The history of Boston University School of Medicine goes back 174 years to 1848, when it was founded as The New England Female Medical College.
Notable not only for being the first school in the United States to train women in medicine, it had the honor of graduating the first African-American female physician, Rebecca Lee Crumpler.
After graduation, Crumpler went to Richmond, VA, where she provided her services to the recently freed after the end of the Civil War.
Following this, Crumpler published A Book of Medical Discourses, which is thought to be the first medical text written by an African-American author.
The New England Female Medical College merged with Boston University in 1873. This merger made the school the first accredited coeducational medical school in the U.S.
Among its many other firsts, BUSM created the first hospital dedicated to educating medical students.
Currently, the school has 2,052 full and part-time faculty who teach 727 MD students and 895 master’s and doctorate degree-seeking students.
It also provides its students with nine routes to obtaining a medical degree and offers 600 funded research programs.
Among the facilities provided by the Boston University School of Medicine are 29 centers of excellence, 19 research centers and institutes, and partnerships with 33 hospitals.
BUSM is partnered with the Kaiser Permanente Collaboration, and the school is also the site of the Framingham Heart Study.
As the school’s 12,745 alumni can attest, earning a medical degree from one of the United States’ leading medical schools is well worth the challenges and rigor required by the Boston University School of Medicine.
Boston University School of Medicine Acceptance Rate
The Boston University School of Medicine acceptance rate is 6%.
In a recent class, the medical school saw 9,112 students apply, and 524 were accepted to study medicine at BUSM.
174 students out of the 524 who were accepted ultimately enrolled at BUSM, giving a yield, or enrollment rate, of 33.21%.
Mededits.com reports that, for the 2021-2022 entering year, 38% of students in the U.S. applying to medical schools were accepted by one medical school or another.
This rate is derived from the 62,433 applicants to medical schools across the country and the 23,711 who were accepted.
According to a 2020 survey of 121 medical schools conducted by U.S. News, the average acceptance rate was 6.5%, with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences having a rate of 20.2% and Florida State University accepting 2.1% of its applicants.
This indicates that students applying to Boston University School of Medicine will face comparatively stiff competition to earn their attendance at the institution.
Boston University School of Medicine was able to hold its first in-person graduation ceremony since the 2019 this year. The school awarded 164 medical degrees and 318 master’s degrees at its convocation.
Considering these overall acceptance and admission statistics, it is clear that Boston University and its medical school are quite selective and can draw the top students from all over the country to submit their applications.
Boston University Medical School Ranking
Given BUSM’s lower-than-average acceptance rate, it should come as no surprise that it is among the most highly ranked medical schools in the country and across the globe.
In 2018, Times Higher Education gave it the 33rd place for its Best University for Medicine (worldwide).
US News and World Report has also lauded the school in recent years.
It ranked Boston University School of Medicine 32nd Among Research Medical Schools in the US and 36th Best Primary Care, Medical School in the US in its report for 2023.
BUSM’s ranking by the US News and World Report for Best Primary Care, Medical School represents an increase of 8 spots from its 2022 ranking.
Individual programs in the medical school are also highly ranked, with US News and World Report listing in 2020 its cardiology program 8th in the U.S and 10th in the world and its neuroscience program as 23rd in the U.S and 45th in the world. Other impressive rankings include those for its clinical medicine, psychiatry/psychology, and surgery programs, listed among U.S schools as 26th, 25th, and 66th respectively.
Collegeevaluator.com supports the rankings given by Times Higher Education and the US News and World Report, currently listing Boston University School of Medicine 25th in the country.
Aspiring cardiologists and neuroscientists alike will find BUSM a highly enticing institution when they consider their options for medical school.
Those interested in pursuing primary care as their focus will also find themselves drawn to apply for acceptance to this nationally and globally ranked medical school.
Boston University Medical School MCAT Score & GPA Requirements
Potentially frustrating to some and relieving to others, Boston University School of Medicine’s admissions do not have specific MCAT and GPA requirements for those who wish to apply.
Instead, the school applies a holistic review process when considering applications from aspiring doctors.
The admissions department evaluates an applicant’s history and work in areas such as service, science, and communications as it determines whether or not an applicant is likely to succeed at BUSM.
While the school does not list specific requirements, a look at its 2021 entering class profile demonstrates that a high level of academic performance is typical throughout the admitted population.
The average GPA for the class was 3.72, and the average MCAT score was 517. Furthermore, more than 31 of the entering students already held master’s degrees, and 82% of the class was bilingual.
Mededits.com reports that the national average MCAT score for students accepted into allopathic medical schools for the 2021-2022 academic year was 511.9, and the average overall GPA was 3.74
Along with their exceptional academic achievements, students applying to BUSM are evaluated based on their experiences in research and previous occupations, life histories as demonstrated throughout their applications, essay and recommendation submissions, and their performances during their interviews.
The Boston University School of Medicine values diversity and seeks to admit a student body with a broad range of backgrounds.
With its holistic approach to evaluating students for acceptance into its program, BUSM ensures that it selects not only students with significant academic accomplishments but also those who have shown excellence in their personal lives and who bring a unique and diverse set of perspectives to their education.
Boston University Medical School Notable Alumni
BUSM’s alumni include not only barrier-breaking pioneers such as Rebecca Lee Crumpler and Solomon Carter, the first African-American psychiatrist in the nation, but more recent figures as well.
Some of these more recent graduates from the school have gone on to serve in the federal government or become leaders of other prestigious medical institutions.
There are few higher positions available to med school graduates than the U.S Secretary for Health and Human Services, and BUSM alumnus Louis Wade Sullivan served this role from 1989 to 1993.
Sullivan was also the founding dean of Morehouse College’s Medical Education Program in 1975.
Boston University School of Medicine graduate Marcia Angell became the first woman to serve as editor-in-chief for the New England Journal of Medicine, joining the staff in 1979 and leaving in 2000.
The school also graduated retinal angiography pioneer Lawrence Yannuzzi in 1964. Yannuzzi is a leading expert in retinal diseases and has pioneered new treatments and therapies for many such ailments.
I. Michael Leitman, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s Dean for Graduate Medical Education, and Texas Children’s Hospital’s Physician-in-Chief Ralph David Feigin are among the many other illustrious medical professionals who call Boston University School of Medicine their alma mater.
Given the impressive academic and personal backgrounds of the students accepted into BUSM, it is no surprise that so many leaders in the medical community hail from Boston University School of Medicine.
Should You Attend BU for Medical School?
While it is a deeply personal decision and any prospective medical student must consider many factors when choosing which institution to attend, Boston University School of Medicine offers enrollees many challenging and rewarding opportunities for studying medicine.
The school’s history has seen an impressive list of award-winning faculty and institutions unique in the medical community.
The late Osamu Shimomura was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2008 while serving BUSM as a professor emeritus.
His discovery of green fluorescent protein in jellyfish has led to innovations in genetics as well as the study of environmental pollutants.
As mentioned earlier, BUSM is partnered with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to manage the groundbreaking longitudinal study of heart disease known as the Framingham Heart Study.
This research has led to much of what is now considered common knowledge about heart health.
BUSM offers its medical students the opportunity to earn additional advanced degrees through its dual degree program.
These students can pursue a PhD while earning their medical degree or they can choose from other dual degree programs to, among others, earn law or business degrees to complement their MDs.
While any student with the noteworthy academic, service, and personal background Boston University School of Medicine considers accepting would be competitive at most other medical schools across the country, the unique opportunities for research at the school, its global ranking, and its dual-degree programs are sure to draw many of the best and brightest students to apply to and attend BUSM.