application letter and CV composition. Hunter Pre-Health asks students to read widely in the medical fields, maintaining a reading log.
The Pre-Health Mentoring Initiative pairs upper-level Pre-Health students with incoming Pre-Health students, allowing all students to share valuable insights, gain experience in mentoring, and build lasting professional relationships. Students go on to some of the most prestigious medical programs in the country.
Many self-assessment tools provide students with multiple ways to prepare for their eventual application process. Hunter helps students track every stage of their progress, from their first course registrations to planning their gap years.
Hunter College students can apply for Early Assurance programs at several New York medical schools, including the FlexMed Program at Mt. Sinai, and Assurance Programs at SUNY Upstate and the University of Rochester.
These programs extend early medical school acceptance to students demonstrating academic excellence, allowing them to pursue broader coursework than a pre-med path typically would.
Some Early Assurance programs also offer options like paid summer research or early access to medical school courses.
7. SUNY Buffalo (Buffalo, NY)
SUNY Buffalo invites prospective Pre-Health students to attend a workshop like Pre-Health 101 to determine whether or not they want to pursue a health-related career.
Tours of the medical school and the biomedical research facilities on campus also offer interested candidates a way to imagine themselves in a Pre-Health program before committing.
Students in Pre-Health at SUNY Buffalo receive individual advice and support from a designated faculty advisor. Each first-year student completes an online course designed to introduce aspects of medical professions and medical study.
SUNY Buffalo Pre-Health provides separate guidance for multiple medical tracks, including Pre-Veterinary, Pre-Physician’s Assistant, Pre-Optometry, and more. Nursing and Pharmacy have separate preparatory programs within the university.
A 12-member committee evaluates student progress and provides assessment letters for each candidate when they apply to medical programs. This comprehensive look at a student’s career features their academic work, research, related job experience, volunteer work, and community activities.
6. University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)
Though the University of Rochester has neither a specific Pre-Med major nor a Pre-Health concentration, the School of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering provides extensive advice and support for students applying to all health-related programs.
The University’s Medical Center, Medical and Dental Schools, and medical research facilities provide undergraduates interested in health careers with a wealth of research and volunteer positions, as well as opportunities to shadow working medical professionals.
Full-time Pre-health advisory staff provide academic counseling, application essay critiques, and help securing letters of recommendation. The program offers information sessions and workshops to facilitate the application process.
The Greene Center for Career Education & Connections functions as a valuable link to internships and other practical matters related to the medical school application process. Rochester recommends meeting with a career advisor as soon as possible in order to plan out coursework from Freshman year on. Advisors can help narrow the overwhelming number of options down to the ones most useful toward students’ career goals.
Rochester nurtures its healthcare community with campus events, volunteer opportunities, and student groups. News and events reach students through a comprehensive online portal, organized by subheadings like Human Services and Biomedical Research.
Rochester Early Medical Scholars offers highly qualified and motivated students an eight-year BS/MD opportunity. Students with high GPAs and demonstrated interest in the medical field (hospital volunteering, EMT training) make good candidates for this very competitive program.
5. SUNY Binghamton (Binghamton, NY)
The State University of New York, Binghamton University provides strong scaffolding for students planning medical careers. From Nutrition to Occupational Therapy, from Veterinary Medicine to its main Medical track, the Pre-health advising program at SUNY crafts a specific approach for each career path.
Binghamton’s First-year Research Immersion course sequence lays a strong foundation for the science background pre-med students need. The unique approach sets apart SUNY applicants to medical school; students completing the FRI program gain real-world research experience within the context of academically-rigorous coursework.
Within Binghamton’s Research-Stream Specific Course Sequences, classes like Biomedical Chemistry, Microbial Biofilms in Human Health, and Neuroscience can give a medical school applicant a way to fulfill requirements while demonstrating interest in a specific field.
An excellent summer program connecting students with alumni medical professionals gives Binghamton students a way to stand out from other medical school applicants in terms of extended medical experience.
Early Assurance programs provide an excellent way for highly successful undergraduates to secure a place in medical school to pursue a broader range of undergraduate coursework without concern for the medical school application process. Binghamton operates several Early Assurance programs, making it a perfect program for students who know they want to attend medical school but would like to take a wide variety of undergraduate coursework.
4. Columbia University (New York, NY)
Columbia University’s medical school often ranks in the top ten nationally, so it stands to reason that facilities, faculty, and access to internships make it a solid place to prepare for medical school.
So many of its undergraduates attend a medical school that it ranks in the top 20 schools nationally for the number of its students who go on to medical programs.
At Columbia, “Premedical” indicates a curriculum, but not a major. The school’s Berick Center for Student Advising works with students all four years to follow the rigorous plan of study while making room for summer internships and other professional experience.
Columbia does not expect students to manage the challenging coursework without help. The Academic Success Programs cultivate collaboration, mentoring, support and student confidence with skills training, tutoring, study groups, and workshops.
Columbia maintains a nationwide catalogue of volunteer and internship opportunities, encouraging students to spend summers acquiring experience rather than taking more coursework.
Columbia offers a popular Post-Baccalaureate program for students who have completed an undergraduate major but still need some of the courses required for a successful bid to medical school.
3. Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY)
In a state with some of the best medical schools globally, Stony Brook University’s Renaissance School of Medicine ranks in the top ten. For undergraduates planning health careers, Stony Brook has the financial benefits of a state school with the reputation of an elite private school.
Stony Brook strongly encourages students to major in a topic they love, but also one that will give them the time and energy to complete medical school prerequisite courses.
Pre-Health advisors help students choose disciplines with varied connections to medical careers, not just biology and chemistry majors.
Stony Brook urges students to develop communication skills and study skills, providing practical support for students at all levels.
Stony Brook Pre-Health Advising supports students through all aspects of a medical school application, explaining and assisting with the important committee letter and offering guidance and advice for interviews. The office helps students locate summer internships and volunteer opportunities.
The Academic Associate Program at Stony Brook offers a singular opportunity to pre-med candidates.
Undergraduates from Stony Brook staff the Stony Brook University Medical Center and screen patients for participation in clinical studies. Working with the hospital as an undergraduate can lead to further research opportunities, and students receive academic credit for their work.
2. New York University (New York, NY)
New York University cultivates a thoughtful and detailed Pre-health Program, providing students with academic guidance, practical experience opportunities, and connections to other aspiring medical students.
Personalized advising for each student considers strengths and weaknesses, assessing the candidate’s chances of admission and assisting them in assembling the most effective application possible.
NYU encourages students to gain clinical experience, either through volunteering at the many Manhattan hospitals nearby or through summer enrichment programs. Students can work with the Wasserman Center, the campus Career Development Service, to look for internships or get help constructing a resume.
While some programs caution students against studying abroad, New York University makes a study abroad experience not only practical but advantageous for potential pre-med students.
Candidates studying at other NYU campuses can take some of their required coursework abroad with the full credibility of an NYU-endorsed class.
NYU also offers a post-baccalaureate program for students who decide on medical school after completing graduation requirements without fulfilling all the medical school prerequisite coursework.
1. Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
Cornell University prepares undergraduates for the strenuous medical school application process in a well-rounded process: academic counseling, education in health careers, help in application preparation, and mental health management skills.
Cornell’s successful Pre-health program makes it one of the top-ranked feeder schools for medical programs nationally.
Support comes from many directions at Cornell.
First-year students draw on the resources of the Tatkon Center for study help, campus life, and career information.
The Cornell Undergraduate Research Board provides great opportunities for potential medical school applicants to find the right kind of campus project for research experience.
Cornell advises prospective medical students to take a bridge year between undergraduate diploma and medical school application.
The Pre-health advisory program suggests many options for that year, including travel and additional health-related experience.
Preparing to apply to medical school becomes a step-by-step process through the HCA-APP, the Health Care Careers Advising Application Preparation Process.
Letters from the school’s evaluation committee come from assessing candidate assignments designed by the committee to elicit meaningful reflection.
Cornell’s approach considers student well-being and encourages the full development of self-awareness before attempting a medical program.
The program asks students to keep a journal of reflection, answering a series of questions over their years in the program. A considered reading list gives candidates a place to start a habit of personal education.